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Re: Re: Discovery Project: Which Mission Next?



Someone wrote:

>Education is also a very narrow segment of the hobby and excludes a
>tremendous number of the ham population.  I will not support such an
expense
>for a very limiting arena.  That is why I also have heartburn over the
SAREX
>or MIR or ISS missions being limited to just schools.  Why shouldn't I
be
>able to talk to astrounauts as well?  We limit the use of expensive
payload
>for an "educational pipe dream" (that all the kids who see the demo
will
>become hams - what is our success rate, really) at the expense of
turning
>off a good number of hams to space communications.

Someone else asked:

>Why is a child more deserving of a contact with an astronaut then an
adult?

Basically, the reason why there is so much support for schools is
because this is what NASA wants from SAREX and ARISS. NASA picks up a
significant part of the cost of flying ham payloads on the shuttle and
space station and they don't do it so that hams can get their QSL cards,
they do it because of the educational outreach possibilities. A
commercial corporation that wanted to fly similar equipment on the
shuttle would be charged hundreds of thousands if not millions of
dollars for the paperwork and safety certifications that are needed
before anything can fly on the precious shuttle. NASA picks up these
costs for SAREX because of its educational value to schools. If not for
the school contacts there would be no SAREX on the shuttle or the space
station. Owen Garriot's operation as W5LFL on STS-9 in 1983 would have
been not just the first but also the LAST ham in space operation.

If you want to make a QSO with the shuttle, get with the program and go
out there and adopt your local school.

Dan Schultz N8FGV

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