The "no pain, no gain path" of Collaboration
Sometimes you can do together, what you cannot accomplish alone. Yet the path of collaboration is often fraught with pitfalls. Working at arms length over long distances is not easy to do, nor simple to coordinate. Meshing one's efforts with those of others often brings potential personality conflicts to the fore. The division of responsibility and the need to see that all critical elements are taken care of, are both hard to realize with handshakes. So some projects may need to be started by one group, but ultimately benefit from bringing in additional support and involvement once a certain level of definition is realized.
That said, here are some of the projects we have helped start, or helped pursue, or which we have started and then found cooperative support for their completion.
- Space Frontier Foundation improves MMM desktop publishing ability. In appreciation for like-minded "frontier-oriented philosophy," SFF arranged to replace our stone age Commodore 64 with a Mac Plus in late 1990, and assisted us in upgrading its memory, and adding accessories. When an anonymous donor gave us a Mac IIsi, they again assisted us in upgrading its memory to the maximum. Currently, we have a power Mac 6500, purchased with chapter funds. SFF seeks to open the space frontier to human exploration and settlement as rapidly as possible, and "The Foundation" remains a strong supporter of MMM, without prejudice to our editorial integrity.
- Amateur lunar telescope design competition - This design competition, instituted by LRS, was run concurrently in MMM and in Selenology, quarterly of the American Lunar Society, whose members are amateur astronomers especially fascinated by the Moon. Entries were few, but interesting.
- Lunar Prospector Team - LRS played a critical role in the launching of the Lunar Prospector project in 1988-89 and has remained a strong supporter through the years. At the '88 Denver ISDC, we ignited a bonfire of interest in Dr. Gay E. Canough, who subsequently sold Greg Maryniak of Space Studies Institute in taking on Lunar Prospector as a real project, not just a paper study. He subsequently hired Alan Binder as principal investigator and the rest is history. LRS had organized the national design competition for the Lunar Prospector Team patch, supplied the prize money, and came up with the name "Lunar Prospector". Our teammates in this early effort were Gay Canough and Greg Maryniak of SSI, Rick Tumlinson of the Space Frontier Foundation, and Jim Davidson of the Houston Space Society. It took not quite ten years of perseverance, and the heroic efforts of Al Binder, but the successful launching and successful search for lunar polar water ice was most gratifying. In addition, LRS at-large member George French put together the coordinated Moonlink outreach program.
- MMM goes national - in the fall '88, following a meeting with us at the Denver '88 ISDC, the Seattle L5 chapter came aboard to help us produce a better, shared newsletter. This collaboration lasted over four years, until the Seattle chapter, NSS' first, dissolved. A new Seattle chapter has since formed, but it is not part of the "MMM Family."
- Oregon L5 & Oregon Moonbase - is blessed with lavatubes in their backyard, and even secured title to a pair outside the city of Bend, Oregon. In the summer of '92, Oregon Moonbase leaders Bryce Walden and Cheryl York gave MMM Editor Peter Kokh a personal tour of this facility. We have worked with them through the years to explore and promote the potential of lavatube use in the settlement of the Moon. We are currently supporting their search of the Clementine data for signs of lavatube entrances, and the project of OR L5's Tom Billings to design and obtain Discovery Mission status for a radar "flashbulb" probe, now dubbed the Lunar Lavatube Locator [LLL] mission.
- Artemis Society International hopes to put the first commercial outpost on the Moon in the near future and is "dedicated to overcoming the business, financial, and technological challenges necessary to establish a permanent, self-sustaining human presence on the Moon." We got involved with the organizing conference for ASI in 1995 and they eventually adopted MMM as their newsletter, contributing their Pleiades Report. We have since been working with ASI to improve the quality and content of MMM, increase its circulation, and archive back issues on their Website.
- The Moon Society took over membership services from the Artemis Society (which continues to work on the Artemis Project) in July, 2000. The Pleiades Report section in MMM has been replaced with the Moon Society Journal.
Initiatives of other organizations which we are interested in supporting
- M.A.R.S. - Mars Arctic Research Station - a NASA-supported effort by the newly-founded Mars Society to establish a simulated Marsbase in a barren ice-free crater on remote Devon Island in the Canadian Arctic. LRS a strong supporter of the Mars Society project to build a simulated Marsbase in the Canadian Arctic. In the summer of 2001, the Mars Desert Research Station made its debut.
- Icepic: the Europa Ocean Explorer Project - this is an internet brainstorming committee exploring the possibilities for a probe through the ice into Europa's ocean and capable of detecting even microbial life, should it exist there.
- ASI - Lunar Traders - We have been suggesting entrepreneurial opportunities to them as they occur to us.
- Space Chapter Hub - We originated the Space Chapter Hub in the Spring of 2000. This is a resource sharing website where Space Chapters of NSS, the Mars Society, the Moon Society and other organization can share expertise and experience either to be better equiped for their own projects, or to commit to joint endeavers.
YOU might be The Punch Line
It is easy to give lip service to an effort or idea. To make our support or involvement real in many of these efforts will require involvement of new people. If you are interested in helping LRS support or collaborate with an effort, contact us at
Whatever space organization you belong to, get it to DO Something, and we will support it.