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Re: AMSAT symposium - what happened?



Dave,

I can only give you one ham's view.  We had an excellent location this year,
and kudus to the great folks in Atlanta for setting things up.  Excellent
talk at the dinner on the current status of the HST, and some really great
top prizes.  A TS-2000, an IC-910H, an Arrow antenna, and a huge number of
smaller goodies.

Turnout was down considerably.  There were about 80-90 present, which is
significantly lower than normal.  For the first time I can remember, the was
no one from the APRS contingent there.  A little restful, that.  <grin!!!>
One reason given by some of those not coming, was concern over the cost in a
troubling economy.  They did open up the President's Club reception to
everybody this year.  That was very successful, and I suspect that will be
the case in the future.  There was the usual range of presentations which
covered a wide range for both the new operator, and those with years of
experience.  And of course AA2TX gave his usual innovative talk in his
inimitable way.     

There will indeed by a meeting in 2009.  It will be the 40th anniversary
meeting, and will be held in Washington, DC.  Martha said it would probably
be early in October.

All that having been said, we are definitely at a low point.  These things
happen to people, organizations, and economies.  AMSAT-NA is going through
some significant internal reorganization and soul searching.  Launch
opportunities are few and expensive, and there has been pressure on
facilities both in the US and Germany, for different reasons.  Likewise
there are some shortages of people with particular skills, due to many
factors.  Some as simple as the march of time.  Regrettably that problem is
largely self-inflicted, but our new president made an eloquent plea for
people to look hard at ways they can contribute.  I have no doubt there will
be a matching effort to utilize them.  If you get the AMSAT Journal, there
is a great recruiting poster on page 23 of the latest issue.  None of that
should or does detract from the fact that we have a strong organization,
dedicate people, and lots of opportunities which will either happen, or be
made to happen.

Alan
WA4SCA


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