Ken's (a/k/a Lunadyne) To The Moon Page

Not your normal space background, but I'm not your normal Moon enthusiast. One of my ambitions is to be the most knowledgeable persons of my generation regarding the Moon, so I'm looking forward to a bit of formal Lunar training.

International Space University - Master of Space Studies, cum laude - 2001
SUNY College at Brockport - BA, International Business & Economics, Minor in French, magna cum laude - 1992
Monroe Community College - AS, International Business Concentration, with distinction - 1990
Round Rock High School - Diploma - 1985

Space Background
Host of the 18th Carnival of Space, 30 Aug 2007
Presentation: "The New Moon" - Texas Astronomical Society (p.16), 27 Jul 2007
Co-Chair, 2007 International Space Development Conference, 25-28 May 2007
Custodian - On-line Lunar Library, Sep 2006 - present
Organizer/Counselor, Space Exploration Merit Badge session at Frontiers of Flight Museum, Jul 2005
Flyer - Zero-G Inaugural Tour, Sep 2004
Member/Officer, NSS of North Texas, 2003 - Present
Program Support, ISU Liaison - NASA Academy at GSFC, Jun-Aug 2002
Graduate Student, International Space University, Sep 2000 - Aug 2001, internship at Boeing HSF&E
Mission Specialist, ISS Commander - Adult Space Camp, Oct 1999, Right Stuff medal
US Delegate - Space Generation Forum, UNISPACE III, Jul 1999
Honorary Secretary-General - NY Citywide Model UN General Assembly on the Outer Space Treaties

Getting my Moon on in Houston - Selenian Boondocks, Oct 2007
The Exploration of, and Conquest of, the Moon! - The Space Review, Oct 2007
Browsing the Stacks at the Lunar Library - adAstra Online, Feb 2007
A Lunaminer ‘29er and his daughter Selenedyne - Selenian Boondocks
25 Good Reasons to Go to the Moon - Selenian Boondocks/Space News
The Accidental Space Activist - adAstra Online
The Importance of the Moon - Space News
Reaching Out to Texas Teens - adAstra Online

Space Education and Outreach - The Space Show

Here, at long last, is homework #1, the quarter-sized sketch of the Moon:

And here's what I got when I whipped the telescope out:Crisium.jpg
This first image ('Eye1') is my first naked-eyed attempt to draw the Moon in the dark. It got a little better with the binoculars, and finally my telescope gave me a nice view of the terminator crossing Mare Crisium, with the floor completely dark except for two small intrusions of sunlight into the crater.

Lesson #1: It's hard to draw in the dark.
Lesson #2: Faraday flashlights need a lot of shaking.
Lesson #3: My new 5.1mm eyepiece is really nice.
Lesson #4: The filters are really cool.
Lesson #5: I can't draw for beans.

My preference is definitely for the telescope observing. The drawing is definitely going to take some work.

For the Misconceptions homework assignment I'm going to introduce a graphic that I have on one of my display boards. It's from the PERMANENT webpage and is a cross-section of the Earth-Moon gravity well.

I usually use this when I'm talking about different ways of looking at transport in the Earth-Moon system. It helps helps give them a sense of the energy expenditure needed to get to different locations.

Some possible misconceptions:
1) The Earth is actually in a well.
2) The line connecting the Earth & Moon is what the rocket's trajectory will look like.
3) EML-1 is actually on the top of a hill.
4) It would be possible to have an object in orbit at sea level. (SLEO)
Some potential benefits:
1) Wait, that's sort of like the penny spiral at the local museum!
2) Getting to LEO really is the hardest part
3) New concepts can be introduced, such as EML-1 and how it can be beneficial. (If you have a work crew at L-1, it's cheaper energy-wise to send them to GEO and back than to send a crew from LEO in order to fix your malfunctioning comm sat
4) It seem's to have helped some people get a better grasp of the requirements of orbital mechanics.

