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  • A Waxing 21st Century Moon

    Welcome to The Moon Society's upgraded website!  After some phenomenal work from our web team, James, Scotty, Rose & Mike, we've got a new website design to better work with the myriad ways that people now access the World Wide web.

    This is but a start.  We've also been quietly working on securing our financial position, including an audit of our finances.  We've been putting together theme issues of Moon Miners' Manifesto that we'll soon be releasing for e-readers.  We've been putting together "Lunar Laboratory" STEM exercises that bring a Moon theme to science projects.  We're revisiting our marketing materials to update them and make them more appealing.  Our ISDC tracks are attracting attention by focusing on near-future aspects of our Moon like the Cislunar Econosphere and Lunar Lava Tubes.

    And we've got some science projects we're working on, like a Lava Tube Field Exercise to test communications architectures for robotic explorers that will be ramping up subsequent to this year's ISDC track.  A longer term science project is the use of a Solar Sail to provided communications with Lunar polar locations.

    Leadership of The Moon Society also continues to be active in Lunar Outreach & Education, not just through the ISDC, but also in their communities and in publications.  Educating the citizenry of Planet Earth about the value and uses of our Moon for the benefit of us all is one of the key ways that The Moon Society can pave the way for humans living and working on the Moon.

    In the near future we will be launching a membership development campaign.  A key issue faced by all space advocacy groups is the ongoing aging of our membership bases.  While youngsters are happy to "Like", or "Share" or "+1", or "Thumbs Up", this does not translate into membership.  We need to change this.

    If you know someone who is interested in the Moon, make them a member.  Trying to think of a gift for someone?  Give them a Moon Society membership.   Do you know a bright youngster with the potential to make a difference, point them to our new website.

    It is our membership that makes things happen.  Let's grow that membership, so that we can achieve greater things.  

  • The Moon Society hosts an ambitious Lava Tube Track at this year's ISDC

    May 22, 2013

    The past few years, the Moon Society has been hosting the Moon Track at the annual International Space Development Conference sponsored by the National Space Society. This years ISDC is being held in San Diego, CA May 23-27th over the Memorial Day Weekend.

    This Track will be on Thursday May 23, 2013, Lunar Lava Tube Exploration and Analog Workshop “Lava Tubes Earth, Moon and Beyond”
    The Challenges of Earth Lunar and Mars Lava Tube Exploration push existing capabilities and are worth doing, as JFK said, “not because they are easy but because they are hard.”

    The presentations of this Lava Tube Workshop include discussions on:

    1. Planetary Science
    2. Planetary Protection and Cave Protection
    3. Astrobiology
    4. Engineering Architecture and Design
    5. Instrumentation and In situ Data Processing, Analysis and Artificial Intelligence
    6. Analog and Precursor Activities
    7. Terrestrial Research and Commercial On-Ramps
    8. Education and Public Outreach

    [Information above provided by Track Co-ordinator David Dunlop]

    We hope to make each of these presentations available on the internet after the conference

    To help set the mood, MMM Editor, Peter Kokh, who could not make it to this year's event, contributed a Lava Tube Exhibit for the Moon Society's Exhibit table.

    The interior of this winding lava tube section can be viewed from both right and left ends, and via a cutaway of an elbow bend from the front.

    Modeled inside are a "town settlement for 500 people" and a tower structure poking through a skylight opening, as well as some warehousing. The interior is lit by a string of battery powered LED lights inside a clear plastic tube slung from the tube ceiling. The tube itself is carved into 11 layers of 3/4" insulation foam board.

    The background image has two parts: above is a scene from the Apollo 17 mission as the astronauts were preparing to leave the Moon for the last time: "the end of the beginning." The lower half of the background image looks into two terrestrial lavatubes. The message is not to judge the Moon by its surface: there is abundant sheltered volume below!

    Text alongside the background image talks about lava tubes on the Moon: how they were formed and where we will find them, etc.

    Text on the "apron" in front of the exhibit, explains what the viewer is looking at inside.

    The open green box toward the back of the right hand side is the LED control panel.

    Instructions to replicate the exhibit are available on request from Peter Kokh.

    After ISDC, the lightweight 15 lb, 24"x36"x9" exhibit will go to Dallas for the upcoming annual Moon Day event.

  • Introducing the "To The Stars International Quarterly"

    http://www.moonsociety.org/international/ttsiq/T2SIQ_1_Oct2012.pdf - http://www.nss.org/tothestars/

    Update: Issue #2 published January 19, 2013 - http://www.moonsociety.org/international/ttsiq/TTSIQ2_January2013.pdf

    Bookmark this Directory to find added future issues: http://www.moonsociety.org/international/ttsiq/

    2012.10.08 How the idea of this publication was born: At an August 25, 2012 meeting of the National Space Society International Committee in Lake Grove, IL outside Chicago, with Dave Dunlop (committee chairman) and four others from the National Space Society, we discussed how NSS could reach out internationally.

    Dave and I feel strongly that the idea of reaping a boatload of foreign paid memberships is a pipe dream - lower standards of living, high postage for hard copy mailing, currency exchange rates which "punish those who are outside North America" - and when it comes to forming chapters, laws in some countries (India among them) which explicitly do not allow formation of Indian chapters of non-Indian organizations.

    The opening suggestion was to simply change the "I" in M3IQ (Moon Miners' Manifesto India Quarterly) from India to International and email this publication to the hundreds of foreign students in NSS email database. But the India project is close to my heart, and I wanted to keep the current title, organization, and feel . My counter offer was to use 90% of the same edited material in each new M3IQ and rearrange it by topic rather than by space faring country, with a new masthead for distribution via the NSS International list-serve.

