Re: NASA/OIG to be replaced by USAF

From: Sven Grahn (
Date: Sat Dec 20 2003 - 10:29:43 EST

  • Next message: Mike McCants: "OIG Catalog Action Report for the week ending December 20"

    At 14:37 2003-12-20 +0000, 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.  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.
    The TLE:s used to be available in printed form (Xeroxed). NASA for free 
    mailed envelopes with a centimeter thick sheaf of papers about once every 5 
    days to people all over the world. I used to cut out the little strips of 
    elsets and glued them onto index cards. I have boxes full of those index 
    cards! That service was really amazing. Just the postage costs must have 
    been immense even though there were only about 300 subscribers. The 
    Internet service (and before that the Bulletin Board dial-up service - I 
    still use my old login and password from the BBS) is really an automated 
    service and not all that expensive, I would think. However, this seems to 
    follow a logic that is common to many services over the Internet. A 
    database service of some sort that used to be on paper format is tuned into 
    an Internet service. First it is for free, then you need to start paying 
    and eventually authorities get scared over what kind of data individuals 
    can get hold of. This seems to be the reaction of authorities in general to 
    the Internet. I think of phone books and such stuff!
    In the case of OIG, I doubt that there have been severe cases in which the 
    data have been misused to pose a threat to the US. By requiring that users 
    of the data adhere to certain restrictions as to the use of the data I 
    think US interests can be protected. Also, I think that it is reasonable 
    that some sats are excluded from the service. Of course SeeSat-ers provide 
    just that kind of data, but in times of crisis this group would 
    self-regulate its data dissemination, I am sure.
    Anyhow, it is logical that the service, in whichever form it will continue, 
    should be a paid service.
    Best wishes
    Mr Sven Grahn
    Rattviksvagen 44, S-192 71 Sollentuna, Sweden
    Tel: +46 8 7541904,
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