[amsat-bb] Re: Why do hamsats?

Jeff Davis stuckbit at gmail.com
Fri Oct 16 10:47:02 PDT 2009

On Fri, Oct 16, 2009 at 12:01:30PM -0500, Rocky Jones wrote:
> Ham radio is about communicating.  If we want to turn its primary task into "education" then it will look very very different.

If you were making this point to a bunch of 40m CW operators then they
would quite likely agree with you. I wouldn't respond at all except that
there are no doubt a few not thinking clearly who you may have persuaded...

Where you are missing the boat with your derision of projects that are
more educational is that AMSAT is a very, very special subset of amateur
radio. While we have plenty  of communicators in our midst, by default
there have to be some space engineers or we don't exist.

Well, unless you assume we can raise a few million bucks and head on down 
to the neighborhood satellite store to buy one whenever we need a new one...

Designing spacecraft is an entirely different thing that requires a wide
variety of engineering skills, some of which have absolutely nothing to
do with radio, antennas, or communication.

So one reason that we need a steady stream of students who give a flip
about what we are doing is that very soon all the folks who designed and
built the Phase 3 birds will be gone. Many of them already are.

And that says nothing at all about the general overall need for humans
to embrace science in order to survive. Your argument is a little like
the old folks who always complain about having to pay taxes that support
public schools even though they never had any kids... I'll bet they are
darned glad that someone got an education when they need that new hip or
knee -- or heart.

And besides, future projects of things that we sometimes get to play
with will come from Universities and while beggars can't be choosers,
wouldn't it be wonderful if we had a rosy relationship with an array of
students and educators around the globe who are going to space with or
without us anyway?

Jeff, KE9V

More information about the AMSAT-BB mailing list