Saturday, February 11, 2006
Business Meeting

Officers in Attendance:

President: BeBe Kelly-Serrato
Vice President: Enrique García
Secretary: Carl Carlsson
Treasurer: Laurie García
PR Director / BOD Chair: Sylvia Munzer
Membership Director: Steve Jordan
Webmaster: Stacy Clifford


Approved amount: $50/year
Seniors: $25/year
Students: free (side note from me: does this mean full-time only?)
Intern/Co-op: $10/year
The enrollment form was modified to reflect approved dues structure and remove reference to National MARS Society.
Discussed Corporate Membership Discount --- possibly a contribution/offset. Tabled for later discussion. Not included on this revision of membership application.

Enrique officially agreed to take on the Vice President's role.

P.O. Box at Pineloch/ElCamino Post office will be renewed.

Membership - Steve is taking care of this.

Paypal account for Mars has been created and attached to Mollyguard. Any spam or phishing type email received from PayPal, forward to

Membership cards


About 66 tickets have been sold.
Tables sold: GHG, Bastian, Boeing, Jacobs, and possibly Lockheed
Balance in Mollyguard for the banquet as of the meeting time is $1,165.
The program brochure for the banquet was reviewed.

Upcoming Events:

BeBe to get with Sylvia offline.
March 5-11: Civil Engineers in Space
Week of March 12: Women in Science -- Lunar Planetary Conference at South Shore Harbour
12th - mixer at LPI
13th - at BeBe's house - all women members should try to attend, bring something to snack on
April - next Popcorn series. Trying for either Apr 26 or 28 (Wed or Fri). Sylvia to get speaker. Have at the Gilruth center.
May 27 - May mixer (with AIAA and other orgs)
Oct 4-10: Space Week
Agreed to sponsor League City Elementary for this project. Extra funds from the banquet will be used for this.
Discussed possibly sponsoring another school for the Rover Project (an AIAA project) and other schools with limited financial resources (both public and private) for these and other projects.

Next Meeting:

Saturday, March 11, 2006
Sylvia Munzer's house at 4703 Sterlingwood Way in Pinebrook
Time TBA

July 23, 2005, 1:25 pm
Antone's Famous Po-Boys, Houston, Texas


George Abbey, Jr.
Carl Carlsson
Marianne Dyson
Bebe Kelly-Serrato
Amiee Quon

  • The next set of officers will be officially elected in September
    • Carl is interested in being Secretary (putting together agendas and minutes)
  • Possible newsletter editors: current AIAA newsletter person or a co-op or two
    • The newsletter could be changed into an AIAA column rather than a standalone newsletter for wider distribution
    • The AIAA newsletter is distributed monthly
    • Making a Mars Society column in the AIAA newsletter would require an AIAA member vote
  • Marianne is willing to continue as Treasurer
    • The new President will need to be added to the bank account signature card
  • The person who helped the Houston Ballet with its 501(c)3 filing will help Bebe with ours
    • The paperwork is expected to be finished within 3 to 4 months
  • Steve previously expressed interest in being VP
    • Webb Byford is also a possibility, but he is not formally a candidate yet
  • Nominations should run through August (and open now); write-ins are acceptable
    • Has been announced in newsletter
  • Nominations are now open
    • Carl nominates Bebe for President; Amiee seconds
    • Bebe has a possible President in mind, but needs to discuss it further
    • Bebe nominates Steve for VP, Carl seconds
  • Checking account has a balance of $42
  • The chapter will get a smaller P.O. box and write in the new number on the current checks
    • Rent for the box will be $34 for six months instead of $63 for six months
  • Bebe nominates Carl for Secretary; Marianne seconds
  • Marianne nominates herself for Treasurer; Bebe seconds
  • The Toronto Mars Society has a couple of medium Mars Society t-shirts, but they don't want to print more
    • They ordered them from Harry @ Customwear Screenprinting Inc
    • Toronto told us to work directly with the printer and order what we wanted
  • Carl is willing to lend a couple hundred dollars to have shirts printed
  • Marianne needs to talk with the space store-possibilities are to sell them on consignment or to have the store produce them and give us a percentage of sales
  • Bebe has all the display boards and handouts from Patt and Tam
  • Congress voted 350 to 15 for funding for space
  • Wisconsin Public Radio emailed Bebe as PR Director asking for an interview with Carl as MSOH Pres. The request is probably in response to Carl's editorial in USA Today
  • What to do next year?
    • Keep up the image we've created with our banquet and popcorn series
    • Be an advocacy group for the right way to get to Mars (the general plan rather than engineering specifics)
      • Explains why we need the Mars Society if we already have the space Vision
    • We need to sell the "why" for going, not the "how"
  • Space is our future resource (in a positive sense)
    • Point out how Apollo inspired a generation
    • Seek our own budget, not other people's
  • Education and awareness, always positively
    • Sustain the Mars image
  • Steve Clifford will present a lecture for the popcorn series in October
  • The goal is a monthly popcorn series lecture during the school year, a banquet, and a holiday party
    • Lectures in Oct, Nov, Jan, Mar, Apr, May
    • Banquet in Feb
    • Holiday party in Dec
  • Possible new event: Martian Rendezvous similar to Lunar Rendezvous, maybe during other half of year
  • Have a party every 26 months for each Mars window
  • Borrow a Mars float and get in some Houston parades
  • Continue having a banquet with a dinner and speakers, but have the program be free
    • Could return to Bay Oaks Country Club and charge extra to sponsor head tables (no room fee at Bay Oaks thanks to the Boeing people)
    • Space Center Houston is too expensive
  • Bebe will talk with Patricia Reiff about having lectures at Rice. Those are restricted to 4pm
  • Tom Hanks' Moon IMAX will be at HMNS; could put up booths for the big opening
  • Marianne is willing to talk with potential sponsors, but she needs a specific goal for funding
  • Long-term goals: get a NASA grant
    • Applications are usually due in July; try for next year
    • Marianne could run the grant starting in January
  • Carl will take over the minutes once this is submitted

Next meeting:

Saturday, August 27

Carl, Marianne, and Bebe have paid their dues for the year.

Adjourned at 2:30pm.

Amiee Quon

April 23, 2005, 12:30pm
Outpost Tavern, Clear Lake, Texas


Carl Carlsson
Stacy Clifford
Marianne Dyson
Steve Jordan
Bebe Kelly-Serrato
Amiee Quon

  • October meeting minutes approved
  • Put out a call for officer nominations in next newsletter
  • Carl will get a slate of officers to Tam
    • May include Richard Rodriguez
  • Bebe knows a paralegal who can look over the 501(c)3 paperwork
  • If someone will deal with the 501(c)3 paperwork, Carl will put in $100 towards the application fee
  • The P.O. box needs to be paid for in July or August ($60)
    • A smaller box could be cheaper
    • Marianne will check prices on smaller P.O. boxes
  • Patt & Tam will be moving at the end of June
  • Carl is interested in being VP next year
  • Chapter dues of $0.50 per month or $6 per year recommended
  • Membership renewal will take place in the fall
  • Dues will be collected at election time (the bylaws state when elections should be held)
  • Have everyone pay at the fall event
  • Marianne motions to vote on dues
    • Passed unanimously
  • If Bebe can't find someone to take over the newsletter, Marianne may be able to find a young writer to do it
  • Webb Byford might be interested in being President
    • Alternately, could recruit him for Treasurer
  • Stacy renewed the domain name for another year ($10)
  • Possibly add a redirect page from the national Mars Society web page
  • The NAL is having a reception for new Administrator Griffin between the May and June launch windows-could we co-sponsor?
  • Bebe will tell Marianne how to set up the Mollyguard/PayPal account
  • Bebe needs to find out how to send PayPal monies directly to the MSOH account
  • Carl will ask Patt what display materials she will be taking with her
    • If Patt will be taking most or all of the materials, someone needs electronic graphics to create another display
  • Let people pre-order shirts on the web in advance, then have them made
    • Have shirts on consignment at Rocket Town
  • Bebe would need funding to have MSOH shirts made, but the 501(c)3 must be filed before we look for donations
  • Carl will get info on buying shirts in bulk to Marianne
  • Steve will look into embroidery for golf shirts
  • Stacy will send his design for a shirt to Steve
  • Marianne is willing to set up the shirt consignment if she gets the vendor info
  • Steve will send out an email looking for officers

Next meeting:

Saturday, July 16 at 11am

Adjourned at 1:35 pm.

Amiee Quon

Business Meeting
October 23, 2004

The officers of the Mars Society of Houston met at Bebe's house, Houston, Texas.

The meeting was convened at 6:55 pm.


Betty Byford
Webb Byford
Carl Carlsson
Stacy Clifford
Marianne Dyson
Ted Dyson
Steve Jordan
Bebe Kelly-Serrato
Amiee Quon
Terry Smith


  • Put off accepting/modifying minutes
  • Asked Tam to ask for volunteer help with 501(c)3 in the next newsletter.
  • P.O. Box paid through the next six months, next payment due February 1
    • NSS paid most recently, we pay next

Vice President: (open)


  • Carl will send outstanding receipts to Marianne for reimbursement
  • $150 in the checking account is earmarked for the 501(c)3 fee
  • Marianne has been promoted from Assistant Treasurer to Treasurer
  • Carl and Marianne are the only signatories on the checking account


  • Carl will fill in any missing info on the thank you letter template
  • Change procedure for minutes: directly email minutes to all who attended and any regulars who missed the meeting
    • In the email, remind people to check their action items


  • We have a mailing list
    • Possible problem: Bebe got the newsletter at her work address
  • Change the newsletter distribution procedure: Tam should send the finished newsletter to Steve for distribution
    • Steve will email Tam to tell him about the change
  • If anyone wants to join the mailing list, the info should go to Steve


  • Added an “updated date” to the website
  • Beginning work on redesign of website
  • Still waiting on Tam for information on items from previous meeting

Political Action:

  • Chapter Challenge is donation-based
    • To get credit for a donation, donators should send the money to the national organization, indicating that it’s for Houston
  • Kerry supporters should write to him and urge him to support space


  • Bebe is trying to get a Mission Control speaker for November
  • The Mars Red Christmas Party is Saturday, December 4 at Anita Gale and Dick Edwards’ house
  • The MSOH banquet will be February 17, 2005.
    • Bebe will send the information about the banquet to Carl so he can request General Howell as a speaker
    • If Lockheed gets advance notice, they will purchase tables
    • If Marianne is notified a month in advance, she can send invitations to local NSS members
  • Bebe will send Stacy a list of proposed events for posting on the website
  • Artist Pat Rawlings will fill in an existing logo for MSOH t-shirts
  • We are interested in getting one of Clear Channel’s “non-profits only” billboards
    • Billboards printed at SignTech cost $1-$1.50 per square foot.
    • We could include a picture of Webb’s Mars rover model
  • Steve will send contact info for Toronto’s Mars Society president (Matt Bamsey) to Carl
  • Stacy has requested information on PSAs from Channel 55
  • Steve will send the membership list to Bebe for the Christmas party
  • The NASA grant has a mid-January deadline
    • Current thought is to have a traveling display, possibly including rover models, dioramas, etc.
    • Some pro-space 4th grade teachers in Pasadena ISD may be willing to help us with grant writing
    • The easiest way to do this would be to have a college professor spearhead the grant (possible professors include Dr. Jim Jordan at Lamar University or Dr. Patricia Reiff at Rice University)
    • We probably cannot get everything together in time for the mid-January deadline.
      • We should set up the project and submit it next year.
      • Carl will write up a summary of the proposed project.
  • Other outreach ideas are an art car or a parade float
  • We could run a Mars summer camp through San Jacinto College
    • We would need to provide a blurb and instructors for the camp
    • Camps are usually all day (9-5) for a week
    • No initial costs; instructors are paid.
    • We would get some money back
    • The college requires at least 10 kids to sign up or the camp will be canceled
    • If we lined up a corporate sponsor, we could have handouts or souvenirs for the kids (inflatable Mars?)
    • Marianne will write a short proposal/description of a camp program as well as what we would need to provide (time, teachers, etc)
  • We could put together a short course on Mars for adults through the Bay Area Arts Alliance
    • The course could also be run through the LPI, but the Arts Alliance’s distribution would be beyond the science community, which is an advantage

Upcoming Events:

  • November: Mission Control lecture
  • December: Mars Christmas party
  • February 17: Mars Society of Houston banquet
  • March: LPI Conference chili judging
  • April: Lecture by Dr. Steve Clifford from LPI
  • May: Meeting/social event with NSS, AIAA, Planetary Society
  • June: Beach party
  • August: Mars Society convention

Action Items:

  • Carl will fill in any missing info on the thank you letter template
  • Carl will send outstanding receipts to Marianne for reimbursement
  • Steve will email Tam to tell him about the change in newsletter distribution
  • Bebe will send the information about the banquet to Carl so he can request General Howell as a speaker
  • Bebe will send Stacy a list of proposed events for posting on the website
  • Steve will send contact info for Toronto’s Mars Society president (Matt Bamsey) to Carl
  • Steve will send the membership list to Bebe for the Christmas party
  • Carl will write up a summary of proposed NASA grant project.
  • Marianne should write a short proposal/description of a camp program as well as what we would need to provide (time, teachers, etc)

Next Meeting:

  • December 4, before or during the Christmas party

Adjourned at 8:15 pm

Amiee Quon

Business Meeting
September 25, 2004

The officers of the Mars Society of Houston met at Joe's Crab Shack, Houston, Texas.

