The Mars Society - San Diego Chapter.
The Mars Society - Join Us!

Mars Society Links




Chapter Council

Other Chapters

San Diego - Red Planet Satellite Report

Mars Society - Operation Congress

Chapter Links

TMS-SD Mailing List

Mars San Diego Web Store

Shannon's Online MDRS Journal - THE NEXT FRONTIER

Suggested Reading

ESA - Mars Express
Exobiology at UCSD
Malin Space Science Systems
Mars Daily
NASA/JPL Mars Exploration
Reuben H. Fleet Science Center
San Diego Astronomy Association
Space Daily
Spaceflight Now
think mars


"The Earth is the Cradle of Mankind, but one does not live in the cradle forever."
-- Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, 1895

GENERAL MEETING -- 3 Jan 2002:

Shannon Rupert, Jonathan Butler, Dave Rankin and Gerry Williams met at Studio-106 in the Art Union Building in Golden Hill at 7:00 PM.

We opened by watching two downladed videos from the MARS Pressurized Rover Projects from Michigan (a computer generated concept film of their second-generation Rover design) and from Toronto (an MTV-ish video of their Bread Truck-to-Rover conversion and modification).

We then watched Gerry's latest PowerPoint presentation of the MARS Desert Research Station (MDRS) Construction going on in the Utah desert.

Gerry and Dave also used this MDRS Construction presentation at the SDAA outreach in Balboa Park the night before. The clouds were quite thick, and the one telescope that was set up only caught a periodic glimpse of Jupiter and Saturn. At about 8:15PM the clouds thickened and we all closed up shop for the evening.

Shannon filled us in on the few details she has of being cut (along with one other person from another chapter) from the MDRS Shakedown over the Christmas/New Years holiday. Basically she was scrubbed from the mission on Christmas Day - the day before she was to leave - with no explanation. Shannon was to have been there through the 11th of January. TMS-SD has decided to write a formal letter of concern to the MDRS committee, expressing our dismay at Shannon's sudden uninvite, as well as our concerns for the upcoming MDRS Mission Control training (where Gerry goes to Denver) and the month-long MDRS Mission Control operation (in Kelly's house). Dave is first drafting this letter.

Jonathan brought in his experimental tabletop Mars Low Pressure Atmospheric Greenhouse Chamber - the round glass and aluminum chamber is designed to grow greenhouse plants in a 1/3-Earth pressure carbon dioxide atmosphere and under reduced sunlight, simulating the proposed Martian Greenhouse environment. It was incredibly cool to see such hardware within our TMS-SD.

The ConDor 2002 science fiction convention in mid-February has invited us to participate as one of their panels. They wanted us to do the same panel we did last summer for ComicCon, but time constraints won't allow us to put it together that quickly. However, we'll be doing a panel for them on the MDRS project - we should be operating as MDRS Mission Control during this time, and we've asked for an internet connection so we could communicate with the MDRS station during the panel (hopefully with video). Additionally, we've asked to be kept apprised of any other Mars-related guests they'll be having (they usually have someone from JPL, and they're inviting Dr. William Hartmann, one of our ComicCon panelists). We're also inquiring about having a "fan" table made available to us at the convention.

In August, we've been invited back to ComicCon, and we're starting to find our panelists now. We're contacting people that we got from last year, as well as those we contacted but who couldn't join us for various reasons. We're proposing two panels: "Mars of Today - The Science of Mars" and "Mars of Tomorrow - Dreams of Mars". The first panel will deal with the science of exploring Mars today, and the second panel will be oriented more toward science fiction in literature, film and art. We came up with an idea for a third panel, "Mars of Yesterday - The Planet That Never Was" that would deal with our perceptions of Mars in the past, from Barsoom to Mr. Aaa, from canals to craters. Shannon is first drafting our panel proposal. If anyone has suggestions for our panelists, please let us know as soon as you can so we can contact them early. We're looking in to the possibility of having a fan table at ComicCon, too. And if we can tie-in to an existing booth (such as the Mysterious Galaxy bookstore), we could facilitate autograph signings and guests for the booth with people from our panels.

Gerry has been in contact with some of the MDRS committee about obtaining construction drawings of the habitat to be used to build a scale model of the MDRS hab to display at our outreach activities. Such a model would include a cutaway section showing the interior layout. In trade, he's uploaded his current MDRS Construction PowerPoint presentation for other chapters in the Mars Society to make use of.

Regarding our TMS-SD Chapter Website, suggestions for improving and upgrading the site include adding a biography page for active members (much like the bios page available for the MDRS committee on the MDRS site - since we generally meet in a photography studio, it would be easy to get images to fit our bios), with a link for asking members questions; having a monthly interview column with a local scientist, writer or artist; and posting a "Volunteers Wanted/Needed" invitation.

We briefly discussed our Mars San Diego Web Store, silkscreening T-shirts and bumperstickers, and possible TMS-SD jackets (Shannon found some nice looking jackets at TreadAir in Hillcrest) for outreach member identification. Shannon has also found an online store that sells mission patches for ALL missions, including Pathfinder and Odyssey - she'll forward the URL on for posting.

We discussed ways of obtaining new members, other outreach activities available to us, and the possibility of changing our general meeting time from the first Thursday in April due to her teaching schedule. The other members present weren't opposed to this.

This month's Mars Movie Night will be on Saturday, January 19th and will feature the film "Escape From Mars". We need to poll our membership to see if a 3:00pm or a 7:00pm show time would be best. Results will be posted on our TMS-SD website. Next month's Mars Movie Night will be on Friday, February 15th at 7:00pm, and will feature the George Pal classic, "The War of the Worlds".

The next meeting of TMS-SD will be on February 7th at 7:00pm. The location is yet to be decided, but will be posted on our TMS-SD website.

Mars rotating
Sign the Mars Petition

Requests concerning this Web site should be directed to the Webmaster.