Minutes of the Regular Trustees Meeting of the Austin Mars Society


Meeting Date: Sunday, April 18, 2004


Members present: James Harris; Steve McDaniel; Gunjan Gupta; Andy Mogensen; John Strickland; Ed Strickland; Jeff Brooks; Paul Means


Written by: Andy Mogensen


  1. The meeting was called to order at 6:40 pm.
  2. The minutes from the March meeting were approved.
  3. The discussion of the by-laws was resumed from the previous meeting. It was unanimously decided to adopt the by-laws of the Louisiana Chapter as the interim by-laws of the Austin Chapter. The by-laws will be amended as needed in the future. The official address of the chapter will be Steve’s office:

300 West Ave., Ste. 1316

Austin, TX 78701

  1. Gunjan was elected as Webmaster and Treasurer. Until a bank account for the chapter is established, Gunjan will create an online balance sheet, where members can record any expenses incurred or dues paid to the chapter.
  2. The officers of the chapter are now the following:
    1. President:                                  James Harris
    2. Secretary:                                   Andy Mogensen
    3. Treasurer / Webmaster:              Gunjan Gupta
  3. The discussion of incorporation was postponed until the next meeting, since Tina was not present at the meeting. Tina is looking into the pros/cons/cost of incorporation.
  4. Several topics on outreach were discussed:
    1. ArmadilloCon – Gunjan suggested that we could raise money by selling personalized T-shirts, using a digital camera and laptop. He would arrange the necessary details. It was also suggested that we could project video and still images onto the wall behind the table to show the activities of the society. Steve offered the use of his video projector. Finally, John will try to find out if there are any science panels that we could participate on.
    2. Update on debates – Jeff has been talking to politicos from several different parties and, for varying reasons, there doesn’t seem to be much interest on a general debate about space exploration. However, it was pointed out that just the fact that we are bringing up the subject of space exploration with politicos is a positive thing. Instead, we will try to invite politicos to a boat party. See below.
    3. University contact – Andy and Gunjan will start a UT chapter. This will allow us to hold recruitment drives, presentations, and other activities on campus. Andy, Gunjan, and Steve will try to meet with Dr. Wallace Fowler to persuade him to become a faculty sponsor. A recruitment drive will commence at the start of the fall semester and coincide with the boat party. See below.
    4. Stargazer/Boat/Coffee Party – Steve suggested that we hold a party on his boat for politicos, students, and anyone else interested in the Mars Society. The party will be held on his boat sometime in September. The event will allow students and politicos to meet and hopefully engage in a discussion of space exploration. To facilitate this, we will try to arrange for some stargazing.
    5. Website update - Gunjan will try to clean up the code before anymore content is added to the site. He will also include advertisements, from which we will be able to generate a small amount of revenue. The ads will most likely be space related and the site will look much like the website of the New Mexico chapter.
    6. Other outreach opportunities – It was suggested that we try to contact other organizations, such as the Austin Astronomical Society. We could give presentations about Mars and the society to their weekly/monthly meetings. It was also pointed out that a group is currently trying to raise money for a planetarium in Austin. Some form of cooperation with this group is possible.
  5. Presentations and discussion:
    1. John spoke briefly on the Presidential Space Commission and the need to have a heavy-lift capability. The current EELV’s are not suitable for a program of lunar and Mars exploration.
    2. Ed showed some excellent new images taken by the MER rovers.
  6. Meeting was adjourned at 8:35 pm.


Action Items



The following members volunteered for the tasks listed below:







Perhaps we need someone to coordinate the following activities: