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AMSAT Special Bulletin



SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-280.01
AMSAT SPECIAL BULLETIN

AMSAT NEWS SERVICE BULLETIN 280.01 FROM AMSAT HQ
SILVER SPRING, MD, OCTOBER 06, 2000
TO ALL RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-280.01

AMSAT-DL Executive Vice President Peter Guelzow, DB2OS, has
informed AMSAT News Service that launch preparations for the
Phase 3D satellite continue to go well.

As ANS earlier reported, fueling operations have started and should be
nearing completion as this bulletin is transmitted. Because of the safety
considerations involved in handling the fuels being loaded into the
satellite (N2O4, MMH, and NH3), this is a slow, tedious process.
"These are not your every-day household chemicals," said team member
Chuck Green, N0ADI, "they are very hazardous! However, with proper
training and equipment, it can be done safely."

The filling process of each fuel takes approximately two days. The first
day is setting everything up for the fueling operation. Actual fueling is
done on the second day.

The first fuel installed was N2O4. When the preparations were
completed, protective clothing worn and all the final connections
made to the equipment and tanks -- only then was the fueling
process started. The entire operation is carefully monitored by both
on-site safety people as well as members of the AMSAT launch team.
The room for monitoring the fueling operation is in a building about one
quarter of a mile away. There are several TV monitors which can be
panned and/or zoomed - enabling the safety officer to closely follow
the entire process. There is also an impressive array of vapor detection
devices and access controls available to the safety team. During
each filling operation, the three people actually doing the work
are in constant two way communication with the people in the control
room. Dick Daniels, W4PUJ, is one of the team members fueling P3D.

Filling the N2O4 tanks in P3-D took almost exactly one hour. However,
Chuck reported that " the process started early in the morning and final
clean-up ended much later that evening, a very long day through most
of which was spent wearing rather uncomfortable clothing."

The launch team has updated its Internet web site with several new
photographs showing the Phase 3D fueling process. To visit the site,
point your browser to:

http://www.amsat-dl.org/launch/

Stay tuned to ANS for additional bulletins from AMSAT, the
official source for information on the Phase 3D Launch.

[ANS thanks AMSAT-DL and AMSAT-NA for this information]

/EX

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