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Bob Bruninga wrote:

If NASA pays: Traveling under government sponsorship is not pretty.  They turn a few minute simple process into a day's worth of red tape.  

Wayne replies:

I wasn't thinking of anybody at AMSAT becoming employees or contractors of NASA.  As you clearly describe, that would be a disaster.

I was thinking along the lines of a GRANT from NASA as partial compensation for the volunteer labor that AMSAT "gives" to NASA.  Or grants from the ARRL, Lockhheed-Martin, or anybody else who recognizes the educational and publicity value of supporting ARISS.

I think the reason for some AMSAT members' outrage about ARISS, is that it seems like poor folks (AMSAT) giving charity to rich folks (NASA), with the rich folks taking all the credit and the rich folks receiving most of the benefits.

I doubt that any of the complainers want ARISS to be cancelled.  They just don't want AMSAT to pay so much for it because we are critically short of funds for other projects that most AMSAT members regard to be a higher priority.  If you don't believe the "priority" part of my statement, compare the amount of member donations earmarked to ARISS to the donations earmarked to Echo and Eagle.

A SEPARATE marketing issue is "how can AMSAT get more benefit" (publicity, new members, etc.) from the huge volunteer activity that supports ARISS.  We need to resolve this marketing issue regardless of who pays for the administration of ARISS.

Wayne Estes W9AE
Mundelein, IL, USA
Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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