Chapter Minutes

General Meeting Schedule Meetings are currently scheduled for the third Saturday of every month from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM at:The Humanist Community Center, 627 W Rio Salado Parkway, Mesa, Arizona


20 April 2013   Pending: In place of a meeting, the society scheduled a trip to Tucson originally to the Biosphere 2 then on to the Pima Ari & Space Museum. We had a charter bus lined up if there was enough people signed up to afford the cost. Instead, Chuck is driving his van down to the Biosphere, touring the joint, having lunch at a nearby restaurant and driving home.

16 March 2013

NSS/MSP Meeting at HSGP Community Center, Mesa


  • Mike Mackowski (President)
  • Pat Lonchar (Treasurer)
  • Richard Dewey
  • Anita Romanowski
  • Stuart Scott
  • Greg Rucker
  • David Williams
  • Don Jacques
  • Hop David
  • George Somi
  • Chuck Lesher

Meeting Notes

  • By laws
    • Proposed by-laws were approved with the provision to have national student members be considered local members in good standing for elections and officers eligibility.
  • Yuri’s Night
    • Will be 7 pm until whenever at Space Access Conference on April 12.
    • Action: Pat will poke Tenisha at NSS HQ to get us access to national mailing list.  Need to send info on YN event to all NSS members in AZ.
    • Simple social get together
    • Dave Williams talk on planetary exploration
    • Trivia contest by Maura Mackowski
    • Action: Mackowski will check schedule to minimize conflicts with SAS talks
    • George can check out room arrangements (size, layout)
    • Pot luck snacks
    • Need good signage
  • Upcoming meetings & Events
    • Biosphere 2 tour
    • Chuck looked into a bus, works out to $30 each + $25 admission
    • Invite HSGP, AIAA
    • Sat April 20
    • Meeting topics
      • ASU student lunar robotics group proposed for May
      • Dave Williams talk at HSGP meeting June 23, promote it.
  • NSS Phoenix Blog – All members are encouraged to contribute.
  • Discussion on a reason for being (local chapter mission statement)
    • Social
    • Self educational – listen to talks
    • Outreach/educational – rockets, RV rovers
    • Outreach/public – media exposure to get message out
    • Outreach/membership – exposure to get more members (sci fi cons)
    • Outreach – promote spin-offs
    • Outreach – do interactive things with the public:  Build something together like a rocket or rover.  Do things with Sci Ctr or Challenger Center or astronomy and rocket clubs. Help judge science fairs.
    • Promote NSS student competition
    • Does the NSS roadmap offer any guidance applicable to chapters?
      • Public lack of interest is a barrier
      • Many identified barriers are not in the realm of chapter activities unless you have a certain skill set.

Proposed mission statement from this discussion as expressed by Don Jacques:

  1. To establish a social club for like-minded individuals interested in the development of space.
  2. To establish and foster community education in the value of space operations for life on earth
  3. To establish and foster Interactive and Partnership activities in the community which contribute to #2 above.
  4. To demonstrate to the community how to use space tech in day-to-day life.

Other suggestions:

Recommend setting up a Meetup group.  Mackowski will look into it.

16 February 2013


  • Samantha Thompson (Vice President)
  • Pat Lonchar (Treasurer)
  • Richard Dewey
  • Stuart Scott
  • Greg Rucker
  • Art Felsinger
  • Chuck Lesher
  • …more that I can’t think of right now…

Meeting Notes

  • Discussed what direction the society should take. Sam asked each person present to state what they wanted to get out of our involvement with the NSS. What motivated us to participate? What are we willing to do to further our common goals?
  • The second half of the meeting was discussing among ourselves and then with Richard Dewey the possibility of using the HSGP Community Center for our NSS Chapter meetings. Overall, a very positive and forward looking meeting.

2 February 2013

At a special meeting on February 2, new officers of the Phoenix NSS chapter were selected by the active members present.

  • Chapter President:  Michael Mackowski
  • Chapter VP:  Samantha Thompson
  • Treasurer:  Patrick Lonchar
  • Secretary:  Michael Clark
  • Chapter President Emeritus / At-Large Director:  Veronica Ann Zabala-Aliberto

19 January 2013

Space Elevator – A Ten-Year Update!