The meeting was convened at 2:10 pm.


Carl Carlsson
Stacy Clifford
Patt Czarnik
Tam Czarnik
Steve Jordan
Bebe Kelly-Serrato
Amiee Quon


  • September and March minutes were approved as written.
  • We no longer seem to have a CPA to help with the 501(c)3
    • A volunteer CPA could be solicited through the newsletter
  • MSOH again won the chapter contest for having the most new members
    • We still have ~15 autographed The Case for Mars books from winning last year
    • As this year's prize, we have our choice of books: The Case for Mars, First Landing (fiction), or Mars on Earth (non-fiction)
      • Chose First Landing for a contrasting genre to The Case for Mars
  • Houston won the challenge against Illinois, but San Diego beat all of Texas
  • The coming year's contest will be for amount of money donated to the Mars Society.
    • Small group challenges will not be allowed

Vice President: (open)


  • P.O. Box has been paid for six more months



  • Need a member and non-member list (non-members signed up to receive informational emails but didn't join the organization)
  • We need to get Maggie's newest mailing list
  • Steve should bring the membership list to each meeting so it can be updated


  • Will add a button on the website for signing up to receive the newsletter
  • Will add a link for Paypal donations
  • Will add a link to the Political task force website's letter template
  • Stacy needs announcements for the web page

Political Action:

  • Newsletter (general news, information, events, etc) is aimed at all of Texas
    • Will be sent out monthly; will not delay sending to wait for news
    • Will be sent out on the 28th or 29th of September
    • Any events, information, national or local news should be emailed to Tam
    • Will include an email address (from Maggie) for Paypal donations
    • Will be sent with addresses in the BCC field
    • Will add an address for unsubscribing at the end of the newsletter emails
  • Political news is sent to the Texas members list
  • 468 letters in support of the Moon-Mars Initiative were written at the letter-writing table at the convention
  • Possibly create a flyer with the URL for the letter generator
  • Thanks to Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison: the Senate approved $16.38 billion for NASA ($200 million more than NASA asked for)
    • The House of Representatives wants to trim $1 billion
    • $200 million is earmarked for the ISS
  • If MSOH produces a PSA (Public Service Announcement), it should be apolitical.
    • For radio: information on the benefits of space and humans in space, focus on investing in our future rather than the current initiative


  • Think about content for student-oriented brochures (under 18 and college-age), possibly in conjunction with the NASA education office
    • Would be for the "Mars Generation" chapter (a youth version of the Mars Society)
    • Could be handed out at events or useful for school science outreach
  • Many of Houston's billboards have been designated for ads by non-profit groups
    • Steve will find out the price from ClearChannel, the owner of many of the billboards
    • If the national organization is interested, they might be willing to fund it.
  • Ideas for a NASA grant should be sent to Marianne
    • Could build a playground or have outreach activities
    • Proposals are due in January and must be education-related
    • Could build an exhibit that could travel to area schools
      • Activities could include RC rovers on a sample Mars base

Upcoming Events:

  • November: MER panel lecture
  • December: Mars Christmas party
  • February 17: Mars Society of Houston banquet
  • March: LPI Conference chili judging
  • April: Lecture by Dr. Steve Clifford from LPI
  • May: Meeting/social event with NSS, AIAA, Planetary Society
  • June: Beach party
  • August: Mars Society convention

Action Items:

  • Carl will fill in any missing info on the thank you letter template
  • Tam will email Maggie to ask for the email address for Paypal donations
  • Stacy will add a button to the webpage to allow people to sign up for the newsletter
  • Patt will get the newest membership list from Maggie and forward it to Steve
  • Steve will bring the membership list to each meeting
  • Tam will give Stacy the contact information for the New Mexico chapter (they use Google ads)
  • Stacy will add a Paypal link to the website
  • Stacy will forward Robby Gaines' address to Tam for inclusion in the newsletter (Gaines periodically publishes an interesting, space-themed newsletter)
  • Stacy will add a link to the political support letter templates
  • Patt and/or Tam will brainstorm ideas for a PSA
    · Steve will find out the price for billboard advertising from ClearChannel
  • Patt or Tam will ask Maggie whether the national organization is interested in the billboard once Steve gets the cost information
  • Carl will come up with ideas for a traveling Mars yard with rovers and send it to Marianne

Next Meeting:

  • October 23, 6pm

Adjourned at 3:47 pm

Amiee Quon

Business Meeting
August 14, 2004

The officers of the Mars Society of Houston met at The Outpost, Clear Lake, Texas.

The meeting was convened at 2:30 pm.


Carl Carlsson
Stacy Clifford
Patt Czarnik
Tam Czarnik
Marianne Dyson
Amiee Quon


  • Working on contact with the volunteer CPA, don’t want to commit to 501(c)3 without advice
  • P.O. Box rental fee is due in August

Vice President: (open)


  • There are no tax implications or obligations for the DBA and no renewal is needed.
  • Compass Bank (free) checking account currently has almost $300.
  • Selling or reselling items requires the vendor to pay sales tax at the location of the sale. (8.25% in Houston, 7.25% in Texas outside of Houston, none for out-of-state internet orders)
  • If the vendor is a distributor for a non-profit organization, there is no tax. (If items are sold to a school for school use, no tax.)
  • 501(c)3 is usually retroactive, so if it has not been filed by year end, will file sales tax


  • Think about Thank You note/letter templates for speakers, etc


  • Steve is currently on crew for MDRS (Mars Desert Research Station)
  • Should offer members the opportunity to join Robby Gaines’ list (cool space stories)


  • Stacy renewed domain name for $10.
  • Web company hosts Ch55 site. Can find out what the requirements would be to use Ch55 studios to film a PSA.

Political Action:

  • 15 August 2004 is the deadline for the chapter challenge
    • The California three-way challenge groups have been very active
    • Our challenge with Illinois has been less vigorous
    • At conference ceremony, will only mention points accrued by winner.
    • Will ask for volunteers to do next year’s scoring and suggest improvements to the scoring system.
      • Possibly offer prizes (besides bragging rights) like rebates to chapters or sending a high-profile speaker.
    • Challenge was successful in encouraging outreach.
  • The Moon Mars blitz went well: 76 people visited over 200 congressional offices.
    • Budget appropriations for NASA are grouped with HUD (Housing and Urban Development), VA (Veteran’s Affairs) and independent agencies.
    • NASA lacks the grassroots lobbying support of both HUD and VA.
      • Tom Delay called in a favor with Bush to veto the budget if it includes a $1 billion space budget cut.
  • Texas state senate passed a resolution in support of the space Vision, joining eight other states in doing so.
  • The new space budget cut ISS money, but kept Shuttle and Mars.
  • McCain did introduce an authorization bill for space money, but it’s still in committee.


  • Steve Clifford from LPI (Lunar and Planetary Institute) will probably be the first speaker. He’s a Mars water consultant on the Spirit and Opportunity rovers.
  • A partnership with NSS (National Space Society) could be helpful because the local chapter lacks people but is well-funded.
    • Before proposing, must first decide how to resolve disputes in mission or priorities.
  • Could have a breakfast event at the Gilruth Center to view Burt Rutan’s first flight for the X-Prize competition. Flight scheduled for Wednesday, September 29.
  • Would like to recruit CEOWG (Community Education Outreach Working Group) chair Gary Kitmacher for help with events.
    • Useful partnership because CEOWG’s priority is ISS (International Space Station) outreach, followed by space Vision support, which we can help with.
    • NASA put out an RFI (Request for Info) for educational project proposals to build public support for the space Vision.
      • Winning proposals would get money plus NASA web services.
      • An example of a previous project if TSGC’s (Texas Space Grant Consortium) NASA Means Business Student Competition.
  • Bay Area Economic Development has a cable show (1 hr/wk), sometimes has aerospace info.
    • We could provide content, ideas for the show.
  • Think about partnership with businesses: possibly Scott Bleisath of Rocket Town (order t-shirts/polos through him, he stocks a few extra, we get a few percent from those sales) or Ignite Foundation’s catalog (space-related fundraising for non-profits).
    • Locally or nationally approach Scholastic about purchasing 200-300 copies of Marianne’s Mars book, then resell independently.
      • Through Scholastic’s book club, ($4.95 for first book, $13 thereafter)
  • NASA Alumni League is looking for 10 schools/year to sponsor for a Challenger Center Mission.
  • A NASA Alumni League partnership would be advantageous because they can get high-profile speakers. We could partner or facilitate their mentoring program (possibly with Rice or other universities). Setting up a display table at one of their events would be good publicity.
  • We should have a newsletter for the website every month.

Upcoming Events:

  • September 29: Breakfast viewing of SpaceShipOne’s first flight in the quest for the X-Prize, Gilruth Center, Johnson Space Center.

Action Items:

  • Carl will ask the mailing list if anyone is willing to help with Treasurer duties and financial forms.
  • Marianne will send Stacy the hyperlink to the NASA site listing state resolutions in support of the Vision.
  • Stacy will post a request for members to send thank-you notes to state senators for supporting the Vision-support resolution.
  • Patt will add thank-you notes to the letter-writing table at the Mars Society conference.
  • Marianne will forward the RFI info to Patt.
  • Patt will bring up the RFI at the Mars Society steering committee meeting next week.
  • Bebe will give Marianne the contact info for the Gilruth Center for planning the Sept 29 breakfast event.
  • Steve will work on format for email to general membership.
  • Tam will send a sample of a monthly newsletter to Carl.

Next Meeting:

September 25th

Adjourned at 4:00 pm

Amiee Quon

Business Meeting
March 13, 2004

The officers of the Mars Society of Houston met at The Outpost, Clear Lake, Texas.

The meeting was convened at 3:08 pm.


Carl Carlsson
Stacy Clifford
Patt Czarnik
Tam Czarnik
Marianne Dyson
Steve Jordan
Amiee Quon


  • Accepted December's meeting minutes
  • MSOH now has a checking account; account was started with $250
  • A CPA volunteered to help with 501(c)3
  • In January, paid six months rent on the P.O. Box shared with NSS
  • Everyone should give any MSOH event receipts to Carl
  • Carl will have Bebe get permission to use part of corporate donations for miscellaneous reimbursements
  • Boeing will not continue to sponsor the Popcorn Series lectures
  • Carl was interviewed by ABC-13 in January and by Channel 24 (Cable) News in March at the Mars Settlement Design Competition
  • The Space Initiative is acceptable because it's politically realistic.
  • Carl, Marianne, and Bebe introduced resolutions in support of Bush's Space Initiative at Tuesday's elections

Vice President: (open)


  • The checking account is free; MSOH must pay for checks (currently using Smithsonian Space checks)
  • 501(c)3 is on hold until the CPA is free after tax season
    • Will ask if CPA is willing to manage the books or set up an accounting system and/or check the books once a year


  • Think about Thank You note/letter templates for speakers, etc


  • Added one new member at the Solar Refrigerator lecture at Rice University
  • Possibly create a quarterly newsletter to members from the MSOH President
    • Carl will think about ideas for the newsletter
  • Need two mailing lists: one for members, one for non-members who want information
  • Steve will bring the latest lists to each meeting for comparison


  • Posted info on the UHCL lecture on early results from the Mars rovers (lecture unaffiliated with MSOH)
  • Location changed for next couple of lectures: next one is at the Gilruth, JSC, April 15

Political Action:

  • Members need to get in touch with their representatives (like Kay Bailey Hutchison) because the space initiative budget needs to be approved
    • Members can get a list of nine talking points in support of the space initiative
  • The Mars Society has people helping to write candidate Kerry's space policy
  • Members should volunteer to be political convention delegates (need to have voted in the primaries to be eligible)
  • Zubrin's request for member/chapter support for fixing Hubble was not forwarded because it is not the official position of the Mars Society

Events Coordinator:

  • Next lecture: Solar Refrigerators by Mike Ewert at JSC
  • Patt will do a display table for the LPI Conference at South Shore Harbor
  • Carl, and Steve are willing to talk with Tom Delay, the new representative for the JSC area (Delay replaces Nick Lampson)

Old Business:

  • Midwest vs. Wild West Challenge
    • MSOH is currently far ahead of Illinois
    • Other people are not reporting their points as they accumulate
    • Should propose new rule for next year: points must be reported as they are earned
    • The political district convention will be March 27 at UH's Hoffheinz Pavilion. Tam will check if precinct resolutions count for points.
  • James Cameron will be at the Mars Society convention this August
  • Note: the new head of the Russian space agency is from the military; he replaces a civilian

Upcoming Events:

  • April 15: Solar Refrigerators by Mike Ewert, Gilruth Center, JSC

Action Items:

  • Bebe will get permission to use part of corporate donations for miscellaneous reimbursements
  • Carl will contact CPA about 501(c)3 forms after tax season
  • Amiee will create a Thank You note template
  • Carl will think about ideas for the quarterly newsletter
  • Steve will bring the latest mailing lists to each meeting
  • Patt will do a display table at the LPI conference
  • Tam will check if precinct resolutions count for the challenge

Next Meeting:

To be rescheduled in May

Adjourned at 4:43 pm

Amiee Quon

Business Meeting
December 20, 2003

The officers of the Mars Society of Houston met at The Outpost, Clear Lake, Texas.

