[amsat-bb] Re: Launch Costs (was-re: AMSAT-BB Digest, Vol. 7, Issue 312)

R Oler orbitjet at hotmail.com
Tue Sep 25 22:14:16 PDT 2012


thanks for the reply (we will see how long my comments leak through to the BB...I expect the filters to start any moment now)

What I am suggesting is that AMSAT needs to think outside the box in terms of justifying satellites.  I dont know that public service will or wont sell...but for instance (and I am just musing this)

Maybe we can get some traction on ISS by figure out a way to use an amateur radio payload as a proof of operation for Dextre?  there is some use planned for Dextre in the December (at least notationally now) flight of a Dragon (ie CRS 2).  

Finally while I think "personal histories" are great; there needs to be something more then that; there has to be some reason that advances the cause of the launch provider to get the "sizzle" that pony up a free launch.  I agree that a launch campaign is not free space on a tower, but the point is that we could not have afforded the space on the three towers we are on (for various devices) had we not gotten them for "10 dollars and a shake" ...and to do that we had to come up with a package that got the people who owned the tower interested in what we did.

We did that and I suspect if AMSAT starts looking outside of the "education box" they will find one as well.  

Meanwhile Oscar 7 keeps on chugging  RGO WB5MZO

> Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2012 00:05:26 -0400
> From: n8fgv at usa.net
> To: amsat-bb at amsat.org
> Subject: [amsat-bb] Re: Launch Costs (was-re: AMSAT-BB Digest, Vol. 7,	Issue 312)
> > ...if here in Houston we had to "pay rent" for our tower space (and we have
> a
> > couple of them) then the group that I am a part of which has a pretty nice
> > repeater/packet system would simply be out of luck.  What we were able to
> do
> > is convince the folks who usually take the large dollars to view us as a 
> > public service and we get the tower space (and the everything else space 
> > including Electricity) for 10 dollars a year.
> >
> > While AMSAT and other groups might or not compete with paying payloads
> > have we lost the ability to go out and convince people that AMSAT is a
> > worthy cause?
> Amsat has tried to sell the emergency and disaster communications aspect of
> amateur radio but so far nobody has bitten on that bait. Getting space on a
> tower is a few thousand dollars per year, getting a free satellite launch
> represents a thousand times more money. A local ham club working with local
> public safety officials can show them directly how valuable hams can be, on
> the national level we are trying to appeal to a big bureaucracy with little
> practical experience. Most of the rest of the world regards ham radio as an
> outmoded hobby practiced by elderly white males. It has been said before in
> this forum that nobody is going to donate money so that hams can talk to Japan
> through an amateur satellite.
> Amsat is not the only worthy non-profit in space these days. We compete with
> many other amateur space groups, including the Google Lunar X prize teams.
> Education is what brings in the big bucks today. The grant makers have fully
> swallowed the phony notion that there is a "critical shortage" of engineers
> and scientists, and they donate to causes that support STEM education. Our
> ability to access space in the future depends on how well we work with the
> education community. We need to stress that a real engineering design course
> must include designing for reliability and a long lived communications
> mission.
> Amsat has a long and proud history of (mostly) successful satellites, which
> gives us credibility in the field, if we don't allow others to rewrite history
> and claim credit for things that we did first.
> There is always an exception to every rule however, and if we ever find a
> launch provider who thinks that amateur radio in space is a worthy cause, we
> will be prepared to jump on it. It all depends on building personal
> relationships with persons who are in a position to say yes, and as you know,
> hams come from all walks of life, including corporate executives, military
> officers and scientists.
> Dan Schultz N8FGV
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