April 2012 Meeting Minutes

A few weeks late, but here are the meeting minutes for April, 2012:

We had productive and lively meeting, with 9 people attending.

Tom gave a brief on the results of the debate team’s trip to the final’s in New York. Tom’s wife Donna has been coached a local home schooled debate team regarding the role of manned space exploration. Our group has been helping along as we have seem these bright high school students rise up to the final 8 teams in the world and go to the finals in New York, an incredible achievement. Unfortunately, in New York they lost in the first round – luck must not have been with them this time. But we applaud how far they have got, and we all enjoyed the ride!

We also had a discussion of the Mars Society related materials owned by our late member, Roger Carr. It is Mimi’s wish to bequeath it to our Chapter: We discussed the legal aspects of this. Dan went over the material- ‘The Case for Mars’ books, convention T-shirts etc, and a Mars globe that will look great on our Moon Day table.

Tom showed us the banner and stand he had made using the design the Mark created. It is a stunning visual display, and will definitely give our table at Moon Day, the convention, or any other event (like our monthly meetings!) a distinctly professional and compelling appearance. As per the group’s approval, we reimbursed Tom for $100 towards the cost of the banner, and Tom picked up the rest of the cost (Thank you Tom!).

I talked about his annual talk at the SMU gifted boys program where he talked about Mars and Mars direct. The talk is always popular, and I had over 60 students attend in the afternoon session.

I also admitted that given my workload I will simply not be able give the time that it deserves to the book project of publishing all the past papers. I handed the CD’s over to Dan – Dan and Kris will work on organizing them now. Progress is slow but is still happening!

Plans were made for Tom and Mark to find a rover for Moon Day – according to the San Diego Chapter rovers are real attention getters both from the public and the media. Progress on that is promising and ongoing!

Kris and I confirmed that we will go out to MDRS to help with the University Rover Competition (it is now less than two weeks away!). This will the first time out to MDRS for the both of us.

Mark also took on working up a T-shirt design – the convention is coming, and a MSL themed T-shirt is sure to sell well this year.

Both Moon Day (July 21) and the Mars Society Convention (August 3 – 5) are coming up and registration for the convention is open!

till our next meeting on May 27!


March Meeting Minutes

Yes, a bit late, but here are the March meeting minutes.

We had 8 in attendance, including Donna dropping in to give an update on the debate team’s progress. They sound like they are doing well and more than holding their own in the back and forth in the tough final written rounds. We should hear the results from the final oral arguments in NYC in the next meeting!

We were all saddened to hear of Roger Carr’s passing a few weeks ago, and the society chapter agreed to donate $200 of the chapter’s funds to the National Mars Society in his memory at the next convention. we will miss Roger in Pasadena.

We discussed preparations for a variety of upcoming events, including Tom’s search for a rover for moon day, possibly getting a Mars globe for our table, and Tom showed us some first class draft posters he made. This will draw attention to our table, and we can use it in other locations (like our monthly meetings!), outreach events, and the T-shirt table at the national convention!. We agreed to use $100 of chapter funds towards a display stand, with Tom agreeing to cover any charges above that (thanks Tom!).

Mark has been working with Tom to refine the poster image, and we hope to have a final version for the next meeting.

Other upcoming events include supporting the University Rover Challenge at MDRS in late May – it looks like Kurt and Kris are going to take the plunge and go – a first to MDRS for both of us. Kurt was gearing up for his annual talk to the gifted students program at SMU, and we discussed T-shirt designs.

We’ll hear progress on these fronts and more at next month’s meeting! We will gather together next week on Sunday, April 29 at the Spaghetti Warehouse on rt 75 and 15th street in Plano at 6:30. same time – same same place!

We hope to have a final version of our display poster, and discuss other preparations for our Moon Day display, such as a rover!

Also we should get a final report on the local debate team’s performance in the NYC finals from Tom.

Kris and Kurt have committed to going to support the annual University Rover Competition at the MDRS hab in Hanksville, Utah in late May (but after our May meeting).

Kurt will give a outbrief of the talk at the SMU gifted boys program for 7th graders (my talk on Mars – it went very well, and had over 60 students in one session).

We also need to start on T-shirt designs and orders in earnest….

Mars continues to be in the news, or rather the threat to the entire Mars exploration budget for the next several years. NASA looks to be trying to push any new starts in Mars exploration out to beyond 2018, but the fight continues in congress. I’m sure we’ll hear more from Bob at the convention. In the meantime MSL continues its travel to Mars flawlessly, and MAVEN – the next and last planned US Mars mission – an orbiter looking at Mars’s atmosphere, is preparing for a 2013 launch.

The sign up for the Pasadena conference is open – I hope we can have a big turnout to see MSL land! This will be the biggest Mars event for many a year – i am looking forward to savoring it.


January 2012 Minutes

Our January meeting was a great start to the New Year. There were nine persons in attendance. The conversation was lively and fun. Discussion topics included exciting plans for the upcoming year.

Mark was back from Florida after being one of the Tweetup VIP’s for the MSL launch. We were excited to hear Mark’s first-hand accounting of the MSL launch.

We were also excited to discuss April’s tour at MDRS. The crew’s agenda was to plan for a pilot Mars 101 course enabling first and second year college students to participate in planetary analog research (http://www.marssociety.org/home/press/announcements/teamtexasarriveatmdrs)

We discussed the Orion spacecraft exhibit which was at the American Airlines center in Dallas in January. Several members from the Dallas Mars Society and National Space Society attended the event.

We shared good memories from the National Space Society Christmas party which was held at Carol’s house in December. Members had a great time at the party.

We discussed upcoming events which include below:

The National Space Society poetry contest on subject – Mars the Next Frontier:  Exploration and Settlement of Space.  Deadline for submission for the contest is July 31st 2012.  http://www.nssofnt.org/activities/poetry-contest-2/poetry-contest-2012/

ConDFW Convention (http://www.condfw.org/) – February 17th – 19th 2012

ISDC 2012 (http://isdc.nss.org/2012/) – May 24th – 28th 2012

University Rover Challenge (http://urc.marssociety.org/home): May 31st – June 2nd 2012

Frontiers of Flight Museum (http://www.flightmuseum.com) Moon Day – July 2012

15th Annual Mars Society Convention (http://www.marssociety.org) – August 3rd -5th 2012

We look forward to our guest speaker at our February meeting.  Ken Ruffin, president of the local NSS chapter, will give a talk on the future of space exploration.

Mars Society Announces Dates/City for 2012 International Convention

Mars Society Logo 200x188

Mars Society Logo 200x188December 10, 2011 by The Mars Society

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that it will be convening its 15th Annual International Mars Society Convention on August 3 – 5, 2012 in Pasadena, California.

The dates were selected to coincide with the anticipated landing on the Red Planet of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory rover, better known as Curiosity, sometime late in the night on August 5th.

More details about the next Mars Society convention, including the official itinerary, list of speakers and exact convention location will be made available in the near future.  Thank you, and we hope you’ll be able to join us this August!

On to Mars (with a stop-over in Pasadena)!