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What does the station on ISS cost?



All,

I do not want to appear to be slow in responding to our AMSAT membership, 
but I am an AMSAT-BB digest reader, so I only get the postings once a 
day.  I want to thank my friends on the AMSAT Board for bringing this 
posting to my attention.


Robert,

I am not sure where you want to go with this e-mail request . I am puzzled 
as to why you have asked me to be "front and center" on the AMSAT-BB to 
answer these questions.   I am curious as to why you didn't send me a 
direct e-mail.  FYI, my e-mail address is ka3hdo@amsat.org.

If you have information from an associate that is on a Senator's committee, 
please share them with me so I can be a better informed leader.  I do not 
want to be in the dark on these kinds of things.

The AMSAT-NA membership should have all received their March/April 2003 
Journal by this time.  The ARISS Budget discussion of the Board of 
Directors meeting is located on page 22 of this edition of the Journal.  In 
it, I state that NASA has contributed approximately $150,000 in real 
dollars last year for ARISS related activities.  The bulk of this funding 
goes to getting the internationally-based amateur radio hardware safety 
certified to fly on the Shuttle and the ISS.  It also funded a portion of 
the development hardware, particularly the antenna systems, and the 
development of some educational and outreach materials that the team is 
using to promote the program.

AMSAT-NA has contributed approximately $34,000 last year to the 
program.  The bulk of this ($18,000) was for travel.  Since this is an 
international effort, face-to-face coordination is a must.  The ARISS team 
had 2 international meetings in 2002 and we supported a very important trip 
to Russia.  We also had several travel trips to NASA Johnson Space Center 
to support several mission-critical activities.  The other big item in the 
budget is components---i.e. hardware development.  Please read the 
January/February 2003 Journal to see what we did last year.  We did a *lot* 
last year.  This included the delivery of the 4 antenna systems, supporting 
3 EVAs (Spacewalks), the IMAX Film debut, many school group contacts, and a 
balanced ham radio program.

The other item that was discussed in the board meeting that should be 
addressed here is my assessment of the world-wide amateur radio volunteer 
support to ARISS.  I stated that the amateur radio community is 
contributing approximately $5 million towards the ARISS program.  This 
contribution assessment is not real dollars, but the volunteer time and 
talent contributions that the international community invests into 
ARISS.  The space agencies look to metrics (measurements) to understand how 
a program is performing.  One metric that they look at is the investment 
made by the partners in an activity.  We have a real-dollar investment and 
we have a volunteer time and talent contribution to the program.  How did I 
reach this $5 million contribution investment?  I estimated the number of 
hours spent by the international team to perform its duties and used 
standard aerospace cost estimation numbers to reach the numbers above.  We 
have a number of countries involved in ARISS.  We have had to develop a lot 
of hardware (flight, flight backup, training, etc).  Performing school 
contacts requires a big, local team that works together for weeks to make 
the contact a success and to make it meaningful from an Educational 
perspective.  We have large team that are working with the space agencies 
to schedule these contacts and to coordinate with the local school 
volunteers.  We have several weekly international teleconferences to make 
sure the program is on-track and moving forward.  As you can see, there is 
a lot going on internationally.  When AMSAT or universities quote a 
satellite development cost, they never include the  equivalent volunteer 
time contribution.  They don't have to because they are not a partner with 
the space agencies in a program like ARISS.

Now, I am sure a question that will be asked is whether this investment is 
worth it?  The ARISS program inspires students to pursue careers in math 
and science and to become ham radio operators.  These aren't just words.  I 
have seen it happen.  The students never forget this event.  The teachers 
are inspired for years to come and several install amateur radio stations 
in the schools permanently.  There are two major shortages that are 
affecting us as a nation and as a worldwide community.  These two shortages 
are the lack of young people in the amateur radio hobby and the lack of 
students pursuing science and math careers.  The ARISS international 
volunteers invest so much time ($5 million worth) because they believe in 
the program.  They are inspired by the students, by the astronauts and by 
our ability to fly hardware on one of the most complex engineering projects 
known to humankind.  They know that they are making a difference in growing 
the amateur radio hobby and getting students inspired in math and science 
careers.

I hope this answers your question.

73,  Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
AMSAT-NA V.P. for Human Spaceflight Programs
ARISS International Chairman

p.s.  So as to not slight any person or group, please understand that my 
definition of an ARISS volunteer is anyone, worldwide, that helps support 
the ARISS program and its ideals.  It includes the ARISS international 
delegates, the AMSAT-NA volunteers, the volunteers from all the 
international countries that make ARISS happen, our Russian colleagues led 
by Sergej Samburov, the ISS Fan Club, and hardware development teams such 
as the MAREX team, the Naval Academy team, AMSAT-Italy, etc.



Message: 4
Date: Sat, 05 Apr 2003 01:59:43 -0600
From: "Robert Oler" <cvn65vf94@msn.com>
Subject: [amsat-bb] What does the station on ISS cost?

Hello all

I am a life member of AMSAT and I have read on page 18 et all the "Report of
th AMSAT Board of Director's Meeting"...ok here is the easy question (I
actually have an answer from an associate who is on a Senators
committee)...How much does the station on ISS cost AMSAT members....a year
and.....since it was established?

Quotes from the AMSAT JOURNAL appear shortly if there are no answers....

Frank Bauer...your the guy...answer the question.

Robert G. Oler WB5MZO

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