[sarex] Re: ARRL and AMSAT as US Representatives to ARISS
AJ9N at aol.com
AJ9N at aol.com
Mon Aug 17 08:35:07 PDT 2009
I can answer your second question about keeping news to the SAREX BB.
Pretty simple, I got yelled at. When I started posting the ARISS
announcements a long time ago, I did send them to the AMSAT BB as well as the SAREX BB.
I got yelled out by some people who didn't want to see their inbox
cluttered up with all of the ARISS schedule news. So I can take the hint where
we are not welcomed Thus the announcements I post only go to the SAREX BB
and others can pick it up from there (there are links on the AMSAT main
page). If AMSAT BB members want it back on the AMSAT BB, I can do that. If
there are other web pages that someone thinks might like to get the
announcements directly, please let me know.
All of this email discussion over the last few days as really gotten to me
and I sure the other ARISS mentors. We get zero pay, we spend hours and
hours with the schools via email and on the phone; and sometimes in person.
None of my equipment has ever been permanently mounted (I wish I could) as
it gets borrowed by schools (that includes all of the antennas, 1000 feet
of coax, the radios, power supplies). I put in at least 1 to 2 hours a
day; every day of the year on maintaining the ARISS updates that you see and
the ones that go to the other mentors. Sometimes you will see me post 2 or
3 times a day the latest updates; sometimes the info we get is coming in so
often and fast that I just try to keep up. Many of the other ARISS
volunteers do as many hours as I do; some even more.
For those of you who think that ARISS is only about the schools or only
about the astronauts talking to you with some sort of fancy equipment; you
are only partially right. It is actually all of those things. But everyone
must remember we are guests on board the ISS and we are very honored to be
such. We must work with the space agencies that actually build, fly, and
maintain the ISS. They are in command; we hams are not. That means that if
the crew member picks up the microphone and wants to talk; keep in mind
that he or she just gave up some of their free time to talk to you. Some of
the crew are very enthusiastic hams; others not so much; they are all super
busy with their job. By the way, the school contacts are considered to be
during the crew member's free time. So they get the 10 to 15 minutes they
gave up added to their work load elsewhere during the day.
I think many would be surprised as to the amount of effort is needed to
get a piece of equipment on board or to get a school scheduled. The
equipment gets all sorts of environmental testing to make sure it is safe for the
crew. We at ARISS hope that there is never an accident on the ISS and
certainly do not want to be the ones blamed if there is one. For the schools,
we mentors meet every week on a conference call where we discuss scheduling,
how the schools are doing in their preparation and how things went for
each contact. We feel what the school feels until the contact is done. We
usually get a simple thank you from the school and perhaps from some of the
ham community. The hams that complain, I just try to ignore and hit the
Hopefully this explains a little about ARISS. Why not do what 462 schools
have done? Or what 87 schools hope to do? Get with a school, get an
application in, get scheduled, and talk to an astronaut along with 500 or so of
your new school friends.
Welcome to the world of ARISS!
Charlie Sufana AJ9N
One of the ARISS mentors
In a message dated 8/17/2009 8:21:27 A.M. Central Daylight Time,
rogerkola at aol.com writes:
With the recent discussion surrounding representation in the ARISS program,
several questions have been bouncing around my head.
As to ARRL...what is their investment in, or commitment to the ARISS
program. I ask because their formal representation to their members is
minimal as noted from this month's ISS status report:
"...ARRL QST Covers ARISS News
The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) published two small ARISS (Amateur
Radio on the International Space Station) related news items in its
September 2009 issue of QST. One item pointed readers to the article on the
Garriotts, "Two Generations of Hams in Space" that ran in The Bridge,
printed by the Electrical and Computer Engineering Honor Society. The
second item was a notice to readers that space shuttle Endeavour carried
three astronauts to the ISS who are hams and would be doing ARISS
The ARRL monthly journal has a circulation of 150,000."
And secondly, as to AMSAT's regard for the ARISS program...why has there
always been an extreme effort to separate the bulletin board messages
concerning the ISS by isolating it's content to the SAREX board as AMSAT is
indeed a major representative of American amateurs concerning ISS/ARISS
matters and as a result any pertinent information should be available to
I think these are fair questions...
Sent via sarex at amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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