Patrick Purcell, Jeff Berkwits, James Roth, Gerry Williams, John Stone,
and Dave Rankin attended this month's meeting.
MARS ROBOT LANDING BRIEFING
James, a retired Mars cartographer, began the meeting with a short and interesting briefing on
the upcoming robot landings on Mars. He brought photos and maps of the landing areas and also
used the Mars globe to illustrate his presentation. Beagle 2 is scheduled to land on December
25, 2003. America's Spirit and Opportunity will be landing on January 4 and 25, 2004,
respectively. Beagle will be landing near Sytris Major, Isidis Planitia. Spirit will be landing
at Gusev Crater adn Opportunity at Meridiani Planum.
More Information for Spirit and Opportunity can be found
There was a moment of silence for the Japanese Mars probe
Nozomi, which was
abandoned just days before reaching Mars.
One down, four to go.
RECAP OF PAST MONTH'S EVENTS
Political Lobbying: Gerry met with local congressmember
Bob Filner on December 11th. He discussed the Mars Society and its proposal for focusing
the US space program on sending humans to Mars. He tied this in to the current review of and
Bush's pending decision on the future of the space program.
The SDAA's "STARS IN THE PARK"
telescope event was a low key affair this month. The fog rolled in by 9pm, so we broke down
the table early. Fewer people showed up that night as well.
TMS-SD MARS MOVIE NIGHT last month was
"STRANDED". It was uniformly praised as being the best, or the
"least bad", of all the Mars Mission movies that came out in the past few years. Gerry
will be encoring the movie again in the very near future for those who missed it the first time.
We also discussed scheduling some Mars documentaries in the near future.
Mission Support: Satuday, December 20th we start our third
season as Mission Support for MDRS
. We will support the first two crews at MDRS. The mission will last one month. Gerry will
be the Mission Support Director for the first two weeks (Crew 20) and Dave will follow
for the next two weeks (Crew 21). Our own Shannon Rupert Robles will be at MDRS as
Mission Commander during Crew 21.
We will fill the usual positions again this year: Mission Director, CapCOM, Engineering Officer,
Journalist, and Observers -- the Science Officer position has been claimed for the entire season
by Shannon's "Back Room" group. We may change the Journalist position to doing a weekly
feature-type report rather than a daily recap. We will tie the mission support to the Mars robot
landings in our pubic relations effort.
Anybody who wishes to volunteer for mission support should contact
Gerry Williams or
Dave Rankin. The
MDRS Mission Support Sign-Up can be done online.
Chapters Challenge: We presently have 57 points and lead
Los Angeles, who has 27 points, and NorCal, who has 7. Neither of the other chapters have
reported points recently, however, so the points totals are deceptive.
Mars Suit Task Force: Gerry reported that Tim Sommer
continues to work on the suit project.
Mars Rover Model: Patrick brought the rover chassis and
also the solar panel for the rover that he built. Gerry brought the camera that he purchased
for the rover. We hooked the camera into the TV to see how it looked on camera. It looked
very realistic. Patrick took the camera with him to install on the rover. We hope to use the
rover in our PR efforts next month.
New Display Board, Flyer, and Website: Gerry continues to
work on these three projects. The new display and the new flyer will be ready by the first of
Dave will be featured on the radio in Washington state on Friday, December 19th. He will be the
guest on Ken Johanssen's Two o'Clock Show on KPQ 560 AM
News-Talk Radio for 20 to 30 minutes starting at 2:00 pm. You can listen live online.
Friday, December 19th is the next MARS MOVIE NIGHT. We will
be showing Lloyd Bridges stars in "ROCKETSHIP X-M" (1950) at
7pm at Gerry's Studio 106.
We will be at Balboa Park during the evening for
"STARS IN THE PARK" on Wednesday,
The next REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING of TMS-SD is Friday,
December 9th at 7pm at Gerry's Studio 106.
TMS-SD Anniversary Dinner -- The Mars Society's San Diego
chapter celebrates its third anniversary this February. Chapter members at the meeting
tentatively decided on Sunday, February 8th or on Sunday, the 29th for the annual dinner. The
preferred location is Killer Pizza from Mars
in Oceanside or Escondido. Patrick agreed to look at the Oceanside restaurant to see if it
would be a good location for the party. We celebrated
Yuri's Night World Space Party at the Escondido restaurant earlier this year.