[amsat-bb] NASA 2 Line via mail?

Rich Dailey (Gmail) redailey1 at gmail.com
Tue Nov 24 01:18:27 PST 2009

An open invitation to the list to assist in jogging this not so young man's
memory... a bit of nostalgic research I'm doing. Thanks in advance for everyone's

Back what I used to call "not so many" years ago, maybe 1980-1985, I recall NASA
mailing me 2-line elements for specific satellites I had selected.  These would come in an
official manilla envelope with an extremely official looking NASA label affixed to it. I recall
these would arrive in my mailbox every week or so.  Later they dwindled to perhaps one per month.

At some point, they just stopped mailing them to me. Perhaps I had missed a reminder to update
my subscription info. I'm assuming more than likely the free service just became redundant, as BBS systems,
and later internet services began providing them online for free. Not to mention the Oscar data provided
in the AMSAT Journal.

An aside - you can skip this paragraph if you want me to cut to the quick - I was living
in an apartment with my then new, now ex, wife. We were the only young couple in the
complex.  The ladies sitting in the breezeway thought we were gov'mt spies receiving coded
instructions. They always kept one eye on us as we unlocked our mail slot, and pulled out one of
these covert communiques. One accidentally was placed in another mail slot once.  The nice elderly woman
who lived below us returned it to me as I came home from work. She said, "I think you'll be needing this."
Handed it to me, and hurried back into her apartment.  I tucked it under my coat, and went upstairs - I knew
there were eyes peering out behind every door. I can't say that I tried to dispell the myth. My apologies, Ms.
Maxine, in Apt 303... God rest her soul.

* Which NASA office did these originate from?
* When did this service begin/end?
* Could requests be made for any unclassified object in orbit, as long as the designator was known?

For your eyes only, (ssshhh...)

Rich, N8UX

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