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Phase 3D in Maryland

Wednesday, October 14, 1998

Phase 3D in Maryland

The AMSAT P3D spacecraft arrived safe and sound!  Preparations 
are underway for thermal-vac testing to begin soon at the 
Orbital Sciences Corporation complex in Germantown, Maryland.  

Come and see!  

There are some opportunities to visit the P3D spacecraft.  You 
must act quickly, however, because the window of opportunity 
is narrow!  While it is in the thermal-vac test chamber the 
spacecraft is not visible.  


First group:  Thursday, October 15, 6:30 p.m. EDT. 
Second group: Thursday, October 15, 7:30 p.m.  
Third group:  Sunday, October 18, 2:00 p.m.  
Fourth group: Sunday, October 18, 3:00 p.m. 

Each group tour will last about 40 minutes, plus or minus 
some depending on the number of visitors.  The best time is 
the soonest!  On Sunday some key AMSAT personnel, including 
Lou McFadin W5DID, will NOT be present to make your visit 
that much more exciting.  


Orbital Sciences Corporation ("OSC" or "Orbital")
20301 Century Blvd.
Germantown, MD 20874 
Phone: 301-428-6477

Web: http://www.orbital.com/Gtown/docs/defense/facil.htm

The Germantown facility is located immediately west of 
I-270 about half-way between the Capitol Beltway (I-495) 
and Frederick, Maryland (I-70).  

DIRECTIONS: From Washington, D.C. take the Capital Beltway 
(I-495) to I-270 North.  Exit Route 118 West.  Go right onto 
Aircraft Drive at the first traffic light.  Take the first right 
at the stop sign onto Century Blvd.  Orbital is located to the 
right at 20301 Century Blvd.  See sign of the OSC Fairchild 
Defense Division.  Take the second right, into the large parking 
lot.  (It's the first right after you pass Cloverleaf Center 
Drive on your left.)  Coordinates are N 39 11.474, W 077 15.832.  
Park and proceed on foot to Building 5 on the right to check in 
with security.  

An escorted group is limited to ten or fewer visitors in the 
facility at one time.  Legal picture ID is required.  The 
deadline to process a foreign national visitor authorization 
has passed.  As time allows, a tour of this OSC complex that 
is rich in space history may be conducted during your visit.  

Contact me by e-mail <wd8laq@amsat.org> and include your contact 
information, callsign, number in party, citizenship of each, and 
specify your preferred time if you haven't already.  Those who 
RSVP will be first in line.  

NOTES.  Visitors may wish to note that the nozzle, fuel tanks, 
some antennas, MLI blankets, and solar array panels have been 
left at home in Orlando.  The P3D spacecraft will be clearly 
visible through cleanroom glass panels.  One or more spacecraft 
outer surface panels will be removed to display some of the 
P3D inner beauty.  

Unmoderated talk-in is on 146.955 MHz FM, the Montgomery (County) 
Amateur Radio Club repeater, KV3B/R.  

The AMSAT-DC mail list will be the forum for most of the 
discussion regarding visiting P3D, performing volunteer shift 
work during test, running errands, and decoding the spacecraft 
telemetry that will be broadcast while in test.  You may subscribe 
to the AMSAT-DC list for only for the duration of the testing 
in Maryland if you wish.  See the easy steps to subscribe and 
unsubscribe at <http://www.amsat.org/amsat/listserv/menu.html>.  

Assisting as a backup to me is Dan Schultz, N8FGV 
<n8fgv@amsat.org>, but he is on his way to Vicksburg, Miss. to 
attend the AMSAT Space Symposium and Annual Meeting.  Dan cannot 
check his e-mail remotely on this trip.  Send any e-mail 
regarding your visit or the upcoming work schedule to me at 
<wd8laq@amsat.org>.  E-mail is my first, second and third 
modes preferred to handle this.  The fourth and riskiest is 
by phone at 301-286-1984.  Thank you for your understanding.  

I have an e-mail from N1SS, K3VDB (Group 2), KA1LM, KA2UPW 
(6 for Group 3), NB2F (2 for Group 3), KM4ML (3), K9SLQ, 
N2AER (3), and WB2TNL.  Exact times were not provided to me 
by some and therefore a "Group number" (see above, i.e., first 
group, second group, etc.) is not assigned.  Please advise me 
of your day and time.  Or just show up on Thursday night and 
take the chance.  

Details about the schedule for workers as well as the live 
telemetry broadcast reception are forthcoming.  See bulletin, 
"Phase 3D to Visit Maryland", dated October 9, 1998.  

Don't forget to visit the AMSAT Phase 3D Lab web site at 
<http://www.magicnet.net/~phase3d/>.  See some great photos 
by Bob Davis KF4KSS, Chuck Green N0ADI, and Rick Leon KA1RHL 
while "on the road" in Maryland!  


Pat Kilroy, WD8LAQ
AMSAT Area Coordinator - MDC

Patrick L. Kilroy                                          (ex-743)
SSPP Hitchhiker I&T Engineer      Phone:  301-286-1984
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center  Fax:    301-286-1673
Building 5, New Mail Code 568     E-mail: pat.kilroy@gsfc.nasa.gov
Greenbelt, Maryland  20771        Web:    http://sspp.gsfc.nasa.gov

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