[amsat-bb] Re: HEO naivete

Jeff Davis ke9vee at gmail.com
Fri Feb 6 14:09:00 PST 2009

On Fri, Feb 6, 2009 at 4:39 PM, Bruce Robertson <ve9qrp at gmail.com> wrote:
> I know the following is something some of us do not want to hear, but
> this new economic reality also has presented us (and others) with some
> interesting opportunities in LEO.


Ours is no longer a launch/cost problem -- paying for a ride to HEO is
just out of the question.

Our real problem is facing the reality that radio amateurs may never
have another opportunity for HEO. I have previously (and frequently to
no avail) written that we are __long__ past the time when we should
still be crying in our beer over HEO.

We need to let that go and follow a new path. And as Bruce pointed out
so well, there are multiplied opportunities that are actually very
feasible at LEO. We should be developing scientific payloads that use
amateur radio to downlink and share data with a global audience. There
is so much to explore with global climate change and other similar
areas that are interesting and in high demand -- and it would garner
us no end of publicity and new members.

Instead, many continue to cry for nothing but HEO. Having been an
active AO-13 operator I really understand that desire; heck, I would
also like to believe in Santa Claus but it ain't happening. If you
factor AO-40 out of the equation, AMSAT last placed a bird in HEO in
1988. That was 21 years ago -- how many decades are we going to keep
hoping for a magic ride to HEO before we accept reality and move on?

The longer we wait, and spin our wheels hoping for a miracle, the more
this all becomes a moot point. If all the action is going to be at
LEO, and AMSAT is firmly determined not to plan for a LEO future, then
AMSAT becomes more irrelevant with each passing year until it is no

73, Jeff KE9V

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