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Re: Mars? Why not P3x in moon orbit...?

Oh Dear!

As a member of the IARU FASC team which reviewed the ITU RR (Radio
Regulations) covering amateur radio I am intrigued by the attitude of so
contributors. ( This is not a personal criticism of the contributors below -
words are included only to introduce the following expose'.)

[Check http://www.iaru.org/future-asc.html and
for the IARU (International Amateur Radio Union) position on both the
service and the Amateur Satellite Service.]

What are we talking about? Amateur Satellites OR satellites carrying Amateur
Yes, there is a distinction. Do those radio amateurs amongst us who follow
the latter
course truly believe that the only people permitted to launch self
motivated, non-revenue
just-for-the-hell-of-it satellites are Radio Amateurs? I am convinced the
real answer is NO.

We can only claim rights over the frequencies used. If we are to take a
narrow view of
Amateur radio to block or inhibit every like-minded experimenter's access to
space we
are doomed!

The ITU RRs allocate frequencies to the Amateur Satellite Service. Amateur
radio has
grasped that title (not incorrectly) to mean amateur RADIO, EARTH
satellites. My
personal position, strongly presented to the IARU FASC Working Group, was
that the
definition of the Amateur Satellite Service should embrace amateur radio
communications thus including Mars probes. That suggestion did not survive
the scrutiny
of my peers and the Service definition remains almost unchanged. (I accept
the wisdom
of my compatriots that this is in the best interests of Amateur Radio as a
whole at WRC
2003, and the influence of the ITU RRs; but that does not alter my
understanding of the
true thrust of amateur satellite experimentation.)

As radio amateurs who are interested in satellites and space exploration we
need to be
seen to be involved with and encouraging the full range of experimentation.
It is really
quite appalling to think that our concept of "space exploration" might be
limited to putting
a repeater somewhere else probably exclusively to extend predictable
communications. That
this should then become an avenue of exclusivity for (perhaps) DXcc hunters
is incredible.

Radio amateurs need to be seen to be contributing to the knowledge-wealth of
our individual
nations. That we can contribute internationally to each other's national
knowledge in our
special way by sharing experiences is the highest goal we can and do attain.

It is therefore an obligation on each of us to actively encourage the
legitimate use of the Amateur
Service spectrum for non-commercial, freely available experimentation
results whether for the
sole purpose of intercommunications or just to enhance each individuals
learning and knowledge
through and by the use of our ITU allocated frequencies.

The idea of being able to involve ourselves, from our own homes/QTHs, in
deep space activities
is exciting. The challenge of a repeater in Moon orbit is exhilarating.
Having met and (almost)
conquered S-band on AO-40 I cannot wait for the next challenge that I know
will once more
give me a >10dB boost of knowledge. Mars - FABULOUS! And knowing Dr Karl
Meinzer this
will not involve my purchasing a 10 acre block for the antenna. I am sure my
earth station will be
relatively modest.

It is our individual right to put our money (contributions) where we believe
it will best benefit
ourselves or our personal aims but it is not a right to stymie the efforts
of others who have
differing aims. Thus we need to encourage the "Moon" and "Mars" projects as
true challenges and
our only objections must be either purely personal or on the basis that it
is detrimental to the best
interests of the Amateur Radio Service. I welcome arguments supporting the

What a wonderful idea - AO-MOON - I can hardly wait! If they could bring
snowy NTSC Tv
pictures down in the 1960's, what could be achieve now?

73, Terry -ZL3QL
Life Member AMSAT-NA & NZART
Overseas Liaison NZART Inc.
President AMSAT-ZL
ex-   Member IARU FASC Committee.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dan Schultz" <n8fgv@AMSAT.Org>
To: <amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org>
Sent: 01 September, 2001 21:35
Subject: Re: [amsat-bb] Mars? Why not P3x in moon orbit...?

> It is important to note that Amsat-DL and Amsat-NA are different
> organizations with different operating philosophies. Amsat-NA is an
> organization of radio amateurs and its mission is to build
> communications satellites for the ham radio community. Amsat-DL
> considers itself a scientific research and space technology development
> organization, in which amateur radio plays a role but is not the sole
> justification or purpose of their organization. A mission to Mars would
> be a mission of scientific exploration and space development completely
> in keeping with Amsat-DL's purpose. It would not be done for the purpose
> of establishing a ham repeater in Martian orbit, or for providing a
> spacecraft that the "average ham" (without a big EME dish) would be able
> to use for communication.
> Amsat-NA is more or less completly dependent on membership contributions
> to build satellites. Amsat-DL has other funding sources including the
> German government, which sees some value in supporting their research
> and development mission. Although certain Amsat-NA members may decide to
> contribute their time and effort to this mission, it is important to
> remember that an Amsat-DL Mars mission would NOT be built using funds
> that American hams have contributed for the construction of ham radio
> satellites. So let's let them build the Mars spacecraft if they choose
> to do so, it is not our money that is being spent.
> Dan Schultz N8FGV
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2001 23:22:59 -0500
> >From: "Robert Oler" <cvn65vf94@msn.com>
> >Subject: Re: [amsat-bb] Mars? Why not P3x in moon orbit...?
> >Well to toss in my two cents worth...
> >I think that any discussion of any AMSAT class probe to anywhere that
> the
> >"light times" are measured in minutes is on the face of creating a
> >communications package alone quite silly. My take on life is that the
> >"range" of a viable communications package is going to be probably the
> >LaGrange points and thats just based on the "time delay". now signal
> >strength of course is another consideration. We have left simple sat
> here
> >and are into something like "large" directional antennas OR making the
> >difference up on the ground.
> >Now as an aside I would note that a lunar orbiter or a lunar surface
> package
> >that makes "Oscar Zero" a reliable communications mode to "modest"
> (read
> >smallish EME stations) stations might be a worthwhile goal.
> >However the other thing that frankly kills a lunar orbiter or a L1
> stand
> >alone amateur package (not to mention a Mars one) is the need for
> mastery of
> >skills which the satellite community has not come close to demostrating
> and
> >thats primarily propulsion. Both the L and lunar orbiter are heavy
> orbit
> >maintenance places. We almost lost 40 to propulsion efforts which to be
> >kind were "incomplete success".
> >I think that its silly to try and develop that expertise or spend the
> money
> >on such systems.
> >Now what might a Mars 'amateur' probe be "useful" for? It might be neat
> >just from a "complete" science package BUT if you think that lunar or
> >Libration point comm is "antenna" intensive...Well take a look at what
> it
> >takes to get a signal back from mars.
> >We will see the first lunar repeater/transponder at some point. One day
> >when we have a decent space program America will return to the Moon.
> Thats
> >a few years in the offing.
> ----
> Via the amsat-bb mailing list at AMSAT.ORG courtesy of AMSAT-NA.
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