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RE: Re: Discovery Project: Which Mission Next?

I want to place my vote in favor of supporting a piggyback mission, 
provided it is real. My biggest concern would be expending a lot of AMSAT 
resources on a project that may have a small chance of actually becoming 
reality. Unfortunately, the nature of the payload probably would not lend 
itself to re-assignment to an alternate mission.

As to the nature of the mission, I would promote a moon based telemetry 
site for educational purposes. The reasons being:

1. The moon is easily tracked, point your antenna at the big glowing ball 
in the sky!
2. If the telemetry modulation scheme was simple, a soundcard demodulator 
could be used. A simple receiver and modest antenna would allow kids to 
point an antenna out the window and see signals on the their computer from 
the moon! (OK, maybe I'm just too much of a geek, but I think that's pretty 
3. When this thread first showed up, I did a quick link budget for a simple 
mode L-S moon based linear transponder and it did not lend itself to small 
earth stations or reasonable power on the moon. Yes I made a lot of 
assumptions and I look forward to comments from others on this point.
4. As a result of point 3, any moon based system would require on-board 
regeneration to improve the link budget. Not an impossible task but it will 
make the system more complicated, heavy, power consuming, etc.etc... It 
would also mean that the access method need to be determined, i.e. will it 
use PACSAT protocol at 9.6K or TDM/TDMA or something else.
5. As mentioned earlier in this thread, the environmental problems 
surrounding a permanent station on the moon are not trivial, long periods 
of cold darkness, long periods of hot sunlight. The simpler the payload, 
the easier these things will be to deal with.

So much for my $.02, what do YOU think?


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