August 2006 Meeting Minutes

The Dallas Mars Society met as scheduled on Aug 27 at 6:30 at the Plano Spaghetti Warehouse.  Attendance was 14 (counting 3 children), which is a new high!   This was the first meeting after the 9th Annual Mars Society Convention in Washington D.C., and there was much to discuss both with regards to the past Mars Society Conference and the future ISDC Conference in May 2007. 


April and Derek jointly chaired the meeting with a thoroughly prepared agenda, leading to a highly productive and organized meeting.  In quick summary, the highlights were:


>Call to order at 6:40


>nominated interim officers.   These officers will serve until more formal elections can be held at a later date, probably around New Year’s.  These officers will help us organize our tasks for the upcoming ISDC conference.

                -President:             Derek Andreas

                -Vice President     April Andreas

                -Secretary:             Kurt Chankaya

                -Treasurer              Roger Carr


>Discussion of the 9th Mars Conference

                -Summary of main speakers

                -Both Jim Heiser’s and Kurt Chankaya’s talks went well

>>The T-shirt’s were a SMASH!  Virtually all of the T-shirts sold the first day, at the full $20 price.  Our T-shirts were the only ones being sold. It was real neat to see conference attendees walking about wearing our club’s design!  Kudos to Mark for making the design, and Derek / April for making the shirts.

                >This means we now have money, a few hundred dollars.  This will be set aside for potential expenses during the ISDC.  April and Roger will look into setting up a separate bank account.

                >** Just to make sure everyone heard, the NSS and Mars Society will NOT be holding a joint conference at the ISDC this Spring.  Agreement on this failed to be reached – we are back to doing a ‘just’ a separate Mars track.


>High Performance Leadership Project

                April will use preparing for the ISDC as her toastmaster’s project at her job.   There are many experienced folks there who can help and mentor us through the ISDC conference process.  April proposed a ‘vision statement’ for our group, which stressed mutual respect and teamwork will be the themes of our participation with other space advocacy groups at ISDC. 


>ISDC planning meeting

                Derek talked about the ISDC planning meeting he was in with the NSS.  There was a map of the hotel layout and tracks, greater definition of the exact tasks and schedule. And overall a great more definition of what is ahead of us.   Besides the tracks, we have a Mars Society table to set up and man, a luncheon and dinner to plan, and alternative activities for alternate nights. 

                We brainstormed ideas for ‘big name’ speakers that national should invite, and also lesser names that would make good tract speakers. 

                Abstracts relating to ‘Mars and Beyond’ will be funneled our way by the NSS, and we will evaluate and help schedule these, as well as trying to get interesting talks and themes for our track. 


>Key Projects and Volunteers

                To help this all happen, Derek proposed a list of projects that were needed.  Volunteers were assigned to most tasks.  These individuals will be responsible for accountable progress on these projects.


                -track coordinator (coordinates track speakers, themes, dinners etc) Derek and Kurt

                                (a suggestion was made to create a separate task for the lunch and dinner)

                -Track overseer (makes sure the track runs smoothly) Roger

                -Reviewing Abstracts Jim H, Mimi, Greg, Curtis

                -Evaluation forms (forms for reviewing the tracks, conference etc) Mimi, Kurt

                -Mars Society nbsp Derek, Roger

                -Mars Society Information Track / Lunch (TBD)

                -Pizza Night Engineer  (alternate activities, not the ‘main banquet’) (TBD)

                -Dallas Mars Society Product Line   (T-shirts, books, jewelry, etc) Mark, Kurt

-Space Passport April


Overall, we had a well organized and productive meeting, and a good start to our planning for the ISDC.  Details will continue to evolve as we get further into the planning. If you have any ideas, don’t hold to the group!

The Mars Society blitzes the Hill

by Chris Carberry
Monday, August 21, 2006

There are moments in space advocacy that stand out, and the Great 2006 Mars Blitz certainly falls into that category. It was a tremendous success. On Thursday afternoon, August 3, 2006, the Mars Society sent over 100 members to Capitol Hill to show support for the Vision for Space Exploration and to make sure Mars remains a key part of that plan. In just over three hours, we spoke to over 100 congressional offices. This was truly a “blitz.”