The meeting was convened at 2:23 pm.


Carl Carlsson
Stacy Clifford
Patt Czarnik
Amiee Quon

New Business:

  • Minutes tabled
  • All members should sign up for the national Mars Society email newsletter
  • The political officer urges all members to write letters to and/or visit their Congressional representatives
  • The website has an online report form for political activity.
  • Tam is putting together an email for all Texas Mars Society members urging them to contact their representatives in support of a Mars effort.
  • Email will include the names of Congresspersons who have already been contacted.
  • Carl will ask Bebe for details about the Houston Museum of Natural Science's Mars Landing event
  • Patt is willing to follow up with HMNS
  • Patt will check if the Lunar and Planetary Institute will charge a non-profit to exhibit at its conference
  • If Carl gets a contact person for the Astrodome remodeling project, he will pass on the information to Patt

Upcoming Events:

  • January 17, 2004: Houston Museum of Natural Science's Mars Landing event
  • February 2004: Mike Ewert's Solar Refrigerator lecture at JSC
  • March 2004: Lunar and Planetary Institute Conference
  • April 2004: Mike Ewert's Solar Refrigerator lecture at Rice
  • May 2004: Gretchen Thomas' INTEGRITY project lecture at Rice

Adjourned at 3:23 pm

Amiee Quon


Business Meeting
October 25, 2003

The officers of the Mars Society of Houston met at Mission Burritos, Houston, Texas.

The meeting was convened at 3:11 pm.


Carl Carlsson
Stacy Clifford
Tam Czarnik
Steve Jordan
Amiee Quon

Officer Reports:

  • President: Carl Carlsson
  • Welcome letter to membership/soliciting involvement
    • No new responses
  • Upgraded display
    • Has picture frames for a new, more durable convention display
    • Is taking ideas on how to make the display
  • Vice President: open
  • Treasurer: Marianne Dyson, assistant
  • 501(c)(3)
    • no further progress
  • checking account
    • no further progress
  • Lockheed Martin invoice for August event (Carl to pursue)
    • Carl created a draft invoice that asks for a check payable to the Mars Society of Houston, care of the national Mars Society
  • Secretary: Amiee Quon
  • no issues
  • Membership: Steve Jordan
  • Seven new members as a result of the Chang-Diaz and AIAA talks
  • There were two email bounce-backs from the new list
  • Ideally, members will receive ~2 emails per month
  • Webmaster: Stacy Clifford
  • The banquet sign-up link is now online
  • In the future, most submissions for the website should be in .pdf format.
  • Political Action: Tam Czarnik
  • Dr. Robert Zubrin is testifying before Congress next week. MSOH members should contact Kay Bailey Hutchison's office in support of the legislation. Contact information is available on the website.
  • In recent testimony to the House Science Committee, three of five scientists supported a trip to Mars. MSOH members should contact members of the House Science Committee in support of the legislation. Contact information is available on the website.
  • Carl is still trying to get an appointment with Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee.
  • Events Coordinator: Bebe Kelly-Serrato
  • The banquet has been planned.
  • The MSOH officers decided to offer the MSOH discount to AIAA members for the banquet.

Old Business:

  • Rep. Lampson's Space Exploration Legislation (re-introduced)
  • MSOH members should use the web site's link to sign the petition in support of Rep. Lampson's legislation.
  • Midwest vs. Wild West Challenge
  • Illinois currently has 0 points, Houston has 25.

New Business:

  • Idea for class:
  • Create a class where students study currently available data on space radiation, microgravity, and propulsion. From the data and forum-type discussions with NASA scientists, students will report on the feasibility of long-duration spaceflight and ways to mitigate risks.
  • The most recent AIAA speaker expressed interest in repeating his presentation at Rice.

Upcoming Events:

  • November 6, 2003: Banquet at Bay Oaks Country Club
  • December 20, 2003: Christmas Party at Dick Edwards' and Anita Gale's house
  • February 2004: Mike Ewert's Solar Refrigerator lecture at JSC
  • March 2004: Lunar and Planetary Institute Conference
  • April 2004: Mike Ewert's Solar Refrigerator lecture at Rice
  • May 2004: Gretchen Thomas' INTEGRITY project lecture at Rice

Propose date/time/location for next meeting:

  • November 22, 2003 at 3 pm at The Outpost

Action Items:

  • Steve will send bounced-back emails to Tam
  • Any officer renewing a Mars Society membership will inform Tam (for Challenge points)
  • Someone will convert the Bonnie Dunbar's profile from .ppt to .pdf for Stacy.
  • Stacy will work on converting the .pdf schedule to .html.
  • Tam will send the political action summaries to Stacy and Amiee
  • Carl will send Amiee a summary of his ideas for a "space research" class

Adjourned at 4:20 pm

Amiee Quon

Business Meeting
September 27, 2003

The officers of the Mars Society of Houston met at The Outpost, Clear Lake, Texas.

The meeting was convened at 3:12 pm.


Carl Carlsson
Stacy Clifford
Patt Czarnik
Tam Czarnik
Marianne Dyson
Jon Eckberg
Rick Giusbi
Jennifer Glidewell
Karen Mauer
Kathleen Poe
Amiee Quon
Marty Smith

Officer Reports:

  • President: Carl Carlsson
    • Had a "letter to the editor" published a few weeks back
    • Carl gave Stacy a "How to Get Involved" page for the web site
    • Carl is currently working on an Op Ed piece
    • Carl got some (free) castoff picture frames from his company that could be made into a nice tradeshow display
  • Vice President: vacant
  • Since the bylaws call for hand-over in December, the VP position will remain vacant until then.
  • Treasurer: Marty Smith
    • Marty is relocating to Denver; Marianne will continue to serve as assistant Treasurer
    • The chapter can be covered as a non-profit under the umbrella of the national organization, according to the IRS
    • However, still need to get an employee tax ID
    • If donations for the chapter are sent to the national organization (currently necessary due to lack of non-profit status), the national Mars Society will keep 10% and forward the rest.
    • Lockheed Martin needs an invoice for their $250 pledge
    • Marianne confirmed that MSOH mail will be delivered to the P.O. Box
    • Marty gave Marianne the employee tax ID forms
    • The forms require an exemption number
    • If the national Society files forms to extend non-profit coverage to the Chapter, use the national number. Otherwise, get and use the Chapter number (getting the number requires a $150 filing fee).
  • Secretary: Amiee Quon
    • How has/will the Chang-Diaz talk at Rice been/be publicized?
    • Rice's fall break is October 13-14, the Monday and Tuesday before the Thursday lecture
    • Rice's faculty newspaper is published every Thursday. Calendar items must be submitted by noon on the Wednesday before publication.
    • Rice's student newspaper is published every Friday. Calendar items must be submitted by 5 pm on the Monday before publication.
    • If necessary, Marianne is willing to write and send the calendar blurbs to the Rice newspapers.
  • Membership: Steve Jordan - absent
  • Webmaster: Stacy Clifford
    • Will post Carl's "How to Get Involved" page this weekend
  • Political Action: Tam Czarnak
    • We have recently met with staffers for Kay Bailey Hutchison, John Cornyn, and Nick Lampson; all appeared very interested in the Mars Society's efforts. Follow-up visit are planned.
    • The Austin chapter has yet to meet with their representatives
    • Ohio reneged on the Chapter Challenge
    • Illinois has stepped in; all 21 points from the Ohio challenge are now void.
    • Houston is currently four points ahead in the Midwest vs. Wild West challenge
    • The three California chapters have challenged each other; all are ahead of Houston
    • The chapter is currently working on setting appointments with Sheila Jackson Lee, Chris Bell, and others.
    • Next year's national Mars Society convention will be in Chicago at the Park Lane Hotel
    • makes free business cards. The catch: the VistaPrint logo is on the back of each card and we cannot have our logo printed for free.
  • Events Coordinator: vacant
    • Bebe will remain in charge of events, though we are looking for assistants who may eventually be able to take over her duties
    • The banquet has been planned
    • The chapter membership list will be finalized so invitations can be sent out

Old Business:

  • Rep. Lampson's Space Exploration Legislation (reintroduced)
  • See Political Action report
  • Fall Banquet
  • See Events Coordinator report
  • Ohio Rivalry
  • See Political Action report
  • Bank Account/501(c)(3)
  • See Treasurer report
  • Business Cards
  • See Political Action report

Upcoming Events:

  • September 30, 2003: NASA Alumni League Dinner. David Criswell, retired UH professor, talks about power in space.
  • October 16, 2003: Franklin Chang-Diaz's VASIMR presentation at McMurtry Auditorium, Duncan Hall, Rice University
  • November 6, 2003: Banquet at Bay Oaks Country Club
  • November 2003: Don Henninger's INTEGRITY project lecture at JSC
  • TBD: Christmas Party at Dick Edwards' and Anita Gale's house
  • February 2004: Mike Ewert's Solar Refrigerator lecture at JSC
  • March 2004: Lunar and Planetary Institute Conference
  • April 2004: Mike Ewert's Solar Refrigerator lecture at Rice
  • May 2004: Don Henninger's INTEGRITY project lecture at Rice

Propose date/time/location for next meeting:

  • October 25, 2003 at 3 pm at The Outpost

Action Items:

  • Marianne will ask the National Space Society about setting up umbrella non-profit coverage, then pass the information on to Carl
  • Carl will talk to Maggie Zubrin about having the national organization set up non-profit coverage for the chapter on IRS form 1023
  • Carl will put together an invoice for Lockheed Martin's $250 pledge
  • Carl will notify the national Mars Society that the $250 from Lockheed Martin is to cover expenses (so 100% will be forwarded)
  • Patt and Tam will look over the membership list and correlate members with representatives
  • Carl will send Patt the comments on Rep. Lampson's legislation
  • Carl will investigate free business cards from
  • Carl will ask Stacy to replace his company email address with his MSOH email address on the web site

Ongoing Action Items:

  • Everyone will inform Stacy when parts of the web site need to be updated
  • Tam will track progress on the Illinois challenge.
  • Steve will keep the meeting sign-in book (to be used for the book raffle)
  • Carl will print out the Action Item list (provided by Amiee) for each meeting
  • Everyone will give all Mars Society-related receipts to Marianne.
  • The chapter will compile a teacher list and offer $250 to each teacher (up to $5000 total) for students to go on a mission at the Challenger Center. (money from the NASA Alumni League)

Adjourned at 3:55 pm

Amiee Quon (edited by Carl Carlsson)

Business Meeting
August 23, 2003

The officers of the Mars Society of Houston met at The Outpost, Clear Lake, Texas.

The meeting was convened at 3:20 pm.


