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Re: What can we do for NASA?

Hello John.

Up writing reports...but you have some interesting thoughts.

I've avoided the political things here (although I certianly have some 
strong opinions on them) but I'll bite here.

Politics.  Yeah its off topic and off bearing.  You and I might disagree or 
agree on war with Iraq, tax cuts, etc but they dont really effect Ham radio 
in the least.

The Columbia disaster.  I really dont think discussion of it is that far 
off.  Its being discussed pretty heavily nationwide right now (its even 
invaded a plastic scale model group I frequent) because its a national 
event.  Probably the notion that AMSAT officials should refrain from voicing 
their opinions as AMSAT officials is a good thing...but there are 
implications to amateur payloads in space or on the station and so the 
\shuttle/human spaceflights future is germane in my opinion.

The inspection idea.  IF (and its a big IF...speculation is the first step 
on a fools errand in kicking the tin of accident investigation) the tiles 
are involved I agree a shuttle is never going to fly again unless there is 
the capability to inspect the tiles before landing (and I would add to fix 
them before landing).

Your idea is intriguing (and I am a big fan of picosats) but not only do I 
doubt you could get the resolution necessary in a picosat to do an 
inspection from what NASA considers a "safe distance" I doubt you could get 
the data rates needed (although teh WiFi systems are intriguing).  Whats 
worse for your idea is that NASA is never going to put a critical system in 
the hands of anyone or group other then "professional" bird builders.

The military has on the last GPS launch demonstrated such a system and NASA 
is working already on a sort of "free flyer" (looks like a big basketball).  
They would doubtless use either of those before turning to "amateur" 

Finally I would add this.  I find the attempt to integrate "amateur 
satellite" operation into something other then "communications for hams" 

I think your ideas are innovative but NASA is not going to go there.

Robert Oler WB5MZO

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