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SORRY... and Added Value (Was: Andy VK5MIR)

A media junkie: maybe!
A blow-hard: not!

Sorry, folks.
I had an "undeliverable" from a (former?) member of the list which I
mis-interpreted as a bounce from the list server itself. So, I sent that
message about Andy VK5MIR again before checking it out fully.

And now for the ADDED VALUE:
Some suggestions and comments for all,
but specifically the AMSAT and SAREX 'bosses'...

(1) Andy made it clear in his discussions that he was VERY appreciative of
the contacts he made around the world.

(2) Taking several things out of our discussion, in no specific order:

a. I suggest that someone de-briefs Amateur Radio astronauts about their

b. Astronauts naturally have access to orbital prediction software and use
it to plan their radio ops too!

c. Andy commented that it was not possible to make out individual callsigns
when he called over Nth America or Europe, even at 3am (local time),
because of the many stations that would come back. This suggests a need for
'protocols', or at least teaching astronauts to call "CQ [city - state -
provice - country]" rather than just give a general call...
(i) Maybe astronauts just don't know these existing procedural matters
common to older hands at Amateur Radio?
(ii) This seems to have implications for the ISS operations.

d. Andy commented that here was, obviously, something of a disconnect
between his and his contacts' expectations in a contact! That when he
talked to people on Earth he was interested in what was going on there - it
was recreation for him! Conversely, people on Earth were fascinated with
what was going on in the spacecraft (which was every-day life for him but
fascinating to them.) Also, Andy was not much interested in the quick
'exchange of callsign' contacts.
(i) If you MIGHT be talking to an astronaut / cosmonaut, then have 'news'
(of potential interest to them) to talk about! ...perhaps a score from an
international tennis or soccer match, the exchange rate for the $US-Rouble,
(Russian) placings in an international gymnastics tournament, etc, etc,
(ii) Be ready to 'be a friend', but also don't hog the contact.

e. (My impressions!) Amateur Radio is peripheral to their work. It must be
an enjoyable activity. It must be SIMPLE.

More comments will come to light when I listen further to the tape I made
of my roughly 30 minute conversation with Andy Thomas.

     _  .      Peter R. Ellis, Amateur Radio Op. VK1KEP
   _-' |_|\         at Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
  /        \        email: peter.ellis@dao.defence.gov.au
  \_.--._ C/        Director,
         \/         RNARS Australia #1528 (see also http://come.to/rnars/)
          v         Custodian for club station VK1RAN
Grid: QF44mq
VK1KEP:   http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/5796/vk1kep.htm
Mine:          http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/5796/pre-pers.htm
VK1 club:    http://www.vk1.wia.ampr.org/

The  human  race  has  one  really  effective weapon, and that is laughter.
-Mark Twain, U.S. Author (1835-1910)

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