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Re: Arcjet Motor

After reading the comments to this subject {Arcjet Motor???}, I had to
exercise a lot of patience and restraint.  I want to respond in some way to
clear the air some, yet not add to the BS factor.

Amsat is a volunteer organization and must be careful how it handles its
"contributors" {which are all types from monetary to technical to
organizational to outreach}.  If the "upper" or "inner" organization begins
to be perceived as unresponsive or exclusionary with the main membership,
it will lose in all respects.  That's a tough thing to manage but it must
be done right.  There have been many comments from the bb, and all should
be given respect.   Often it is not known what the level of commitment has
been made by a particular writer...be careful with your {our} assumptions!
{unknown to you} The commentor may have very good credentials for making
his statement.

Next topic:  Project Management

I would hope that Amsat is aware of the need for good project procedures.
The lapse in the launch countdown allowing the plug to remain, does raise
questions on that.  A process as critical as this should never rely upon
any individual, for humans will make mistakes.  Backup everything and
everybody.  If the failure was due to poor procedure then simply admit it
and move on, with resolve to learn from mistakes so they will not be
repeated.  Certainly this should be obvious.

The Future:

Amsat has a tough job determining what projects should be undertaken and
what should be left to other organizations.  They have a fairly clear
charter, so that should be the guide.  There will always be detractors,
critics, "whiners", etc.  But it is important to sort through the "crap"
and find the "gems" :-)

My one concern is that we guard against the mind set that led NASA to the
Challenger accident.  The organization must allow criticism to flow, else
it will commit the worse error of stifling initiative!  Likewise the
membership must be kept informed, else risk alienation of the "troops". 

If anything can be said, it's that this group "does care" [as evidenced by
the lively debates].  Keep on caring about our hobby and think how you can
contribute {whether "big" or "small"}.  If that happens we will have a very
bright future in space communications.

Well if that came across too "lofty", I apologize.  I just think we need to
keep the goal in mind and listen to all viewpoints.  

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