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Re: Up-coming AMSAT Board Election - Gunther -

* Bob Bruninga <bruninga@usna.edu> [2003-07-10 09:39]:
> A School ARISS contact does not cost anything either other than a lot of
> volunteer time and interraction with the students over a several week
> period.  A lot better investment in HAM radio than a gee-whiz demo to a
> lot of drunks on the beach.


I'm not at home where I can look up AMSAT financial infoat the moment, 
but it sure seems that some AMSAT funds are spent on ARISS.

I happen to think that it is probably money well-spent, however, I often
wonder how much "good will" this kind of thing adds to our bottom line.

For instance, the ARRL just _LOVES_ to show flashy pictures of satellites 
and the Space Shuttle when they tout the "high tech" nature of amateur radio. 
We are "good" for the ARRL and I assume that they are "good" to us. But I
don't know that because that info isn't readily available. Does AMSAT
get free ad space in QST? Do we get cheap ad space in QST? 

I've been an ARRL member since 1977 and have no bones with the League,
but it seems they do benefit in promoting amateur radio using sound
bytes and pictures of satellite and space operations...

How much does the ARRL contribute to AMSAT-NA now that the P3D project
is closed?

In the same way, NASA looks like the "good guys" with the ARISS project.
I rarely hear a news report that mentions "AMSAT". It is usually touted
as a "ham radio contact made with an elementary school", etc. 

While we all enjoy the amateur to ISS communications we should also
realize that the "publicity" sought by NASA has more to do with
maintaining broad public support for the space program than anything to
do with amateur radio or kids. 

ARISS isn't done because NASA wants or needs ham radio in space. NASA 
needs public support and this is one avenue to get it...

Again, I have absolutely no bones to pick with ARISS, NASA or the ARRL 
but it sure seems that the amateur satellite community goes out of the 
way to do things that make those organizations look "good".

A little reciprocity would be helpful in these tough times, don't you
PS - who is doing "gee-whiz demos for a bunch of drunks on the beach"?

Jeff, Ke9v
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