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In a message dated 98-12-15 13:46:33 EST, you write:

<<  I'd like to see a compromise,like someone said why not mode share the
 frequency. What's the problem? Live and let live.
 andy G0SFJ >>

It would be nice, but as others have pointed out by others, there seems little
room for compromise.  

For those of you who do not know me -- let me introduce myself.  I have spent
the last thirty years writing about Amateur Radio VHF/UHF matters in such
journals as 73 Amateur Radio and Worldradio Magazine.  I have spent the past
22 years -- along with my associates -- producing and distributing a free
weekly Amateur Radio voice information service caled Newsline.
(http://www.arnewsline.org)  I have also been involved in the production of
every major ham radio promotional video and/or film about Amateur Radio since
1974.  This incluses several that are directly related to manned Amateur Radio
spce operations --- "Amateur Radio's Newest Frontier," "SAREX - The Shuttle
Amateur Radio Experiment" and "Ham Radio in Space."  

Another of my involvements in Amateur Radio has been in the area of spectrum
planning and repeater frequency coordination.  I am a staunch believer in the
need for mandator coordination of all non-transient aspcts of VHF/UHF Amateur
Radio oprations -- be it a signal from a mountaintop repeater or a signal from
an orbiting space vehicle.  

Looking at the Mir SSTV situation totally pragmatically.  Mir's Amateur Radio
operation is "coordinated" in no different a way than is the repeater 8 miles
from my home atop Oat Mountain.  But Mir's 'coordination' has more stature
because you have an agreement here that in reality amounts to a 'treaty' of
sorts, established through a body called the International Amateur Radio
Union, that the majority of the world of Amateur Radio recognizes as the world
decision maker for the hobby/service.  That 'agreement -- or treaty -- says
that the Mir SSTV video will be on 70 cm -- not 2 meters. 

Keep in mind that the Mir people departed 2 meters of their own accord after
complaining that 2 meters was far to hostile terrestrial environment to
continue operations.  This was their decision and approved by the IARU.  

If we are to be a civilized world, then we must abide by agreements and
treaties -- not simply do as one pleases -- whenever one pleases.  This goes
for governments, individual Amateur Radio societies and individual hams -- be
they on terrestrial Earth or 250 miles above it in orbit.  

While its nice to have pictures from space -- keep in mind that in a few
months the Mir will be de-orbited --  burned up on re-entry -- and this entire
matter will be moote.  The next adventure for ham radio will be on the
International Space Station.  That will be the long term investment of ham
radio into space.  It is far more imoportant than the thrill of a few photos
from the ageing Mir.  

As a journalist who has followed -- and reported on -- manned ham radio in
space since the earliest days of planning of the Owen Garriott, W5LFL flight
(STS-9), I can only say that this SSTV from Mir is really meaningless.  Mir
will soon be gone and why anyone is bothering to ewhash what Tony Engand,
W0ORE, accomplished a decade ago using SSTV on his flight using -- is -- quite
candidly -- beyond me.  It falls into the ame catagory as the ongoing fued
over retaining the International Morse code -- for the sake of retaining this
ancient cypher -- in a time when the rest of the  world of non-Amateur Radio
telecommunications has abandoned it in favor of modern technology.  

We used to be the technology leaders.  Now we do not even seem to know how to
be the followers.  Isn't it time to put our efforts into the future and let go
of the past -- and the Mir?

Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF
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