Re: question about size of hobby

From: Björn Gimle (
Date: Sat Apr 16 2005 - 05:59:21 EDT

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    > Since Space-Track went online my satellite observing has gone down to
    > nearly zero. I use the program Orbitron which can not read the some of
    > the Space-Track files
    > I'm not devoted enough to jump through the flaming hoops of getting
    > a SpaceTrack account and using programs to download the whole catalog
    For those who accept using a prediction program on their own computer,
    there is no additional hassle to get a Space-Track account and download
    You may need to download the free gzip and a program to add names to
    the elsets, and/or pay for the winzip program. That's all
    > I have to say, the whole thing with SpaceTrack has just about killed
    > what active interest I had in this hobby.
    The real killer is the extreme difficulty of getting permissions to share
    analysis done using Space-Track data. Helping less proficient
    amateurs ID their obs, suggesting objects to observe, analyzing
    flashing behaviours etc and sharing this makes the hobby joyful -
    how fun is it to do this just on your own?
    As noted in their own JournalWinter05Web.pdf document (link
    posted on SeeSat recently
    the real effect could be to concentrate most amateur activity
    to the secret satellites; their data is NOT restricted !
    As for the size of my hobby, I observe every clear Friday and
    Saturday, in winter also some Thursday and Sunday evenings
    at our weekend cottage. Because of my latitude, May-July
    are almost impossible. In town, or with otherwise poor visibility,
    I only observe special events, like expected satellite maneouvre
    or decay. This might add up to about 50 days/year.
    I have only travelled few times to the weekend cottage during
    working weeks for special events - never elsewhere.
    Note that many non-members, visiting H-A, can be considered
    amateurs. Their statistics show how many users and visits they have.
    I have some five friends, who do not use either of them, but want
    me to tip them off about interesting flares and other passes.
    Over the years I must have downloaded over a hundred different
    satellite-related programs, plus several versions of the few I
    use regularly.
    -- COSPAR 5919, MALMA,    59.2576 N, 18.6172 E, 23 m         --
    -- COSPAR 5918, HAMMARBY, 59.2985 N, 18.1045 E, 44 m         --
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