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to find blue hope
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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


I-Robot The Mars Society - San Diego is proud to be cosponsoring an advance screening of 20th Century Fox's I, ROBOT.

Will Smith stars in this action thriller suggested by the world created by visionary author Isaac Asimov. In the year 2035, technology and robots are a trusted part of everyday life. In this film, that trust is broken and one man, alone against the system, sees it coming.

I, ROBOT employs spectacular visual effects innovations beyond any ever put on screen, to bring a world of robots to life. From director Alex Proyas (Dark City, The Crow).

Opens in theatres nationwide July 16 -- Sneak Preview on July 13th.


TMS-SD has AUTOGRAPHED COPIES of William K. Hartmann's


Paperback: 468 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.09 x 8.99 x 5.26
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company; (August 2003)
ISBN: 0761126066


ONLY $15.00*

(normally $18.95 list)


* Orders by mail add $6.00 for Priority Mail Rate and handling, or $2.50 for Media Mail Rate and handling -- cashier's checks or money orders only.


This meeting was attended by Jeff Berkwits, Patricia Hartman, Patrick Purcell, Dave Rankin, James Roth, Bill Rupp, John Stone, and Gerry Williams.


On July 8th, TMS-SD and our San Diego Mars Rover participated in the "SALLY RIDE TOY CHALLENGE" at the San Diego Aerospace Museum in Balboa Park from 10:00am to 4:30pm. There was a great crowd, lots of kids (both boys and girls), and everyone was enamored with our San Diego Mars Rover. Carol Nye, John Stone and Gerry Williams were our representatives.

July 7th was The San Diego Astronomy Association's "STARS IN THE PARK" telescope event in Balboa Park. Dave Rankin, John Stone and Gerry Williams set up our usual table and ran the San Diego Mars Rover around until dark. Unfortunately for the SDAA folks, a thick marine layer blotted out the sky the entire evening. Jupiter and Vega were visible for less than 5 minutes.

Shannon Rupert-Robles, one of the co-founders of TMS-SD left on July 5th for her first excursion to the Mars Society's Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) in the Canadian Arctic, where she'll be the Crew 9 Biologist/Ecologist. She'll be spending four weeks at the simulated Mars Habitat on Devon Island near the Haughton Meteor Impact Crater. (Be sure to read her Daily Reports).
      From there, Shannon comes back to San Diego for merely a day before heading off for another four-week simulated Mars adventure with the Mars Australian Research Station (MARS-OZ) and their Expedition Two (Expedition One took place last year at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah).
      Shannon has been on three other Mars Analog Research Station (MARS) crews (twice as Crew Commander) and now holds the world's record for the most individual person-days spent simulating human Mars Mission Surface Operations! Congratulations to our very own "Hab Queen!"

Dave Rankin, Gerry Williams and Jeff Berkwits went to the San Diego Mission Valley Library to give our lecture, "WHAT'S UP ON MARS?" This was the first of a four-part monthly lecture series, and was attended by 35 people on June 21st.

Jeff Berkwits supplied an amazing evening of entertainment for our Mars Movie Night, featuring Mars TV films from the 1950's (including Walt Disney's "Mars and Beyond". We had many new people in the audience that night, specifically due to ...

The June 17th San Diego Reader magazine article about TMS-SD's monthly Mars Movie Night and Gerry Williams' "Mars Movie Guide" called, "PLANET CELLULOID - Mars Movie Night". Jeff Berkwits was also interviewed. The article ran on page 77 of The Reader, AND on page 1 of The Weekly (a tourist-oriented local events magazine).

June 16th had TMS-SD invited to give two presentations to the students of the Elementary Institute of Science in southeast San Diego from 1:00 to 3:30pm. The San Diego Mars Rover was a very big hit with the kids (as usual).


July 10th has TMS-SD invited to set up our display table for FAMILY DAYS at the San Diego Aerospace Museum. We'll run the San Diego Mars Rover from noon to 3:00pm.

On Tuesday, July 13th, TMS-SD is proud to be cosponsoring an advance screening of 20th Century Fox's I, ROBOT at 7:00pm at the AMC Mission Valley Theaters. Congratulations to our ticket winners chosen from last month's Mars Movie Night -- Geraldine Adams, Jesse Clark, Felicia Johnson, Jim Rose, and Ray Seraydarian. They also got a very special screening of a new extended trailer for the film, too.

Gerry Williams has volunteered four-to-six days as CapCOM for the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS). CapCOM is the primary person for contact from the FMARS Habitat and Crew. Other members were encouraged to participate as they can.

