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P3-D flies!



AMSAT P3-D flies!

On the 17th of January 2000 AMSAT's P3-D will fly for the first time,
however, it is still on board of a 767 Air France on the flight from Atlanta
via Paris to Kourou in French Guayana. 

The container with the P3-D satellite weighs approximately 1000 kg, the second
container with the SBS-adapter and test equipment weighs approximately 1600 kg.
Both containers just barely find room in the cargo hold of the 767 aircraft.
Incidentally, the transport costs alone amount to about US $ 20,000.

First the Orlando AMSAT team will transport the containers by truck to
Atlanta. Then on the 17th of January the trip continues per airplane to
Paris and from there the next day directly to Cayenne, the only airfield in
French Guayana. Arrival will be on the 19th of January and then the trip
will continue per truck to the launch facilty [Center Spatial Guyanese] of
ESA in Kourou. This is the only route that can be taken since there are no
direct flights from the US to Kourou and even considering changing planes,
the available airplanes would simply be too small.

P3-D will be accompanied by Bob Davis, KF4KSS and Jay Ramdas, both from the
integration team in Orlando and Peter Gülzow, DB2OS, P3-D operations
manager, who joins them in Paris.

P3-D will be stored in its container in an air-conditioned
integration-building at the launch complex until preparations for launch
commence. With all systems turned off and flight batteries uncharged, no
personnel is required on location during ths period.

An official start-date has not been announced yet, but our chances for an
early one are pretty good after the last successful Ariane-5 launch. AMSAT
P3-D becomes the first secondary payload for an ARIANE 5 rocket launch. The
next launch: ARIANE 505 takes place in March with thwo satellites; the
"AsiaStar and Insat 3B."

73s Peter DB2OS, AMSAT-DL.

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