[amsat-bb] Re: "PR" of PcSat2 during spacewalks this week

Ransom, Kenneth G. (JSC-OC)[BAR] kenneth.g.ransom at nasa.gov
Thu Sep 21 07:28:39 PDT 2006

I did not monitor the events you are referring too but it sounds like
the announcers did not have any prepared description. One possible
reason for this is that PCSAT2 was a piggyback  to the primary MISSE 5
experiment which was a DOD payload. The DOD is not known for pro-active

Kenneth - N5VHO

-----Original Message-----
From: amsat-bb-bounces at amsat.org [mailto:amsat-bb-bounces at amsat.org] On
Behalf Of Nate Duehr
Sent: Wednesday, September 20, 2006 3:28 PM
To: amsat-bb at amsat.org
Subject: [amsat-bb] "PR" of PcSat2 during spacewalks this week

Bob will probably have some comment on this, but I wondered if anyone
else noticed it.

I've been listening to/watching NASA TV most of the week with the
Shuttle mission going on, and was obviously interested to watch/listen
during the spacewalks.

What I found especially interesting (or disturbing?) during the
spacewalks was the announcers descriptions of the external payload boxes
being worked on, like PCSat2.

When they worked on removing PCSat2 there was this (almost mumbled) dumb
description of what is was -- something like "radio experimentation
equipment".  And that's about it.  No mention of its name.  No mention
that it was built by students at the Naval Academy.  No mention of
Amateur Radio.

Yet, the next day when they were removing the other science experiments,
there were long gushing words about all the peace, love, and worldwide
joy that a box with 20 different pieces of metal stuck to the outside
would bring as the scientists of the world, as they would be able to see
the effects of being outside in space had on different metalurgical

Sorry - ok yes, I'm exaggerating.  But my curiosity is still piqued.

Why was PCSat2 given such a "boring" billing during the announcer's time
to speak about what the Astronauts were doing, versus all the
glowing/gushing descriptions of the other scientific experiments?

Is radio science or the word "Amateur" in Amateur Radio a source of some
kind of embarasment for NASA PR people these days?

Or, was there simply no good typed up description for the announcers to
read from, so they skipped it?  (I'm hoping here...)

In other words, was there a PR opportunity for Amateur Radio missed
because no one had time to send a good description and make sure it got
into the correct hands for reading during the spacewalks?

Was there anything anyone could have done to make the description of
PCSat2 at least sound more interesting than a mumbled comment about a
radio black-box the announcer seemed clueless about?  Or at least even
have its NAME mentioned so people with a web browser and Google could
find the rest of the story?

Somehow I want to give the announcers more credit than that they were
just "dumb" about it -- they all seem to be VERY well versed in what's
going on in almost all aspects of Shuttle operations.

Along those lines, is there any reason they would be told NOT to say
what it was, perhaps?  (Hey, it's a possibility, right?  I'm not much of
a conspiracy theorist, but you have to consider all possibilities.)

I'm very curious.  Probably more than I should be.  :-)

Anyone else notice this?

Nate WY0X
Sent via AMSAT-BB at amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
Not an AMSAT-NA member? Join now to support the amateur satellite
Subscription settings: http://amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/amsat-bb

More information about the AMSAT-BB mailing list