Minutes from our August 2011 meeting

There were 8 persons in attendance at our meeting.  We welcomed Lucas who joined us as a guest.

The meeting opened with a discussion of upcoming events.  Events discussed included astronomy day Oct 22nd at the UTA planetarium http://www.uta.edu/planetarium/events/ and the upcoming Fencom convention which is scheduled in Dallas Sept 23rd-25th http://www.fencon.org/.  We also talked about International Space Week Oct 4th -10th http://www.worldspaceweek.org/.

We agreed to look into adding an upcoming events section to the chapter webpage.  We also talked about potential chapter activities which included science and technology related volunteer opportunities and  inviting guest speakers to our meetings.  During our upcoming Sept meeting, we planned to have chapter elections.

Quick Recap of our August 14th Meeting


I just wanted to give a quick recap of our August 14th meeting.  We had a relaxed celebration of the conference: it was great to just gather and enjoy each other’s company without the pressure of the convention planning, and to relish the memories of the 14th Annual Mars Society convention!   We had a brief awards ceremony for all those who worked on the convention.

And I do believe that we set an attendance record!  We had 14 or 15 folks (I wasn’t taking notes!), including Josh, a new prospective member who dropped in and regaled us with tales of arguing in front of the Supreme Court, no less (welcome Josh!).

It was great to see James H and family: we know that the long drive from Hillsboro on the busiest day of the week is a real sacrifice.

And thanks to Kris for arranging for the awards, they were very eye catching, and well earned by a great team!

With that, Juno is on its way to Jupiter, Opportunity has arrived at Endeavour Crater, and Curiosity is getting ready at the Cape, and it is getting late and I have to go…..

See you Sunday!


Convention Followup

The convention just finished and it was a great experience! The convention went smoothly, the speakers were great, and we met and made friends and engaged on many exciting topics and side discussions.

Talks covered topics ranging from the upcoming Mars Science Laboratory and proposed Geological Monitoring System (GEMS) Discovery mission, the latest from SpaceX and the Kepler mission, as well subjects as varied as power systems, navigation, and growing food on Mars.  Panel discussions and track talks led to many side discussions and exchange of new ideas.

On a more somber note, Robert Zubrin, president of the Mars Society, warned of the dire straights NASA’s manned space program faces given its current rudderless direction in today’s budget environment, and gave us all a call to action.

We had attendees from around the country as well as several from overseas, and got to meet old friends, make new ones, and meet many locals interesting in our chapter.  Thanks again to everyone in the local chapter and national whose efforts, dedication, time, and patience made this not only a success full, but fun experience!

See you on the 14th!


July 31 Meeting Postponed

After consulting folks I’ve decided to cancel our regular July 31 meeting.

Several folks will be unavailable or busy with last minute convention preparations, and it is really too close to the convention to be useful.

Instead, let’s get together on August 14 to relax and reflect and celebrate on our hosting of the convention.. same location and time (spaghetti warehouse, 6:30 pm, etc) as usual. See you at the convention!


Moon Day outreach a big success!


Just a quick note that the Moon Day outreach went swimmingly well. On July 16 the local chapter showed up in force at the Frontiers of Flight museum, and set up a table with our materials, a Mars globe kindly loaned to us by the NSS (thanks Curtis!) and our convention poster, as well as the cool signs that Tom had printed up.

Literally hundreds of space interested locals came up and we got a chance to meet and talk to many, as well as make what we hope and expect to be lasting contacts with like minded organizations like the Dallas Area Rocket Society, Fort Worth Astronomical Society, and of course, the Moon Society and Ken Murphy, whom we thank for his inviting us and the tireless work he put into organizing Moon day. We also took many notes of what the ‘competition’ were doing with their presentations and how to make our presentation and presence even better and more compelling next time (let’s not forget the black table cloths!)

The Moon Day was a great success, and we discussed having an even bigger presence next year. This would be a great time to organize the ‘Mars 101’ community outreach we thought of but were unable to bring to fruition at this year’s convention. Thanks to everyone, and see you at the Mars Society convention, now only DAYS away!!!!




January through October, the last Sunday of the month at 6:30pm.

We sometimes meet in November and December, depending on schedules and holiday plans.


We used to meet at the Spaghetti Warehouse in Plano, until their unfortunate demise.

We have a new home at Norma’s Cafe near Central Expressway and 15th street in Plano, TX. The address is .

However, we have also met at the Outback Steakhouse nearby, so please subscribe to the low volume mailing list of the Dallas Mars Society.


Subjects of discussion vary with each meeting. The format is informal, so you can participate as much or as little as you like. Feel free to come only with questions and curiosity.


Please subscribe to the mailing list for any additional announcements, details of meeting discussions or locations, and other tidbits of information about the exploration of outer space in general and Mars in particular.