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New "Bird Builders"

Jon & Jeff & all members:
A new crop of bird builders? How about an "AMSAT Summer Space Camp"?
Team up with an organization like one of the Universities or the Navy who
have an active bird building program. We host he Summer Camp at the
University, cooperatively develop the curriculum, make some money for the
AMSAT budget, and bring along some young people who might become out next
Make the Camp available to anyone, in say the High School level, with
special emphasis on the schools that have participated in the ARISS program.
The Camp would be 10 days to 2 weeks, in a campus environment, with time
spent in the classroom and in the lab where actual birds were being built. A
portion of the curriculum would include sessions on the basics of Amateur
Radio, how to get your license, orbital math & physics, construction
limitations and protocol, and hopefully some personal time with a seasoned
bird builder. Take-homes would include study guides for your ham ticket, a
student copy of NOVA (or such) which they could put on their home computer
and show all their friends, pictures of them in the spacecraft lab, placing
their name on the spacecraft that will someday soon be in orbit, etc, etc...
This could be a destiny setting event for young people!!!
Ok all you ham, teachers, builders, and ARISS volunteers, start thinking
about this..
The relationship with a university is ideal since they have the physical
structure to accommodate the participants, and the prestige to help attract
and publicize them. I think they would jump at the concept. It smacks of
potential students for the University. The tuition would cover the
university's expenses and provide a profit center for AMSAT, and would set
the stage for future bird builders.
I think the Space Camp concept was a success at NASA Huntsville.. Have not
heard much about it in recent years, so I am not sure if it still happens.
Perhaps one of us who is associated with NASA could find out and share
Just one more rung in a very tall ladder.

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-AMSAT-BB@AMSAT.Org [mailto:owner-AMSAT-BB@AMSAT.Org]On
Behalf Of Jon Ogden
Sent: Wednesday, June 18, 2003 8:02 AM
To: jeff@ke9v.com
Cc: amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org; Gunther Meisse
Subject: Re: [amsat-bb] Financial support - REPLY -


I have to agree with you here.  While I think that the current crop of
designers/builders in the USA is a group of very smart and intelligent
men, you are correct that they are getting up in years.  What surprised
me as well when I saw the list of Eagle builders was that I don' t
think I saw any real new blood.  Perhaps I've missed it, but I don't
think I ever saw any appeal for help in the journal or on the BB.  I've
wondered what you have to do to be in the "builder's circle."  Not
saying I'd want to, but short of guys like Bruninga and the
Universities building LEOs, there's not much elmering of younger folks
for building sats.  Even if some newcomers who don't know squat could
sit and watch Eagle being built and learn from the older hams, that
would be a benefit.  Maybe it's happening, I don't know.

AMSAT should start some sort of program to mentor/elmer new builders
and actively invite more participation like that.  And I think this can
be done with nearly zero funding.  We've got to have some more rocket
scientists here than we think.



On Tuesday, Jun 17, 2003, at 18:52 America/Chicago, <jeff@ke9v.com>

> Even more pressing (in my opinion) is the lack of technology transfer
> from one generation to the next. If you were to gather all the "key"
> people in the _entire world_ who are working on amateur satellite
> projects, any of us could afford to buy them all dinner at a nice
> restaurant. There are precious few of them. And if you pay close
> attention, you will see that most of them have been retired from their
> "real" careers for years ... in a nutshell, the folks who have the
> knowledge and ability to lead satellite projects, design satellites,
> build satellites, and then get them launched is a very tiny number and
> they are getting on in years. What happens to amateur radio in space
> when they are gone?
Jon Ogden
NA9D (ex: KE9NA)

Citizen of the People's Democratic Republik of Illinois

Life Member: ARRL, NRA
Member:  AMSAT, DXCC

Ham Radio Webpage: http://www.qsl.net/na9d   <- Updated on 1/12/03!!!
Digital Photography Page:

"Between Stimulus and Response is our greatest freedom - the freedom to

                                 - Dr. Steven Covey

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Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
Not an AMSAT member? Join now to support the amateur satellite program!
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