Saturday, October 20, 2007

PASA report for September, 2007


Meeting Times and Locations: Our October meeting will be at the Liberty One food Court
on the twentieth, the November meeting will be at the Sheraton Philadelphia Center City at
17th and Race Streets on Saturday the 17th. In December we are back at the Food Court.

Meeting Notes: We had an informative gathering with Hank Smith talking on his science fiction
event travel plans and the 2008 ISDC which will be held in Washington D.C.. He'll have lots of company, as this is a "day trip" from our area (two hours each way). Before this late late spring event, Memorial Day weekend 2008. Hank, and other members, will likely go Balticon which has an excellent science track. But Hank will also go to conventions on Gothic Horror and other topics as well.

Mitch Gordon has secured our place at the Franklin Institute and we will bring a few demo items for this public outreach event. He will try to bring material for the National Space Society part of the promotion of this group that carries out public outreach to politicians (the famous "March Storm" events) as well as promoting local space exploration and colonization outreach at movie openings and other events that Mitch is often our lead for. He'll also provide talking points and advocate for The World Future Society. And lastly he also brought the September Popular Mechanics with a time line of space activities starting with a few thin lines, the Sputniks, through a fluctuating grassland up to the present. This should be available online also.

Larry, our webmaster, brought web news on our site and blog, and his contribution to our Cubesat Display. This is a label that describes the reason for the models, the 50th
anniversary of Sputniks launch, and gives our groups' web information. In addition, Larry gave us a tour of our web information with his most recent changes; Go Larry!

Dotty talked of an upcoming theatrical event that she and Larry would attend when our Franklin Institute outreach would occur. However, a funny thing happened on the road to Broadway, er, off Broadway. And now they will have time to be with us!

Earl did not bring much new material but reprised the display that we are building. Michelle
Baker has done a major part of the work to make this project come to fruition and I acknowledge this to the members at the meeting. The result is: 51 mock ups of the Cubesat Picosatellites with the label produced by Larry (at Michelles' request) on one side, contact information on Amsat and the Cubesat organization respectively. The other two faces have something that Michelle came up with that give the audience a chance to show their knowledge (and jog the memory!) about space events: one face has a date and the other events from that year. If they guess right, they win the Cube! This will be our primary display for older visitors, and we will have the Space Bricks for "hands on" experience. Due to our other activity, the Technical Report is abbreviated: In this months issue of Wired Magazine (October) is a short article on Googles' Moon Exploration Challenge. There are a few pictures of the Moon, including ground shots, and a graphic showing the various requirements and problems to be overcome to win. The vehicle will have a primary function of returning pictures that can be shown on the Web and do other things to meet the goals. The prize is not a lot of money: The quoted amount is $20,000,000. As readers of this publication know, a circumlunar flight will cost 100 million per ticket, so the amount is secondary. Just to have produced a vehicle and sent it on the Lunar Inject part of the trip would be an achievement. This will be an X Prize contest and was in fact put forth by Peter Diamandis at an event at Googles headquarters in March, 2007. I suspect more will be available via Google. The article was by Spencer Reiss, a contributing editor. Also post meeting: from Analog Magazine for December 2007, " Finding Planemos" by Kevin Walsh on the attempts that will be made, in the near future, to find objects below Brown Dwarf size that could be in our intra-stellar neighborhood. There are great difficulties in trying this with current tools due to the low emission levels of the objects (even Jupiter size emitters) unless an instrument is placed in space. This will be possible for some of these objects when The Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer begins operation after its launch in 2009. Mr. Welsh points out that exploring this "empty" region will give us a better grasp on what will be needed for interstellar travel. He gives the example of finding and travelling to an object at 5000 A.U.
(almost a light month away) as a way of testing our technology and examining the medium outside our solar system. We'll have to look up sometimes from the local projects, such as Googles Race To The Moon, for what later generations (or ourselves with life extension) will be trying.
And much more, of course.
Submitted by Earl Bennett.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

10-6-07; Space Week; Miki and Hank at the Cubesat

Saturday, October 06, 2007

10-6-07; Space Week; Cubesats!

10-6-07; Space Week; PASA table and Cubesats at the Franklin Institute

10-6-07; Space Week; Miki at the Franklin Institute