[amsat-bb] ARISS Opportunity...

Dexter N Muir dexy at ihug.co.nz
Fri Jun 27 20:03:13 PDT 2008

Greetings all

   First post, so I hope it works.

   Here is reply from NASA (and my original)


Dear Mr. Muir:

Thank you for your note. We are sorry about your disappointment.

Speaking just of NASA TV, we do not carry Ham radio events because of
reliability issues.

We wish we could offer you better news. We appreciate your interest in
the space program.
The JSC PAO Web Team 

-----Original Message-----
From: Dexter N Muir [mailto:dexy at ihug.co.nz] 
Sent: Wednesday, June 25, 2008 8:24 PM
To: JSC-HSF-Web-Mail
Subject: Opportunity lost!

Greetings from 'Down Under' (KiwiSat land)

   A golden opportunity lost!

   ARISS had scheduled a contact with Robinson Elementary School,
Texas via telebridge WH6PN in Hawaii on 25 Jun 2008 at 15:45 UTC.  At
time ISS _was_ over Hawaii, and ISS was scheduled to be in its Live 
Commentary period.

   There was NO audio from the telebrige WH6PN on either Echolink or the
Discovery Reflector, and NASA TV's 'live coverage' segment made
absolutely NO 
mention of the event - in fact, no 'on-board' coverage was shown at all!
was out of range of TDRSS earlier, but would surely have been back in
by then?  A camera at the ARISS position should have been easy to
even if there is not one already present in that segment.

   What happened?  Was there some other pressing event that could not be

re-scheduled?  A technical fault (though nothing was mentioned of such)?

Did 'dirtside' cancel at the last minute?  All Internet links showed the

event would run as advertised right up to time.

   Echolink *AMSAT* Conference gives feedback on who is connected, and I

observed 6 other stations on at that time (incidentally 3:45 AM next
here in New Zealand).  That is 6 parents or grandparents (like me) keen
demonstrate live one-on-one communications with an Astronaut IN SPACE,
are now extremely disappointed.  For myself, it was my first attempt at
a conference, and I am _really_ glad I tried solo without getting 3
out of bed.

   Despite this disappointment, I will try again (solo), and given at
_some_ measure of success am likely to bring said children and perhaps
to witness the event some time in the future.  THESE are your REAL
audience - 
the Astronauts, Scientists and Engineers of the future!

Dexter N Muir, ZL2DEX (Radio Ham since 1969)
Levin, New Zealand


   Is this really a reliability issue, or somebody so high they don't smell 
very nice (thinking more govt than anything else) deciding that Amateur = 
Ham-fisted, and not realising that  the 'Hams' involved are mostly 
professionals and, because they LOVE what they do (the original meaning, from 
Latin), make professional-level efforts to DO IT RIGHT.

   Besides, the exercise is NOT 'Carrying Ham radio events', but more an issue 
of continuing existing coverage, in similar manner to one of the Astronauts 
doing a video-tour of the premises (which they do from time to time).  As I 
had pointed out, there is probably a camera already there - the 'Ham Shack' 
is in or near the 'Kitchen' area, which has been 'vid-casted' before.

   Can we do better?  Can we pressure someone/somewhere to not let this sort 
of opportunity pass again?

   BTW - what DID happen?  Anyone?

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