Carl Carlsson
Stacy Clifford
Marianne Dyson
Steve Jordan
Bebe Kelly-Serrato
Amiee Quon
Marty Smith

Old Business:

  • Status of email list / format for distributions-in progress
  • Public Service Announcement-tabled
  • Will eventually ask for volunteers to form a committee
  • Fall Banquet
  • November 6 (new date) @ Bay Oaks Country Club
  • Status of Ohio Rivalry Proposal
  • Ohio has accepted the Houston challenge
  • Challenge period started on August 13, the first day of the 2003 Mars Society National Convention. The challenge will end on the first day of the 2004 convention.
  • See attached challenge guidelines.
  • Managing Action Items
  • The Action Item list will be brought to each meeting.
  • Completed Items will be signed off by the designated actionee.
  • Bylaws-passed at the last meeting
  • 501(c)(3)
  • Bebe will try to get a $150 donation to cover the 501(c)(3) filing fee.
  • The shared P.O. Box address is P.O. Box 890588, Houston, Texas 77289-0588.
  • Bank accounts
  • Carl, Marty, Marianne, and Bebe signed the DBA forms [NOTE: still pending as these signatures must be notarized]
  • The DBA will allow the chapter to open bank accounts under the organization name.
  • Any checks will need to be paid to the order of "Mars Society of Houston". (This is the organization name listed on the DBA.)
  • The accounts will be two-signature accounts.
  • Required opening deposits: $25 for savings, $25 for checking.

New Business:

  • Conference Report/Summary-plenary sessions, papers, main issues
  • See attached conference notes
  • Political push to preserve heavy-lift launch capability
  • National Mars Society President Robert Zubrin wants to preserve heavy-lift launch capability.
  • Discussed importance of capability preservation
  • Chapter membership prize-books for giveaway
  • Won the national new-membership prize for 29 new members (17 at the Chang-Diaz VASIMR presentation, 12 from John Connolly's presentations)
  • Won a case of Zubrin-autographed The Case for Mars books.
  • Decided to raffle one book at each presentation based on the sign-in list.
  • Welcome to new members / Chapter update e-newsletter
  • Carl will write a welcome email for new members
  • New web page for members ("How can I get involved?")
  • Carl will put together a "How to get involved" page for the web site
  • Carl will write a short "Message from the President" for the web site
  • Radio Free Mars
  • The chapter received an offer to take over the Radio Free Mars web site. (The owners either want to sell it or donate it.)
  • The web site will be added to the list of possible projects.
  • Business Cards
  • Bebe will bring a sample business card to the next meeting.
  • Mars Music CDs from Prometheus Music
  • The CDs are almost finished-they lack a quote from Robert Zubrin.
  • CDs could possibly be sold in gift shops at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Space Center Houston, and The Space Store, as well as online.
  • Space book library
  • Marianne has 40 space books that could be loaned to teachers as two class sets.

Upcoming Events:

  • August 27, 2003: Mars Approach Party at the Lunar and Planetary Institute (3600 Bay Area Blvd, on the corner of Middlebrook Dr.)- 8-10 pm.
  • September 30, 2003: NASA Alumni League Dinner. David Criswell, retired UH professor, talks about power in space.
  • October 16, 2003: Franklin Chang-Diaz's VASIMR presentation at McMurtry Auditorium, Duncan Hall, Rice University
  • November 6, 2003: Banquet at Bay Oaks Country Club
  • November 2003: Don Henninger's INTEGRITY project lecture at JSC
  • TBD: Christmas Party at Dick Edwards' and Anita Gale's house
  • February 2004: Mike Ewert's Solar Refrigerator lecture at JSC
  • March 2004: Lunar and Planetary Institute Conference
  • April 2004: Mike Ewert's Solar Refrigerator lecture at Rice
  • May 2004: Don Henninger's INTEGRITY project lecture at Rice

Propose date/time/location for next meeting:

  • September 27, 2003 at 3 pm at The Outpost

Action Items:

  • Carl will get Steve a new copy of the email list
  • Steve will bring the current email list to each meeting
  • Bebe will try to get a $150 donation to cover the 501(c)(3) filing fee.
  • Carl will write a welcome email for new members.
  • Carl will put together a "How to get involved" page for the web site
  • Carl will write a short "Message from the President" for the web site
  • Marianne and Bebe will work out how to lend class-sets of Marianne's book to teachers.
  • Bebe will bring a sample business card to the next meeting.
  • Marianne will make sure the USPS will deliver mail addressed to "Mars Society of Houston" to the P.O. Box.
  • Bebe will contact Maggie Zubrin to get a Robert Zubrin quote for the Mars Music CD.

Ongoing Action Items:

  • Tam will track progress on the Ohio challenge.
  • Steve will keep the meeting sign-in book (to be used for the book raffle)
  • Carl will print out the Action Item list (provided by Amiee) for each meeting
  • Everyone will get all Mars Society-related receipts to Marty.
  • The chapter will compile a teacher list and offer $250 to each teacher (up to $5000 total) for students to go on a mission at the Challenger Center. (money from the NASA Alumni League)

Adjourned at 4:50 pm

Amiee Quon (edited by Carl Carlsson)

"Chapter Challenge" Scoring System

[copied from Mars Society web site 09-09-03]

Welcome to the Mars Society's 2003-4 Chapter Challenge; congratulations on challenging an opponent, or accepting their challenge!
Please report any scorable activity to me at least once a month; cumulative scores will be displayed on a webpage linked to the Mars Society website, so you can keep an eye on the competition! Current scores are here.
Here's the list of scorable activities:

1. Public Outreach

  • 1 point for every display table or presentation about the Mars Society, its projects and/or research.
  • 1 point for every ten contacts made (name & email address recorded & relayed to Headquarters)
  • 2 points for every member interviewed on radio/television/newspaper concerning Mars exploration ('Mars Society', "Robert Zubrin" and/or "The Case for Mars" to be mentioned at least twice)

2. Political Activism (Meetings with Elected Representatives)

  • 4 points for every staffer met with
  • 5 points for meeting with actual Representative

3. Scientific Research ('Mars Society' to be mentioned in the title)

  • 2 points for every article published in a non-peer-reviewed periodical describing past or present research in the Mars Society.
  • 3 points for articles published in peer-reviewed journals

4. Support to the Mars Society

  • 1 point for every $100 of cash contribution collected
  • 1 point for every $200 of in-kind contribution collected
  • 1 point for every evening spent on Mission Support

5. Membership

  • 1 points for every member renewed
  • 2 points for every new member joined.

Efforts will be regarded as cumulative, so that (for instance) 5 $20 contributions or 2 informational tables generating 10 contacts each would each be worth 1 point.

Good Luck to all competing Chapters!

6th Annual Mars Society Convention
August 14-17, 2003
Eugene Oregon

The convention took place over 4 days in the Eugene Hilton. It was nice to have all the sessions in one location. I attended the 4th annual convention at Stanford University two years ago. While the campus was beautiful, it was a chore to have to walk across campus to try to attend various sessions.

Each day had plenary sessions in the large meeting room until lunch. In the afternoons, four separate tracks were held in smaller venues, with each track composed of half-hour presentations. The tracks included papers on topics including Education/Outreach, Technology, Mars Analog Studies, Philosophical Implications, Geology/Biology and Funding Alternatives.

I've provided a summary of the plenary sessions below:

Dr. Robert Zubrin, MS President- The Crisis Facing NASA in the Wake of the Columbia Report
Dr. William Clancy - NASA's Intelligent Systems Research at MDRS
Greg Bear, Sci-Fi author - "Biosphere 21.5": The Microorganisms We Depend On and How They Might turn on Us

Dr. Albert Haldemann - The Science of Spirit and Opportunity
Dr. John Grunsfeld - A Visit to Hubble with Astronaut John Grunsfeld

Dr. Chris Mckay - Making Human Exploration of Mars Biologically Reversible
Elon Musk - The Falcon Launch Vehicle: A Starting Point for Revolutionizing Access to Space
Dr. William Hartmann - A Traveler's Guide to Mars

Tom Hill - The Kepler Prize: Earth Return Vehicle Design Competition
Carol Stoker - Drilling for Life on Mars, the MARTE Analog Experiment
Mars Society Political Task Force - Political Action Strategy for the Mars Society

All of the papers delivered will eventually be available on line via the Mars Society web site. Stay tuned.

This was my second convention, and I can tell you that they are a lot of fun and very rewarding. If you get a chance to attend one, I recommend it highly.

Carl Carlsson

Business Meeting
July 31, 2003

The officers of the Mars Society of Houston met at the Gilruth Center at NASA JSC.

The meeting was convened at 6:45 pm.


Carl Carlsson
Stacy Clifford
Patt Czarnick
Marianne Dyson
Steve Jordan
Bebe Kelly-Serrato
Carl Korkel
Kathleen Poe
Amiee Quon
Marty Smith

Old Business:

  • Open Positions – Secretary, Treasurer.
    • Amiee nominated self for Secretary. Elected with a unanimous vote.
    • Steve nominated Marty for Treasurer. Marty accepted; elected with a unanimous vote.
    • Suggested positions for the future include Educational Outreach and Political Action Coordinators.
  • Web Hosting – officers can now get email Contact Stacy Clifford for access.
  • Status of email list / format for distributions
    • Starting now, mass-emails should be in one format (to be set up and distributed by Steve Jordan).
      • All addresses should be in the BCC field to protect privacy.
      • There should be an option to unsubscribe by sending an email to a certain address.
    • Two distribution lists will be generated: one for officers, one for the general membership.
  • Public Service Announcement
    • Should be designed as a national PSA so local chapters only need to tweak the end to mention the chapter.
    • Should be about 30 seconds
    • Get the JSC Public Affairs Office (PAO) to help with suggestions
    • Creation of PSA ad hoc committee considered, but declined for now.
  • Fall Banquet
    • September 25 at Bay Oaks Country Club.
    • Members are $20, non-members are $25, students are $15.
    • Astronaut Bonnie Dunbar will be the keynote speaker.
    • Bebe will start publicizing it in mid-August.
  • Schedule for upcoming general meetings
    • Franklin Chang-Diaz’s presentation at Rice has been approved. It’ll be on October 16 and strictly on the VASIMR engine.
    • Bebe has asked to have either Don Henninger or Gretchen Thomas give a talk on the INTEGRITY project at JSC in November and at Rice in May. (INTEGRITY will be an integrated test facility that will run simulated surface-landing missions.)
    • Mike Ewert will talk about his solar refrigerator (for which he got a patent) at JSC in February and at Rice in April.
    • The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) conference is in March, so there won’t be a Popcorn Series lecture that month
  • Add to list of potential projects/meeting topics for general membership meetings
    • Could make the shell of the Canadian Pressurized Rover into a traveling exhibit and drive it to museums around the country—call it the Marsmobile
      • Could put it in a parade, i.e. the Rodeo Parade
  • Status of Ohio Rivalry Proposal
    • Is a go—Carl Carlsson suggested getting a “10-gallon” cowboy hat and throwing down a Texas challenge to the Ohio delegation at the national convention
      • The challenge would last one year and could be on new membership, (good) media exposure, etc.
  • Managing Action Items
    • Bebe has a spreadsheet that could be used to manage open, in progress, and closed action items.

New Business:

  • Bylaws
    • Marianne put together a bylaws document for the chapter. This is required to apply for 501(c)(3) non-profit status.
    • Bebe suggested April for officer elections. Marianne is in favor of a calendar year or school year election schedule because that’s how most people operate, plus there will be more lectures and events during the school year.
    • Tentatively decide to have elected officers immediately take office, eliminating “lame duck” officers
    • Tentatively decide to have officer elections in November or December.
    • Vote to accept the bylaws as-is and amend them later as necessary: Motion by Carl Carlsson, seconded by Bebe, passed unanimously.
  • 501(c)(3)
    • The national Mars Society is a non-profit organization, but they can’t extend the non-profit status to local chapters.
    • Marianne suggested also applying for the “H option” of 501(c)(3) which will allow the chapter to spend up to 4% of its funds on political activities
    • The chapter needs an address before it can apply for non-profit status. Marianne suggested sharing a PO box with the local National Space Society (NSS) chapter
      • Cost is $120/year, each organization would pay $60/year.
      • It’s at the 77062 post office on El Camino Blvd at the Pineloch intersection.
  • Bank Accounts
    • The chapter needs a checking account to pay for the banquet.
      • The credit union will allow businesses to open accounts if someone signs a DBA, which effectively opens an account in one person’s name.
      • Until the chapter is granted non-profit status, any bank accounts will be taxed.
    • Bebe requested reimbursement of $160 of personal money she spent on last year’s banquet; this should be brought up again when we actually have some money.
  • Miscellaneous
    • Patt asks for volunteers to copy handouts
      • Carl Carlsson will copy handouts for the next meeting.

