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Re: Sputnik-99 launch cancelled by Swatch! (fwd)


Well no doubt about it, your summary hits the nail right on the head. What a
it had to turn out this way. Some good things could have happened all around
if Swatch just
played by the rules from the start.

Al Emer N2YAC

On 99/14/16 You wrote:
>Let's see: A group of French hams spends a lot of time, money and effort
>to build three satellites.  They go to great lengths to get those
>satellites a ride into space.  They deliver them to the launch authority
>in good faith.  The launch authority then apparently guts the circuitry
>they built and replaces it with their own or reprograms the French
>circuitry so it works for the launch authority's purposes - without even
>telling the owners and builders of what they're doing.
>That new mission for the satellite turns out to not only be illegal,
>but  it also sets a potentially disastrous precedent which could
>eventually make the two meter band as polluted with orbiting
>broadcasters as the HF bands are with ground based broadcasters.
>Swatch, a multi-billion dollar international corporation which
>undoubtedly has a stable of high priced lawyers on its payroll
>apparently never even checked to see if what they wanted to do was
>legal.  I have to believe they never even bothered to check because no
>lawyer on earth is incompetent enough to have investigated this deal and
>given it the okay.  Instead, Swatch "Just did it", to modify a slogan
>from a company whose morals and business practices may have inspired the
>Swatch group.
>Meanwhile the satellite has apparently been launched anyway.  At this
>time, I don't know it's status.  It may be fully operational, in which
>case Swatch and the Russians have successfully pulled off their crime
>and the announcement at www.swatch.com is a flat lie.  On the other
>hand, it may well be floating dead in space without its batteries, in
>which case the French hams who paid for it and built it labored entirely
>in vain.
>Some people have said, "Don't blame Swatch."  Well, why not?  They're
>not a bunch of hicks from the sticks getting taken by a city slicker. 
>They have lawyers on their staff.  Ham radio operators aren't so scarce
>and this is not such a complex issue that they couldn't have found
>someone to set them straight on all this.  The people at Swatch are
>grownups, they're business people and they're doing this for money. 
>They're responsible for their actions, they screwed up royally, they
>hurt a lot of people and they have nobody to blame but themselves.  
>For them to claim otherwise is like saying, "I bought this satellite
>from a guy in an alley and it turned out to be stolen goods and
>defective too boot."  No kidding.  Too bad.  You blew it.  "It's not my
>fault."  It is too, you whiners!  You butted in to a well managed
>program, you were negligent in your planning, you hurt a lot of people
>and you got a very well deserved black eye.  It was a lame idea from the
>start and everybody involved in it should be fired for sheer
>incompetence if not for bad morals.  There were lots of ways you could
>have helped everybody and come out with lots of good, legal publicity. 
>You could be smelling like a rose right now.  You could be inspiring
>thousands or millions of people to make their next watch a Swatch. 
>Instead, you made a deal in a back alley, you behaved carelessly, you
>hurt a lot of innocent people and all the publicity you got was bad.  I
>call that justice!
>Some people are blaming the Russians and some of the Russian space
>people certainly had a hand in this disaster.  They may have even
>instigated it.  But I still blame Swatch because Swatch is a wealthy and
>profitable company and everybody involved on their end of this deal is
>living comfortably on good incomes and has a bright future.  Russia is
>coming apart at the seams, it's economy is so bad it makes the great
>depression look like boom times and the Russian space program is broke
>and in debt.  I can understand the desperation on their end that would
>lead someone to think up a scheme like this and even sympathize with
>them.  They're trying to do whatever they can to save the whole Russian
>space program, Swatch was looking for some cheap publicity.  The
>Russians were desperate, Swatch was very comfortable and well placed to
>examine the deal fully before signing on the bottom line.
>"Screwed, Cheated, legal case (law suit), owe us, & Trust."  
>I feel very comfortable using those words to describe this disaster that
>never should have happened.
>P.S. The Swatch web site lists these watches as their products: Swatch,
>Blancpain, Omega, Longines, Rado, Tissot, Certina, Mido, Hamilton,
>Balmain, Calvin Klein, Flik Flak and Lanco.  (I don't think they own all
>the Calvin Klein brands, just the watches.)
>Via the amsat-bb mailing list at AMSAT.ORG courtesy of AMSAT-NA.
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Via the amsat-bb mailing list at AMSAT.ORG courtesy of AMSAT-NA.
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