This is an email I received from Ronnie Lajoie about the Huntsville Chapter of the National Space Society. Ronnie is a member of the NSS Web Site Development Team, the NSS Membership Committee, and NSS Chapters Committee. For those thinking of joining the NSS, at least the chapter in Huntsville sounds pretty good. Check out there web site at:
It was with great dismay that I just read your Web posting "Why I am not a member of he NSS" to Space Pragmatism that was just forwarded to me by a co-worker. But first let me assure you that there IS indeed a chapter of the National Space Society in Huntsville. In fact, we are one of the largest and most active chapters. (I am CC'ing the other
HAL5 chapter officers in this reply.) I invite you now to join our local chapter as well as our parent organization National Space Society. Our local membership form is available at http://www.HAL5.org/HAL5/HAL5_Membership_Form.pdf
You can join the NSS via http://www.NSS.org/join
I wish I had seen your posting YESTERDAY (I would have phoned you),
because you just missed a great public lecture we hosted last night at the
Public Library. Over 70 people attended the free program, including HAL5
members, other local NSS members, members of AIAA, VBAS, NASFA and others, and other local citizens who saw the flyers and announcements. You can download
the flyer at http://www.HAL5.org/HAL5/reports/2005/Flyer_2005_12_Dec.pdf
I say "dismay" for a number of reasons. I should tell you that I had a
similar situation to your own while living in Seattle, Washington in
1990. Somehow, "space cadet" me totally missed the fact that NSS was holding
an "International Space Development Conference" in Seattle in 1990; at the
same time as I was lamenting the lack of local space interest groups. I learned too late (I moved to Huntsville in 1991) that Seattle had TWO chapters of the NSS. I later vowed not to let it happen to other space enthusiasts. Looks like we may have more work to do.
As the leader of the NSS Web Site Development Team, and a member of the
both the NSS Membership Committee and Chapters Committee, I had started
to believe that NSS was doing a much better job of getting the word out
both nationally and locally. For example:
1. Just search on the word "space" in Google and a link to the NSS Web
site shows up in the very FIRST "sponsored link" spot. One cannot
do much better than that in a search engine! I agree that our Web
site could be much better, and I and other NSS leaders are actively
seeking support for a major overhaul/redesign of our Web site.
2. NSS advertises its conferences and major events in "Space News" and
other space-related publications. Our leaders are frequented quoted
in the press and our leaders' editorials frequently show up
3. We just hosted a fantastic national conference in Washington, D.C.
and we preparing to host our biggest conference ever, in Los Angeles,
in partnership with The Planetary Society. For more information, see
4. HAL5 worked VERY hard last November to locally publicize a regional
space conference called "Exploring and Privateering Space". We had
Huntsville and surrounding cities plastered with colorful posters,
including 3x4-foot displays at the Space and Rocket Center, NASA,
the Huntsville Public Library, and the University of Alabama (HSV).
We had ads and articles in the Huntsville Times, plus radio spots.
More info on this event at http://www.nsschapters.org/al/conference/
So please join our local chapter and the NSS, and you will never want
again for space enthusiast companionship and activities. In addition
to our monthly programs (FIRST Thursday), the HAL5 chapter leadership
meets once per week for a lunch meeting near Madison Square Mall. If
you interested, please join us at one of our meetings. Details at: