Meeting Minutes for June 5, 2011

All:

We had our May monthly meeting on last Sunday, June 5th – a week late due to the Memorial Day weekend. Still, we had some folks who had plans come up – sorry Curtis and Pam that you could not make it due to travel plans.

Still we had a good showing, with six in attendance. We talked about some space news, such as the official death of Spirit (RIP!), the return and retirement of Endeavor, and the choice of the GEMS project to be a finalist in the Discovery mission.

GEMS (GEological Monitoring Station) is an exciting proposed project aimed at understanding the deep interior of Mars. Landing on the surface of Mars with sensitive probes, it would obtain a much clearer understanding of the Martian interior. This project is one of three finalists for the next round of NASA Discovery missions, generally budgeted at around $425M. JPL’s Bruce Banerdt will receive $3M to develop the GEMS project further. The other Discovery proposals under consideration are a comet hopper and a proposal to sail on the lakes of Titan.

Closer to home, Mark described the ISDC in Huntsville. It sounded like we had a large number of flyers handed out!

We also discussed the needs of the upcoming conference. The speaker list is coming along nicely, and we have a solid and exciting line-up of plenary speakers. It was recently announced that our own Bishop Hesier will be a plenary speaker!

We discussed making our annual T-shirts, using the poster design, and how to line up local sponsors, publicity, AV equipment (does anyone have any room projectors we can borrow?), printers, etc.

Preparations for Bob Zubrin’s upcoming visit on the 16th of June are all in place, and we look forward to him addressing both the National Forensics league as well as the AIAA conference. Bob will be speaking about Mars Direct at the UT of Arlington Planetarium from 6:30 to 8:30. Free snacks will be served and Bob will be available for booksigning and questions as well. Let’s help with a great turnout!

And, let’s also sign up for the national convention, now only two months away!

See you Sunday, June 26!

Kurt