• Moon Society input to the Obama Transition Team on Space

    At its January 14th meeting, the Moon Society Management Council, mindful that different members have different ideas about how the nation's space program could be better run and better targeted, has not as yet officially endorsed either of two position papers put together separately by Director of Project Development David A. Dunlop and by Chair of the Publicity and Outreach Committee, James A. Rogers.

    Dunlop's paper is extremely comprehensive and commands enormous respect. We urge our members to look at Dave's idea of how US Space programs and initiatives could be reorganized to better lead to the open civilian frontier and Earth-Moon Economy to which the Society pledges its efforts. Dave's recommendations are nothing short of revolutionary, no quarter yielded to those who would just tweak the current program.

    http://www.moonsociety.org/whitepapers/3rd-generation-space.html

    As of this post, we have only seen the first draft of James Rogers’ paper so we cannot comment on it as yet. Much shorter, it may serve as the Guest Editorial in MMM #222, the February issue of Moon Miners’ Manifesto, next in queue.

  • Link: http://www.moonsociety.org/india/mmm-india/index.html

    November 18, 2008 - With the successful launch and arrival in lunar orbit of Chandrayaan-1, India has become the latest member of the "Lunar Club."

    For the Moon Society, India is a most fertile ground in which to spread the Society's international presence. India has the largest English-speaking population of any country in the world. This is a legacy of the long British Raj (rule) prior to India's independence in I947. While Hindi is the official language, it is in fact a regional language in the north, and speakers of other major languages in India prefer to use English, which is everywhere the language of all higher education in India. India publishes more books in English than any other country.

    We have already made some contacts in India, notably with the Planetary Society of Youth. We have been busy establishing personal contacts all over India.
    Last month, the Society decided to publish a special edition of Moon Miners' Manifesto, MMM-India Quarterly.
    http://www.moonsociety.org/india/mmm-india/index.html

    The first issue published today includes some key reprints from past issues of Moon Miners' Manifesto that are relevant to India's space ambitions, as well as new matter.
    Strategic goals are to grow the emerging space advocacy movement in India, to strengthen existing organizations involved in space outreach, and to develop a cluster of Moon Society chapters in India. There are currently five SEDS (Students for the Exploration and Development of Space) chapters and one National Space Society chapter in India, as well as two home grown student organizations.
    The new quarterly publication is a free access pdf file download. While it is directed at Indian readers, it can be downloaded by anyone, Society member or not, without the use of a Society username and password.

    The new publication does advertise the established Moon Miners' Manifesto, and the Moon Society, encouraging membership. At this time, however, we want to spread our influence and readership within India, and we believe a free access publication is the best way to do this.

    The initial listed editors are: Peter Kokh (Editor of MMM), Madhu Thangavelu (University of Southern California), and David A. Dunlop (Director of Project Development.) The first issue invites contributions from Indian readers, as well as Indian additions to our editorial team. Madhu Thangavelu, currently aboard, was born and raised in India.

    Today, the first issue is available for download.
    http://www.moonsociety.org/india/mmm-india/m3india1_fall08.pdf

    Enjoy!
    Comments and Feedback welcome!

  • Introducing Moonbeams, our new free access Science Fiction Publication

    Link: http://www.moonsociety.org/publications/fiction/index.html

    Cover of first issue
    Above: Cover of Introductory Issue

    The Historic Role of Science Fiction

    Science-Fiction has played a strong role in fostering an interest in Space Exploration, Settlement, and Travel. As far back as the earliest days of NASA and the Apollo program, many NASA personnel and future astronauts have admitted that their individual early interest in space was awakened, and/or nourished by exciting and positive visions of what could be the greater world of our future. Arthur C. Clarke and Robert A. Heinlein are just two of the many classic authors frequently cited.

    Of course, not all science-fiction tales paint positive pictures. There has always been some who painted dark, forbidding scenarios. There have always been those with a "say it ain't so" attitude towards the restrictions of Physics. There have always been those more engrossed in fantasy and magic rather than reality. It is only natural that the story reflects the personality of the writer.

    When the Artemis Society and the Artemis Project™ were launched at the World Science Fiction Convention in Winnepeg, Manitoba, Canada in 1994, part of the game plan was to launch a new science-fact science-fiction magazine, Artemis, that would contain positive and realistic stories about our future in space, as a way of attracting new members to the Artemis Society. Eight quarterly issues were published before the plug was pulled. Successful entries to the crowded world of new stand paper publications are difficult. If you don't quickly attract enough sales, the Newstands don't keep putting you on their racks.