Upcoming Events:

  • August 7, 2003: John Connolly’s “How Good Mars Science Became a Bad Mars Movie” presentation at the Gilruth Center for aerospace industry co-ops and Mars Society members
  • August 22-24, 2003: Ballunar Liftoff at NASA JSC
  • August 23, 2003: Mission to Mars at HMNS (Houston Museum of Natural Science)—tickets are sold-out for the Challenger Mission
  • August 27, 2003: Mars Approach Party at the Lunar and Planetary Institute (3600 Bay Area Blvd, on the corner of Middlebrook Dr.)—7 pm ‘til ?
  • September 25, 2003: Banquet at Bay Oaks Country Club
  • October 16, 2003: Franklin Chang-Diaz’s VASIMR presentation at McMurtry Auditorium, Duncan Hall, Rice University
  • October 18-19, 2003: Wings Over Houston Airshow—booths are sold-out for this year. Can think about getting a booth next year, but will cost lots of money.
  • November 2003: INTEGRITY project lecture at JSC
  • TBD: Christmas Party at Dick Edwards’ and Anita Gale’s house
  • February 2004: Mike Ewert’s Solar Refrigerator lecture at JSC
  • March 2004: Lunar and Planetary Institute Conference
  • April 2004: Mike Ewert’s Solar Refrigerator lecture at Rice
  • May 2004: INTEGRITY project lecture at Rice

Propose date/time/location for next meeting:

  • August 23, 2003 at 3 pm at The Outpost

Action Items:

  • Stacy will check out email archiving capabilities
  • Bebe will put up a contact address for more info on the August 27th Star Party
  • Bebe has until August 6th to get contractors in line for the Star Party—already has three
  • Stacy will provide website info and password to Amiee for backup
  • Steve will set up an example of the new mass-email format and send it to Carl Carlsson
  • Carl will notify Patt of mass-email bounce-backs so Patt can update the master database
  • Carl will also resend the email list to Patt
  • Bebe will post tentative lecture dates on the website
  • Carl Carlsson will send potential project and meeting topics to Stacy to be put on the website; including the recent “Marsmobile” suggestion
  • Amiee will get the action item sorting spreadsheet from Bebe.
  • Marianne will email the PO Box address to Bebe.
  • Marty will look into the 501(c)(3) “H option”
  • Steve will get everyone’s email address
  • Carl will forward partially completed 501(c)(3) applications to Marty if we decide to pursue that registration

Adjourned at 7:45 pm

Amiee Quon (edited by Carl Carlsson)

Officers' Meeting
June 28, 2003

Time: 1:00 pm

Location: The Outpost

Call to Order

Roll Call

Accept/Modify minutes from April, 2003 meeting

Old Business

  • Rep. Lampson's Space Exploration Legislation
  • Web Hosting
  • Public Service Announcement
  • Fall Banquet
  • Format for email distributions to general membership
  • Add to list of potential projects/meeting topics for general membership meetings

New Business

  • May general membership meeting follow-up
  • Review of survey results
  • Draft tentative schedule for officers and general meetings through end of year.
  • Discuss Tam Czarnick's suggestion for Ohio rivalry

Upcoming Events

  • TBD

Propose date/time/location for next meeting

Review and Commit to Action Items


Officers’ Meeting
April 26, 2003

The officers of the Mars Society of Houston met at The Outpost in Clear Lake, TX.

The meeting was convened at 1:30 pm.


Carl Carlsson
Stacy Clifford
Marianne Dyson
Bebe Kelly-Serrato
Tom James (Louisiana Chapter)

Old Business:

  • Rep. Lampson’s Space Exploration Legislation – Carl Carlsson reviewed an email update on recent Mars Society and NSS visits to Congress. The update is included as an attachment to these minutes.
  • Web Hosting – Stacy confirmed that the domain is up and running. Check it out. Stacy will contact the MS Webmaster to have this new url linked form the MS web site. For now we will maintain content on both servers, but may decide to just maintain one after a few months have passed. MSOH officers can provide Stacy with a request to have MSOH email forwarded to their personal inbox; if you want this, provide him with your preferred username, password, and forwarding address.
  • Public Service Announcement – The CD provided by Steve Jordan had some good examples. Some suggested approaches might include: “serious” (patriotic or logical; condense one-minute Congressional speech by Congressman Cooksey, or “Do you wonder why we achieved so much in the 1960’s but have been going around in circles ever since…?”), or funny (“The future is a big rip!”; “If you want to communicate with little green men and wear tinfoil hats, we are not the group for you”; or playing off a conversation between kids). Before we put a lot of effort into this, it was agreed that we need confirmation that, as a non-profit organization, our ad will qualify as a PSA and that we can expect radio stations to actually play it.
  • Fall Banquet – Tabled for now. This may end up being a general membership meeting; we have a date reserved for the Gilruth Center in September. It was suggested that a great topic may be a presentation by local MS members who have spent time at the MDRS. Those individuals include Jonathan Dory, Jennifer Knowles, Steve Jordan, Don Baker, and at least one other individual whose name I don’t have.
  • MSOH Officer MS Dues – We continue to encourage our officers to maintain their membership in the Mars Society as well.

New Business:

  • Format for email distributions to general membership - Carl will ask Steve to set up an email address book listing for local Mars Society members. This is necessary to efficiently forward items which the Mars Society is forwarding for distribution. There also needs to be a standard template indicating why the individual is receiving this email, and who to contact to be removed from the list. The distribution list should not be visible to those receiving it, for privacy purposes.
  • May general membership meeting details – We settled on Thursday, May 29 at 7 pm as our target. BeBe will try to get a suitable room at Rice University. Marsaff’s is another option.
  • Establishing a checking account – Depending upon the response at the May General Membership Meeting, BeBe will look into establishing a checking account and securing grant money.
  • Begin listing potential projects/meeting topics to initiate discussion at general membership meeting – Here is a list of those that have been suggested to date (we should keep a running list in the minutes):
    • Develop an inexpensive, portable display for events, trade shows, etc.
    • Collaborate with another chapter (Austin?) on a robotics project, perhaps a prototype for exploration of lava tubes on Mars
    • Sponsor an MDRS experiment, perhaps an astronomical observation/image processing project involving a local astronomy club
    • Sponsor a Mars-related “Space Week” event
    • Actively support the annual Mars Settlement Design Competition

Upcoming Events:

  • There will be an upcoming Rotary dinner that will include a “Space Communications Award”. Marianne will attend, and BeBe might also. It will be an opportunity to meet a few individuals with experience in “getting the message out”.

Propose date/time/location for next meeting:

  • TBD after May general membership meeting

Action Items:

  • BeBe will schedule a meeting room for the May General Membership Meeting and communicate location back to me as soon as possible.
  • BeBe will check with Maggie Zubrin for updates to political action efforts.
  • BeBe will prepare a thank you letter to Stacy’s boss (Philip O’Hara, President/Owner of Directory One) for hosting our website.
  • BeBe (with help from Marianne) will look into establishing a checking account and getting some grant money to work with (wait to see how the May meeting goes first).
  • Stacy will contact the MS Webmaster to update the link to the new website.
  • Stacy will post meeting details on the website as soon as they are confirmed.
  • Carl will develop meeting program, including assisting John Connolly as necessary with presentation "How a good science fiction movie becomes a bad mars movie".
  • Carl will forward address list for local MS members to Steve with request to set up email address book listing and template for efficient email distributions.
  • Steve will verify that our organization meets the requirements and we can expect to get a PSA played on the radio.
  • Steve will develop a list of publications, TV channels, etc. where we can advertise the meeting in their "community events" calendar. Other suggestions for getting the word out are welcomed. (Please plan to have this ready at least 2 weeks before the meeting so we have time to get the word out.)
  • Marianne will get BeBe a contact email for an NSS speaker (Elliot Pullman?) who may be able to provide guidance for us on how to successfully get our message out.
  • MOSH officers who want a “” address can forward a preferred username, password, and forwarding address to Stacy. He can set it up so that messages are forwarded to your personal address automatically.

Adjourned at 2:30 pm

Carl Carlsson


Here is a report on the NSS Congressional Outreach events last week.
-Bruce Mackenzie

Mars Society Members Conduct Joint Congressional Outreach with NSS
During the week of April 6, a group of Mars society members led by Mike Turner traveled to Washington DC to take part in a joint capitol hill outreach activity with the National Space Society (NSS). The event, which commenced with a forum on space policy organized by the NSS, continued with joint walking tours through the halls of congress by teams of NSS and Mars Society members. The citizen lobbyists from both groups carried a strong message to America's political representatives that the nation needs a space program that is going somewhere, and that the human exploration and development of space beyond low Earth orbit needs to be the goal.

Following the event, Mars Society delegation leader followed the following report:

"Our Trip to DC was VERY fruitful. We learned pretty much everything we need to know to move forward in our mission here. We have identified most of the key reps, and all of the key issues (many of which are very much Mars related). We sat in on the NASA appropriations hearing, and listened to all of the congressman who are in charge of appropriating funds for space exploration give their views on space. Across the board we heard some good support for future space exploration, including what seemed to be very strong support for PROJECT PROMETHEUS. There were even some congressman that were interested in hosting the project in their districts. And another high point we noted, Congressman Simpson gave his view that NASA lacked a clear goal, and that Mars just might be that goal."

"We came across this, and MUCH MUCH more excellent information to our cause. So now the next immediate step falls to the conference delegation. We need assess our information and set out a report that
outlines all of the key issues and reps, and gives a forward strategy for our plan of action in the future. Once we have that, we can set this endeavor into motion, most of the reports should be finished by the end of next week. Soon thereafter we plan to craft a hard policy which will include new approaches, specific funding and congressional items we support, updates to the briefing book. We then plan to sit down with Rob Zubrin (and hopefully some SC members) and discuss it with them, then finalize the agreed items. Soon thereafter we'll be
going into full swing and start going after the key men and women of congress."

"And let me say personally, that I think we truly can make ground towards our cause. Through our meetings with our elected representatives in Washington, we did get the true feeling that there are those that will be willing to support what we have to say."

Following the event, NSS Executive Director Brian Chase sent the following note of thanks to the Mars Society contingent:

"Glad you and the other Mars Society members could attend the NSS conference last week. I think it was a great opportunity to continue building a routine presence of space advocates on the Hill. I think it's critical we establish coalitions where possible, and develop a sophisticated political strategy and message that builds our
credibility yet still moves us towards our common objectives. Robert and I had a good discussion last week while I was in CO Springs and we're going to continue chatting about areas of cooperation between Mars Society and NSS. I look forward to hearing from you as your plans progress."

The Mars Society strongly believes in working jointly with other organizations interested furthering in the common goal of the exploration and settlement of Mars. We look forward to further work with the NSS urging congressional action to enable human exploration beyond low Earth orbit, and invite all other organizations who
support this objective to join the campaign.

A complete report on Mars Society political work will be presented at the 6th International Mars Society convention, to be held in Eugene Oregon, August 14-17, 2003. Conference registration is now open at
For further information about the Mars Society, visit our website at

Information about the NSS can be found at

Officers' Meeting
January 18, 2003

The officers of the Mars Society of Houston met at The Outpost in Clear Lake, TX.

The meeting was convened at 1 pm.


Carl Carlsson
Grant Davis
Stacy Clifford
Steve Jordan
Jennifer Knowles
Marianne Dyson
Bebe Serrato

Old Business:

  • Accepted Minutes from November meeting.
  • Rep. Lampson's space exploration legislation. Marianne: Committee memberships are in flux; need to wait for changes, then meet with Tom DeLay, then Lampson. Carl: LA chapter (Tom James) reviewed Lampson's bill, Carl would like to edit it to bring to Lampson. Marianne will forward it to NSS Policy Committee. NSS is coming up with a position and wants to work with the Mars Society. BeBe: NASA Exploration dept. is developing an operation blueprint for further Mars Exploration, including Nuclear Propulsion (Project Prometheus). Carl and Marianne will meet to work on editing a presentation, cc'ing to BeBe.
  • Mars Quest - Interactive Mars display in Lafayette, LA. BeBe will talk to EX, etc. to bring exhibit to Houston.
  • Trade show display. Carl proposed having a better 'standing' display for use as needed. Carl will check with a professional for a donated or purchased display. Pat Czarnik has a model in storage. Need to find standard booth dimensions for trade shows. Marianne thinks it is too much investment for the local chapter. Tabled for later.
  • Public Service Announcements - Steve says radio stations will play these for free. Carl will listen to a CD of award-winning ads. Steve recommends 'He's So Hot'.

