Moon Society Progress Report & Update

February 15, 2008


Streamlining Society Decision-making

Volunteers needed

2 New Moon Society Chapters

Solar Power Beaming Demo

New Website Pages

Gearing up for ISDC 2008

New Internet Portals

International Astronomy Year 2009

New Google Group: Railroading on Moon & Mars

Affiliations & Collaborations in the works

Society Elections 2008

Draft Strategy Plan



At the February 6th Board Meeting, we adopted Moon Society Bylaws revisions that will

From Chairman of the Board R. Scotty Gammenthaler

February 7, 2008 - I'm pleased to report that the Moon Society Board of Directors met on Feb 6, 2008. Present were Scotty Gammenthaler, James Gholston and Randall Severy, with Peter Schubert voting by mail-in ballot. The board approved the following actions:

1. Revised bylaws to streamline operations. These revisions include:

formation of a Management Committee consisting of all the Officers and Directors, with the authority to act on behalf of the board on most matters.

2. Adopted a budget for 2008.

3. Set the regular schedule for Board of Directors meetings to be on the first Wednesday of each calendar quarter at 21:00 EST in the moon-leaders room of the ASI MOO. [For the balance of the year, that means April 2, July 2, and October 1, 2008] This allows ample notice.

4. Set the regular schedule for Management Committee meetings to be on the first and third Wednesday of each month at 21:00 EST in the moon-leaders room of the ASI MOO. Scotty Gammenthaler, Chairman

Comment by Society President, Peter Kokh

We have been working on revisions to the bylaws for some time. The previous wording proved to present many stumbling blocks to quick and timely action, and all too often prevented us from taking advantage of brief windows of opportunity. The prior language required advance written notice of Board meetings, meaning that action was often delayed by a couple of months or more. Another problem is that action required a board quorum and that did not always happen. Most of us have day jobs and other commitments which sometimes interfere with meeting schedules. Now by creation of a Management Committee including officers as well as directors, a quorum is all but guaranteed. There are a few decisions which must be left to the board, but most other matters can be decided by the Management Committee.

While this sounds very dry, the amended wording streamlines the decision making process. Our Society is not a social one, but one of ambitious dreams, determined to find ways in which we can advance the day when civilians will be living and working on the Moon. It is our purpose to identify and pursue initiatives, projects, and collaborations which will bring that day nearer.


Two Society Outposts advance to full Chapter Status

We are very proud to announce the formation of two new Moon Society chapters: Phoenix and Houston. Their official chapter certificates will be in the mail shortly. Our congratulations to Craig Porter (Phoenix) and Eric Bowen (Houston) for their outstanding leadership in this regard.


New Website Pages - check them out!

"Online Papers"
On this page you will find links to papers too long to be included in an issue of Moon Miners' Manifesto, and papers that have been published online on sites of our affiliates. There is some great reading here!

"Legislative Action"

The Leadership Council has agreed to expand the opportunities for our members by encouraging those so inclined to participate in NSS and ProSpace space legislation campaigns.

The Society will never tell you for whom to vote - many, perhaps most of us are not "one-issue voters." Rather we seek to edit legislation that would place obstacles for private enterprise in space and to let our legislators know what kind of legislation that we do support.

We do not have a volunteer to lead this effort. But as we are now mutually with the National Space Society, we are welcome to participate in their legislative campaigns.


We already have a "Welcome Packet" but we created another page for casual visitors to our website to help them maximize their site exploration experience, in the hope that a greater percentage of casual visitors will be encouraged to join the Society.


New Internet "Portals"

Adapting to the reality of how different persons use the Internet, we have now established a number of new Internet "portals" that serve to funnel visitors to our main website. The first of these, The Moon People, was created by the Society President a couple of years back. Now we have four more!


This page was put up for us just after ISDC 2007 by new member James Rogers of Longview, Texas. With the help of other contributors, this has become a splendid portal to the Society. Check it out!

Facebook - thanks to Vice president, Charles Radley - thanks to Vice president, Charles Radley

Yahoo Group - reactivated


New Project: Our new Google Group: Railroading on Moon & Mars

Calling all railroad buffs and model railroading buff. Who doesn't love trains? The Moon Society and MarsDrive are sponsoring this new Google Group: Railroading on Moon and Mars.

