RE: NASA/OIG to be replaced by USAF

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Sat Dec 20 2003 - 10:24:28 EST

  • Next message: Sven Grahn: "Re: NASA/OIG to be replaced by USAF"

    Bruce MacDonald wrote:
    > I must admit that I always thought it odd that the US 
    > Government provided a free service such as this to foreigners 
    > over the internet.
    Not only orbital data, but information about most activities of the U.S.
    Government are highly available to its citizens and to the world. For example,
    take a look at, or (two of my favourites), and show me the
    counterparts of any other nation that provide anywhere near the depth and
    breadth of information.
    Historically, the U.S. has been one of the most open of the world's democracies,
    which I have always admired and believed to be key to its success.
    > I would be sorry to see OIG go, but then 
    > with the axe hovering over them it might explain why their 
    > cataloguing was becoming so shoddy of late.
    A common misconception is that OIG maintains the catalogue. It is USSTRATCOM
    that maintains the catalogue, and then transmits additions and revisions to OIG,
    which simply makes them available to the world.
    > It seems to me that the key questions for satellite observers 
    > are these.  Is the USAF (or its contractor, eg Lockheed 
    > Martin or Boeing) likely to continue to issue elsets and 
    > other notices to hobbyists?  And would they make a better job 
    > of cataloguing satellites than the civil servants of NASA?
    In fact, OIG has been operated by a civilian contractor for as long as I can
    remember, which as a result of a corporate merger, today is part of Honeywell
    > I can see the hobby taking a big step back in the sense that 
    > most casual satellite watchers will miss out on the easy sats 
    > like the ISS if that information is not put into the public 
    > domain.
    I strongly suspect that elsets of ISS, shuttle and a number of other general
    interest objects will remain readily available.
    > Then it would be up to the hard core of See-saters 
    > to keep track of a restricted list of interesting objects.
    Let there always be hard core casual observers, and hard core positional
    observers, and hard core flash observers, etc - something for everyone!
    Ted Molczan
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