Meeting Sunday, August 31st 2014

Yes, it is a long month, and the last Sunday lands right on the last day of the month, so it is a bit later in the month than usual, but we have our usual monthly meeting this Sunday, Aug 31, at 6:30PM, at the Spaghetti Warehouse, off of 15th street and Rt 75 in Plano.

Same bat time, same bat location…..

The convention was awesome! We had a noticeably, and substantially, larger, younger, and more energetic crowd than my last convention (two years ago). We had many youths and younger folks from April’s college, the student design competition, and the Mars One Colonist finalists. People came from all over the world, with the strongest attendance of Europeans and Asians I have ever seen at the Mars Society. This is becoming a World Endeavor!

Another exciting thing for me were talks describing the coming NASA and private company space hardware – the Space Launch System, larger than the Saturn V, the Orion, following in the footsteps of the Apollo, and the Inspiration Mars closed loop life cycle systems – all are moving into detailed designs, actual hardware, and reality. It is not just pictures and talk. The hardware to send humans to Mars is moving from the drawing boards to the factory floor!

It gave me something to reflect on when I sneaked off for an afternoon (!) to the Houston Space center. The astronaut training floor now has, besides the usual ISS modules, Orion AND SpaceX Dragon training mockups replacing the now retired Shuttle mockups. We are moving to a beyond low earth orbit manned space program! Looking at the old, but still awe inspiring Saturn V, sitting silently on its side. I thought it is time to move on, and create our own history on the shoulders of those who traveled before us.

Oh, and yes, we sold out all of our T-shirts! We got many compliments on Mark’s great artwork. It was fantastic to have so many folks from the local chapter present, see old friends, and see the future unfold.

Many things to talk about, reminisce, and contemplate for next year.

See you Sunday!

Kurt

Mars Society News Robert Zubrin to Debate ‘Zero Growth’ Ideologue Phil Cafaro on Apr il 15th

Mars Society Announcement

April 10, 2013

Robert Zubrin to Debate ‘Zero Growth’ Ideologue Phil Cafaro on April 15th

“The subject of the debate has everything to do with Mars exploration. ‘Zero Growth’ ideology is antithetical to human expansion into space, and opening the space frontier is completely subversive to Malthusian and related limited resources ideology.” — Dr. Robert Zubrin

Mars Society president and aerospace engineer Dr. Robert Zubrin will debate Dr. Phil Cafaro, a professor of Philosophy at Colorado Christian University (CCU) and president of the International Society for Environmental Ethics, who says that we need to stop immigration and impose population control in order to stop global warming. CCU will host the event on Monday, April 15th at 7:00 p.m. in Lakewood, Colorado.

The planned debate, entitled “Are People the Problem?”, was occasioned by an article that Dr. Cafaro wrote in the Denver Post, arguing that immigration contributes to global warming, because by coming to America, immigrants increase their incomes, and thus their carbon footprints. This, says Dr. Cafaro, must be stopped.

Dr. Zubrin then published a rebuttal of this argument in National Review.

Dr. Cafaro’s ideas going beyond immigration are even more remarkable. In his anthology “Life on the Brink” (introduction by Paul and Anne Ehrlich, edited by Dr. Cafaro and Eileen Crist) he states that it is not only necessary to cut off immigration to America, but that the U.S. population needs to be reduced to 100 million people. According to Dr. Cafaro, “The last thing the world needs is hundreds of millions of more Americans.”

In addition, Dr. Cafaro requires that the world population be cut down from its current 7 billion to 2 billion, and recommends using the denial of U.S. foreign aid as a method to coerce Third World countries to accept population reduction. In addition, argues Dr. Cafaro in his included essay entitled “Is humanity a cancer upon the Earth?”, economic growth must be ended.

In the same book, contributing author David Foreman, the founder of Earth First and fellow leader of the “Apply the Brakes” anti-growth organization, objects to feminist interference in the family planning movement on the grounds that some feminists have the temerity to insist that a woman’s right to choose also includes the right to choose to have children. He says they have no such right.

This is going to be a significant debate. Dr. Cafaro’s views bring sharply into focus the anti-human and totalitarian implications of the ‘Zero Growth’ movement. In opposing him, Dr. Zubrin will make the case for human creativity and freedom.

Admission to the debate is free, but advance registration is required. Those wishing to attend may register online.

The Mars Society
Media & Public RelationsLakewood, CO

Meeting March 31st. 2013

All:

We will have our March monthly meeting this coming Sunday, March 31st, at 6:30pm at the spaghetti warehouse at 15th street and rt 75 in Plano, Tx. Yes, i know this is Easter Sunday, and i hope that this doesn’t cause any interference.