    Warned of such obstacles, a plan by the future President of the Moon Society, Peter Kokh, to introduce a rag to be named "PSSST!" for "Plausible Solar System Settlement Tales" at a new science-fiction convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, "First Contact" that same fall, September 1994, were shelved.

    Through the years, a number of short science-fiction pieces have been submitted to Moon Miners' Manifesto, and MMM has published a few. Every year in the April issue, MMM has published a page (sometimes less) of World Space News stories. And ever year, we've hooked some readers who failed to notice the tag line at the end of the page, printed upside down, "Happy April Fools' Day!," i.e. "You've been had." Every year we catch somebody!

    Our secret? Simple, "tell them what they want to hear!"

    Now it is time to revisit the idea. This time we are looking at electronic publication, in pdf file version only. Hardcopy publication could come later.

    In the past, as MMM has been a hardcopy publication, any fiction pieces have been published by the MMM publisher, The Lunar Reclamation Society, the Milwaukee/SE Wisconsin chapter of the National Space Society.

    The Moon Society has now begun publishing fiction!

    The Editor of the premier edition mockup was Peter Kokh, but a new editor, Charles (Chuck) Lesher, a Moon Society Phoenix member from Chandler, Arizona, and author of the feature piece in the first issue of Moonbeams, has volunteered to take it over. The premier edition released above bears his look. It is only appropriate that Chuck put his own stamp on it, redoing the cover, changing the fonts, etc.

    Producing the mockup has proved an effective way to get this effort started and adopted.

    Charles has been writing science fiction for several years. The editor's email address is moonbeams@moonsociety.org

    Moonbeams issues are freely accessible, without the need to use a Moon Society username and password. The function of Moonbeams is both to expand the vision of our own members, and to draw interested visitors into the Society. Anyone downloading an issue of Moonbeams, may freely circulate it to others. Indeed, we encourage you to do so!

    Publication Frequency

    As we kick off this publication, we make no promise of how often it will be published. We would like to put it out on a quarterly schedule. A more conservative answer is whenever we have enough good material to make a good publication, and have the time to edit it. We'll see what happens!

    Submissions

    Chuck has included a call for submissions, society members encouraged to try their hand in short pieces (250 words) in the form of a "letter home" from a future settler/pioneer.

    Readers are welcome to submit short stories, limit 5,000 words.

    As Moonbeams produces no revenue stream, authors will not be compensated, and retain full rights for republication elsewhere. In the future, as readership increases, we may revisit this policy.

    Email Submissions [moonbeams@moonsociety.org] should be in electronic form: MS Word, Text files, or pdf format. Handwritten, typed, and printed submissions that need to be keyed in will not be considered.

    Writers may submit via CD or DVD to the following address:

    Writers Cramp Publishing
    1982 N. Iowa Street
    Chandler, Arizona 85225

    Innitial Guidelines as to what is acceptable:

    * We do want submissions to stick to accepted physics: no faster than light warp drives, no worm holes, no time travel, no transporters a la Star Trek, no phase change walking through walls - you get the idea.
    * No magic, no fantasy - we want science future fiction!
    * No social or political or religious diatribes - if you have axes to grind, do it somewhere else!
    * Just give us a good story that illustrates the positive possibilities of the near future.
    * Of course, stories that alert us to possible dangers and pitfalls will be considered. There will be catastrophes and setbacks in the future, after all!
    * The suggested subtitle "Plausible Solar System Settlement Tales" which has been dropped, indicated that stories anywhere in the Solar System (new boundaries well beyond Neptune!) are in our range. Thus the near future on the Moon is not the only setting to be considered
    * Short fact pieces on science and technology issues will be considered
    * You do not have to be a Moon Society member to submit.

    Help Wanted!

    * Fiction Writers, of course!
    * Artists and Illustrators
    * Cartoonists
    * Assistant Editors, for example of the Science & Technology Department
    * If you have something other than fiction writing talent that you think we might be interested in, do let us know.

    Enjoy!

  • Society Gears up for More Action with Project Teams

    Link: http://www.moonsociety.org/projects/projectteams/index.html

    From Society President Peter Kokh
    August 16, 2008

    At the August 6th Management Council meeting in the moon-leaders room of the ASI-MOO online chat-room environment, in discussing recent major member-ship growth, the effect of aggressively pursued carefully thought out projects took center stage.