A Review of Recent Revelations

Dr. Peter Swan

This NSS lecture will focus on recent discoveries and inventions that are bringing the space elevator closer to reality. Dr. Peter Swan is a member of the NSS and has participated in many local, national and international activities. He has written two books* on the topic and is Vice President of the International Space Elevator Consortium. He is currently pulling together 28 world-renown authors, across multiple disciplines to produce a report for the International Academy of Astronautics. This study is an, “Assessment of the Technological Feasibility and Challenges of the Space Elevator Concept.” His talk will focus on recent realizations in many fields that will significantly raise the probability of a Space Elevator by 2032.

14 December 2012

Holiday party at home of Mike & Maura Mackowski

19 Nov 2012

Al Anzaldua from the Tucson L5 Space Society

21 July 2012

Dave Fischer discussed the 2012 ISDC held in Washington DC

19 May 2012

Michael Clark presented Space Access interviews

17 March 2012

10:05 AM: Meeting called to order by Dave Fischer, VP. Other attendees were Veronica Ann Zabala-Aliberto by phone, Chuck Lesher, Greg Rucker, Michael Mackowski, Peter Jyachosky, Tom Lonchar, Mike Clark -Secretary and Patrick Lonchar – Treasurer.

First Item on the agenda was Yuri’s Night, which will be celebrated in a hospitality suite of The Grace Inn Hotel. Mike Mackowski will ask the AIAA if they will donate funds for snacks/drinks (non-alcoholic) for the event. Dave Fischer is also willing to fund this.

The event will be a social gathering with two “Space Trivia Challenge” games at 7 and 9 pm playing for Yuri’s night T-shirts and a raffle drawing for an autographed copy of Homer Hickam’s book, “Crater”. The raffle will consist of putting a business card, or blank sheet of paper with your name written on it, into a bowl upon entering the party. Pat Lonchar will be manning the Welcome booth and explaining the activities and prizes. Also we need to get a sign for the raffle and to direct guests to the suite, which we need to talk to Grace Inn about. Name badges will be provided for the NSS hosts also NSS and AIAA flyers for the attendees. Mike Mackowski and Dave Fischer will provide the slideshow and questions for the trivia, and the score sheet.

Mike Clark volunteered to put together a long video of ISS footage flying over earth to provide an atmosphere for the party. Patrick volunteered his flatscreen in order to play the videos, which we would need to test before the even. Dave needs to update Yuri’s Night information, and Chuck volunteered to get a Yuri’s poster. We want to try to invite as many people as we can, including the Tucson chapter, Challenger Center, Dave Williams, and attendees of Space Access.

Since the event will coincide with the Space Access Conference we want to try to coordinate with Henry Vanderbilt who needs Audio-Visual help, and to get permission to blog and interview for the NSS (by Mike and Dave). Volunteers should call Veronica if you are willing to help with the conference. Volunteers may receive free registration.

11:00 AM: Other Business: Pat Lonchar has completed filing all 2011 papers except an exception letter, which was filled out at the meeting and will be mailed to NSS headquarters by Dave. We will review the by-laws and dues of members at a future meeting.

We have obtained the e-mail list from headquarters of the entire active and one-year lapsed NSS members in the Phoenix area. We will use this list in an attempt to reactivate members and grow our small community. Chuck Lesher volunteered to help make a flyer to contact some of these people. Veronica brought up the possibility of having a booth at Comic-Con and will send Dave the info. Mike Clark wants to interview the members of the chapter and create video material to be used for NSS Blog, and his EpicFutureSpace Blog.

Dave updated us on the status of the NSS Phoenix blog. It has been doing very well, especially an article about Pintle Injection Systems, which has been referenced by Wikipedia.

11:35: The meeting was adjourned.

Michael Clark

21 January 2012

10:00 AM: Meeting called to order by Dave Fischer, VP. Other attendees were Veronica Ann Zabala-Aliberto, Chuck Lesher, Michael Mackowski, Al Wendler and Patrick Lonchar, Treasurer.

10:10 AM: Veronica presented images and information from her work last spring and summer with the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program. This is a new United States STEM initiative for students in grades 5-16. Work was carried out at Cape Canaveral at the Space Life Sciences Laboratory. (SLSL). The SLSL serves as the primary gateway for payloads bound for the International Space Station (ISS).