We have many projects going, and we’ll get an update on:

> a re-cap of the Dallas Science Fair, since many of you were not able to make last month’s meeting when we went over our experience as judges

> planning for the URCMarsConvention2013

> planning for the convention
-news on the poster competition
-discussion of our T-shirt design and sales.

> Moon day planning

> convention papers
> Zooniverse Mars wind data extraction

> latest Mars news regarding Curiosity, as well as other probes, and the latest news in the Space community.

See you Sunday!

Kurt

‘Mars Direct’ – Read Robert Zubrin’s New 50-Page Kindle Edition

Mars Society Announcement

February 18, 2013

‘Mars Direct’ – Read Robert Zubrin’s New 50-Page Kindle Edition

The human race is at a crossroads. In the coming years, we will make decisions about our human spaceflight program that will lead to one of two familiar futures: the open universe of Star Trek, where we have the opportunity to spread our wings and flourish as an interplanetary species or the closed dystopia of Soylent Green. If we ever hope to live in the former scenario, says Mars Society founder Dr. Robert Zubrin, our first stepping stone must be a human mission to Mars.

In MARS DIRECT: Space Exploration, the Red Planet, and the Human Future, a new 50-page Kindle edition by Penguin Publishing, Dr. Zubrin investigates the challenges and benefits of a manned Earth-to-Mars mission. These are challenges which, according to Dr. Zubrin, we are technologically more prepared to overcome than the obstacles of missions to the Moon in the 1960′s and 70′s. Dr. Zubrin’s plan could feasibly have humans on the surface of Mars within a decade. MARS DIRECT also discusses:

· The current predicament and bureaucracy of NASA and how it is crippling our space program

· The promise of privatized space flight from companies like SpaceX and how they are making more progress than government programs

· The larger importance of opening the final frontier to humanity and how it could be integral to our survival

Dr. Zubrin posits that man’s future as a species is intertwined with our ability to explore space and specifically Mars. In order to ensure humanity’s survival, we must take the necessary baby steps away from the cradle that is planet Earth or face the possibility of our ultimate extinction.

The Mars Society
www.marssociety.org
@TheMarsSociety

Call for Papers for 2013 Mars Society Convention

Mars Society Announcement

February 7, 2013

Call for Papers for 2013 Mars Society Convention

The 16th Annual International Mars Society Convention

August 15-18, 2013, The University of Colorado at Boulder

The Mars Society invites presentations for the 16th Annual International Mars Society Convention. Subjects for discussion can involve all matters associated with the exploration and settlement of the Red Planet, including science, technology, engineering, politics, economics, public policy, etc.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be sent by May 31, 2013 to: The Mars Society, 11111 W. 8th Avenue, unit A, Lakewood, CO 80215 or via email to: abstracts (e-mail submissions are preferred).

Proposed Conference Sessions

  • The search for life on Mars
  • Latest findings from Mars spacecraft
  • Plans for 2013 Mars missions and beyond
  • Curiosity – Research & accomplishments
  • Concepts for future robotic Mars missions
  • Planning for human missions to Mars
  • Advanced space propulsion systems
  • Launch vehicles for Mars exploration
  • Long-range mobility on the Red Planet
  • Life support & biomedical factors
  • Human factors & crew composition
  • In-situ resource utilization
  • Mars agriculture & aquaculture technology
  • ‘The First Martians’ – A permanent Mars colony
  • Terraforming – Creating an ecology for Mars
  • How Mars technology can help life on Earth
  • Technologies for reaching the stars
  • Analog studies relating to Mars exploration
  • The Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS)
  • The Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS)
  • Technology to assist human space exploration
  • Entrepreneurial approaches to a Mars mission
  • Benefits of space exploration for humanity
  • Public policy for Mars exploration
  • Privately-funded Mars mission concepts
  • International cooperation & agencies
  • Law, governance & social systems for the Red Planet
  • Why Mars?
  • Philosophical implications for Mars exploration
  • Educating the next generation of ‘Marsonauts’
  • Asteroid missions & mining: A bridge to Mars?
  • Political action and outreach
  • Proposed projects for the Mars Society
  • The University Rover Challenge (URC)
  • Religion & space exploration
  • Phobos & Deimos: Missions to the Martian moons

Additional details about the 2013 Mars Society Convention will be posted online in the coming weeks and months (www.marssociety.org).