    In the past two years, two projects in particular absorbed the lion’s share of Society leaders’ attention:

    ? The production of the “Moon Colony Videos” suggested by director James Gholston and led by former Hollywood videographer and screen writer Chip Proser

    ? The production of a working demo model of the current favored design of a solar power satellite, suggested by Major Peter Garretson, USAF, with teram leaders vice-president Charles Radley and Chairman of the Board, R. Scotty Gammenthaler

    Both these projects have been highly successful, and are continuing! Chip, with assistance at recent ISDCs from James Gholston and David Dunlop, continue to produce more excellent videos. Our Solar Power Beaming Demo team, now under Peter Kokh, is following through with production of two additional units requested by Space Adventures and the National Space Society.

    Online “Kits” that will help other groups produce their own units comes next and will be based not on the original but on the improved "next generation" design for the two additional units.

    But this is not all that’s going on in your Society!

    We have also committed to aggressive pursuit of the goal of advancing the viability of production of real solar power satellites from Lunar Materials. This team is led by Dr. Peter Schroeter and Peter Kokh. This project goes to the heart of our long term strategy to advance the day when there will be civilian settlements on the Moon producing things that will help people on Earth better handle our environmental and energy problems and challenges.

    The same duo is behind an effort to commence a relevant conversation between the space and environment communities on a more comprehensive plan to save and heal our home planet’s environment. Dr. Peter Schroeter had called our attention to an opportunity to get funds from the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, for innovative conferences on addressing environ-mental problems. In collaboration with the National Space Society, we put forth a proposal for a “Mother Earth-Father Sky” conference, later renamed the Planet Earth & Space Conference/ Our proposal did not make the first cut, but is stil alive, and worth pursuing with or without EPA support. The editorial and essay in this issue address the need.

    Other active Team Projects include Lunar Surface Logistics. It makes no sense to put up scattered moon bases without equal thought given to transportation and commerce between them, absolutely necessary for our vision of the Moon’s role in Earth’s future. This area includes our Google Group: Railroading on Moon & Mars, but also the mapping of logical transportation corridors, road making, road vehicles and support, cableway systems and more. This effort is not yet at the stage we need it to be, identifying specific doable projects.

    Finally, Director David Dunlop is in the early stages of resurrecting a Lunar Reclamation Society effort from the early 1990s focused on Experimental Lunar Agriculture, and has identified a number of new doable projects. We will not be able to live long term on the Moon without autonomous agriculture and biosphere life support. Our efforts will address the agricultural aspect.

    Different from the “ASI Discussion Teams”

    Society old timers who came aboard in the mid-late 1990s in the Artemis Society years will remember the lengthy list of Artemis Society Teams. Is this Moon Society effort just a revival of older ASI-? The answer is a resounding “No!”

    While the intention was for the many ASI Teams to come up with concrete projects that would further the cause, in reality, these teams for the most part never got beyond the “discussions” stage. Each Team has/had a discussion list, predictably with a high noise to signal ratio, and again for the most part, never identifying concrete projects within the team’s area of attention.

    Moon Society “Project Teams”

    Our recent measured successes have been the result of identifying specific projects with defined goals and achievement levels. Each new team has a Team Leader who aggressively moves the effort on towards the defined goal. Looking at the successes of the past two years, your President would like to add one more key person to each team, the project manager, whose role will be to identify action items and recruit volunteers to address each of them, in order to aggressively move each identified project forward. It would be misleading to say that we are there yet. Are these two roles in conflict? They need not be.

    The Team Leader is in charge of keeping us focused on the vision and mission of each team, and identifying new projects within the Team's focus area.

    The various Project Managers, one for each identified concrete project of each team, is in charge of moving forward a specific project within the team’s area of focus,

    Project Focus Moves to Front Center Stage

    We have redone the Registration Page, and our Welcome Packet & Vistors’ pages to give the opportunity to join Project Teams front center priority visibility.

    Presenting our (current list of) Project Teams

    1. Promotional Video Team
      Chip Proser
      James Gholston
    2. Public Relations Team
      James Rogers
    3. Solar Power Beaming Demonstration Team
      Peter Kokh
      R. Scotty Gammenthaler
    4. Lunar Materials for SPS Construction Team
      Peter J. Schubert
      Peter Kokh
    5. Space and Environment Conversation Team
      Peter J. Schubert
      Peter Kokh
    6. Experimental Lunar Agriculture Team
      David Dunlop
    7. Lunar Surface Logistics Team
      (including Lunar Railroads)
      David Dunlop
      Peter Kokh
    8. Lunar Analog Research Team
      Peter Kokh
      Dave Dunlop
      Paul Graham

    Growing our Society

    Obviously, to advance the work of all these teams, we need more members, the more the better, new members ready to roll up their sleeves, more total dues money to fund our growing list of concrete projects. We are gaining a reputation among space groups as “the little engine that could!” We need your help!