The 27 student experiments were carried aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour (STS-134) and Atlantis (STS-135).

A lively discussion ensued concerning space policy and other topics of interest.

11:15 AM: A discussion of the upcoming Space Access conference and Yuri’s Night was lead by Mike Mackowski. Mike indicated that AIAA was likely to host a hospitality suite for Yuri’s Night as it did last year. Further planning was set for the March meeting.

11:30 AM: A discussion of political advocacy was undertaken, including activities such as meeting with staffers for John McCain in Phoenix.
The meeting was adjourned shortly before noon.

Dave Fischer

19 November 2011

10:00 AM: Those in Attendance: Mike Mackowski, Dave Fischer, Al Wendler, Peter Jyachosky, and Belo (Peter’s friend).

10:00 AM: General discussion concerning membership and meetings. Suggestion to establish a MeetUp group for NSS Phoenix, on which Dave Fischer will work. Agreement that meetings will continue on the third Saturday of alternating months at HCC.
Discussion of the upcoming Russian Mars mission. Discussion of current Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity, and the upcoming launch of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity.

A review of the current officers was made:

  • President vacant
  • Vice President Dave Fischer
  • Secretary Michael Clark
  • Treasurer Patrick Lonchar
  • Programs vacant

In conjunction with the officers, the state of the Chapter By-Laws was reviewed. Mike offered to supply samples from several organizations, and Dave agreed to solicit help from Dave Stewart, the National Chapters coordinator for NSS. Dave will work with Veronica on the mailing list for Maricopa and Pinal counties from NSS National.

The Future Cities program was reviewed, and it was decided the Chapter could not participate this year. Dave will contact Everett Greenli.
Yuri’s Night 2012 was discussed and Mike Mackowski agreed to work with the Space Access Conference and the local chapter of AIAA to sponsor a hospitality suite, as was done last year.

The Fall Space Policy Public Conference, which had been discussed as a possibility for 2011, was tentatively suggested as the NSS Phoenix meeting for 15 September 2012. Panel participants would include political, policy and space representatives. Dave Fischer and Mike Mackowski will discuss this further.

The program and meeting schedule for 2012 was discussed:

  • 17 January Veronica will discuss Student Experiments aboard STS-134 and 135
  • 17 March Preparation for Yuri’s Night at Space Access
  • 19 May Michael Clark will present Space Access interviews
  • 21 July Dave Fischer will discuss ISDC 2012 in Washington DC
  • 15 September Fall Space Policy Public Conference
  • 17 November Open
  • December Party (Open)

Mike Mackowski agreed to host the December 2011 NSS Phoenix party. Details to follow.

12:00 PM: Meeting adjourned.

17 September 201110:30 AM: Those in Attendance: Dave Fischer, Al Wendler, and Peter Jyachosky.10:45 AM: Presentation of the Future City Competition by Everett Greenli. The 2011-2012 competition will culminate on 28 January at the ASU Preparatory Academy at 735 East Fillmore Street in Phoenix,
Arizona. The three NSS Phoenix chapter members tentatively agreed to raise the $350 to sponsor a prize and to provide judges for that prize from within the NSS Phoenix membership.11:30 AM: Dave Fischer discussed his trip to Tucson on 10 September and the presentation to the Tucson Space Society of his talk on the US Space Program, which was presented earlier at the Humanist Society. Tucson is working on TusCon, scheduled for 11-13 November 2011.12:00 AM: End of Meeting.
16 July 201110:45 AM: Those in Attendance: Dave Fischer, Michael Clark, Pat Lonchar, and Art Felsinger.10:50 AM: Dave gives us a tour of the Humanist Society Building, which will be a GREAT place to meet and have events.
The building has:
-A spacious meeting hall
-Kitchen suitable to support catering
-Professional Sound System
-Modern Projector able to support many different media formats
-and everything needed to have professional presentations given.11:00 AM: Dave Fischer gave us a very interesting preview of the presentation he will give at the Humanist Society on July 31st
(DVD’s of the presentation will be available) about the history of the US and Russian space programs.11:45 AM: Open discussion ensues about various rocket designs, asteroid mining, space solar power, capturing Apophis into
Earth Orbit, and building space settlements. Very interesting discussions and which alone make coming out to the
meetings WORTH IT.12:10 AM: End of Meeting.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s