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AO-40 telemetry interruption



By now you should all have seen the message entitled:

AMSAT NEWS SERVICE BULLETIN 349.01 FROM AMSAT HQ
SILVER SPRING, MD, DECEMBER 14, 2000

If you somehow managed to miss it, the bulletin is also posted on
the AMSAT-DL web site at:
  http://www.amsat-dl.org/journal/adlj-p3d.htm

It's been said before, but based on some of the other email flying
back and forth today, it seems that it needs to be said again.

P L E A S E ,   E V E R Y O N E !

S t a y   C a l m!

We now know that there *IS* a problem that led to the interruption
of telemetry, not just testing of the UHF transmitter, not just
another IHU2 crash, not just awkward antenna squint angles.

But we ALSO know that there is an incredibly talented, unbelievably
devoted group of people who are working on the problem.  Unless they
tell us to give up hope, DON'T GIVE UP HOPE!  Give them a chance to
do what they need to do, trust in their skills.

Are YOU a little anxious?  I *GUARANTEE* that the control team is
much more anxious than you!

Do you want to see AO-40 slide into the correct orbit with all of
its transponders and experiments fully operational?  Of course you
do.  But I *GUARANTEE* that the control team is much more committed
to making that happen than the rest of us!

Do you want to be kept informed about progress?  Of course, we all
do.  But do you want the effort to make progress reports be so
large that it slows down the progress itself?  Of course not!

Let me draw an analogy to something a little closer to what I do for
a living (working in a hospital, not a rocket scientist).

Taking care of a sick patient without keeping the family informed
is not a good thing.  But when a patient goes into cardiac arrest
and shock, I guarantee that the emergency response team does *NOT*
give the family a blow-by-blow description of what they're doing.
The first order of business is to save the patient. When the
situation is stable enough to take a breath and tell the family
what's going on, the team will do so.  The family needs to trust
that the team will concentrate on action first, information second.

I trust the AO-40 command team.  The rest of us should also.
Waiting is painful, but sometimes there is no other choice!

If any of you think that their job is easy, go back and re-read
Dr. Meinzer's status report of 12/13/2000.  They have been
through an incredible stress already, even before the latest
problems.  And they SOLVED most of the previous problems with
their excellent hard work.  And they will continue to work
harder than we have any reason to expect them to!

Regarding the postings here, I admit that I was shocked into
disbelief when I first saw the message speculating that the whole
bird had blown up.  But I stayed calm, re-read the message,
separated fact from speculation, considered some of the other facts
that I recalled and that were subsequently brought out in email
replies, and concluded that there was NO cause for panic.  Even
before the much-welcomed news posting from AMSAT referenced above.

In the end, I was glad to know that something was wrong, even
though I didn't like the delivery method.  Should we STOP all
"unofficial speculation" as has been advocated by at least
one person?  I don't think so.  The moderator of this list
has publicly stated that he is committed to keeping an open
forum.  Should we use RESTRAINT with our speculation?  I
strongly believe so.  Speculation that is presented as
SPECULATION rather than FACT, preferably with a statement
of the FACTS used to support that speculation, is the more
productive and less anxiety-inducing route.  I think we
should aim for that.

And NEVER lose sight of the fact that there's so much mail
flying about this reflector because A LOT OF PEOPLE CARE A
WHOLE LOT ABOUT OSCAR-40.  It's not about malicious ranting
and raving.  It's not about criticizing the control team for
doing a poor job.  It's just a sign of CONCERN.  If no one
was concerned about what was happening, my email inbox would
be a lot emptier lately.

Let's keep our emotions under control, as best we can in these
stressful times.  But let's keep a reasonable dialogue going.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
*                                                                   *
*   Most of all, I want to send my PERSONAL THANKS as strongly as   *
*   I possibly can to everyone who is devoting so much time,        *
*   energy, and expertise to nursing "our baby" to the best state   *
*   of health possible.  THANK YOU a hundred times over!  You       *
*   folks are THE BEST.  I wish you peace, health, happiness,       *
*   and good fortune in the upcoming days, weeks, months, and       *
*   years!  You folks are even more important than "the patient",   *
*   and as much as I hope for the health of "the patient", I        *
*   hope for your well-being even more!                             *
*                                                                   *
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Peace to all.  Sorry for being so long-winded.  I hope it
doesn't prompt you all to filter out all messages coming
from me in the future.  I will try to control myself!

John P. Toscano, KBØZEV
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