Final Moon Project:

I have to admit that the most difficult section was the hardcore education section. I don't think in the structure that's used, and I have so many irons in the fire that it's hard to focus to the extent necessary to adapt. The video was definitely a strong aspect of the class, and has induced a fair amount of reflection on the lessons presented, including my own experiences as one of the TAG kids who actually lived a lot of the kinds of things shown. I know a lot more than I used to, and have also learned where I'm not gifted. But enough about me; some irons in the fire:

Current Projects

1) Children's Reading Library at Frontiers of Flight Museum at Love Field, Dallas
NSS of North Texas has an ongoing project to donate space-related books to the FoF reading library in their play area. The Civil Air Patrol built a really cool airplane bookshelf, and it's difficult to keep it stocked. The books we've donated that are still there are really beat up, so I've spearheaded the rounding up of the next round of books. This time around we have 23 to donate, of which 8 are Moon specific, thanks to yours truly, from 'The Berenstain Bears on the Moon' to 'The New Atlas of the Moon'. They keep the best ones locked up for the education program, and leave the rest in the hands of fate (and small children).

2) NSS of North Texas 'Santa Space Toy Drive'
One of the projects that I've encouraged and cultivated is our annual space toy drive, which we donate to the local 'Santa's Helpers' program to serve underpriveledged youth in the community. We've found that it is very difficult to find 'real' space toys, as opposed to Star Wars/Star Trek, so we collectively gather as many as we can and donate them en masse to build some small amount of awareness of space. One of these years we hope to get on TV during the drop-off.

Future Projects

A) Space Exploration Merit Badge

This project was completed once previously, and I would like to do it again.

Goal: Train 25 Boy Scouts for the Space Exploration Merit Badge

Moon Specific/Related Tasks:
2) Design a Collector's Card
The Scouts could be encouraged to create a card for one of the many visitors to the Moon.
a. Discuss an...early manned mission
-What learned

c. Design an uncrewed mission to the Moon involving a sample return
-This provides an opportunity to teach about the Russian Lunakhod missions, as well as the value of crewed sample return. (A recent study showed that Apollo had the lowest cost per gram of sample return missions to date)

7) Design Inhabited Base on the Moon
Consider/Plan for:
-Source of Energy
-How Constructed
-Life Support System
-Purpose & Function

This one offers a great opportunity to advance the idea of work on the Moon. The difficulty is the short timeframe in which to present the materials.

The general structure I used the prior time was a two-weekend framework.
Saturday Morning was used for the introduction and overview (30 mins to an hour), and construction of model rockets, which generally takes at least two hours, preferably three. After lunch we put them to sleep with a film on the ISS, and then cover several more of the requirements and give out the first round of homework, like the collector card.
Sunday afternoon we cover more of the requirements and set the homework for the first week, including requirement 7, the Moon or Mars base.
The following Saturday we launch the model rockets and review the planetary bases.
One of the difficulties is that the scope of the requirements requires a team to present all of the material. Last time we had the assitance of the Dallas Area Rocket Society, but I'd also like to get the local Solar System Ambassadors involved as well.

B) Yuri's Night

This one is on a Saturday this year, so offers the opportunity to have a party. I'm still trying to work out a general structure for a Dallas event. I do want to do some Moon related stuff as a part of that. It might be possible to arrange a Moon Rock Certification class as part of the proceedings for local teachers. I would definitely have a Moon display up.

My general approach would be a space fair/rave,with the ideal destination the Frontiers of Flight Museum at Love Field. Lots of exhibitors, music, and drinks. Along the lines of the 'First Night' approach that many museums are taking, where they stay open to midnightish the first weekend night of the month to try to attract a younger audience.

Also sort of like a Scarborough Faire in reverse, projecting into the real space future instead of the past. Lots of display booths for the visitors to peruse, some movies screened throughout the evening (GaiaSelene, Postcards from the Future, others), a dancefloor with lights and a DJ in the main hangar area.

Target Audience:
University Students, Young Professionals, Professionals, Educators

Potential Exhibitors:
NSS of North Texas
Dallas Mars Society
Moon Society
Texas Astronomical Society
Dallas Area Rocket Society
Dallas Personal Robotics Group
Science Place Planetarium
UT Arlington Planetarium
DCCCD Engineering & Science Programs
UTA, UTD Engineering & Science Programs
SMU Engineering & Science Programs
Local Solar System Ambassadors

Potential Underwriters/Exhibitors:
L-3 Corporation
Lockheed Martin
Private Grants

Potential Media:
Dallas Observer
Diddly News

More to come.

As you can see, I'm in kind of a weird educational position, and oftentimes it's less about teaching the Moon specifically (though I do do plenty of that), and more about making sure the Moon doesn't get overlooked in the crowded space field.

Thanks everyone, I've really enjoyed the class and all of the inputs. Not too bad for a first time ever class. I hope it continues as you work the kinks out. We definitely need more of this sort of thing.