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RE: Tell us the truth then Rick!


OK, you have done your homework.  However, I still think your conclusions
are inaccurate.

> Inaccurate? No.  There are a number of 
> us here that believe the board killed 
> Eagle when it choose to throw money at Echo.

Believe it if you must but it is not true. However, if those who feel this
way were to band together they might be able to help get Eagle back on
track. I could support such an effort.

> You guys made a bad decision ...

"You guys"? I had no vote on any of the issues you describe.  However, I
have always felt that AMSAT is MY organization, so I attended most of the
Board meetings and commented on issues when I felt it appropriate. I also
attended all of the Eagle and Echo design meetings. Perhaps had you been
more involved in AMSAT your opinions could have been heard two years ago by
the Board members.

> ... and now you won't own up to your mistake.  

What is this, a Gerry Springer show?  What mistake? The Board made a
decision that was thought to be in the best interests of AMSAT based on all
the information available to the Board at the time.  Nothing has changed to
suggest that the decision was a mistake.

> A lot of us wanted another P3 satellite.  

Yes, but the Board's perception has been that a lot more members wanted an

> ... IF that reserve money was to 
> go to a satellite, it should have 
> gone to Eagle because that was the 
> project Amsat was working on.  

That's not a very good reason to make a significant decision. It was a tough
decision based on many factors including the lack of Eagle launch
opportunities.  At the time the decision was made there was no hope of
getting Eagle launched.

> You say Eagle hasn't been killed?  

That's right.

> How are you going to get support, 
> donations, and build enthusiasm for a 
> project you've now decided to put on 
> the back burner?  I'd say that about kills it.

I didn't put Eagle on the back burner.  That was the Board's decision but I
support the Board as they had no other choice.

If elected to the Board I will work for the construction and launch of
Eagle. Eagle needs three things to get launched.  It needs funding. It needs
builders, especially RF experts to design, build and test the transponders.
And it needs a launch opportunity.

> Here's the time line Rick, 
> tell me where I'm wrong.

You left out September 11, 2001.  That changed the funding profile for
"charitable organizations" like AMSAT forever.  The Board could not have
anticipated that event.

You left out the fact that AMSAT-NA has not embarked on a satellite
construction project for over a decade. During that time we assisted in the
construction of AO-40 and our membership fell nearly in half and
significantly reducing income.

You left out the fact that AO-40 took millions of dollars out of AMSAT and
ARRL coffers and has returned us nothing, financially. This experience
cannot be repeated and Echo might be viewed as a "walk before you run"

> July 2001 - JJ Planning Committee
> (Amsat Journal sep/oct 2001)

This meeting was not very productive, unfortunately. However, by the end of
the meeting it was realized that a real engine of some sort would be
required on Eagle even it we stayed in a near GTO orbit.  This changed Eagle
in a fundamental way and dramatically increased its cost and risk.

You left out the highly productive Eagle design meeting in Orlando on
September 28-29, 2002. At this meeting all subsystems were discussed and
responsibilities assigned. Those of us in attendance have put considerable
personal commitment into Eagle by that time and continue to do so.

> SpaceQuest hits pay dirt?

If you call selling AMSAT spacecraft components at below cost "pay dirt"
then you must be using new math.

> More Echo brainwashing by GPS

That's an offensive thing to say. I have tried to keep the membership fully
informed on the progress and technical capabilities of Echo. Why? Because
they deserve to know!

The fact that I take the time to tell you about Echo in no way diminishes my
enthusiasm for Eagle. I believe we can have both if we pull together as an
organization and make it happen. 

> June 2003 - KB7ADL whines on BB.

Well, I give you credit for doing your homework.  How about putting some of
that energy into productive pursuits.  If you don't like Board decisions let
them know in a timely fashion.  Better yet, attend the Board meetings. Build
something for Eagle. Raise funds for Eagle. Write a paper on Eagle for the
Journal. Make a presentation at the annual meeting.

How about this? Build a transportable AO-40 station so you can show others
in the Ham community and at schools the benefits of a high flying satellite.
I am working with another Ham to build TWO of these!  The first one may see
its debut on Field Day.

> I don't think I'll be voting this year.

If you don't vote then you should never complain again.  Voting is your
fundamental right and responsibility if you care about AMSAT. Surely there
is at least one candidate who has some qualities you consider worthy of
getting your vote.  You can vote for only one or two instead of the full

I am truly sorry that Eagle vs. Echo has become so divisive among some
members. I assure you that the Board has the most difficult job of deciding
which members will be pleased and which will be upset with every major
decision they make.  That's one reason it is so hard to get people to
volunteer for the Board.  

For those who strongly disagree with some decision the Board makes please do
not quit AMSAT. Do not "go away". Do not just slam the Board on AMSAT-BB.
Take your energy in a constructive decision and vote. Express your opinions
directly to the Board. Come to meetings and speak up. Write articles.
Channel your energy in some constructive way.

AMSAT Board Candidate

Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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