The Mars Society - San Diego Chapter.
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to find blue hope
just scratch
the red surface

-- Bettina Davis
May 2002


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Malin Space Science Systems

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Space Daily


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Students For The Exploration and Development of Space - SEDS

X Prize Foundation


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

-- Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, 1895


TMS-SD met at 7:00pm at Studio 106. Shannon Rupert-Robles, James Roth, Dave Rankin, Jesse Clark, Tim Sommer, John Stone and Gerry Williams were present.


As usual, during the start of every school semester, we reevaluate our meeting times to maximize the number of people we can get out to our meetings (we have a good number of instructors, as well as students as members). Our Yahoo Online Poll conducted last week was in favor of moving our meeting night to Thursdays (usually during the second week of the month), with Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings tying for second place. We verified the results and, starting in October, we'll be holding our regular monthly meetings at 7:00pm on the second Thursday of the month.


On September 4th, Gerry Williams, Jonathan Butler and John Stone set up our usual table in the Prado in Balboa Park outside the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center to participate in the SDAA's "STARS IN THE PARK" telescope event. The attendance was light (being the first week of school), and the onshore flow covered over most stars for the night. We talked with approximately two-dozen people that night, and handed out approximately 45 flyers.

The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center has asked us to set up our display table to supplement one of their "WEEKEND TALKS" lecture series on October 5th, from noon to 2:30pm. The lecture will be "SEEING IN THE DARK" astronomy author Timothy Ferris -- Named by the New York times as having written two of the 20th Century's leading books, nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for his book 'Coming of Age in the Milky Way', Timothy Ferris is a noted astronomy author and Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. His latest book, 'Seeing In the Dark', looks at how backyard, amateur astronomers are working together via the Internet to identify earth- threatening asteroids and exploding stars. Ferris will be discussing this major revolution in astronomy, and also signing copies of his book. 12:30 to 1:30 Saturday. These talks are free with paid science center admission. The SDAA will also be setting up a solar telescope for the event. Our members are encouraged to come participate in our display and talk with the public. Anyone with displayable items (Mars globes, books, etc) is asked to bring them. We'll also see about obtaining a set of demonstration weights that have the same outside physical dimensions but actually weigh different for Earth, Mars and the Moon. Gerry will coordinate TMS-SD nametags. Our set-up time is 11:00am.

The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center has also inquired about hosting us as a lecture during one of their lecture series, probably by the end of the year. Our thoughts are that we'd do the Mars Desert Research Station program that we presented at Comic-Con earlier this summer.

On October 18-20th, we've been invited to participate in San Diego's newest annual Science Fiction and Fantasy convention. Again, we'll be hosting a panel discussion at the Con on the MDRS program that we presented at Comic-Con. Because it's this Con's first year, TMS-SD members are asked to pay a special rate of $20.00 for all three days (instead of their standard $35.00). Dave Rankin is following up on the group rate and will find out our deadline.

We discussed 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. Here'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 decided that, at this time, we'll put together a passive flyer or a mail-in postcard regarding " Operation Congress" that we can hand out at our events, but we're not prepared yet to actively collect petitions and signatures.

The Mars Society is holding a half-price membership drive if people sign-up during a Mars Society event. We've decided to research the mechanics of this further (Thanx, Jesse!) and come up with a membership flyer that we can pass out with our other materials at our outreach events. We need to consider how to specify the "event" for the application, and whether or not to handle the sign-up ourselves or to have the prospective member go straight to The Mars Society for membership.

Another 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: Adopt-A-Highway. Gerry has written them, but had not received an answer yet.

Shannon informed us about "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. II" graphic novel series that's premiered this year and is created by Alan Moore (author) and Kevin OĠNeill (illustrator). The story takes place on Mars during the year 1898 as the Martians ready an invasion of Earth. Shannon recommends that we look into these two creators as keynote speakers for one of our Comic-Con 2003 panels.


The MDRS is slated to become active again for its second season in October 2002 and run through May 2003. TMS-SD will be taking an active roll again in its operation and support.

We've decided to ask to provide MDRS Mission Support for another month in the January 15 to February 15 2003 time frame. We want to use the new MOO online system (Shannon will be ferreting out the details) that was tested at the Flashline Arctic season earlier this summer. In order to keep our Mission Support crew slots filled, we'll be offering "Virtual San Diegan" positions to Mars Society members in areas that don't have a cohesive Society presence via the internet.

Additionally, both Shannon and Jonathan will be participating as MDRS crew this season. Shannon will also head up a San Diego-based MDRS Biology Mission Support endeavor as the Chief Biologist for the Canadian Mars Society's "Expedition One" to MDRS during February 15 to March 15 2003.


Gerry reminded everyone that The Liberty Bell 7 Tour will be ending at the California Science Center in Exposition Park in Los Angeles on Sunday, September 15th. it will open again in Denver Colorado at the Denver Museum of Natural History on October 5th and run through January 2nd, 2003. Liberty Bell 7 is astronaut Gus Grissom's Mercury space capsule that was lost at sea on splashdown and was just recovered by The Discovery Channel after 37 years on the bottom of the ocean. It is an amazing exhibit, and I urge you to see it if you can.

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.

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