[amsat-bb] Re: 9 Cubesats selected for free ESA ride to space

STeve Andre' andres at msu.edu
Sat Jun 7 15:50:56 PDT 2008

On Saturday 07 June 2008 13:24:52 i8cvs wrote:
> Hi David, G0MRF
> It seem to me that while the Universities are becaming tennis players
> we collect telemetry without to be involved in their experiments and
> this is like to only pick up their balls and run with it.
> The only difference is that each University  receive governement
> contributions to build the satellite while we radioamateurs invest a lot
> of personal money to build our own satellite stations.
> Since the Radioamateur Community make a worldwide service to the
> Universities my idea is to collect their TLM upon official donations to
> be used to build our Orbiting  Satellites Carrying Amateur Radio i.e.
> satellites with linear transponders to talk each other.
> Is the Amateur Satellite Service becaming an endangered species ?
> It will became an endangered species if P3-E and EAGLE will be not
> placed in orbit as soon as possible but this requires our contributions
> ............or not ?
> Do you like my TLM ?............Please donate !
> 73" de
> i8CVS Domenico

Hello Domenico,

I keep your posts in my mailbox because I find that what you and a 
few others say are really valuable.  I've little practical experience
on the satellites myself; I have nearly all the equipment, so am
getting there, slowly, at least in part because of the excellent
advice you and others have given here.

I'd have to say that I think I really disagree with you on this
subject.  I hope I can explain.

Space is a *big* place, both in terms of its physicality, and the
numbers of people/entities doing things there.  Currently the
cubesats seem to be the pre-eminent form factor for getting
up there, and its easy to see why: easier to get a ride up there,
cheaper to build, in fact so cheap that "student" types can now
do so, ala DO-64, et al.

These cubesats aren't like the early sats like AO-7, and they
were never designed that way.  I think at least some hams
decry these non-traditional cubesats because of this.

I think what I'm hearing about these little creatures is great!
We're getting a new generation of folks who are thinking in the
sky, working on little systems now, and who knows what will
come about in the future.

Their exposure to amateur radio, even if only thought of as
the expedient route to get tele-command systems running
quickly and cheaply, is still getting folks interested in the
hobby.  Ham radio has a way of sticking in folks heads--how
many hams do we all know, who dropped out for years, only
to get back in again?  I think the work with amateur radio
will pay off in the future.  Think of it as an investment, with
dividends yet to be known.

We longer term hams are responsible for "our" kind of
transponder systems.  It shouldn't be up to other entities
for this.  I'm still trying to get a good overall understanding
of the two large projects underway, but it does seem as if
squabbling among ourselves is hindering things.

But my main point here is that the cubesats have incredible
potential.  Getting student types interested in them and
building things up is going to have a payback for us.

Me, I'd love to see so many of the little beasts racing around
that demos to folks could always have a poster listing "whats
next" and keep the nubies eyes wide open. ;-)

--STeve Andre'
wb8wsf  en82

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