[eagle] Re: 2008 Symposium deadline

Daniel Schultz n8fgv at usa.net
Sat Sep 6 14:47:38 PDT 2008

One could hope that the new administration coming in January might fix ITAR.
At least one candidate has mentioned it in his space policy. (
http://www.fladems.com/page/-/Obama_Space.pdf  page 6).  The other candidate
may also be willing to listen to reason. 

I suppose you could project blank slides just to make a point, sort of like
what the student newspaper in college did when facing censorship issues. Or
maybe Amsat could schedule a "US only" session with proof of citizenship
required for admittance to also drive the point home. 

We have to present some evidence of progress on these projects. If that means
speaking in bland generalities, or shooing non-citizens from the room, we have
to do something. Explaining how ITAR has hurt Amsat projects would itself be a
valid topic for a presentation.

Since screwdrivers and wrenches can be used to assemble satellites, I wonder
if my local hardware store has the proper export controls in place to ensure
national security?


------ Original Message ------
Received: Sat, 06 Sep 2008 12:48:51 PM EDT
From: Lyle Johnson <kk7p at wavecable.com>
To: Frank Brickle <brickle at pobox.com>Cc: Daniel Schultz <n8fgv at usa.net>,
eagle at amsat.org
Subject: Re: [eagle] Re: 2008 Symposium deadline

> Hello Frank!
> I don't mind being controversial :-)
> My take on all things AMSAT for the past couple of years is:
> 1) ITAR prevents us from any meaningful exchange of ideas, projects or 
> design with any non-U.S. citizen.  While there are ways to do this, they 
> assume very deep pockets and a large full-time staff devoted to 
> satisfying unreasonable, unrealistic and arbitrary government demands.
> Feedback from meetings with people who ought to know strongly suggest 
> that while Amateur satellites are not the intent of the ITAR rules 
> (duh!), absolutely no one in a position to help us is willing to go on 
> record with that interpretation.
> The practical result is that ITAR has killed the IHU3 since it was 
> dependent on cooperation from a non-NA group.  P3E and whatever Eagle 
> was to have been were dependent on the IHU3.  The impact is pretty easy 
> to extrapolate.
> 2) For the same reasons, ITAR prevents us from making a presentation at 
> any AMSAT Symposium with any technical content except perhaps the most 
> general.  If there is technical content, we have to be ready to cite 
> chapter and verse of the publicly available source of anything we utter 
> that might be construed as potentially revealing of any level of 
> technology that might possibly be applied to any spacecraft in orbit or 
> supporting such a spacecraft on the ground.
> Unless of course we clear the building of all non-U.S. citizens.
> Sigh.
> 73,
> Lyle KK7P (who now does terrestrial stuff)

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