Friday, July 16, 2004 is TMS-SD's MARS MOVIE NIGHT -- featuring the PBS/NOVA documentary, "MARS: Dead or Alive" (2004) -- Showtime is at 7:00pm at Studio 106 -- please RSVP. As usual, bring drinks or snacks to share -- Gerry will provide the popcorn!

On Monday, July 19, 2004, the San Diego Mission Valley Library will be hosting a lecture, "THE CASE FOR MARS - THE PLAN TO SETTLE THE RED PLANET AND WHY WE MUST": The Mars Society's founder and president, Dr. Robert Zubrin, wrote "The Case For Mars" and outlines a bold yet feasible method of sending humans to the Red Planet for exploration and eventual colonization. The Mars Society-San Diego provides a glimpse into Dr. Zubrin's "Mars Direct" plan. Lecture starts at 7:00pm in the Library's auditorium. The San Diego Mars Rover will also be there.

Wednesday through Sunday, July 21-25th, Comic-Con International: San Diego is the nation's largest comics and popular arts convention takes place at the harborside convention center. TMS-SD will be there for public outreach activities with a display table in the Exhibit hall all five days, plus two programming events on Sunday at 2:00pm and 3:00pm.
      At the first panel at 2:00pm, Dr. Mike Caplinger from Malin Space Science Systems and Sci-Fi author Greg Bear will be joining us for "What's Up on Mars?" -- Dave Rankin (Mars Society, San Diego co-founder) moderates.
      The 3:00pm panel is, Mars Analog Research Stations. Dave Rankin (Mars Society-San Diego co-founder, MDRS Mission Support director and MDRS maintenance crew) moderates, with Gerry Williams (Mars Society-San Diego co-founder and MDRS Mission Support Director, and MDRS maintenance crew), John Stone (MDRS maintenance crew) and Patrick Purcell (MDRS Mission Support staff).
      We will also be taking our guests out to the San Diego Yacht Club for lunch prior to the panel.
      We'll discuss our individual schedules for staffing our Fan Table via e-mail and our message board.

Wednesday, August 4th has The San Diego Astronomy Association (SDAA) hosting their "STARS IN THE PARK" public telescope viewing event outside the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park. The setup is at 6:30pm, and the event runs from 7:00pm past 9:00pm (weather permitting). It coincides with "THE SKY TONIGHT" Planetarium show in the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center at 7:00pm. TMS-SD members will be there for public outreach activities from 6:30pm to 9:30pm. The San Diego Mars Rover will also be there during the daylight hours.

Back by popular demand, on Friday, August 13th, the next REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING of TMS-SD will another Summer Barbecue from 7:00pm to 10:00pm at Gerry William's house near Hillcrest -- map to follow.

Thursday-Sunday, August 19th-22nd, is THE MARS SOCIETY'S 7th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE, currently planned for The Palmer House Hilton hotel, in downtown Chicago, Illinois. The Conference this year will be jointly hosted by the Illinois and Michigan Chapters of the Mars Society. Unfortunately no one from the San Diego chapter is able to attend. We discussed having to pick a "surrogate" San Diegan to accept any possible chapter awards we might possibly win.

Monday, August 23 has TMS-SD invited to give a "What's Up On Mars?" lecture to the residence of the La Costa Glenn retirement community at 4:00pm. We'll also take the San Diego Mars Rover to demonstrate.

On Friday, August 27, TMS-SD's MARS MOVIE NIGHT features updated silliness from outer space with "My Favorite Martian (1999) -- An adaptation of the popular '60s TV show of a friendly Martian who takes up residence with an agreeable earthling.

Wednesday, September 15 has The San Diego Yacht Club will hosting a lecture, "Invasion from Earth", by members of TMS-SD at a noon luncheon. The San Diego Mars Rover. The Sally Ride Science Festival has asked TMS-SD to bring the San Diego Mars Rover and our display table to their University of California, Irvine event on Saturday, November 20th in Orange County.


CHAPTER'S CHALLENGE: San Diego leads the Northern California and Los Angeles chapters by an incredible margin: 389 / 40 / 27

MARS SUIT TASKFORCE: The two Mars Suits were brought in to the meeting by Tim Sommer to give us a very good feeling on their progress. The hardware (helmets and backpacks) is nearing completion and should be ready for Comic-Con. The suits themselves are coming along, but may not be ready for a while longer (our plan is to use some white Tyvek HazMat suits we purchased as a short-term substitute).