The Mars Society
www.marssociety.org
@TheMarsSociety

Dozens of Talks from 2012 Mars Society Convention Posted on YouTube

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that nearly all plenary and track talks, as well as panel discussions from the 15th Annual International Mars Society Convention in Pasadena, California have been posted on the organization’s YouTube page (The International Mars Society). The few remaining videos not on the page are in the process of undergoing minor audio and editing improvements and will be added in the coming days.

Several of the current postings include talks and lectures by Lori Garver of NASA, Elon Musk of SpaceX, Dr. Jim Bell of the Planetary Society, George Whitesides of Virgin Galactic, Dr. John Grotzinger of NASA/JPL, Dr. Simon “Pete” Worden of Ames Research Center, Dr. Carol Stoker of NASA, Dr. Peter Diamandis of X Prize Foundation, Dr. Jean Hunter of Cornell University, Dr. Robert Zubrin of the Mars Society and U.S. Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA).

The Mars Society would like to thank webmaster James Burk for his generous help in this effort.

The Mars Society
www.marssociety.org
@TheMarsSociety

Curiosity Data Shows Mars Surface Cosmic Ray Radiation Dose Rates Acceptable for Human Explorers

Measurements by the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) instrument aboard NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover Curiosity show that the galactic cosmic ray (GCR) radiation dose rates on the surface of the Red Planet are about half those that RAD measured during its interplanetary cruise.

Interplanetary GCR dose rates were previously measured by the MARIE instrument aboard the Mars Odyssey spacecraft during its cruise to the Red Planet in 2001 and shown to be about twice that experienced in Low Earth Orbit (LEO).  Thus, in combination, the MARIE and RAD results show that Mars surface GCR dose rates are about the same as those experienced by astronauts in LEO. This mean that GCR doses will not be a show-stopper for the human exploration of Mars.

To view a graph of radiation measurements published by the Curiosity RAD team, please click here.

Please note that the MARIE authors report interplanetary GCR dose rates ranging from 0.28 Sv (28 rem) to 0.73 Sv (73 rem) per year.  Taking the 50 rem/year average of these figures as an interplanetary dose baseline, it can be estimated that a human Mars mission which spends 6 months flying to Mars (as Odyssey did in 2001), 18 months on the Martian surface, and 6 months flying back to Earth would receive a total GCR dose of 88 rem.  Such a dose is estimated to represent a statistical risk of about a 1 percent chance of getting a fatal cancer sometime later in life, assuming no advance in medical technique and would therefore represent a modest portion of the risk faced by astronauts on a human Mars mission.  Furthermore, it has already been received by a number of astronauts and cosmonauts working on the ISS or Mir space stations without incidence of cancer among any of them.

It is therefore now confirmed that hypothetical radical new propulsion systems enabling much faster transit times to Mars and/or the ability to leave the Red Planet regardless of launch windows will not be needed to enable human Mars exploration.  With its first important results, Curiosity has slain the mythical radiation dragon previously barring the way to Mars.

The Mars Society
www.marssociety.org
@TheMarsSociety

2012 convention and MSL landing

All:

This is a quick note about our chapter’s participation in the 2012 Mars Society Convention and MSL landing. We can go into more detail at our next monthly meeting. I know i also owe a status report on our last monthly meeting and our very successful Moonday on July 21!! I have been super busy between Mars Society and work, but no excuses! coming soon!

The convention was, in a word, fantastic. The venue was convenient, Pasadena beautiful, the weather pleasant (you could walk outside without a blast furnace of heat!!), the convention smoothly executed, the speakers incredible, the experience unforgettable.

We watched a countdown to MSL’s landing via live feed, seeing Adam Steltzner, lead of the engineers at JPL in the Entry Descent and Landing (EDL) team on TV after having seen him that very day at he convention, and we joined in cheering wildly when we got word real time that MSL had landed.

We ran our T-shirt table, selling most (!!) of our T-shirts, as well as some old ones and not a few of Pam’s trinkets and Mimi and Roger’s budget beads. Tom gave an interesting talk on some old Mars mission profiles – the background on Von Braun’s 1950′s era plan to land with gliders in Mars’s ‘thick nitrogen atmosphere’ was both fascinating and totally new to me. Kris attended virtually every talk and track, taking reams of notes, as well as helping out with the T-shirt table and, of course, formatting the convention program everyone was using.

Tom, Donna, and Emily deserve a special mention for manning the main convention registration table for most of the convention. Without them, the convention would not have come off.

And, during the banquet, i was honored to present our check for $300 directly to Bob Zubrin in Roger’s memory. Roger was with us in spirit.

Over all, a great experience. Next year, we can look forward to hearing just what MSL has discovered!!

Kurt