[amsat-bb] Oscar numbers [was RS-38 or RS-28?]

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Sun Sep 27 08:01:33 PDT 2009

The utility of OSCAR numbers as a primary naming reference has
long past.

For the past several years I think we should be referring to the
new plethora of small sats by their NAME and not by their oscar
number.  Of course they still get oscar numbers and OSCAR
numbers are still a real badge of honor, and point of pride but
they are no longer practical as a naming convention for keeping
track of all the things we have up there.

Who remembers what OSCAR 45 was?  Or now, the difference between
AO79, KO98, or PO77?  Or what was AO43 or 45?

I suggest that we encourage a "common_name [?O-##]" convention.
We tried to encourage this by always referring to PCSAT as PCSAT
(NO44) back in 2001.  Heck, I don't even remember the number for
my own RAFT satellite without going back and looking it up.  I
was very proud to get these OSCAR numbers, but to me, they are
and always will be PCSAT and RAFT, the 44th and 4?th Amateur
Oscar satellites.  Of course owners are free to choose whatever
naming they prefer, but they should not be lead to believe by
defualt that once they get an OSCAR number that their favorite
nickname will disappear...

These satellites have unique and interesting personalities.
They are NOT just numbers.  Just seralizing them leads to the
sterotyping by grumpy OM's as just a bunch of bleepsats, when in
fact, they are labours of love, with all kinds of experiments
and sometimes quirks with deep ties to their teams and operators
who have carefully named them with pride.

Just my $2 worth.


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