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President's Letter May 2004

I have just received some excellent news this morning from Jim White, WD0E  
who has been testing and finally integrating ECHO before flight. After  
explaining the details of installing the wiring harness and orientating the  
magnetometer Jim comments "As far as I can tell we are on track and looking  good.  
Echo is going to be a very cool bird." 
A few minor items have to  be completed as the spacecraft makes it way to the 
launch site,
but I am confident that it will be 100% by the time it gets to Kazakhstan.  
Meanwhile at Dayton the Launch fund with its objective of $110,000 took a  
jump upwards to slightly over $93,000 with the assistance of many donors and one 
 anonymous donor who matched every dollar with another one. Now we should 
make  the final push to get to the $110,000 - can we do it?  What are the  
consequences of not meeting our targets.
The answers are as follows, Yes we  can do it, and quite easily, if every 
member of AMSAT and everyone who works the  satellites (including non members) is 
prepared to meet the target.
The  consequences of not doing so are simple. It means that we will be 
somewhat  delayed in meeting the reserves that are necessary to develop, design,  
construct, integrate and test EAGLE. As we have had to borrow from our reserves  
in order to launch ECHO, all of our funding for satellite projects comes from 
 your donations, membership dues run the organization, (ie Office, Lab, 
expenses,  journal, postage etc so the faster we recover the Launch expenses the 
sooner we  can work on EAGLE.
I will be attending the AMSAT-UK annual meeting and  colloquium at the 
University of Surrey,
if you can be there it is always a  worthwhile event and this year the IARU 
satellite meeting will be at Surrey. In  addition I am arranging an 
AMSAT-International meeting to take place on the  Friday morning, the objective of this 
meeting is to try and provide a greater  degree of cooperation between the 
various AMSATs around the world, both in  communications to our members and to 
provide technical expertise as necessary.  Hopefully this may provide more 
information to the worldwide membership and we  may eventually be able to schedule a 
continuous flow of satellites both LEO and  HEO. For details of the AMSAT-UK 
meeting see their website (_www.uk.amsat.org_ (http://www.uk.amsat.org) )
Returning to thoughts on  Dayton, our AMSAT booth this year was excellent, 
probably the best I have seen,  thanks to Art Feller W4ART, Barry Baines WD4ASW, 
Martha and many others.   The AMSAT Forum was very well attended with over 
200 people in attendance, in  spite of the rather poor room we were allocated 
with even worse access. (Look  for a change in this next year.) Rick Hambly 
W2GPS, gave an excellent talk on  ECHO and brought us right up to date. Gould 
Smith WA4SXM reviewed his new Book  (on ECHO which gives details of the 
development, the specifications and  operation. (Book available from the AMSAT Office), 
and Frank Bauer brought us  all up to date on the Amateur Radio in ISS (ARISS).
Together with the many  individuals who spent time putting up the booth, and 
taking it down again, as  well as those who operated the booth I would like to 
thank the speakers for a  job very well done. 
Finally, today is Friday May 28 2004, ECHO's   launch window starts in 32 
days  ..... I am very optimistic that allwill  proceed well let's hope so, 
statistics for this launch vehicle and this launch  site are excellent, but remember 
this is rocket  science!.

Robin Haighton VE3FRH
President  AMSAT-NA
Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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