The Moon Society Presence at the Mars Society's Convention 2004

The Moon Society Presence at the Mars Society's Convention 2004

Report by Peter Kokh, President of the Moon Society

The Chicago Mars Convention this past weekend (Thursday morning through Sunday afternoon, August 19th-22nd, 2004) was very productive. We had a mini Moon-Mars modular homestead on display along with a 2-sided flyer noting all the similarities between the Moon and Mars (a much longer list than the differences) and based on that another 2-sider on just some of many areas in which the two societies could collaborate. A third flyer sketched possible vectors of Earth-Moon-Mars-Phobos-Deimos trade routes. A special Moon Society Brochure was titled "The Moon Society: Mars is in our Field of View." This was all very positively received by Bob Zubrin and by his dynamic partner/Executive Secretary, Maggie Zubrin. For pictures of our exhibit, follow the link below.

Display & Information Booth Highlights

We also brought some Artemis Magazines and copies of the online subscription form. Despite my sign, "for show only, do not take" I had only one left to take back home.

Robert Zubrin may be the chief spokesman and inspiration behind the Mars Society, but it is Maggie Zubrin who organizes and drives the society itself, and she'll be the first to tell you so!

Gary Gray was there and he helped a lot manning the booth and paid for copies when we needed more. Thanks, Gary! We got a $60 hardcopy subscription on the spot from a French Mars Society member, and about 50 copies of the registration form were taken..

While some walked by our booth, perhaps dismissing it as irrelevant, many more stopped, took flyers, and commented positively.

Jeff Liss (a Vice-president of the National Space Society) and Maggie Zubrin started talking about a joint ISDC-Mars Conv in 2006 (MZ taking the initiative here), and of course we'd want a piece of that as well. The venue under discussion is Los Angeles, at a hotel handy to LAX with all the function space both societies could want. The date may be somewhere between NSS' traditional Memorial Day Weekend and the Mars Society's traditional mid-August slot. But the idea could be killed by the NSS Board. We'll see what happens, and join in wherever we can.

Attendance was about 400, better than any of the last three ISDCs.

I audited the Mars Society Steering Committee session to see what was going on. All space groups have had trouble holding on to members, and have not been adding enough new people to make up for this ongoing attrition. By collaborating, we can all improve our performance and productivity and that should increase member satisfaction, and our renewal percentage.

One collaboration we can jump into right away is the Mars Homestead Simulation Group launched by our friend Bruce Mackenzie. [www.MarsHome.org] This group has just started to explore how we would get beyond an outpost by building modular settlements, with all the technologies that may involve. Other than the color of the regolith and the sky, and the added benefit of atmosphere mining on Mars, just about everything else will apply to the Moon at well. Bruce is open to our official cosponsorship and welcomes any Moon Society members who want to join in. The results of this virtual simulation will enrich us as well. I'll try to get our name at the top of the website, and hope to change "Mars" to "Moon-Mars" or "Mars-Moon" - This has RZ's approval also. Our prodigal friend from Seattle is involved and delighted at the prospect of our joining in. Once our sponsorship is duly noted, we will put a link on our website on the projects page at http://www.moonsociety.org/projects.index.

There are even more exciting collaboration ideas with the Mars Society to come!

I have been talking to the American Lunar Society also, nothing definite to report, but Moon observation projects are their game.

I have identified three project ideas that would be ripe for Moon Society, Mars Society, and Planetary Society cosponsorship. I realize that these may be a harder sell, but they are all worth pursuing.