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1998 OASIS Annual Report

By Steve Bartlett

The year of 1998 featured several milestones in space development, including launch of the first elements of the International Space Station, discovery of large deposits of water at the lunar poles, launch of the advanced Deep Space 1 science probe, and the return to space of U.S. Senator and Mercury astronaut John Glenn. OASIS took advantage of this activity and used its unique mix of talents to promote human space settlement throughout the year. Our efforts focused on educating the public on space development activities and maintaining member involvement with fun activities.

OASIS's public education efforts included staffing booths at local science fiction conventions, giving lectures on space-related topics, and promoting space-related Internet websites. For the fourth year in a row, OASIS provided a visible presence at the local LOSCON science fiction convention. Besides staffing a membership and information booth at the convention, our members talked on several space-related panels and met with people interested in becoming space activists themselves. The space talks ranged from hands-on craft classes ("How Would You Build A Spaceship?") to the latest missions to Mars, commercial space development ("How To Make a Buck in Space"), reusable launch vehicles, and space tourism. The booth garnered considerable attention with its regular "Take a Piece of Mars" promotion.

Its success at the LOSCON conventions over the past few years gained OASIS the reputation of being the local source for space speakers. As a result, the organizers of two other conventions, Gallifrey and Agamemcon, invited OASIS to provide space-related programming for these conventions, as well as to have booths at the conventions. Our people once again met the challenge with numerous speakers and activities for convention attendees.

Our Internet-related educational activities spread the space development message to a world audience on a number of fronts. OASIS secretary Robert Gounley updated his large and invaluable list of websites promoting space work. Our own website ( informed both members and non-members of space activities in the Greater Los Angeles area and beyond. Since its inception in late 1996, this site has attracted over 400,000 "hits." Numerous people have contacted OASIS via email with inquiries about space missions, history, and areas where they might have a say in human development of space.

OASIS reached a milestone of its own in 1998 when the organization turned twenty years old. To celebrate, the group held a gala reunion and anniversary party, attended by dozens of current and past group members, including the chapter's founder, Terry Savage. A local weekly news magazine, The New Times, devoted its cover article to the event and the group's work ("Red Tarzana," by Glenn Gaslin.)

The Los Angeles chapter realized long ago that all work and no play would quickly wear out even the most ardent of space activists. To maintain our members' interests in 1998, OASIS provided its members with numerous fun activities, including tours of the Lockheed-Martin X-33 reusable flying testbed assembly facility, the Microcosm Scorpius rocket assembly facility, and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory; launch parties to view orbital flights out of Vandenberg Air Force Base; and a special invitation to view the launch of the Deep Space 1 mission. In addition, the group enjoyed several parties and get-togethers after our monthly board meetings.

Besides these visible efforts, OASIS continued its space settlement work by its involvement with various space-related organizations (e.g., the California Space Development Council the Planetary Society, the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society, the Space Frontier Foundation, the Reaction Research Society, and the NSS Board of Directors.) Finally, we kept our members informed with our newsletter, Odyssey, and our telephone hotline (310/364-2290).

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