Full story

Agenda For August 27, 2006

  • Officer Volunteers
    • President
    • Vice President
    • Secretary
      • Keep meeting minutes
      • Organize hard copies of major handouts and e-mails
    • Treasurer
      • Keep paper trail of club money
      • Possibly apply for 501(c)3 status with bank account (
    • Formal elections later this year
  • Report on Conference
    • Report on T-shirt Money
    • Accolades for Mark
  • High Performance Leadership Project
    • Vision for the Conference
    • Core Values
  • Brief Overview of ISDC 2007
  • Speaker and Topic Brainstorming, Wish List
  • Key Projects Overview
    • Details of each project
      • Track coordinator
      • Track overseer
      • Reviewing abstracts
      • Evaluation forms
      • Mars Society information table
      • Mars Society information track/lunch
      • Pizza night engineer
      • Dallas Mars Society product line
      • Space passport
    • Call for volunteers
  • Call for comments, close of meeting

Return of the Mars Hoax

MARS HOAX: A bogus email is going around the Internet. It claims that Mars will be historically close to Earth on August 27, 2006–so close that Mars will look as large as the full Moon. This is not true. Here are the facts: On August 27th, Mars will be on the other side of the solar system, about 385 million kilometers from Earth. The red planet will look tiny and dim, nothing like a full Moon.

The “Mars Hoax” email first appeared in 2003. On August 27th of that year, Mars really did come historically close to Earth. But the email’s claim that Mars would rival the Moon was grossly exaggerated. Every August since 2003, the email has staged a revival. It’s as wrong now as it was then.

Courtesy: Space Weather News for August 6, 2006



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.

Ninth International Mars Society Convention Success

Aug. 07, 2006

The Ninth International Mars Society Convention, held in Washington DC August 3-6, 2006 was a great success. Over 400 people attended. Speakers included NASA Administrator Mike Griffin, NASA Associate Administrator for Exploration Scott Horowitz, NASA Associate Administrator for Legislative Affairs Brian Chase, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, Space Telescope Science Institute Director Matt Mountain, former NASA Mars Exploration program Director Scott Hubbard, Mars Society President Robert Zubrin, Australian Astronaut Andy Thomas, leading exobiologists Chris McKay and Penelope Boston, NSS Executive Director George Whitesides, Space Adventures Vice President Chris Faranetta, and over a hundred others.

Full Story

August 2006 Chapter Meeting

The next meeting of the Dallas Chapter of the Mars Society will be Sunday, August 27, 2006 at 6:30PM at the Spaghetti Warehouse in Plano, at the northwest corner of Central Expressway and 15th St. The main topic of the meeting will be a rundown of the Mars Society Conference in Washington D.C.

Our members are space advocates and space enthusiasts from Dallas, Plano, McKinney, Arlington, Fort Worth, and all over the DFW Metroplex and North Texas. The Mars Society advocates human exploration of the Red Planet, for the purposes of science, exploration, and settlement.

The Dallas Chapter is working on several activities, including education and awareness outreach, political activities, and planning the “Mars and Beyond” track of the International Space Development Conference 2007 in Dallas, TX.


This is the website for the Dallas / DFW chapter of The Mars Society. The local chapter was formed in September 2003 with 5 members, and has grown to more than 10 members at each monthly meeting.

Our members are space advocates and space enthusiasts from Dallas, Plano, McKinney, Arlington, Fort Worth, and all over the DFW Metroplex and North Texas. The Mars Society advocates human exploration of the Red Planet, for the purposes of science, exploration, and settlement.

The Dallas Chapter is working on several activities, including education and awareness outreach, political activities, but is primarily focused right now on hosting the 14th Annual International Mars Society Convention on August 4th – 7th, to be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Grapevine, TX, a short distance from the DFW airport.

14th International Mars Society Convention Flyer