[amsat-bb] Re: Why do hamsats? (Or anything else...)

Rocky Jones orbitjet at hotmail.com
Fri Oct 16 21:29:16 PDT 2009


the two points you raise are interesting

Education...you wrote in part "

> It does list "intercommunication", but it also lists "self-training"
> and "technical investigations", which certainly have a clear
> educational mandate.  

you can interpret that anyway you want to...but I dont see a mandate there to do "general education"...but even if there was one...

it is bogus to say "this project failed in its main goal but was a success because it did education".  Put another way...the recent "crash on the Moon and find water".

Would you really buy that the 80 million dollars spent was well spent if the effort did not answer the basic scientific questions it was designed to do (and we dont know if it did or did not but it probably didnt)...if it "did good education" (my words). 

I dont. 

If the 80 million was going to do education, it should have been spent on that...and there are ways to do it.  If something has a primary goal and that primary goal improves education then thats great...but when the primary goal fails...it is a stretch of massive proportions to say "well it was a success because it educated people".

I dont know how the "education" thing got into ham radio, but I imagine it is one of the virus that we got when we started interfacing with NASA for ham radio.  There is no justification for human spaceflight (and I am not the only one that thinks that...the Augustine Commission agrees there is not) so NASA and its groupies try everything to justify it including "education". 

 Yes, we could kick a very
> basic linear transponder out of the ISS, and it would float around in
> LEO and allow you to make some contacts, but so what?  What purpose
> would be served?   

A great deal.  It would allow communications and experimentation and self teaching in ham radio which is the essence of the hobby.

I'll turn it around.  What purpose is going to be served by another flop like Suitsat 1?  

I hope I am wrong about the failure rate but probably not.  We will see...Suitsat2 is definatly going the way it is.

Robert WB5MZO

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