On Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 10:35:29PM -0500, Rocky Jones wrote:
Bruce...so we are doing satellites now for their educational not communicative value?
-- Jeff, KE9V
because if we do satellites for educational purposes then the effort is non sustainable.
you can already see that in the trends in the US. the most popular birds (the FM birds) are ones for whom commercial equipment from the antenna to the radio is available and is relatively user friendly. the more "esoteric" the communication platform gets the less used it is. The less people who can use a platform then the less people there are to contribute to building new ones...and the less people there are then the less likely it is that manufactors will build equipment which will allow more people to use the platform.
It is a negative feedback in a gain loop and to use a phrase "the oscillation" stops.
That is what makes the decisions on AO 40 so lame. Instead of building a satellite which would provide Oscar 10/13 communications (with maybe something at 2.4 ghz which could become reliable) they had to go build a super sat which was going to do things that were simply out of reach of all but a very few hams (40ghz? or whatever it was) .. it got more and more complicated, obviously to complicated for the people who were building it...and now it and the money that built it are gone.
I'll bet you money that if the truth came out, what happened with Suitsat 2 and the suits is that the project grew so "complicated" that the folks building it just missed various deadlines ie they couldnt get the thing built. Who knows if they will be able to meet the next deadline (ie for a 2010 early lift) of if it will work or not, the first one a much simpler system was a pretty solid failure.
If "educating our youth" (a tired NASA phrase) starts becoming the foundation for anything in ham radio...then before long we will find there is no ham radio. This of course follows NASA in general. They have failed to make human spaceflight relevant to the rest of America in anything but pretty tired phrases...and if you have not noticed there are big changes ahead.
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