[amsat-bb] Re: AMSAT NA

k7zt@suddenlink.net k7zt at suddenlink.net
Wed Jul 16 10:34:59 PDT 2008

For the most part, I agree with your analysis. But it's not like were in a space race with the USSR, what could possibly be wrong with making the HEO effort an international undertaking with maximum resources focused on a single goal.  Based on your comments, PE3 dosen't stand a chance of getting off the ground unless the Europeans have some political leverage which they may have.  Has anyone from AMSAT-NA asked them?  Eagle is so complex and bogged down that I honestly don't see it going anywhere soon.   The outlook for HEO is very grim, unless we pool resources (both financial and intellictual) set some milestones and manage to those.

- Joe

---- JoAnne Maenpaa <k9jkm at comcast.net> wrote: 
> Joe mentioned ...
> > I remember quite a surge of fund raising prior to getting AO40 launched 
> Hams around the world pretty much paid for AO-40 and its ride with private
> donations. Its great that everyone dug in and met the funding goal - thank
> you! I had fun for a short time on AO-40, getting a station nearly going
> near the end.
> AO-40 seems to have been one of the last subsidized/discounted launch
> opportunities. Getting to orbit with the real price quotes we get in today's
> space-as-a-business-model, we seem to hear $6 Million with a straight face
> from the launching agency.
> A few things may be going on here:
> 1. The launch agency is telling us to go away knowing there is little 
>    likelihood of a bunch of hams coming back with $6 Million.
> 2. Amateur radio isn't making a good enough business case to fit into the 
>    space-as-a-business-model when we propose we're flying a radio for
>    a bunch of guys to yack on.  Oh, emergency? Well you see, if enough
>    of the guys are available on the weekend we might help.  School?
>    Sure, if they have an antenna and some kids got their license.
> I'd guess we need to fix #2 so we can go back with $6 Million to fix #1.  It
> has been said several times: There is not much chance amateur radio
> operators will raise that $6 Million with bake sales, car washes, private
> wallets (wouldn't it be excellent to have a wallet like that!).
> To fit into today's space business environment AMSAT needs to create a
> mission that excites potential funding sources.  Emergency Management is
> excited by the possibility of many-hours or 24 hour access to a satellite
> supporting emergency communications.  Schools are excited at the prospect of
> student access to space with perhaps hours-long access to an experiment on
> ISS with TDRSS-like functionality instead of a 10 minute QSO with an
> astronaut.
> Once we've made a business-case for our mission and a funding/grant source
> has agreed we'll be on our way.  Yes, deliver the promised mission ... and
> in the meantime we'll be keeping those transponders warmed up ... we get to
> yack but you can't say that in a grant request. 
> > Those who wish to continue to have philosophical disagreements on the 
> > Eagle design concept and process are welcome to do so.
> It's just my observation, but a lot of the philosophical discussion is
> trying to find a way to build a mission ... not just a satellite.  The
> overall mission includes paying for the satellite we want to yack on.
> --
> 73 de JoAnne K9JKM
> k9jkm at amsat.org 
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