New Business:

  • Membership - Carl gave membership list to Steve, will try to e-mail. Steve will tell Pat Czarnik which members are in the Houston area. Carl asked for a map for an idea of geographic distribution. BeBe knows someone who will help host a meeting in the Galleria area. BeBe asked Steve to maintain anonymity of email addresses.
  • Carl suggested getting an opinion from the membership about dividing the meetings up.
  • Potential Projects - tabled.
  • Web Hosting - Stacy says we can buy for $10 and host on site for free. BeBe wants to keep hosting on Mars Society server. Alternate domain name of '' was passed by vote. Stacy will look into redirecting to Mars Society server.
  • Bebe moved that Carl be Vice President-elect immediately to be President in September 2003. Marianne suggested 'Vice President'. Motion passed.
  • Unpaid memberships - BeBe requested a waiver for Stacy, asked for the rest to pay national dues. BeBe suggested some local dues. Carl suggested talking about dues at a general meeting.
  • Fall Banquet - Semi-formal was agreed to. BeBe will get a speaker. Everybody but the speaker pays for the meal. Must decide what fraction goes to Mars Society and scholarships to Haughton Island. 3rd week in September was agreed to. Theme 'Send Houston to Mars' passed by vote.

Upcoming Events:

Washington lobbying efforts:

  • Space Legislative Conference - April 5-7
  • March Storm - March 9-15


  • 'Our NASA' - March 14 - South Shore
  • Jennifer's trip to Hab - March 8-16

Propose date/time/location for next meeting

  • April 26, 2003 at The Outpost

Review and Commit to Action Items

  • Carl will send Tom James' write-up to Marianne
  • BeBe will check on sponsorship for Mars Quest
  • Steve will map out membership, correlate with congressional districts
  • Carl will listen to PSA CD
  • Jennifer will check on Mars Society exhibit at Museum of Natural Science during Galileo exhibit.

Adjourned at 2:00 pm

Grant Davis (edited by Carl Carlsson)

Officers Meeting
November 17, 2002

The officers of the Mars Society of Houston met at Don’s Seafood Restaurant in LaFayette, LA. This was a joint meeting with the Louisiana Chapter.

The meeting was convened at Noon.

Steve Jordan (MSOH Membership)
Martha Jordan
Stacy Clifford (MSOH Webmaster)
Carl Carlsson (Former President, Louisiana Chapter)
Craig Dooley (President, Louisiana Chapter)

Old Business:

  • None discussed

New Business:

  • Louisiana Mars Blog, maintained by Tom James, was mentioned at the outset. (check it out at
  • The Mars Society (of Houston and elsewhere) needs a more impressive physical display. It was proposed that such a display could be kept in or near Orange, Texas (a central location to Houston and much of Louisiana). This would allow both usage of the display and construction costs to be spread over Mars Society Chapters in Houston and Louisiana. Some good early suggestions could include a large tri-fold display (easily stored, quickly deployed, low cost, easily updated) or a model of the Devon island/Mars habitat (one exists already). Perhaps we can find one that is old or for some other reason very cheap and refurbish it; the donor might be persuaded if it were tax deductible.
  • Although the World Space Congress was sparsely attended (this was blamed on the economy though it is probably also due to the fact that we have made space exploration dull), the Mars Society signed up 30 new members!
  • There was discussion of some very interesting Robotic exploration of lava tubes; see for more information on "spelunkobots" (Gus Frederick of Stanford calls them "Speleobots.) This might be a project once we increase membership, perhaps in conjunction with another chapter.
  • Next, we addressed a problem: Why is it that MS chapters in smaller cities have better turnout, more interest, and seem to do more? Houston, which should be the crown jewel of the Mars Society, has very few members who actually do anything, low turnout at functions, etc. It may be Houston's sheer size that balks us. Example: Stacy drives 50 miles to come to meetings. It was proposed that we could have smaller chapters; actually sub-chapters...a Mars Society of the Woodlands, Mars Society of the Heights, Mars Society of Clear Lake, Bear Creek, Glendale, Katy, etc. People wouldn't have to go as far to participate. We might find ways to give people (especially kids) something to do, something to take home and remind them of Mars and keep it top-of-mind. (e.g., Popsicle sticks with stuff glued to them - letting kids dress up like a Mars explorer.) Also, instead of trying to do it all, and do it all at once, we should focus on just one or two things and doing them well. Like the dog chasing a car, what do you do when you catch it? We need to be ready for lots of people to respond.
  • It was proposed that we write and produce a Mars Society Public Service Announcement. Radio stations are required to provide free airtime for PSAs, and Mars Society's 401(c)(3) status allows us to use this. If we were to produce a radio ad, what message would we use? We can get Paul Christy to announce it. We should produce two versions - one each for Houston & Louisiana. What things do we want to say, how do we need to say them? Stacy and someone else indicated that there is information that's already being used by Mars Society on its posters; this could be recycled and used as copy in the PSA.
  • We also need a new domain for people to go to that's easy to remember.
  • We could produce a mixed mode CD with audio (for playback in CD players) and Mars Society data in info section; such a CD could be handed out at the next WSC and other functions for about $0.40 each; there are business cards that cost more.
  • There was a brief discussion of a NASA Alumni who's building Mars colony, but no other information was recorded on this topic.

Upcoming Events:

  • None discussed.

Propose date/time/location for next meeting:

  • TBD

Review and Commit to Action Items


  • Stacy – check website - Stacy will look for web site of a display-making company; hopefully, from this we can make sure that any display we build will work with normal Booth Requirements
  • Carl – check with Tom James on status of his idea for an inexpensive tri-fold display; check internet auctions for availability of used trade show displays.


  • Steve/Martha – check on PSA rules
  • Carl – bring one-minute Congress speech on Mars to next meeting as starting point for PSA


  • Stacy to check on alternatives

Adjourned at 1:00 pm

Steve Jordan (edited by Carl Carlsson

Officers Meeting
September 14, 2002

The officers of the Mars Society of Houston met at the Outpost Tavern on Egret Bay Blvd.

Vice-President - Marianne Dyson
Membership: Steve Jordan
Webmaster: Stacy Clifford
Past President (Louisiana): Carl Carlsson
Secretary: Grant Davis
Tom James

Carl convened the meeting at 1:00 PM. He said that BeBe had asked him to fill the duties of President while she is recovering from an accident.

New Business:
Marianne is trying to get sponsors for the Space Exploration bill co-sponsored by Rep. Nick Lampson. She encouraged everyone to encourage everyone to write their representatives. Tom had a meeting with Rep. Cooksey of Louisiana and will try to get back in touch with him as he runs for the Senate.

Carl and Tom are arranging a meeting between members of the New Orleans and Houston chapters. An exhibit called "Mars Trek" will be in Lafayette, LA in October and November and we might get together there.

Upcoming Events:
An event commemorating the 40th anniversary of Kennedy's moon speech will be held at Rice University on Monday, September 23 at 9 AM at Rice Stadium. Marianne, BeBe and Grant will be attending.

The NASA Alumni League Dinner will be on Tuesday, September 24 at Space Center Houston. Dinner is at 7 PM. Cost is $25.

Kite Day will be on Saturday, October 26 at George Bush Park starting at 8 AM. Marianne said that NSS will be supporting it.

[Update:] Astronomy Day will also be on Saturday, October 26 at the George Observatory at Brazos Bend State Park.

Nick Lampson will be speaking at the NSS Leadership Symposium at the World Space Congress at the Hyatt Regency at 1 PM on October 15. Cost for the banquet is $200, plus admission to the Congress which is in the hundreds.

Addendum 10-7-2002: Carl proposes that the next meeting be held on November 2 in Lafayette in conjunction with the Louisiana chapter.

Meeting was adjourned at 2:15 PM.

Grant Davis
Mars Society of Houston

February 16th, 2002

Mars Society of Houston Officers Meeting

The officers of the Mars Society of Houston met at the Outpost Tavern on Egret Bay Blvd. on Feb. 16.

President - Beatriz "BeBe" Kelly-Serrato
Vice-President Elect - None presently, will elect later in the year
Membership: Steve Jordan
Treasurers; Robert Carroll (absent) & Marianne Dyson
Temporary Publicity Officer: Robby Gaines (absent)
Webmaster: Stacy Clifford
Past President (Louisiana): Carl Carlson
Secretary: Grant Davis
NASA Liaison Officer: Dr. John Connolly (absent)

BeBe convened the meeting at 1:18 PM. She declared that Robert's Rules of Order would be used and wanted a round-robin discussion.

Recruitment-BeBe put Steve in charge of everything related to membership.

  • Marianne has some names of old members and will send them to Steve to contact. Grant will help Steve contact members.
  • Steve said he could get Public Service radio spots through his wife. BeBe knows a producer and can get the spots recorded. Carl knows a Congressional Candidate who has promised to make a speech on Mars on the floor of the House if elected.
  • BeBe said that the group needs a way to reach young people.
  • Marianne mentioned local Honor Societies.
  • Carl gives presentations to young people.
  • Grant will contact Consortium on inviting Carl to speak.

Mission Statement- Went around the table brainstorming for a mission statement.

  • BeBe will send out the ideas and wants the officers to draft a statement.

Dues - BeBe wants to institute dues for the local chapter yearly cost. Members should check with their companies to see if they will pay members' dues. The amount has not been decided.

Meetings- BeBe suggested day and night meetings to give everyone who wants to participate a chance to attend.

  • Carl suggested a consistent time to get people into the habit of participating.
  • Marianne suggested a group activity and BeBe suggested a star party, but that it will take time to organize.
  • The next general meeting will be in April. John Connolly will speak to the group about Emerging Technologies, which would help with Manned Mars Missions.

Business Cards- BeBe is trying to get cards donated to the club for the officers (500 each).

  • Carl had some for the Louisiana Chapter with a list of books and web sites on the back.
  • Stacy, Steve and Carl will meet to work out the details for designing the business cards.

Lunar & Planetary Conference- BeBe has a quote from South Shore Harbor for a Hospitality Suite on Tuesday March 12 and Thursday March 14 at the Lunar and Planetary Conference Poster Session. There will be food, keg beer and a cash bar. There is a possibility that Lockheed Martin will donate the funds for the room if the Mars Society will provide volunteers to oversee the room. This however, is not certain as of this meeting.

  • Carl volunteered.

Merchandise- BeBe is trying to get some 'Marvin the Martian' merchandise from Warner Brothers for the Mars Society. Carl volunteered to help out. We still need to contact WB directly and make sure this is OK.

  • BeBe suggested that the web site logo be used on Mars Society T-Shirts. Carl will get a quote for having them made.

Tax-Exempt Status- BeBe will call Page to confirm the club's tax-exempt status.

  • Marianne suggested that the local chapter apply for 501(3h) status to allow it to lobby.

Treasurer & Assistant- BeBe said that Robert Carroll has volunteered to act as Treasurer.

  • Marianne suggests getting 2 signatures on checks from the chapter.
  • BeBe wants all the officers to agree on expenditures
  • Petty Cash will be the only excepting, this is something that would be used for misc. expenses

Bylaws- BeBe wants ideas for a new set of bylaws. This relates to the type of tax-exempt status the chapter applies for.

BeBe needs volunteers for Yuri's Night on April 12.

  • Stacy will help to make a Yuri's Night web site.

BeBe needs volunteers for the World Space Congress, the Space Music Festival on October 14 and the Space Rocks Concert on October 19. There is a meeting at Teague Auditorium on February 19 at noon and at 3 PM as well as a party at 6 PM.

  • Marianne says that the NSS Board of Governors will be meeting here that week and that we might have a fundraiser with some of the celebrities on the Board.
  • BeBe will try to get Tom Hanks to attend.

Robby and BeBe are working on a mall display with a kids karaoke contest. BeBe is trying to get local celebrities to judge, including Linda Etters who may also perform.

New Business
Marianne says that the primary election is March 12 and urged people to get elected as a delegate to their district convention, where they can propose planks on space. The planks need to come from many districts and be alike to increase the chance that the state and national platforms will adopt them. The district convention is April 3.

  • Stacy said that the procedure for being nominated is on the Mars Society web site.

Note: This is a disclaimer to present the fact that this is an officers meeting and that nothing official has been concluded. Everything we dream of doing still has motions to be considered. Please excuse our lack of knowledge in some of these areas.

Meeting was adjourned at 2:30 PM.

Grant Davis
Mars Society of Houston

Jan. 17th, 2002

Houston Mars Society
Hilton Hotel - Nassau Bay, Texas

The Houston Mars Society held a meeting on January 17, 2002 At the Nassau Bay Hilton. Public Relations officer BeBe Kelly-Serrato presided. The meeting was convened at 12:16 PM.

Beatriz introduced Chris Barnes, current President of the Houston chapter; Norm Chaffee, President of the NASA Alumni Association, and John Connolly, NASA Liaison to the chapter.

