James Roth, Patrick Purcell, Gerry Williams, Dave Rankin, John Stone,
and Shannon Rupert Robles were joined by guests Ashley Shuler, Cris Fitch, and Fernando
Covarrubias for October's chapter meeting.
LAST MONTH'S EVENTS
Gerry, Dave, John, and Denis Cheng traveled to Cal State Northridge to give a talk at the
Planetarium. We gave our 90 minute version of "The Road to Mars".
The "STARS IN THE PARK" event on
October 1st was interrupted by a dispute between the San Diego Astronomy Association and a Park
Ranger patrolling Balboa Park. Apparently, the issue involved the number of cars parked in the
park. In any event, the astronomers packed up their telescopes and left. Gerry and John
remained at the park with our display table and spent the rest of the evening speaking about
Mars and the Mars Society with the people in the park who had come by hoping to find the scopes.
Our chapter gave a presentation at the local science fiction convention
CONJECTURE 2003 the weekend of October 3-5th. John,
Dave and Gerry gave an abbreviated version of "The Road to Mars"
presentation. John, Dave and Gerry also spoke on a panel about capitalism in space called
"Pigs in Space". We also brought our display table. Over the
weekend we signed up 5 new people for our weekly email.
On October 3rd, Gerry took our display table to Santee for a MARS VIEWING
PARTY during the evening.
Gerry and Shannon will be speaking to 700-800 students at Rolling Hills
Elementary School on October 17th.
The Sally Ride Science
Festival occurs on Sunday, November 2nd, during the day at UCLA. We are discussing whether
to attend the festival (we were originally asked by festival coordinators). So far, Cris, Dave
and Shannon have expressed an interest in attending, schedules permitting. Volunteers are
requested to go along.
Gerry, Dave, Shannon and Tim will be traveling to the
Mars Desert Research Station outside Hanksville, Utah the weekend of October 24th. We will
be doing some maintenance and cleaning to prepare the habitat for the upcoming season (including
improving the science lab at MDRS, as well as shooting some Hab Crew training video material.
Shannon writes: This trip was orginally scheduled to improve the science lab at MDRS. As
Coordinator of the MDRS Remote Science Team, and a member of the MDRS Working Group, I have
collected donated/loaned supplies/equipment that will upgrade the lab to a functional
microbiology lab. Setting up the new equipment, organizing and inventorying all supplies and
equipment and creating a procedure manual for the lab was and still is the main purpose of the
trip. We will also be replacing some of the Hab's windows and, working with Gary Fisher and his
GreenHab crew, working on the creation of some instructional video.
"STARS IN THE PARK" on November 5th.
At this point it is unclear whether the San Diego Astronomy Association will be continuing its
Stars in the Park event. We intend to go regardless because of the opportunity to speak with
the people who attend the astronomy lecture at the Reuben H.
Fleet Science Center. Since we have two amateur astronomers in our chapter we plan to have
them bring their telescopes.
PROJECT STATUS REPORTS
Chapter's challenge: Dave reported that he sent our chapter's
first official report of our activities since the challenge began. We earned about 34 points to
add to the 7 points we already had reported. Chapter members are reminded to renew their
memberships and let Dave know when you do it by email to
Dave Rankin, as renewals earn points for our chapter.
Mars Suit Task Force: Tim Sommer was not present at the meeting
but Gerry reported the suit remains over 50 percent completed and the work continues.
Mars Rover: Patrick and Gerry decided on a camera for the Rover.
Gerry intended to write to the company producing the camera to request the company donate the
camera. Shannon agreed to prepare a draft letter. If we can't get the camera donated we will
have to raise up to $100 from members or elsewhere.
Second Display Board: Gerry will be preparing a second photographic
display board for our outreach. The original board has held up well for two years, but is
showing its age.
Flyer update: We are running low on flyers and the information on
our current flyers is getting stale. Anybody with a flyer should look it over and email
Gerry with suggestions for updating it this month.
Website update: Gerry will be completely revising the Chapter's
website in the next month or so. We also discussed obtaining new domain names for our site,
which we've been discussing for a few months now. We committed to getting a new name within
the month. Shannon agreed to work on this task and will contact Jeff to consult. We agreed to
use marssocietysandiego.com or
We agreed to take on MDRS - Mars Desert
Research Station Mission Support again this year. We decided
to ask for December 14th through January 11th to coincide with the arrival of the Mars probes.
James will give a short presentation at the next three meetings about the ESA
Beagle 2 Lander and the NASA MER Rovers heading to Mars right
Gerry will be contacting Mike Caplinger and Kurt Schwer to arrange a dinner for them since we
weren't able to take them for lunch at Comic-Con.
Gerry will be meeting with the Reuben H. Fleet Science
Center to discuss December and January Mars events in conjunction with the arrival of the
Mars probes. Possibilities include the usual display table, special lectures, and perhaps
hosting a lecture series with guest lecturers.
Cris talked about our chapter attempting to link up with local space groups and listed a number
of them that we could contact.
The TMS-SD chapter information telephone line will be set up this
weekend. Look for information regarding the new number in future mailings and on our chapter's
main web site.
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