[amsat-bb] Re: ARISS Opportunity...

AJ9N@aol.com AJ9N at aol.com
Sun Jun 29 15:24:15 PDT 2008

Hi all,

I listened to the Robinson  contact via the IRLP Discovery Reflector on the 
Internet on the 25th.   Several of the other ARISS mentors also listened in.  
Nancy WH6PN did her  normal outstanding job.  At our weekly telecon meeting 
later that same day  we did discuss the audio levels and time delays; something 
we always discuss  after a telebridge contact.

For this contact there was a delay of about  5.5 to 6 minutes between real 
time and when it came across the Internet.   So if one was listening only at the 
real time AOS and gave up after a minute or  2; then you would have missed 
the contact.  There is always about a 5  minute delay of the audio when it comes 
across the Internet.  I believe  that if you are listening in on an IRLP 
repeater that the audio is delayed only  a few seconds.

At the moment we have had 350 successful contacts.  I  believe we have had 3 
contacts that were deemed outright failures.  We have  had I think 2 or 3 that 
were considered failures on the scheduled contact day  but were rescheduled 
and were successful on the 2nd attempt.  ARISS says  congratulations to all of 
the school groups and hams around the world who have  made that happen.  Often 
times, that is the first satellite contact for the  hams.

When Kenneth or I post the ARISS announcements, we do try to  indicate if 
Echolink or IRLP will be included but often times it is a last  minute decision.  
If it is a telebridge contact, then the odds are pretty  high that it will be 
on one or both.  If it is a direct contact, then it is  up to the ham group 
doing the contact to decide if they want to feed audio to  IRLP, Echolink, or 
to their own webpage as it is an extra burden on them.   ARISS does not require 
a group to do a simulcast but does encourage it.  If  we know it might 
happen, then I usually indicate "watch".  If we know it is  going to happen, the I 
usually indicate "should be" or something along those  lines.

As far as NASA TV providing coverage, we have been told to not  expect it and 
not to ask for it.  Remember ARISS is a guest on the ISS and  we don't want 
to wear out our welcome.  So ARISS does not request  coverage.  If on the oft 
chance that a camera does show an ARISS contact in  progress, then consider it 
a blessing.

Hope this helps.  ARISS  encourages everyone to find a school, fill out the 
application, and get on the  waiting list.  I think you will find it a great 
experience.  Think of  it as your most tension filled Field Day that you will 
ever do.   Plan  on anywhere from 500 to 700 people hours; all of this for a 10 
minute contact  that the kids (and parents too) will remember for a long long  

Charlie Sufana AJ9N
One of the ARISS mentors

In a  message dated 6/29/2008 9:35:03 A.M. Central Daylight Time, 
ka3hdo at comcast.net  writes:

This is a very interesting comment from the JSC Public  Affairs Office.  As a
NASA employee and the ARISS Chair, I will make  sure we get this comment
clarified.  This sounds very strange and out of  character from our dealings
with the NASA Public Affairs Office.  It may  be one person's misperceptions,
which needs to be clarified.   

You all probably know this, but the ARISS success rate with schools is  well
over 90%, so reliability is not an issue.  That is why we have  mentors
working with each school.

Now, WRT the IRLP and echolink, I  cannot answer that right this moment as I
was not on the Operations  teleconference last week, so I did not hear what
happened.  Kenneth  Ransom and Charlie Sufana follow this reflector pretty
closely and I am sure  they will speak up before I get the info and get it in
an e-mail.  But  we will provide details on this for you and those on bb
fairly soon.

I  thank you for your sincere interest in the ARISS program.  And  your
interest in inspiring students to pursue careers in science and  engineering.
And to pursue the amateur radio hobby.

73,  Frank  Bauer, KA3HDO
AMSAT V.P. for Human Spaceflight Programs
ARISS  International Chairman   

From: Dexter N  Muir <dexy at ihug.co.nz>
Subject: [amsat-bb]  ARISS  Opportunity...
To: amsat-bb at amsat.org
Message-ID:  <200806281503.14020.dexy at ihug.co.nz>
Content-Type: text/plain;   charset="us-ascii"

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,
Latin), make professional-level efforts to DO IT  RIGHT.

Besides, the exercise is NOT 'Carrying Ham radio  events', but more an
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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