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JPL decides AstroMart is not worthy of a seat..

Started by AstroMart, 08/21/2012 02:33PM
Posted 08/21/2012 02:33PM Opening Post

... at the media table.

Jane.Platt@JPL.NASA.GOV has told us that S&T is okay Astronomy mag is okay - Space.Com is okay but AstroMart is not worthy of a seat at the media table.

We have provided her with this letter :

Astromart.Com has over 93,000 members - these are paid members with real addresses and phone numbers based on their credit card information and checked by their bank for accuracy.

We have a web site that is focused on astronomy.

We are seeking the same access to JPL/NASA that Space.Com has.

Doug Peterson (email and phone number below ) will be our contact /reporter for JPL events in the Pasadena area.

We request that he be given Telecom update access as described in the phone call initiated to me - Herb York the morning of 8/21/12.

We request that we have access to Press Briefings as laid out for me in the same phone call the morning of 8/21/12 and you will provide Mr.Peterson the requirements for any background check information he will need turn over.

My phone # is 360-588-9000 - I own several web sites one of which is AstroMart.Com
I have other web sites that I have been required to get FBI background checks and provide finger prints and we are authorized to sell class 3 weapons to the military so if you like I can provide you with access to those if you need.

Mr Peterson has been on the JPL facilities. His phone # is edit

I assume these is the requirements you requested in the phone call of 8/21/12 - IF I have missed anything please get back to me promptly and I or Mr Peterson will respond post haste.

Thank you
Herb York
AstroMart LLC

On Aug 7, 2012, at 9:23 PM, Dn wrote:

I used to be Perkin-Elmer's Quality Assurance liason to JPL years ago (Mars Observer Camera, etc.) and know my way around. As for my writing style, see my review of the Celestron 100ED spotter on AM, got me Review of the Week and some cash. Currently live in Santa Ana, a half hour away. Am Sr. Manufacturing Engineer for Newport corporation. See my profile on AM. edit.

Perhaps you would like to email Ms.Platt Jane.Platt@JPL.NASA.GOV and tell her yourself that AstroMart is important to you and we should have a seat at the table

Thank you
Posted 08/21/2012 02:45PM #1
Ms. Platt,

I thoroughly enjoyed my tour of JPL back in 1991 as a member of a group of Amateur Radio Operators who were invited to the laboratory for a private tour of the facility. As a member of the astronomy community, I'm surprised by your decision to exclude 93,000+ AstroMart members around the world from detailed on-site real-time reporting on the missions. Reconsideration of your position would amount to a home run for your public relations department.

Posted 08/21/2012 03:40PM #2
Sent them a message, not sure what good it will do, but if enough of us do this who knows? 8)

[SIZE="Large"][/SIZE][COLOR="Blue"][/COLOR] Floyd Blue grin
Amateur Imager
Posted 08/21/2012 06:46PM | Edited 08/21/2012 06:47PM #3
Here is the email I sent:

Dear Ms. Platt:
Please reconsider your decision not to allow Astromart the same access to JPL/NASA which Sky and Telescope, Astronomy and have been given. You may be aware of the nearly 100,000 members of Astromart who visit the site regularly, but that number is only a fraction of the total number of people, many of them children, who are impacted by Astromart members. For instance, I am a member of the Thames Amateur Astronomical Society (TAAS). We manage an observatory for students of the Pine Point School in Stonington, CT and give monthly presentations at their observatory to the students, their parents and faculty. In addition we do numerous public events every year at many area schools including Connecticut College and the Coast Guard Academy. Much of the topical information related to space and astronomy is derived by members of TAAS from visits to Astromart where news items are posted on the home page. You also may not be aware
of the world class imagers, astronomers, optical designers and physicists who post regularly in the forums section. The bottom line is this, there are likely millions of people who receive information indirectly through Astromart. Candidly, I don't know what your criteria is for inclusion in the JPL/NASA access, but surely Astromart is a worthy recipient of this access. Thanks very much for your time.


George Blahun
Quaker Hill, CT
860-443-3333 (home office)
Posted 08/21/2012 08:27PM #4
Astromart Press Credentials


Dear Ms. Platt:

I was surprised to read today that Astromart has been denied access to the Media Table and other benefits normally afforded the media by JPL. I do hope you will reconsider. The modern, serious amateur astronomer, no longer relies on the magazines, they are far too slow, we depend on Astromart and the Internet. I hope that JPL recognizes the importance of this connection.

The Internet has transformed amateur astronomy. Though I have stacks of Sky and Telescope Magazines from the 1980's and 1990's, it has been several years since I subscribed to either of these magazines, Astromart has replaced the magazines as my source of information. Not only do I have direct access to dialog with some of the most skilled and most knowledgeable observers in the world, but there is no delay in achieving access to the very latest information, the most up to date information.

For example, when Australian amateur astronomer Anthony Wesley discovered the evidence of 2009 comet impact on Jupiter, he first announced it right here on Astromart:

"Black impact mark on Jupiter

"Yes, believe it or not, it seems that Jupiter has been hit by something and there is a jet black impact mark near its south pole. Here is an image I captured a couple of hours ago - if you have the chance to get out and see this longitude yourself then you should do it!

This sort of thing doesn't happen very often. The last one I remember was the Shoemaker-Levy impacts in 1994.

I have a page where I'll be putting my images and reports on this:

regards, Anthony"

We had ringside seats to this thrilling discovery. NASA/JPL were soon had NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility in Mauna Kea, Hawaii pointed at Jupiter to confirm and investigate Anthony's discovery.

If there is a specific reason that you felt Astromart was not deserving of access to the considerations normally given the media, I do hope you can work this out. While there are many millions of people around the world who are interested in the many wonderful things JPL does, Astromart represents a group that is committed to astronomy and furthering the interests of the scientific community in ways few others are.

Best wishes, Clear skies ahead !

Jon Isaacs