Railroads have played a major role in expending settlement of the American and Canadian West, and likewise in Australia.

On the airless Moon, aviation as we know it is not an option. On Mars, the thin atmosphere can support aviation in theory, but taking off and landing at an altitude equivalent to 125,000 feet, 38,000 meters, has not yet been demonstrated. Railroads could work well on Mars as well.

But design of tracks and trains for either world must address some constraints. Lower gravity means a greater propensity to derail. With no breathable atmosphere outside, a train of passenger cars will not support vestibulated passage between cars except when the train is stopped on level straight track when the cars can snuggle up to one another and mutual dock. Our 1993 paper, Railroading on the Moon, now posted to this Google site, was a start on addressing these issues.

The conditions on Mars may require different solutions. Yet on both worlds, with no right of way issues, and wide open options for setting track gauge, overhead clearance, etc. design options are wide open. This brainstorming activity should be fun.

After we have a few more papers posted, we will be inviting railroad and model railroading buffs everywhere to get in on the fun whether they have ever thought of the Moon and Mars as future human frontiers or not. This is real outreach! Take a look and join the group if this catches your interest. If it does not, and you know a railroad buff, pass on the invitation!

If this approach to collective brainstorming works, we will be starting additional special-focus groups. Exospeliology, anyone? The possibilities are wide open!



Upcoming Moon Society Elections 2008

Step 1: Call for Nominations for Society Officers and Directors

Our annual election ritual begins again. This year, the following positions are open: please respond by May 1st


President: for a two year term, ending in 2010, currently held by Peter Kokh. Two years ago, Kokh signaled his desire to retire in 2008, but he is currently reenergized and willing to accept renomination. But anyone else is welcome to cast their hat in the ring.

Secretary: for a two year term, ending in 2010: This position is currently vacant, and you may volunteer at any time to serve the rest of the current term, as well as nominate yourself for the new term.

Directors: Two Director (Board member) slots: for two year terms, both ending in 2010: currently held by Gregory R. Bennett and Dr. Peter J. Schubert who are free to renominate themselves.

Requirements: Nominees must have been members for two continuous years as of August 1, 2008. Anyone with a membership # of 1418 or lower is eligible this time around.

Officer Nominees should be able and willing to make themselves available for meetings prescheduled for the 1st and 3rd Wednesday evenings, every month, 9-11 PM ET, 8-10 PM CT, 7-9 PM MT, 6-8 PM PT, on the ASI-MOO enhanced chat room. Of course, from time to time something may come up to prevent your attendance. But if you think that this time commitment may be a problem for you, please do not nominate yourself.

Board (Director) Nominees should be able and willing to make themselves available for meetings prescheduled for the 1st Wednesday of every Quarter [in January, April, July, October], 9-11 PM ET, 8-10 PM CT, 7-9 PM MT, 6-8 PM PT, on the ASI-MOO enhanced chat room. It is essential to ensure that we have a quorum at every Board Meeting. If you think that this time commitment may be a problem for you, please do not nominate yourself. Of course, Board members are welcome and encouraged to meet with Officers and other leaders on the more frequent schedule above.

If you would like to sit in on these meetings of the Leadership Council but are not sure how often you can do so, you are most welcome. Please contact us for access. You will be able to partake in the discussions by which we arrive at consensus. This is great training for those thinking of running for office some time in the future.


We are also in need of unelected volunteers

In additions to officers and directors who are nominated and elected, the Society is in need of people with the following talents:


Creating a Tabletop Solar Power Beaming Demonstration Unit

This is an exciting new project that society leaders, with Vice-president Charles F. Radley and Chairman of the Board R. Scotty Gammenthaler taking the lead, both happening to have experience and expertise in some of the involved technologies.

After the release of the National Space Security Office report, we joined NSS and eleven other organizations to form the Space Solar Alliance for Future Energy (SSAFE).

The NSSO report finds that the only way that the US can become truly energy self-sufficient is by a network of Solar Power Satellites. Where do we come in? It is clear that the only way to build these giant structures affordably, is with building materials from the Moon. Item for item, anything can be sent from the Moon's surface all the way back down the gravity well to GEO for a twentieth of the fuel it would take to launch them up the gravity well from Earth's surface, only a tenth the distance.

