Meeting October 30, 2016

All:

Our next meeting is October 30th, this Sunday!

Same time and location as always: Spaghetti Warehouse, Plano, 15th Street and Rt 75, 6:30 PM!

I’ll have a rundown of the National Convention, our t-shirt sales, and all the goings on with national.

We’ll also have a report on our Oct 29th participation with the Frontiers of Flight museum with our Mars Yard.

In the meantime, we’ve had a lot of Space news:

See you Sunday!

Kurt

Pres. Obama Announced Mars Goal 2030s

In a CNN op-ed published October 11, 2016 President Obama announced a goal to send humans to Mars by the 2030s.

We have set a clear goal vital to the next chapter of America’s story in space: sending humans to Mars by the 2030s and returning them safely to Earth, with the ultimate ambition to one day remain there for an extended time. Getting to Mars will require continued cooperation between government and private innovators, and we’re already well on our way. Within the next two years, private companies will for the first time send astronauts to the International Space Station.

The next step is to reach beyond the bounds of Earth’s orbit. I’m excited to announce that we are working with our commercial partners to build new habitats that can sustain and transport astronauts on long-duration missions in deep space. These missions will teach us how humans can live far from Earth — something we’ll need for the long journey to Mars.

Moreover, the President announced the intention to work with commercial partners in order to develop key components. The Dallas Mars Society is excited and proud to hear the President actively encouraging the goals most important to our organization.

Below is some additional information on the announcement and Mars.

* The Dallas Mars Society does not endorse any political candidate or party.

Member News Brief

Recently, the adult child of one of our members has made it to the latest round for the next NASA Astronaut selection! This is an intensely rigorous process, with over 99% of the applicants already having been weeded out. Now the process has moved to interviews and tests at JSC. We are all excited and proud of our extended family member making it this far.

This will be an especially exciting astronaut class as it appears that they may be from whom the first astronauts may be chosen who will leave near Earth orbit since 1972 – indeed, they may go farther into space than anyone has gone before. We should hear the final results early next year.

Till then fingers are crossed! Good Luck!

-Kurt

P.S. The member wants to keep the identity quiet for now – while an incredible accomplishment to make it this far, they prefer to be anonymous till it is known for sure one way or the other.

Clinton: I Support Exploration Of Mars

I was thrilled to see the following notice in the AIAA (American institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics daily news summary for September 13:
Clinton: I Support Human Exploration Of Mars.

Space News (9/13, Subscription Publication) reports that “in a response to a questionnaire on science policy topics released Sept. 13 by ScienceDebate.org,” Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said that she supports a manned mission to Mars, and quotes Clinton as saying, “A goal of my administration will be to…advance our ability to make human exploration of Mars a reality.” Space News notes that Clinton “broadly endorsed” NASA’s efforts, and said she would ensure NASA “has the leadership, funding and operational flexibility” to work with industry. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump “did not formally support a human Mars exploration program” in his response, but said that the federal government “should encourage innovation in the areas of space exploration.”

While the Mars Society is a non-partisan organization, the fact that a major party candidate is explicitly talking about sending humans to Mars is not only exciting in and of itself, but a sea change from the situation only a few years ago. As recently as a couple of election cycles back a Mars Society member got to ask the presidential candidates of one party during the primary season about sending humans to Mars and it was dismissed as a crank question. Our older members may remember a time back in the 70’s when a leading senator (who later became Vice President) led the charge to cancel the human space program in its entirety by cancelling the Space Shuttle, calling it a ‘senseless extravagance’. Now a vigorous space program and sending humans to Mars is becoming bi-partisan national policy. Politicians as odd a set of bedfellows as Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders have both advocated more spending on space exploration. While we are not there yet – the distance we have come is incredible. In no small part this change is due to the dedicated activities of the Mars Society and our like minded sister organizations – that means all of us. I look forward to the future.

– Kurt, President of the Dallas Chapter

Meeting with Astronaut Charlie Duke

Ron and I went to see Charlie Duke, Lunar Module Pilot for Apollo 16, at the Petroleum Club last Wednesday, June 29. Charlie is a very articulate speaker with a great sense of humor and humility at the incredible job he did as an Apollo astronaut and Moon-walker. There aren’t many Moon-walkers around, and it was a treat to see and meet one in person (I even got to ride the elevator up to the meeting with Charlie Duke – a long story I’ll tell at the next group meeting!).

Charlie and Ron

Here is a picture of Ron from our group with General Duke.

Kurt