[amsat-bb] Re: AMSAT NA

D. Mynatt dave at mynatt.biz
Wed Jul 16 11:06:25 PDT 2008

Group:   The conversation about what to do to expand AMSAT membership and 
how they and other volunteer groups (local and national) can become more 
relevant has touched a chord with me because the arguments being advanced 
here are the same concerns affecting every volunteer organization. It's 
impossible to see how luxury hobbies like ours can be sustained when in so 
many parts of our own country poverty is a daily issue.  Entire portions of 
our society have gone asunder and the fabric of science has been rent by 
several influences, mostly but not only that inane cell phone conversations 
by children have replaced scientific curiosity as a civilization. Money that 
goes to feed folks competes with funds to educate the unwilling.

As in every group, a core cadre does the work, has the interest and provides 
the energy while the rest sometimes provide distraction and express 
frustration at the lack of progress. But the term volunteer implies 
non-funded. Expectations in a volunteer organization are goals with no 
financial plan to achieve them except donations.

We could probably debate that long and hard and exhaust ourselves getting 
nowhere and ending up with no solutions; maybe because solutions no longer 
exist where options outweigh responsibilities, obligations and interest. And 
then again maybe not, but in a society that has more opinions than resources 
things do seem to keep falling by the side.

Given that, I propose that AMSAT become energetically affiliated with and 
supportive of an ongoing satellite plan, the American Student Moon Orbiter 
(http://asmo.arc.nasa.gov/ ) (ASMO) program.  We can work with our European 
bothers and get ourselves involved in the European counterpart, ESMO with 
ASMO thus making a real global effort. The idea being that resources would 
be more available if the audience is bigger. This type of program 
affiliation would strengthen the core of AMSAT and other like-minded groups, 
build or renew a relationship with colleges and the local ham/AMSAT club 
outreach programs (if any exist) and establish AMSAT as a vigorous 
participant in the satellite program.

I would ask that AMSAT governance look at this possibility and respond to 
the RFI (Request for Information). The RFI is out for comment and it is 
right up our alley. See:  http://asmo.arc.nasa.gov/asmo_docs .

This could re-energize us, our hobby, our clubs and our people. We have 
everything they need and they have what we want.

Thanks. That's the end of my rant for today.

Dave Mynatt
Program Director
SID ID: S-0258
APRS Tier II Server @ pueblo.aprs2.net:14501
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----- Original Message ----- 
From: <k7zt at suddenlink.net>
To: <amsat-bb at amsat.org>; "JoAnne Maenpaa" <k9jkm at comcast.net>
Sent: Wednesday, July 16, 2008 11:34 AM
Subject: [amsat-bb] Re: AMSAT NA

> JoAnne:
> 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.
> Regards,
> - 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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