The upcoming conference in Boulder was mentioned, along with a call for volunteers and papers for the conference.

The Mars Society is looking for $1000 company sponsors for the Utah research station.

BeBe will email the list of the final selection for officers. Please note that most of the officers have volunteered. BeBe will also ask for any volunteers to step forward and will set the officers meeting for the month of February.


BeBe introduced Dr. Kelly Snook, who talked about her trip to the Houghton crater research camp on Devon Island and the difficulties that were encountered within the project.

Grant R. Davis, Secretary

Meetings for the Future:

The meetings for officers will be held monthly for pre-planning purposes. The meetings for the entire Chapter will be held Quarterly. The officers will set the time and the place and the event so that everyone is represented.

Current Officers:

President: BeBe Kelly-Serrato
President -Elect: (Vacant) will elect in six months
Administrative Secretary: Grant R. Davis
Financial Officer (Treasurer): Robert Carroll (Treasurer) Marianne Dyson (Asst. Treasurer)
Public Relations Director: (Vacant) President will cover until we get an officer for this post!
MARS Web Site Master: Stacy Clifford
Liaison NASA Ambassador: John Connolly
Project Science Officer: TBA
Director of Membership: Steve Jordan

This is our current board of Officers; we currently are in need of three people to fill these slots: Public Relations Director, President - Elect, and Project Science Officer, which is to be selected by the officership once those individuals who want to participate as such let us know about it.

BeBe Kelly-Serrato, President, MSOH

The following is an account of the January meeting by chapter member Robby Gaines, excerpted from his Spotlight newsletter.

Last week I was fortunate enough to attend a wonderful luncheon hosted by the Mars Society. Spotlight reader Bebe, the Mars Society president, invited me and any spotlighters that wanted to come along. The lunch featured Dr. Kelly Snook, NASA scientist, that had spent the summer at the NASA Mars research facility on Devon Island. They setup base camp in a 23 million year old meteor crater. The island is north of the Arctic circle. It is very cold and dry which is close to the environment of Mars.

While at Devon Island, NASA scientists (geologists, biologists, astronomers, etc.) at NASA were given the task to explore the crater. The experiment was to see if NASA scientists here in JPL labs in California could look at satellite photos of the crater and pick out interesting sites to visit. When they picked a site they could send a remote control robot, an autonomous robot (intelligent robot) or an astronaut to investigate the site. By doing this the team learned first hand how difficult it is to interpret satellite photos and propose a survey plan. It became quickly apparent that a robot only mission would fail to find much. But it also proved that humans need the extra eyes of the satellites and robots to work efficiently.

One thing that was learned that probably will have no application to a Mars mission. Many of the photos showed the astronauts in their white "space suits" carrying backpacks and other equipment. Part of this other equipment was a rifle. It seemed that the local polar bears were very curious about these new "white furred" creatures exploring their crater. One could only hope that a Mars mission would or would not encounter such life forms.

Discovery channel was there and here is a link to a lot more information. Discovery also has a broadcast that talks about the mission. Check to see when it is on.

Nov. 8th, 2001

The Mars Society met today with the purpose to try to revive the membership for the chapter. There were six people in attendance.

E-mail Address
Grant Davis USA
Robert Carroll USA
Tim Cooper LMSO/Aerotek
Gary Dahlke USA
Bebe Kelly-Serrato Lockheed Martin
Chris Barnes USA


Round Robin Introductions:

All who were present introduced themselves and the current President Chris Barnes explained his standing and stated that he would be stepping down. Chris then turned the floor over to BeBe Kelly-Serrato who is the PR Officer at this time. She is up for President but there may be other nominees who may come forward. There is a sample ballot of all the officer positions available for nominees to be presented. If any alterations are necessary to adjust this ballot please feel free to comment on this. Slots have been added which will enhance the operation of the organization.

LPSC Hospitality Suite March 11th to 15th was presented:

LPSC conference was mentioned and the possibility of hosting a joint or three way sponsorship by the Mars Society, Lockheed Martin, and the NSS. The hospitality suite would be open for the two evening Poster Sessions at South Shore Harbor Conference Center. Volunteer Hosts from our local chapter here in Houston will need to be present to greet guests and provide the hosting for the suite. This is all an idea at the moment a proposal has to be drawn up with costs expressed and then it needs to be presented and approved. We then would have to take care of the contract with South Shore to get it all arranged.

Possible projects and other discussion:

Possible projects, which are aligned with education outreach events, were presented as possible chapter projects. Examples of funds awarded in grants from organizations to other chapters were discussed and there was discussion regarding the operation of the society.

Next Meeting slated for speaker and Lunch:

The meeting date for Dec 13th was set as the next meeting date. The next meeting place will most likely be for a speaker and if we can get a good attendance RSVP we will have a sit down lunch and speaker planned for Dec 13th. We could also turn this into a Christmas lunch meeting. Mars Society will invite an excellent speaker for this meeting and maybe Sam Burbank's film to view. I will advise all of the details as they unfold.

Questions from the attendees: ???

Robert Carroll asked a question regarding Space Policy for MARS and what was going to be the case for Exploration for NASA. The question was not answered, as we would have to defer this question to our NASA ambassador who was tied up with folks from JPL today. Mention was made of the fact that Representative Nick Lampson, who is our current district representative for NASA matters, will be redistricting over to Rep. Ron Paul, so this is something we will need to keep an ear open for.

The sample ballot that follows is only an idea of what I think we should have. I would like input from the people who attended the meeting. After officers are elected, the officership will decide to include past presidents in major decisions. This will have to be agreed to by a majority of the officers. Must be members.

Name of Office
Length of Office
Nominee or Current Officer
President 2 years + Leads the group sets the agenda, and the tone for the organization Chris Barnes (Current)
BeBe Kelly-Serrato (Nominee)
President Elect or Vice President 2 year + This person trains with the President and then takes over the slot when he / she steps down Helps with the presidential duties and trains and serves with the President in tandem Marianne Dyson (Current)
Administrative Secretary 1 year + Records the minutes, consigns checks with the financial director after approval is received by all officers Grant Davis (Nominee)
Financial Officer (Treasurer) 1 year + Tracks and balances all funds for the organization. Signs all checks  
Public Relations Director 1 year + Provides all press releases for the MSOH Chapter announcements and advertisements for the chapter meetings and social events. BeBe Kelly-Serrato (Current)
MARS Web Site Master 1 year + this has usually been an appointed or applied for position. Provides web design and posting of all pertinent materials. Posts the minutes and all announcements for the MARS Society of Houston. Stacy Clifford (Current)
Grant Davis (Nominee)
Liaison NASA Ambassador Appointed only! Not term limited This officer is an appointed post, and is always a representative of the NASA JSA Exploration Office. The duties of this officer are to provide the group advice and direction as to the rules regarding what is politically acceptable to NASA. John Connolly (Current)
Project Science Officer Selection is by the board or officers, is by invitation. After elections this officer is selected from a group of Scientists who are presented for consideration. Service is unlimited. The Science Officer along with his committee chairs this working group in the selection of scientific projects for the MARS Society Houston Chapter. None presented until after January Officers will select from those who apply.
Director of Membership 1 year + Tracks all membership information, maintains mailing and email lists reports to the financial officer membership status. Prepares invitations for social events and handles the distribution and RSVP's for the chapter.  

August 19, 2001

Freeman Memorial Branch Library 16602 Diana Lane,
Houston, TX

Attendees: Chris Barnes, Stacy Clifford, Karen Mauer, Fred Rodriquez

Meeting called to order on 2:45 PM 8-19-2001. 

First order of business was the meeting time issue.   There has been some pressure from BeBe to change the meeting time and date to an afternoon/evening time during the week.

  • Only problem is that Chris Barnes cannot attend a weeknight time due to his job (not a 9-5)
  • Possibly two meetings may be necessary??
    • If Bridget Galloway is to start a new chapter at Rice University, Stacy believes that both chapters should be integrated/merged.
      • Suggestions on chapter coordination
        • See first, if Bridget will actually start a chapter
        • If so, then what time/place?
      • Chris does not want the chapter to be an exclusively college chapter
        • A college chapter tends to exclude outside personnel
  • Meeting time/place won’t be changed for the time being unless it is called to a vote

The Mars Odyssey is scheduled to arrive at Mars orbit on Wednesday, October 24th of this year.

  • Could be called ‘2001.. A Mars Odyssey’
  • First order of business is to nail down a place. (Rice?? – could help in merging chapters)

The Mars Society main site is still linked to the old site.        

  • Stacy will talk to Bruce Mackenzie about changing this
    • Also need to list current contacts see below + BeBe
  • Need to move the site to the Mars Society
    • We have the three contacts needed (Chris, Stacy, Marianne)

Talked about the Martian Dust storm that is subsiding

  • Atmosphere was raised 30 degrees C(!)
    • But, a warm surface temperature doesn’t imply a warm atmosphere
      • 50 degrees on the surface could be below zero at head level.

Propulsions to Mars

  • Possible gas-core system could get people to Mars within two weeks (!!)
  • Franklin Chang-Diaz had a proposal that could get people to Mars in half the time available now, which is three months

Oregon chapter is also interested in Martian lava tubes.

  • Members of the Oregon chapter are also interested in and have done research on the idea of using Martian lava tubes as human habitats.  They may be receptive to some kind of joint project on this subject in the future, such as a cave rover or an informational/research web site.

Need to get logo on for the Mars Party

  • Banner could be very expensive (for color banners)
  • Banner does not need to be complicated, only a simple design
  • MSOH logo on left, large letters on white background, with the Mars Society main logo

Would be nice to go have a meeting at a star party sometime

  • Could coordinate with stargazing
  • Held at the George Observatory at Brazos Bend State Park

Chris’ NASA project could be on the Mars Sample Return mission

  • Only part of the entire package
  • A submittal was sent to JPL, and they seem interested

Need to know what Bridget’s plans are for Rice, and if she is going to start a chapter there, or just join our chapter

Had a brief discussion on why it is easier, from a propulsion standpoint, to get to Mars from LEO than it is to get to the Moon from LEO

  • At Mars, you have a substantial atmosphere and plenty of gravity to slow you down
  • The Moon has weak gravity and no atmosphere
    • You must use all propellant to slow down at the Moon
    • At Mars, the atmosphere and increased gravity can do the work for you.

Meeting adjourned at 4:55 PM


July 22, 2001

Freeman Memorial Branch Library 16602 Diana Lane,
Houston, TX

Attendees: Chris Barnes, Stacy Clifford

The meeting was called to order at 2:30 July 22, 2001. 

First order of business was the review of the MSOH website and making suggestions for some minor changes to the site.  Among the changes were:

  • Change the button for ‘National Society’ to the Mars Society official icon
  • Add BeBe’s name to the chapter contacts (as the MSOH PR person)
  • Suggestions for changing text color (Stacy likes the current text color)
  • MSOH Flyer modification (Chris thinks the flyer is too wordy)
    • Work on the text by chapter consensus
    • Grammar check
    • Add link to the MSOH to flyer
    • Image add-ons
      • Intent is to get peoples’ attention
      • Already have nice color banner
      • This will be done by chapter consensus
      • Make it look nice, but don’t overdo it
      • Possible MSOH logo by link
    • Meeting time/place announcements (look up MSOH website for directions)
  • Possible change of website location (Angelfire doesn’t allow files in PDF, CGI format)
    • Change the website before putting out flyers so flyers aren’t misleading
  • Possible link to the Special Announcements section (name link)
    • Put this in left frame (navigation bar)
  • Extra page in the Minutes page to archived minutes (over 3 months old)
  • Remove old, unused projects
  • Suggestions page built, but CGI scripting not available in Angelfire
  • Moving the MSOH site to the Mars Society server

Need to put in announcement of a 2nd Mars Party for the arrival of the Mars Odyssey spacecraft in October.

  • Need to determine when exactly the spacecraft will enter Mars orbit
  • Announcement and plans need to be scheduled early so peoples’ schedules are set
  • Place still unknown (possibly Rice again??)
    • Can Bebe check into this one?
    • Hotels are a possibility
  • Events are still unknown (need to plan early)
  • This time, MSOH should have center spotlight
  • Interested in talking to CLA-NSS for assistance

Marianne had some preliminary ideas for the Mars Odyssey party, but details were not available.  Chris L. Barnes had an idea for the name of the party… “2001.. A Mars Odyssey”.

The Mars Odyssey probe will be looking for water on Mars.  We wish that there was a concurrent lander, but we will take what we can get.

Talked about the current Martian dust storm.  This storm was apparent from the Hubble Space Telescope picture.  At this time, according to reports, the dust storm has nearly engulfed the entire planet and has raised the Martian atmosphere temperature by as much as 30 degrees C.  (!!)

