This is a very interesting comment from the JSC Public Affairs Office. As a NASA employee and the ARISS Chair, I will make sure we get this comment clarified. This sounds very strange and out of character from our dealings with the NASA Public Affairs Office. It may be one person's misperceptions, which needs to be clarified.
You all probably know this, but the ARISS success rate with schools is well over 90%, so reliability is not an issue. That is why we have mentors working with each school.
Now, WRT the IRLP and echolink, I cannot answer that right this moment as I was not on the Operations teleconference last week, so I did not hear what happened. Kenneth Ransom and Charlie Sufana follow this reflector pretty closely and I am sure they will speak up before I get the info and get it in an e-mail. But we will provide details on this for you and those on bb fairly soon.
I thank you for your sincere interest in the ARISS program. And your interest in inspiring students to pursue careers in science and engineering. And to pursue the amateur radio hobby.
73, Frank Bauer, KA3HDO AMSAT V.P. for Human Spaceflight Programs ARISS International Chairman
--------------------------------------------- From: Dexter N Muir [email protected] Subject: [amsat-bb] ARISS Opportunity... To: [email protected] Message-ID: [email protected] Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
First post, so I hope it works.
Here is reply from NASA (and my original)
Dear Mr. Muir:
Thank you for your note. We are sorry about your disappointment.
Speaking just of NASA TV, we do not carry Ham radio events because of reliability issues.
We wish we could offer you better news. We appreciate your interest in the space program.
Thanks, The JSC PAO Web Team
-----Original Message----- From: Dexter N Muir [mailto:[email protected]] Sent: Wednesday, June 25, 2008 8:24 PM To: JSC-HSF-Web-Mail Subject: Opportunity lost!
Greetings from 'Down Under' (KiwiSat land)
A golden opportunity lost!
ARISS had scheduled a contact with Robinson Elementary School, Robinson, Texas via telebridge WH6PN in Hawaii on 25 Jun 2008 at 15:45 UTC. At this time ISS _was_ over Hawaii, and ISS was scheduled to be in its Live Commentary period.
There was NO audio from the telebrige WH6PN on either Echolink or the IRLP Discovery Reflector, and NASA TV's 'live coverage' segment made absolutely NO mention of the event - in fact, no 'on-board' coverage was shown at all! ISS was out of range of TDRSS earlier, but would surely have been back in touch by then? A camera at the ARISS position should have been easy to arrange, even if there is not one already present in that segment.
What happened? Was there some other pressing event that could not be
re-scheduled? A technical fault (though nothing was mentioned of such)?
Did 'dirtside' cancel at the last minute? All Internet links showed the
event would run as advertised right up to time.
Echolink *AMSAT* Conference gives feedback on who is connected, and I
observed 6 other stations on at that time (incidentally 3:45 AM next morning here in New Zealand). That is 6 parents or grandparents (like me) keen to demonstrate live one-on-one communications with an Astronaut IN SPACE, who are now extremely disappointed. For myself, it was my first attempt at such a conference, and I am _really_ glad I tried solo without getting 3 grandkids out of bed.
Despite this disappointment, I will try again (solo), and given at least _some_ measure of success am likely to bring said children and perhaps others to witness the event some time in the future. THESE are your REAL audience - the Astronauts, Scientists and Engineers of the future!
Sincerely Dexter N Muir, ZL2DEX (Radio Ham since 1969) Levin, New Zealand
Is this really a reliability issue, or somebody so high they don't smell very nice (thinking more govt than anything else) deciding that Amateur = Ham-fisted, and not realising that the 'Hams' involved are mostly professionals and, because they LOVE what they do (the original meaning, from Latin), make professional-level efforts to DO IT RIGHT.
Besides, the exercise is NOT 'Carrying Ham radio events', but more an issue of continuing existing coverage, in similar manner to one of the Astronauts doing a video-tour of the premises (which they do from time to time). As I had pointed out, there is probably a camera already there - the 'Ham Shack' is in or near the 'Kitchen' area, which has been 'vid-casted' before.
Can we do better? Can we pressure someone/somewhere to not let this sort
of opportunity pass again?
BTW - what DID happen? Anyone?