Winter 2009 Issue
The 2008 AMSAT Space Symposium
By Keith Pugh, W5IU
In my last column I mentioned the 2008 AMSAT
Space Symposium in Atlanta, Georgia. It occurred too late to make the last
column deadline. Also, I nearly missed it this year due to a travel
commitment with members of my church, but I managed to get there for the
Saturday afternoon and evening sessions plus Sunday morning’s Field Ops
Breakfast and other activities.
I arrived as Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, AMSAT V.P.
for Human Spaceflight and ARISS International Chairman was giving his
presentation on ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station).
This has been a good year for ARISS, with school contacts approaching the
400 mark since launch in 1998. Work is progressing satisfactorily on
SuitSat II and other projects.
The annual Field Ops Breakfast was chaired by Gould Smith, WA4SXM, AMSAT V.P. of User Services, and was well attended. Gould outlined the progress made in 2008 and the plans for 2009. The AMSAT Field Ops are Area Coordinators who form the “first line” representing AMSAT at hamfests, radio club meetings, AMSAT nets, “Elmering,” and other functions. It is always a challenge for field ops to present a positive image to the amateur radio public and others regarding amateur satellites when the average ham thinks that satellites and satellite communications are beyond their comprehension and their pocket book. This is particularly difficult in these times of no affordable High Earth Orbit launches as well as no HEO satellites currently operational.
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