Has the Texas Mars Society conference been postponed indefinitely?  We have not heard anything from the San Antonio chapter.  If the conference is to be posted at a later time, we would like to know about it.

What projects will the MSOH take on in the future?  Will we take on some of the projects on the old website?  There was a project that was written by Francis Govers on the Mars Direct Animation which has not been discussed at any recent meetings.

It is a foregone conclusion that the project for YAMA and the Mars Society Mission Control room are dead.  YAMA has been taken off our website, and the Mars Society Mission Control room has already been created.

Stacy expressed interest in a project to investigate the possible existence of ice in Martian caves and lava tubes as outlined in his paper (see link on the Projects page).  A rover capable of exploring underground would nicely compliment Mars Odyssey's search for water in the surface soil.  Ice can be found in the shallow lava tubes in New Mexico year round, so if ice can be found in caves in the middle of a hot desert on Earth, then why not in a cold environment like the Martian surface?   If we do take on this project, should we call the project the ‘Mars Underground’ project??

Dues – Even though dues are paid for the MSOH, dues still need to be paid to the main organization of the Mars Society.  Dues are $50/year.

Need to put on the meeting announcements that we have current meeting minutes to look up.

  • These will be sent once confirmation of the new minutes have been posted on the MSOH website

Meeting time/place:  Chris L. Barnes has received requests to change the meeting time and place of the MSOH each month.  The requests have been for a later time and a place more ‘centrally’ located, due to long travel times by some members.  All of the requests are for different times/places.  If the meeting time is to be changed, it needs to be at a time when all officers can be present.  Currently, Chris cannot make any meetings at weekday nights, due to conflicts with his work schedule.  Chris and Stacy cannot make it on Friday nights. Another suggestion, from Marianne Dyson, was to move back the meeting time from 2PM to 4PM.  However, the library closes at 5PM, so meetings would be short.  Average meetings last roughly 2 hours.  A 3PM change would be reasonable.

Flyers:  Bebe has created a MSOH flyer that was presented at the NASA Budget Town Hall meeting, and has suggested that flyers be put up at JSC and the JSC contractor buildings.  Chris has suggested talking to each contractors’ and JSC’s PAO (Public Affairs Office) to get the Mars Society recognized and listed as an approved organization.  Otherwise, JSC nor the contractors will allow flyer posting by the Mars Society.  There is a possible conflict of interest for those members that are JSC and contractor employees, and that issue is being resolved at this time. 

There are other places that the MSOH can post.  A group meeting needs to be held to determine all the places that flyers can be posted.  One good way is to have the MSOH registered with the Clear Lake and Houston Chamber of Commerce as a non-profit organization.  A permit may be needed.

Bridget Galloway is planning to form a new chapter at Rice.  Should we be separate or linked?  If we remain separate, both chapters may have continuing membership problems.   It may be beneficial to combine our efforts and work with any other chapter forming in the Houston area.  There was another chapter that was to be formed at the University of Houston.

Will Karen Mauer still be performing secretarial duties?  If not, then we need to find a new Secretary.

Meeting adjourned at 4:45 PM.

March 12, 2000

Freeman Memorial Branch Library 16602 Diana Lane,
Houston, TX

Attendees: Chris Casper, Karen Mauer, Stacy Clifford, John and Kristen
Thiry, Cynthia Price, Than Putzig and Chris Barnes

Chapter President, Chris Barnes, called the meeting to order at 2:40

Chris B. gave a brief history and goals of our and the national organizations' history and goals for the new members.  He went over the Founding Declaration and explained why we feel it is necessary for man to go to Mars.  Each member and visitor introduced themselves to the group.

Cynthia Price introduced herself as the special projects person for Celestis.  They are the company that launches ashes into space.  They have three orbiting memorial satellites launched.  She passed out brochures for Encounter 2001 and passed on the information that they were giving away a
portion of a Mars meteorite that is worth $5,000.00 on the web site.
There is a job opening available for anyone interested in an administrative

Chris B. gave a report on the President's race.  Al Gore is in town today but no one knew where he would be.  Bush will be here in the fall.  We need to make plans to attend the events to help pass the word that there is political support and a need to send Man to Mars.  Gore has stated that he
is not interested right now in sending humans to Mars but would listen to details.

NASA's position is that they can't undertake a Mission to Mars until ISS is up.  They don't have the funding or the manpower right now for both.  ISS is about 1-½ years behind schedule.  We are waiting for Russia to launch their module.  We should be able to see developments quickly after that happens.

Stacy gave an update on his project to visit and explore the lava tubes in New Mexico.  He had a rough sketch of the rover plus some costs.  He will have a more detailed proposal for the next meeting.  We will work on the rover first then add the video equipment.

Chris B. explained the Mars Arctic Research Station on Devon Island and how it will demonstrate that living on Mars is possible.

Chris Casper gave a report on the monthly summary of Mars chapters activities.  The national organization is forming a chapters council to help the groups get started and expand.

Chris C. stated that we can have $600 net raised this year with t-shirt and book sales.  This will help pay for Stacy's project and other needed items. We need to get a banner and display for events that we will attend.

On April 8th the Westside YMCA is holding an organizational event. Robbie Gaines signed the NSS and MSOH up to have a booth.  In order to be more prepared, we will have an executive meeting on April 2nd at Chris Casper's home.  Directions are printed below.

We discussed the Mission to Mars movie.  Generally all that saw it were pleased.  We were all glad that it is getting as much attention as it did.  There will be another movie about Mars out n November starring Val Kilmer and James Cameron will have his mini-series on television.  All of these will help keep the idea of exploring Mars in people's minds.

Chris C. reports:
The Mars Society of Houston had a $182 balance at the end of the January Meeting.

 10 copies of The Case for Mars as well as 20 t-shirts have been
donated to the MSOH to jump-start member recruitment.  Stacey presented a preliminary budget outline for the Lava Tube Rover Project.  A more detailed budget will be ready before the next

 During the March Meeting, two "Ares Level" memberships were received, bringing the total balance to $232.

 In preparation for the booth at the April 8 YMCA event, an executive meeting (all members welcome) will be held on Sunday, April 2 at 2:00pm.  We will put together displays for the booth so bring whatever Mars stuff you think would be appropriate.  The meeting will be at
Chris Casper's place.

 From I-10: Take the Voss/Bingle exit and head south on Voss to
 Westheimer.  Turn left on Westheimer.  At the next light (Winrock),
turn left.

 From 610 West Loop: Go west on Westheimer.  At Winrock, turn right. Once on Winrock, my apartment (#84) is through the first pedestrian gate on the right.  The easiest place to park may be the retail complex just before my apartment.  Any questions? Call 713-501-5199

The meeting was adjourned at 3:25 p.m.


January 9, 2000 Freeman Memorial Branch Library 16602 Diane Lane, Houston, TX

Attendees: Robby Gaines, Stacy Clifford, Chris Casper, Karen Mauer, Murray Clark, Francis Govers, George Lopez-de-Cardenas, Chris Barnes

Chapter President, Chris Barnes, called the meeting to order at 2:30 P.M. .  We held discussions on MarsFest held at Rice University on December 3, 1999 and what might have happened to the Mars Lander.  We then held discussions on proposed projects for the future.  Among the projects discussed were: helping NSS with their information booth at movie theatres for the Mission to Mars movie premiering March 10, 2000; a mall event where tables are set up with various displays, educational games, teachers information, items for sale, Mars rover, etc.; and a study of lava tubes in New Mexico using a remote control vehicle with camera.  The final discussion was a new time, date and place for future meetings.  Research will be done at various area libraries for availability.  It was decided that weeknights are a better time to meet for most members.

After the various discussions, elections were held.  Chris Barnes read the officers needed to be elected along with a description of their duties.  Francis Govers was unanimously elected Vice President at 3:50 p.m.  Karen Mauer was unanimously elected Secretary at 3:52 p.m. Chris Casper was unanimously elected Treasurer at 3:54 p.m. and Chris Barnes was reelected President by a unanimous vote at 3:58 p.m.

The President and Treasurer will decide the amount of the dues.  Last year's dues were set at $1.00 and that amount will be continued until new dues are set.  The eight members present at the meeting paid their $1.00 dues for a total of eight ($8.00) dollars.  Forty-eight ($48.00) dollars was collected at MarsFest by the sale of Mission To Mars.  Two copies of The Case for Mars were also sold.

Karen needs to email copies of the minutes to Chris Barnes in order to open a chapter bank account  The President and Treasurer will open one this month.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:02 p.m.

Minutes of June Meeting

99 ISDC - Chris Barnes informed the chapter of the message sent to him from
Bruce McKenzie.  In the letter, Bruce expressed his thanks to the Mars
Society of Houston for their participation and to Chris Barnes for organizing
the Mars Track at the ISDC.  The Mars Track was one of the most successful
tracks in the conference, drawing in many people..filling the room many
times.  Bruce also said in his letter that all the chapter members that put
in their time to man the Mars Society booth are to be commended.  An article
expressing thanks will be posted in New Mars - A journal of the Martian
Frontier.  The members who helped man the Mars Society booth are:

Chris Barnes, James Pruett, Meredith Monaghan, John Harp, and John McKnight.
Special thanks goes out from the MSOH to Jim Burk from the Seattle area
chapter of the Mars Society for helping man the Mars Society booth.

As of this date, no treasurer's report has been made regarding the money made
at the ISDC.  After the meeting, John McKnight reported that the MSOH has 19
'The Case for Mars' books left over from the conference, as well as 50
brochures, a handful of 'Mars or Bust' buttons, several Mars Society pencils,
and a few shirts.

Francis Govers has talked to Bob Zubrin over a Mars Direct VR demo to be
presented at the second Mars Society conference this August.  He will
represent the Mars Society of Houston and SGI and will work with various
groups such as Stanford University and NASA/JPL.  The demo will consist of a
30 second version, a 60 second version, and a full 90 second version.  It
will feature several Mars mission concepts including Mars Direct, Mars
Semi-Direct, and the MERITT concept proposed by Dr. Forward at the ISDC.
Since Francis has several years experience in VR development and the machines
to implement this project, he will be in charge of the VR project as far as
the MSOH is concerned.  Once the demo is complete, it will then be hosted on
the Mars Society of Houston web site.  Any assistance by artists as well as
computer scientists is appreciated.

Another core topic of this meeting was to stress cooperation between
different organizations in order to meet our goal.  Many members of the
National Space Society (NSS) were present at this meeting to start a full
cooperation of the NSS and the Mars Society.  It is agreed that both sides
share a common goal, and therefore must work together to achieve that goal,
which is to create a spacefaring civilization that will not only live on
Earth, but on Mars and other places in space.  Since both local chapters
share many members, it has been decided that it is in the best interest of
both to work together.

There was some discussion on TransHab and it's danger of unjustly being
eliminated from the NASA budget.  The Mars Society has mobilized to save
TransHab, and has come under fire by a group called NASA Watch.  Apparently
the group is an independent group not affiliated with NASA, and disagrees
with the Mars Society on several occasions.  Everyone agreed that such
blatant flaming on the Internet between space advocacy groups serves no
purpose.  Such talking stands in the way of progress.  All space advocacy
groups must work together to be recognized as a serious political force, and
public disagreement will get us nowhere.  If there is a disagreement, then it
should be discussed between members of both organizations, not by flaming the

Since TransHab technology will benefit future Mars exploration as well as for
the Station, there is some discussion to try to get Donna Fender, the project
manager for TransHab, to join the Mars Society.  At the very least get her
involved in Mars Society activities.

The next meeting of the Mars Society of Houston will convene on July 11th at
2pm.  Hyperlinks to the MSOH website will be sent to all members.  Updates on
meeting times can be gathered at the MSOH website.

March 14, 1999

The chapter web page is finished, thanks to Francis Govers.  The meeting included a showing of the video "Life on Mars", available at the Johnson Space Center.  A "Mars Opposition" party was planned for May 1st - further details would be forthcoming. (Note: Mars Opposition = closest approach of Mars to the Earth).  Plans were made to man a booth at the ISDC, May 28-30th.  Robert Zubrin will speak May 29th at the conference.

Next Meeting:  Plans for other summer conferences.

January 10, 1999

Our first week at the Silicon Graphics facilities!  Francis Govers provided a tour of part of the building.  Agenda issues included the appointment of several officers: Meredith Patterson, Treasurer; John Harp, Secretary.  Meredith should be establishing a bank account for chapter funds by next meeting.

Next Meeting: Preparations for the ISDC conference will be discussed.





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