Posted by Charles Rehberg on Apr 03, 2018
North Notes
Spokane North Rotary Club Bulletin
April 2, 2018      
          Mobius night: A few club members are need to join Holmes Elementary students and family at the school for Mobius scientific presentations Thursday, April 26 at 7 p.m.  Brad Stark was the first to sign up. Daria Brown has more details if you are available to volunteer.
          Save the date:  Club member Art Rudd has reserved space for our annual installation banquet Monday, June 25 at the Kalispel Golf and Country Club (the former Spokane Country Club), 2010 W. Waikiki Rd., in Mead.
 Club became space cadets for rocket lessons
          When Joe Bruce talks about the space race, his lift-off energy launches into stage-three rocket mode.
          Bruce has made his mission to talk with anyone or any groups – especially school children – about where the space program is going and how important to see developments grow.
          Wearing his blue space shuttle suit with badges and tags, Bruce delighted club members with his knowledge and energy.  Some 10 years ago, as Spokesman-Review reporter Mike Prager wrote then, Bruce was accepted to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Solar System Ambassador program.
          Bruce, a past-president of Club 21 Rotary, taught in Spokane schools for three years before joining a family bike shop business.  Now he is director of children’s ministries at Hamblen Park Presbyterian Church.
          Bruce has been space program artifacts, which he calls his “big boy toys,” from the mid-1970s.  He has traveled to Cape Canaveral for launches and he displays a rock sample from a meteorite from Mars and sand from the moon.
          He also describes the gravitational “G-forces” of launching a rocket as 17,000 miles per hour – “it’s like traveling from Spokane to Coeur d’ Alene in six second” – and the gravity-free atmosphere in space where “it’s like swimming, without the water.”
          “I’m not an astronaut,” Bruce said, “but I like to see kids who want to learn about science and math and those who might want to be in the space program.”
          Noting that it takes “three days to the moon and three days back,” he said the next flag planted there might be a Chinese flag.
          Asked about competitor nations, Bruce said India may also join China in the space race and Russia is the only space lab operating now.
          With federal space programs sidelined for now, the developments shift to businessmen like Tesla’s Elon Musk and his Space-X program.  Bruce detailed the re-usable rockets large enough to house 27 rocket engines.
          Mars scientific probes are scheduled sometime soon, Bruce said.   The Mars trip takes eight months to get there, so plans to have manned-flights still are in development phases, including just how long astronauts can stay in space that long, he said.
          Always inquisitive and child-friendly, Bruce just hopes his talks can spark some students who might want to be in the space program.
          “Why do we go to space?” he asked rhetorically.
          “One reason is because humans, by nature, are curious.  We want to know what’s over the next hill.
          “Two, there are concrete developments from the space program.”  He cited satellites, gravity-free medical research and computer developments, among many.
          With Bruce’s enthusiasm, not even the sky is the limit.   
The bulletin producers:
          Bulletin editors: Chuck Rehberg and Sandy Fink
          Photos: Sandy Fink and Eric Johnson
          Program coordinator: Brad Stark