    I proposed to drop the MMM in the title and replace it with TTS - "To the Stars" as that is the translation of the Latin name of NSS hard copy quarterly, Ad Astra, implying a connection to NSS (but with Moon Society co-sponsorship). TTSIQ will publish the same reports that are in the concurrent Moon Miners' Manifesto India Quarterly issue, but rearranged in these headings:

    1. Earth Orbit and Mission to Planet Earth
    2. Cislunar Space and the Moon
    3. Mars and the Asteroids
    4. The rest of the Solar System
    5. Starbound
    6. Teachers & Students Section

    To The Stars International Quarterly #1 was co-published with Moon Miners' Manifesto India Quarterly #16 on October 8, 2012, with 2 access addresses, given above.

    In addition to the National Space Society and the Moon Society (both mutually affiliated since ISDC 2005), OpenLuna.org and the Space Renaissance Initiative are listed as original co-sponsors. We are hoping that SEDS, Students for the Exploration and Development of Space, will join us.

    The significance of this extended publication venture is that collectively we will reach many more people around the world.

    NSS is interested in growing its international membership.

    The editor, however, is interested in enthusing more people all around the world about the possibilities and potential of space exploration and development, letting people elsewhere organize their own pro-active societies.

    PK

  • CisLunar Econosphere Track

    Moon Society hosts "Cislunar Econopshere Track" at ISDC 2012

    From the desk of Moon Society President Ken Murphy
    Moon Track at ISDC 2012 Washington DC - “Unmitigated Success!”

    Sunday, May 28, 2012 was The Moon Society's time to shine. Our track was scheduled against the Student Track (presentations from the ISSDC), the Transhumanism & Space Exploration track, the Living in Space track organized by the Kepler Space Institute, and General Presentations in the big room. And the lunch went long. Nevertheless, your Moon Society president started promptly at 2pm to a full house. His presentation on an overview of cislunar space was well-received, and set the stage for the following presentations. John Cserep then gave an overview of an Earth-Moon L1 facility that could be used to control telerobotic mining operations on the Moon, in addition to serving other customers.

    This led nicely into Jim Keravala's talk on Shackleton Energy's plans to mine at the Lunar poles to provide propellant to cislunar space. Dr. Carl Brandon from VT Tech then described their project to land a CubeSat on the Moon. (continued next page)

    We then had our first student presentation. As background, the National Space Society and NASA Ames run an annual International Space Settlement Design Competition that draws entries from around the world. When the track chairs were putting together their tracks, they received a request from Lynne Zielinski of NSS leadership to make some time available in our tracks for the students to give presentations. It's excellent experience for them, and so The Moon Society immediately agreed to 3 presentations (30 minutes) to incorporate into our four hour track, with the proviso that they all had to be located in cislunar space.

    Our first was from Tanmay Band, who presented for Team Aris from India. Their proposal is for an L5 facility with a scalable structure, allowing for the eventual housing of hundreds of thousands of individuals. Paul Graham then described OpenLuna's work on communications and surface transport hardware. The Moon Society has long had a good relationship with OpenLuna as our efforts are very complementary, and Paul allowed us to share space on his display table in the exhibit hall. He's got a great exhibit, but the genuine fake Moon rocks that were on display from TMS helped draw people to the table to be engaged in Moon talk. We also showed off some nice selenospheres, including the new Sky & Telescope Moon globe that uses LRO imagery for the most up-to-date globe around.

    The second student presentation was from Team Plenidus, also from India. Ashish Chadda, Rajat Kalia, and Deigant Yadava had scripted their presentation to an movie, essentially a moving ppt, and so were able to keep right to ten minutes. I can say they had some nice villas in their design. Next up was John Strickland, from NSS Austin and a long term leader in NSS, who gave an overview of transportation considerations for cislunar space. One of the key takeaways is that with depots in LEO, at EML1, and on the Moon, you don't need more than 4 km/s of delta-V to either get to the next gas station, or go to/from any destination of interest in cislunar space. This is a helpful thumbnail for designing transportation systems.

    The last student presentation was from Team Concordia from Romania. The most notable part of their presentation was their proposal for retrieving asteroid materials, wherein they would use what I dubbed a Space Squid. A module latches onto an asteroidal body and then deploys long arms that wrap around the asteroid. Each arm is laden with thrusters, which are then used to direct the asteroid to where they want it. I suggested they go talk to the Planetary Resources folks.

    Our last speaker for the day was Dr. David Smith from the GRAIL mission, who gave an overview of the mission, and shared some of the early results they're seeing. One notable result is that it looks like the data might be able to unveil lavatubes, especially in conjunction with some of the data from LRO. This was the perfect lead-in to our topic for The Moon Society's theme for their track at next year's ISDC: Lunar Lava Tubes.

    Attendance was good throughout the day, even with very compelling presentations in other tracks. We were able to hold very closely to the schedule, and our content nicely interwove to make a compelling case that cislunar development is important, and entirely doable given where we are technologically.

    As a Thank You to each of the speakers, TMS leadership suggested a lapel pin and one-year membership in TMS for each of the speakers, so we just got a small boost in membership. Hopefully we've also helped to establish some more credibility for our organization as a Moon advocacy entity. Special kudos go out to our at-large Ambassador of Goodwill, Dave Dunlop, who is already busy networking for our track at next year's ISDC, at which the Moon Track will focus on Lunar Lava Tubes.

    KM

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