The Mars Society - San Diego Chapter.
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May 2002


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

-- Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, 1895


What a turnout! We had Jim, Jonathan, newest Jeff, new Jeff, Tim, Shannon, John, Patrick, Bill, Gerry, and Dave in attendance. Gerry had to miss the first part of the meeting due to work conflict, but he showed up for the end. So, 11 members attended the meeting. Lots of items were discussed and tasks were divvied up.

1. Since we've got a considerable North County contingent we decided to have a presence at the December 13th screening of "Star Trek: Nemesis" in theater and find out more about the particulars of that event, such as cost, time, what kind of table we could have, those sorts of things. He then will let the rest of us know so those who want to go can.

2. Tim Sommer badly wants us to get a spacesuit from he Mars Society. Shannon agreed to put Tim in contact with Dewey (sp?) to get the ball rolling on getting plans for the suits, since we probably won't be able to get a completed suit. All we need are the patterns for the suits since Tim said he's got some seamstresses lined up who would do it for free. (That's a whole 'nother story.) Once we get a suit we can use it during our outreach events and for PR.

3. We discussed the MOO system for Mission Support and also our upcoming Mission Support. Well, Shannon explained MOO. It sounds very simple to use and people can sign up for it with dial-up connections. If I got it straight, it's basically a chat room where Mission Support personnel and observers can log in to monitor and participate in Mission Support. The login location is (the chat button) or . (Anybody, anybody, correct me if these addresses are wrong.) It probably would be an excellent idea for members who want to assist in Mission Support during our rotation to check out the MOO in the next few weeks and give it a go. That way, once we go active with Mission Support we'll have had experience using the system.

3b. Mission Support is scheduled for January 15 to February 15, 2003. Our active membership is increasing, which will help us staff Mission Support. We discussed asking for volunteers outside our chapter to be Virtual San Diegans and assist in Mission Support. Jonathan will soon be posting an email to this mailgroup, aimed at those 40 or more members who belong to the group but aren't yet active in the chapter, asking for volunteers to help with Mission Support. More details will be included in that email, but the short description of Mission Support is that it requires being online from 6 pm to 10 pm Pacific Time to receive, review, and transmit reports received from MDRS. Mission Support goes online daily, but given enough members we can spread the work around so that people can fit volunteering for Mission Support into their lives. We also intend to send requests for assistance to other people in the space community and the sci-fi community.

Patrick has agreed to be a volunteers coordinator. Look for a sign up sheet on our website soon ( ). The sheet will show days and times and duties that need to be filled so that volunteers can offer to fill those slots.

4. New Jeff (but not the newest one, okay, okay, it's Jeff Berkwits) wants to use his PR background to publicize our activities locally. He proposed several excellent ideas which the chapter endorsed and he has been let loose to pursue those ideas. Those ideas include having one week in February be declared Mars Society week in San Diego. This will coincide with our Mission Support duties and, we hope, will give us some credibility and leverage to get more media attention this year. Jeff is also working on a new press release. More to follow in coming weeks on this.

5. Tim is also adamant about us drafting a Mission Statement for our chapter. After Tim finished waxing eloquent on the idealistic purposes of our goal of sending people to Mars, we bandied some ideas around but couldn't agree on a specific catchy, incisive, and encompassing statement, which seems odd since we've been active for over a year and we've been acting fairly consistently and purposefully to promote our objective of sending humans to Mars. But coming up with a concise Mission Statement is not as easy as it would seem. Jeff B. is going to send some pointers around to the core group by email to assist us in coming up with a Mission Statement. We will have to take this up again at the next meeting in December.

6. The meeting then started to break up into individual conversations as people talked about our plans, checked out a wall sized Mars map and other photos, got to know each other, and tried on our new t-shirts. It was remarkable to be sitting there at the table and seeing all the activity and hearing the buzz of discussion in our little meeting room, even after the official meeting was over. I thought back to those early days a little over a year ago when we were just starting to meet and were wondering just what the heck we could do to help realize this dream we all share of bringing life to Mars, and frankly, the whole damn solar system. We've come a long way since then, and last night when our meeting was coming to an end I got the feeling our chapter had taken on a life of it's own. I'm excited to be a part of it.

7. Gerry is investigating other locations for our Mars Movie Night. We're starting to get larger turnouts and may soon be needing a bigger venue. So far he has investigated local libraries. Community colleges might provide a good location. Shannon mentioned Mira Costa was an option but we'd have to do it as a limited-run film series rather than a perpetually recurring event. Jeff B.'s condo association has a meeting room we could use also, for a small fee. So, if anybody's got any ideas for locations let Gerry know. Mall community rooms are not a good option due to cost.

8. Shannon Rupert Robles asked if the chapter would be willing to donate funds for ExOne, as she is currently seeking donations for the mission. It was unnecessary for the chapter as a whole to donate funds, as several individual members stepped forward with donations totaling $150.00. Thanks to all who generously offered their financial support. Additional donations will still gratefully be accepted. All donations will go to support the biological research program and general support for the crew. Contact Shannon at

That's pretty much it. If I left anything out, feelfree to do an additional posting.

See you all next Friday, November 22, at Gerry's studio for Mars Movie Night and that government-paranoiac thriller, Capricorn One.

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