|TMS-SD met at Gerry's studio (Studio 106) on August 15th at 7:00pm.
Gerry Williams, Jonathan Butler, Patrick Purcell, Andrew Salamon, Dave Rankin, Jesse Clark,
Shannon Rupert-Robles, Gilbert Ikezaki, John Stone and Tim Sommer were present.
We started with the analysis of our Comic-Con outreach event, having had a display
table in the truly massive Exhibitor's Hall for all four and a half days of the convention,
plus running two 90-minute panels on Friday and Sunday respectively. Our estimates of people
that we talked to at our table were between 400 to 600 total (based mostly on the number of
flyers we handed out).
Our Friday panel on the San Diego Chapter's involvement in the Mars Desert Research Station
project was the topic of the first panel, which drew in 104 people (not bad at all for a
Friday at 12:30pm). Dave, Gerry, Jonathan, Shannon and John were the panelists.
Our Sunday morning panel, "Mars: Past, Present and Future" drew a near standing-room only
crowd of 179 people at 11:30am. Panelists were John Carter McKnight, Kevin J. Anderson,
Larry Niven, Mike Caplinger and Jim Benson, who were all given TMS-SD certificates of
Appreciation and TMS-SD coffee mugs from our
Mars San Diego Web Store.
For more details about our activities at Comic-Con, check out our
Comic-Con 2002 Special Report.
We, surprisingly, had money in our treasury after reimbursing the membership's expenses from
We decided to give TMS-SD Certificates of Appreciation to Garry Sassaman (Comic-Con's
Director of Programming) and to Rich Loesch (for videotaping both panels). We'll be signing
them at the September meeting.
All in all, Comic-Con was an excellent venue for us. At last count (which still isn't
finished), Comic-Con drew over 66,000 people, and between our table and the two panels, we
reached approximately 1,000 of those people.
We'll be doing it again next year, for sure.
THE MARS SOCIETY 2002 CONVENTION
Shannon, Jonathan and Jesse went to Boulder Colorado for the Fifth Annual Mars Society
Convention. They gave us a day-by-day account of the scheduled events that they attended.
Some of the highlights include:
-- Jonathan and Shannon presented a paper at the Convention regarding the biology experiment
they concocted for Shannon to perform at MDRS.
-- Shannon being offered a new vehicle by Ford Motor Company after her presentation of the
Aonia Pressurized Rover used at the Mars Desert Research Station. Shannon was crew biologist
during Crew Rotation #4 at the Hab, and her Nissan Pathfinder was pressed into service as an
analog pressurized rover when the ATV rovers broke down. The Pressurized Rover also allowed
Crew #4 to perform the first overnight mission at MDRS.
-- TMS-SD won an award for being the first chapter to volunteer for Mission Support duty
during the 2002 Mars Desert Research Station. We operated Mission Support for four weeks
during Crew #3 and #4. We are planning on providing another stint as Mission Support for
the MDRS 2002-2003 field season, which begins in October.
For further information, take a look at
The Mars Society 2002 Convention.
SAN DIEGO OUTREACH
Gerry and Dave manned our usual table at the SDAA's "Stars in the Park" telescope night in
Balboa Park. The weather was mostly overcast and there were few telescopes, but there was
some stargazing going on between the clouds. Being a summer night, however, was great for
our outreach effort. We talked to over 40 people, and we'd used the new table display we'd
built for Comic-Con. Gerry had a video monitor there showing raw footage he'd shot at MDRS
in March of an EVA. For more information, go to SDAA's "Stars in the Park".
TMS-SD will be attending the newly-formed
ConJecture SciFi Convention in October (18th thru 20th). We'll be setting up
a display table, as well as hosting a panel (probably a variation of the MDRS panel we did at
Comic-Con). TMS-SD members are getting a special rate of $20.00 for all three days (instead
of the $35.00) -- we'll be arranging the sign-up and discount at our September meeting.
We're looking for other public outreach activities in the San Diego area. If anyone knows of
any science clubs (especially at high schools and colleges) or Mars-related events, we'd like
to get involved. With our tabletop display and our PowerPoint presentations on MDR, The Mars
Society and Mars exploration in general, it is becoming increasingly easy for us to take our
show on the road. We're especially looking for "media friendly" events that we can have
covered by the newspapers and television stations. One idea might be a Mars Society-sponsored
model rocket launch event.
The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park is planning a Robot event one weekend in
October. TMS-SD has been asked to take part, as a lot of Mars exploration will be
accomplished with robots in the immediate future. We're currently looking for local robot
connections to help us come up with something for this event -- we'll be discussing this in
more detail at our September meeting.
Also in October, the Miramar Air Show could be a good public outreach event (several other
Mars Society chapters set up booths at other air shows to good effect). We're looking into
this, however the date of the air show is the same weekend as ConJecture. In May, "Wings
Over Gillespie" is another air show in El Cajon that we could participate in.
We discussed the increasing the political involvement aspect of our outreach activities. The
Mars Society's "Operation Congress"
is an example of sending congress notification of our support for Manned Mars Missions. H
ere's what is recommended by Operation Congress: They "now request that every chapter start
or continue letter writing campaigns, sending letters to their representatives, senators,
and the president. Local chapter meetings are the first place to start. It is often the case
that chapters spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to organize local letter writing
campaigns, and never sign letters themselves. If you bring a laptop and a printer, you can
customize these letters at the meeting. Each time you have a meeting, make sure to ask any
new attendees to sign letters as well." We'll be discussing how to apply this locally at our
Another novel suggestion for getting our chapter's name out there is to sponsor a "Removing
litter on a two-mile stretch of roadside" under the Adopt-A-Highway program. This would be a
group event that would occur several times a year, and we'd get our name on a street sign as
the adopting party. Details can be found at:
Our Mars San Diego Web Store has
added some new merchandise, including more styles of mugs, hats and shirts. Check out some
of the summer discounts, too. There are also more items planned (pending Gerry's time to
create new artwork for them), including backpacks, bags and briefcases, wall clocks, license
plate frames, posters and more.
The meeting adjourned at 9:15pm.
As usual, if anyone has any changes or addendum to these meeting minutes, please drop an
e-mail to Gerry and he'll update them accordingly.