Pursuing this goal is a much more direct and effective way to create a civilian lunar frontier with a considerable amount of self-sufficiency than via a government outpost of limited built-in capabilities for expansion.

We hope to have a working unit on display at ISDC 2008, and are working with all due commitment towards that end. The design goal is to have the energy reaching the solar collectors beam power to a rectenna that will light up an LED display that says "The Moon Society." It will be quite the coup if we can pull this off.

We are hoping to provide 50% or more of the involved costs (hopefully under $1,000 but possibly more) from donations. Why not click on the "make a donation" button on our home page. This calls up a Paypal window. If you do make a donation, send us an email specifying the purpose (Solar Power Beaming Demo.)

Donor names will be published on a plaque accompanying the exhibit and on our website, unless you prefer to be anonymous.


Moon Society Presence at ISDC 2008

We are cosponsoring ISDC again this year. It is the ideal environment to further develop our productive collaboration with the National Space Society, and establish new relationships with other organizations and groups that will be attending this premier "big-tent" conference. We will have a hospitality room and exhibits. We are again chairing the ISDC Moon Track and will be collaborating with the NSS Solar Power Beaming Committee to develop

p that track.

Just follow the link above to learn more about the conference, our plans for it, location, dates, hotel registration, conference registration, even a roommate match-up service.

ISDC is a unique opportunity to meet and talk with Society leaders in attendance.

Looking Ahead


2009 International Astronomy Year

Our goal is to produce a comprehensive White Paper on Astronomy From the Moon, in collaboration with our affiliate American Lunar Society, and with the Stanford on the Moon Project, and the International Lunar Observatory Association. Articles on the subject will appear in Moon Miners' Manifesto as well. We will be aggressively promoting that paper to various astronomical societies. It is a hard won lesson, that astronomers and amateur astronomers alike are not automatically interested in extending human presence into space.

If you or anyone you know would like to be involved in drafting this paper, please let us know!


Additional Affiliations and Collaborations

Space Nursing Society
The Executive Director of the 400-member plus Space Nursing Society (a special interest NSS chapter) had approached us last year about mutual affiliation.

We have responded by preparing a document that details areas of common interest. The core common interest is laid out in the major six page article in the December 2007 issue of MMM #213, "Assuring Mental Health Among Future Lunar Frontier Pioneers." For those reading this Update who are not members of the Moon Society, the MMM editor has put this issue of MMM in a free access directory on the Lunar Reclamation Society website.

The Space Nursing Society has two principal focal points:

  • Lessons learned from how astronauts cope with their environment (micro-gravity, for example) that may apply to patients on Earth (those under bed rest for example.)
  • Learning what may be necessary to assure the mental and physical health of people spending extended time in orbit, or on the surface of worlds with different gravities, different night-day cycles, and various other conditions which which we are not familiar, and with constraints on our actions we are not used to having.

    MMM's focus on the Lunar Frontier and how future pioneers can learn to be "at home" on the Moon and elsewhere would seem to be a perfect fit for collaboration.

    Any affiliation must be approved by the boards of both societies. We will keep you posted

Other Groups

We will continue to look for ideal fit collaborations with other groups on special-focus projects, such as the special-focus Google Group the Moon Society and Mars Drive have created to brainstorm Railroading on Moon and Mars.



This Draft is a Work-in-Progress. We will be revising it as we continue to make progress.

The plane had these objectives:

