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Re: ARISS Benefits AMSAT

Amateur radio is supposed to be about public service. ARISS is an excellent
example of the public service aspect of amateur radio in action.

For those who were not at the Amsat symposium last October in Fort Worth, I
will repeat what Chris Imlay said at the Saturday night banquet. To badly
paraphrase his speech, he said that programs like ARISS are highly visible to
the FCC and other decision makers in this country and other countries as an
example of why the Amateur Radio Service should continue to exist in the 21st
century. The FCC has no interest in the morse code debate or most of the other
things that hams argue passionately about, but our ability to carry out
projects such as ARISS is a big reason why the ham radio spectrum has so far
not been auctioned off to the commercial interests of this country.

Someone here asked how many "non-US" children benefit from ARISS? Does this
really matter? Isn't "International Goodwill" another of the reasons amateur
radio exists, according to Part 97?

Does the ARRL benefit from ARISS? I should hope so, without the ARRL we would
have lost all of our amateur spectrum a long time ago. ARRL is our only voice
in Washington DC against very powerful commercial interests. We all need to
support the ARRL.

Does Ham Radio in general benefit from ARISS? Aren't we all hams? Whatever
benefits ham radio benefits all of us.

Does NASA benefit from ARISS? Don't we want to support NASA? Aren't we proud
that amateur radio is part of the space program? The next time some teenager
tells you that the internet is better than ham radio, ask him if he ever
worked an astronaut in space on the internet. Maybe you yourself have not
worked an astronaut, but there are plenty of hams who have and the possibility
is there, thanks to ARISS. ISS was active again this year on Field Day, that
would not have happened if ARISS was not onboard. Perhaps there are not as
many general QSOs as you would like, but without ARISS, there would be ZERO

NASA does supply significant support for ARISS, they pay the salaries of
people who prepare safety paperwork and integration expenses to get our
hardware on board the station. They didn't have to do that. ARISS provides a
presence for ham radio on the ISS and the possibility of flying more and
better hardware on the station in the future. As an organization that has
trouble getting launches, we need to cultivate our relationship with NASA, who
knows what future opportunities will come from such a relationship?

This attitude that "ARISS hasn't given me a QSL card from an astronaut,
therefore ARISS is of no value to me" shows a serious lack of vision and
foresight. And no, I don't have a QSL from an astronaut yet either.

Dan Schultz N8FGV

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