June 10, 2001

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June 2001 President's Letter

I often wonder how many people reading this message via ANS, the AMSAT-BB or AMSAT web sites around the world are actually members of an AMSAT organization. Certainly, one of the places to learn about the amateur radio satellite hobby is via the Internet, and I know that our sister organizations, like AMSAT-NA, are filled with information to support your hobby.

I know that there are a number of readers who use the provided information without any intention of becoming a member of AMSAT. I encourage them to become members, as the benefits of membership are many!

First, you receive the AMSAT Journal which provides a wealth of information on current AMSAT topics as well as providing valuable information on current satellite station equipment suppliers.

Secondly, you get to choose the members of the Board of Directors from the list of people who have volunteered to be on the board. In fact, you have the opportunity to volunteer for the Board, or to be a part of any aspect of AMSAT that you would like. We are always looking for new volunteers!

Third, you are kept informed on AMSAT activities, through the various AMSAT bulletin boards, Internet listings and news services. Certainly, if you are a member and you write to me, you will be sure to get a personal reply.

Most importantly, as a member you are supporting your chosen hobby, because without members there would not be an AMSAT as we know it. None of the mentioned aspects of AMSAT would exist and most of the OSCAR satellites would never have been launched. Without you AMSAT would be just a few experimenters who would raise enough money to launch very small satellites occasionally.

A week ago I had the pleasure to visit the Rochester Hamfest and I enjoyed my day very much. We had a successful day with both new memberships and people renewing current and lapsed memberships, but, there were still quite a number of visitors to the AMSAT booth who were anxious to get information and are working satellites, but declined the offer to join AMSAT. Several even commented to me that they enjoyed this column!

I am pleased to see that on the AMSAT-BB there is much discussion about AMSAT and its mission and the definition of our the new satellite project. I have asked Larry, VE3LK, (who started the discussion with his 'AMSAT has a secret' message) to read and summarize your responses so that I can get an overall understanding of your comments. You can appreciate that to read them all takes a lot of time.

AMSAT is run with volunteers, all who try and share the work load, so when you use the phrase "AMSAT should", please remember it should really be "the AMSAT volunteers should." Then possibly you can volunteer to help make it happen.

See you on the birds!

Robin Haighton, VE3FRH
President AMSAT-NA

[ANS thanks Robin Haighton, VE3FRH, President AMSAT-NA for this information]

W3IWI Honors

AMSAT-NA's Dr. Thomas Clark retired from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center after 40 years of government service. Tom's immediate plans are to pursue his many technical interests in the coming years.

W3IWI received his bachelor of science degree in engineering physics and a doctorate degree in astro-geophysics from the University of Colorado in 1961 and 1967, respectively.

From 1966-68, he served as Chief of the Astronomy Branch at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and as Project Scientist on the Spacelab Coronagraph.

During his years at NASA, Tom has received numerous awards for his pioneering work on Radio Astronomy Explorer 1 and 2 and several generations of Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) systems. In recent years he developed the Totally Accurate Clock (TAC), an inexpensive GPS timing receiver that has found widespread use in a number of global networks.

Tom was named a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in 1991 and a Fellow of the International Association of Geodesy (IAG) in 1999.

W3IWI has been a long-time pioneer in amateur digital radio, designing low cost satellites for relaying amateur radio messages, and is a past President of AMSAT.

ANS congratulates W3IWI on his long and distinguished NASA career, as we look forward to his continued AMSAT involvement!

[ANS thanks NASA's John Degnan for this information]

ANS in Brief

ANS news in brief this week includes the following:

Weekly Satellite Report

Link to the weekly report on satellite ...

All Satellites
ISS . RS-12 . RS-13 . RS-15 . AO-10 . UO-11 . UO-14 . AO-16 . DO-17 . WO-18 . LO-19 . FO-20 . UO-22 . KO-23 . KO-25 . IO-26 . AO-27 . FO-29 . TO-31 . GO-32 . SO-33 . PO-34 . SO-35 . UO-36 . AO-40 . SO-41 . SO-42

Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to the ANS Editors at, or to ANS Editor Dan James, NN0DJ, at

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This week's AMSAT News Service bulletins were edited by AMSAT  News Service editor Dan James, NN0DJ.