  • Enhance our Public Profile - we must work tirelessly to increase our name recognition. That will bring us more members, more potential collaborators, more respect and attention. This is essential if we are going to work effectively towards our goals. To do this, we will seek to:
    • Enter into productive collaborative projects such as the one we have established recently with MarsDrive. We have approached and have been approached other outfits. We can do more together, and do it more effectively, than by trying to do everything all alone!
    • Strengthen our presence at the annual ISDC - NSS' International Space Development Conference
    • Aggressively establish a presence in areas where we have none, weather inside the US or elsewhere in the world.
    • Aggressively seek new group clients and individual subscribers for MMM - Moon Miners' Manifesto. Even those who get MMM through another source than the Moon Society, are exposed to the Moon Society Journal centerfold section. They can read about the Society's efforts, projects, and goals.
    • Recently, acting on an alert by Moon Society director, Dr. Peter J. Schubert, under his leadership, we worked with NSS to create a proposal to host a constituency-crossing conference on the topic of Global Warming and other Environmental issues. If approved, the EPA (U.S.> Environmental Protection Agency) will fund us several thousand dollars for our "Planet Earth and Space Conference" which will speak to space enthusiasts and environmentalist alike. We had two environmental groups cosponsor our proposal. If this proposal is approved, and if the conference is a success, The Moon Society-National Space Society team may consider doing sequels every other year. The affect will be to give us both recognition and respect outside our usual constituencies.
  • Enhance the Membership Experience - We will seek to do this by creating ever more menu choices for members who want to get involved.
    • Recently we have made it possible for members so inclined to be involved in influencing national legislation that affects space development.
    • And we've extended an invitation to join our Google Group: Railroading on Moon & Mars brainstorming and design efforts.
    • More such focus-groups are on the way, each involving a partnership with other organizations.
    • We have also created a special Visitors Page.
    • Do let us know what kind of activity in which you would like the Society to get involved.
  • Continue Improving the Moon Society Website
    • We have recently added several new pages, and quite a bit of additional material, while we continue to update older pages.
    • We can always benefit from state of the art web expertise, and from the services of an artist.
    • We have added additional Internet Portals: MySpace, Facebook,, a Yahoo Group, and a special-focus Google Group
  • Continue to grow our System of Chapters & Outposts
    • As you can see from our map, our local presences is scattered far and thin.
    • But things are improving with the very recent addition of new fully certified chapters in Phoenix and Houston, and a promising new outpost in Tucson.
    • Our collaboration agreement with NSS signed at ISDC 2005 sanctions the Partner NSS Chapter system we already had inherited from Artemis Society International with Oregon L5 Society (Portland) and Lunar Reclamation Society (Milwaukee - publishers of MMM) having participated since 1995. Recently we brought the Minnesota Space Frontier Society (NSS-Twin Cities) aboard. This does not count additional NSS Chapters in Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver, Philadelphia, and Sheboygan (WI) whose members get MMM and are exposed to the Moon Society news. There is reason to hope that a newly formed San Diego Space Society (NSS) and the existing NSS-North Texas chapter (Dallas/Fort Worth) may follow suite as NSS Partner Chapters. We will continue to woo other NSS chapters with a strong interest in humanity's future on the Moon.
    • We are working aggressively to spread an effective local presence across the US and elsewhere as even the hint of an opportunity presents itself. Starting a chapter does not depend on how many members are in an area. It depends on someone taking initiative. Perhaps you!
  • Funding and Financing
    • It is an unfortunate fact of life that we are all presented with attractive opportunities of which we cannot take advantage for one reason - money! - or rather the lack of it.
    • Not long ago we added two buttons to the left hand menu column on our front page: "make a donation" and "giving options" - but that has not made much of a difference. Charles Radley put up a Moon Society page on on which donations are solicited. $150 was pledged in the first couple weeks, but I suspect that all the three donors were Moon Society Officers and Directors who reached into their own pockets.
    • With the populous Baby Boom Generation reaching retirement age, we want to put much more emphasis on Bequests & Endowments. Developing a plan to do this effectively is one of our top priorities. One couple had already approached us about this option three years ago, and we created our "giving options" page to attract further interest, as well as doing our best to woo the couple mentioned.
    • To realize our Space Solar Power Demonstration project will take more money than we can afford to withdraw from our general funds.
    • In the past, we have tried to run a number of contests & competitions without attractive prizes as incentives. That does not work! We need grants, matching donation sponsors, and outright project sponsors to make such initiatives effective.
    • Money-raising is something we do not pretend to have mastered. We could benefit from outside expertise. But it is in the Draft Strategy document so that the Leadership Council can work on improving our abilities and performance in this area.
  • There is more in the Draft Strategy Document but these are the major thrusts.


Please feel free and welcome to send us any feedback on this Update

Peter Kokh, President, The Moon Society

February 15, 2008


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