  • Sept 17, 2008 Society's 1st Annual Membership Meeting

    By Peter Kokh, President

    As a new feature in the Moon Society’s recent bylaws revision of February 6th, as reported in MMM #212, February 2008, Moon Society Journal Section (p.9), this year, on the third Wednesday evening of the month after Society elections are finalized, we will launch our first Annual Membership Meeting.

    Save Wednesday evening, September 17th!

    The meeting will be online, in the ASI-MOO special chat room environment, 9-11 pm ET, 8-10 pm CT, 7-9 pm MT, 6-8 pm PT. We realize that this window will not be convenient for many members. But neither would any other window. But why this window? This is the time and day slot in which the Society’s Leadership Council, Management Council, and Board of Directors meets.

    Practice now!

    If your schedule makes attendance at this event possible, and you have never been on the ASI-MOO, you will save yourself a lot of frustration that evening, if you first practice loging on. It is quite simple.

    1 Go to our homepage www.moonsociety.org

    2 Scroll down the left hand menu column until you come to the ASI-MOO image link. Click on this link

    3 Ignore the preliminary information on this page (for advanced users) and scroll down the page until you see the dual links: Java MOO client: Framed Popup

    4 Click on either (I like Popup but that’s a personal preference)

    5 Wait for the window to fully open. Some browsers are faster than others. Below the preliminary introductory text, you will see a line, below which you can type.

    6 Type these three words: connect (your) username password all in lower case, each word separated by a space with no quotation marks. Hit carriage return

    7 You will find yourself in the “Commons” Now you want to go to the “Auditorium” where the Members Meeting will be held. The instructions in the Commons say that the Auditiorium is “NorthWest” so type NorthWest without quotes and with capitals as indicated, then hit carriage Return, and you should be in.

    Most likely problem you will have is not knowing your username and password. If this turns out to be the case, just contact me at kokhmmm@aol.com and tell me what your problem is. If you prefer an answer by phone, give me your phone # and best times to call in your email. We’ll get you in, but do not wait until the last minute as I will be busy with other things!

    Format and Topics of the Meeting

    In preparation for the meeting, we will post an Annual Report in the Members Area of our web site:
    http://www.moonsociety.org/members/reports/annual_report2008.pdf
    [This address will not be valid until a week before the meeting]

    Publicizing this Meeting

    Meanwhile, the notice for this meeting, including this “how to attend” information, will be printed in MMM (this is it) and posted on the Artemis-List as well as sent by email to all current members with current email addresses in our database. If you have changed your email address, do call that to our attention! You many change it yourself at www.moonsociety.org/mymoon/ though you will need your username and password to access that page. Otherwise simply email your current email address to kokhmmm@aol.com

    Meeting Structure

    The meeting will be chaired by Chairman of the Board, R. Scotty Gammenthaler.

    After a review of the contents of the Annual Report, the floor will be open to questions from members. Members who plan to ask questions are invited to submit them in advance to kokhmmm@aol.com as this will help in bundling together related questions and responses. However, this is not necessary and spontaneous questions are welcome.

    Questions can be about problems with member-ship processing, Society response to problems, current projects and new project ideas, the overall direction of the society and suggestions in this regard, membership benefits, how to grow the society in numbers, name recognition, and project output, etc.

    The Annual Report

    The annual report as prepared by the president, will cover recent bylaws changes, elections results, our Vision, Mission, and Strategy, existing and proposed new projects, our primary and auxiliary websites, Moon Miners’ Manifesto, our affiliations and collaborations, the treasurers report, awards of recognition for significant service to the Society, and our plans to make the Society ever more effective, and more.

    To the Curious

    If you are reading this and are not a current member, by all means so join or rejoin. We will be most happy to benefit from your ideas and energies and initiatives.

    A Learning Experience

    We have never held an annual Membership Meeting before and so this will necessarily be one of those “leaning experiences.” But even before the curtain falls on this first one, if you have ideas for features that should be included, don’t wait to share them with us. We want this first meeting to be as comprehensive as possible.

    Other Preparations: a Questionnaire

    We have been working on a Questionnaire, asking current and former members how they first heard of the Moon Society. We hope that the results of this survey will help us better direct our efforts to grow the Society. We hope to get this out soon.
    Quarterly Town Meetings?

    This is another but related idea that we have been considering – holding an online Town Meeting quarterly (three a year plus the Annual Meeting) and probably rotating the day of the week on which it is held. The idea would be to elicit continuous feedback and to provide more opportunities to participate.

    Thanks, Peter Kokh

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