MARS ROVER RC MODEL: Our San Diego Mars Rover is holding up well under the strain of heavy use (as are the real Rovers on Mars). Gerry reports that the Rover is put up on some blocks after every run to keep the solar panel wing flat (its curving downward with age), and the front legs need to be rewrapped in gold foil about once a month. Also the silver edging around the wing is touched-up once a month as well. We're starting to see some paint flaking, but we have the touch-up for that, too. The NiMH rechargeable batteries are holding up well, as is the onboard video camera and transmitter. And the Rover's audience simply loves it!

PUBLIC RELATIONS: Jeff reports that he has set up an interview with a reporter from the San Diego Union/Tribune regarding a possible story on Shannon's adventures in the Great Martian Ice Cap. Shannon was playing e-mail tag with the reporter at last notice.

NEW DISPLAY BOARD: Gerry has the new display board built and is printing out the new color images for it. It will be ready to go to Comic-Con. This means that we'll have TWO display boards available, should we ever become double-booked.

WEBSITE UPDATE: Our chapter website is being kept current on a weekly basis. The planned redesign has nothing to report at this time.

POLITICAL OUTREACH: Nothing to report.


TREASURY AND FINANCES REPORT: After passing the hat, the treasury was up to $341.61. This will dwindle mightily after the expenses of Comic-Con.

HARTMANN BOOK SALES: As of the start of the meeting, we had 28 of William K. Hartmann's "A TRAVELER'S GUIDE TO MARS: THE MYSTERIOUS LANDSCAPES OF THE RED PLANET" left in stock. None were sold at any outreach events this past month. We showed the book (which is autographed by the author) around and one was sold at this meting. Some other suggestions were tendered as to how we can sell the remainder of them, including at Comic-Con. The profits go into our treasury.

NEW LOCAL EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES: We're looking for any possible new venues for our public outreach, especially schools. The Mission Valley Library venue, after one lecture, seems quite promising -- we may try the same programs at other libraries.

GRANT RESEARCH: Shannon gave Gerry a crash-course in researching possible grants to extend our outreaches. Gerry will have a full report at next month's meeting on what he's found.

NEW MS DIRECTORY LIST: Patrick turned over the latest membership list from The Mars Society head office for the San Diego area. Gerry will check it over and add e-mail addresses to our weekly "This Week In San Diego" e-mailing. And for those whose e-mail addresses no longer work, Gerry will put together a postcard mailing to their physical addresses to see if we can unearth some of the people that we're not seeing at our events.

TMS-SD EMBROIDERED SHIRTS: Gerry suggested that we look into the possibility of getting some nice denim shirts (with pockets) and have Tim's friend (who has a special embroidery sewing machine and might give us a discount) stitch a logo that Gerry designed onto the breast of the shirt. Everyone liked the design.


Irene Grumman (who wasn't able to attend the meeting tonight) told us of a website that we, as a group, might be interested in participating in: Science Fiction Citations for the Oxford English Dictionary. After some quick look-ups, we decided to table this until Irene could talk to us about it more.

Everyone wanted to wrap up tonight in order to get home and see the season premier of Stargate SG-1. We found that most were taping it for later.

There was quite a bit of discussion regarding the newly formed Space Exploration Alliance (of which the Mars society is a charter member) and the Moon- Mars Blitz on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. planned for next week. The concept is for hundreds of spaceflight enthusiasts to visit as many politicians as possible and urge them to support President Bush's Moon-Mars program, and especially to see that the proposed 2005 NASA budget gets funded.

Naturally the recent success of the Cassini Spacecraft at Saturn was an exciting topic, especially when online pictures were brought up for discussion.

There was a bit more discussion of the possibility of forming a joint Mars Society and National Space Society chapter. Several of our members are already members of the NSS, and we discussed some of the pros and cons of such a venture. No decisions were made.

There was a great deal of discussion regarding the legal status of our chapter. A lot of it had to do with the implications of liability: "What if ... someone fell and hurt themselves on our Rover", for instance. This opened up an entire can of worms regarding the possibility of having to incorporate to protect ourselves (which we may have to do anyway if we decide to seek out grants). We've been a very, very "loose" chapter organizationally (and we like it that way), but we may be forced into becoming a legal entity in the very near future. We decided to do some research into these topics and address them in more detail at next month's (the MS-SD barbecue, so it may be moved to the following) meeting.

Bill and Patricia publish a small magazine called "Continuum Science Fiction", and they're looking for articles and stories (which they will pay for -- check out their submission guidelines).

We ended the meeting with John showing us some of the video he captured during the flight of SpaceShipOne in the Mojave Desert on June 21st. Patrick (who also went) added his perspective.

On to Mars!




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