[amsat-bb] Re: cost HEO

tosca005 at umn.edu tosca005 at umn.edu
Wed Oct 19 07:18:40 PDT 2011

On Oct 18 2011, Bob- W7LRD wrote:
 With the occasional conversations going on with leo, nano sat, GEO, cube 
sat, heo, etc.  Just what does it cost to put these gizzmos up there?  
Who are the major players who do the putting?  More and more countries and 
private companies are developing this capability.  Competition is the cost 
equalizer.  I mean what if North Korea said, "we can do that for for 
cheap".  To save face would say NASA , "step up"?  I, and we in the 
majority do not understand all the ramifications political 
and otherwise to be made in these decisions.  I do know we (AMSAT) have 
some very smart and "well placed" people within the industry.  I hear the 
term, "benevolent benefactor",  "pool our visa cards", "get lottery 
tickets", etc.  I have yet to see a "dig in our heels" concept and make it 
happen.  There is not a specific answer to these questions and ideas.  I 
feel it important to keep this carrot in front of our nose.


I'll let someone who knows more about this answer your question as directly 
as possible. In the mean time, I would (sadly) point out that the US has a 
law on the books with the acronym ITAR (International Trafficing in Arms 
Regulations). The people who enforce it believe that satellite technology 
counts as "Arms" (weapons) and so if we built a satellite and shipped it to 
Korea (or even if we shipped it to the United Kingdom for that matter) we 
would be threatened with huge fines and possibly jail time. Case in point, 
AMSAT-NA had to pull out of the Phase 3e project with AMSAT-DL because of 
the crazy way that this law is being enforced. I am especially sickened by 
this fact because when I read the regulations in question, I see explicit 
exceptions to the rule of what constitutes regulated "Arms" that ought to 
apply to us. But I'm not a lawyer so what do I know?

73 John, W0JT

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