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Re: P3D/AO40 Contingency Plan

on 12/17/00 11:47 AM, David M. Tipton, PhD at tiptond@psi.com wrote:

> God forbid, but if AO-40 does not come back to life, are we to believe that
> it will take another 10 years to put another satellite up that would have
> the High Orbit characteristics?  It seems that unless you're a LEO junky
> (Like myself), most people would be swayed from getting into this aspect of
> the hobby.


Yours is a good question and one that needs to be seriously considered.  I
don't know if AMSAT could undertake another AO-40 type project since they
are already $300K in the red at this point.  However, I feel that another
P3D type will certainly need to be built.  But that will take a serious
amount of time and amateur satellite operations will suffer horribly.  What
needs to be done is an interim satellite that can be built and launched
within a year.

Someone mentioned the idea of a "P3C light" - An AO-13 size bird that would
sit on the ASAP ring of an Ariane V.  The bird would just stay in the
geosynchronous transfer orbit.  That is not a bad idea at all.  A mode U/V
or V/U bird could be built and launched pretty quickly, IMHO.  Then once a
large coverage bird is up there, we could begin building the next big baby.

If something like this doesn't happen, we'll see the radio manufacturers
stop making radios for satellites, etc.  For example, if AO-40 is dead,
Kenwood and Icom will get burned horribly on their new radios - sales will
dry up.

I hate to say it, but the statements I see from the command team: "We don't
know when the rest may happen." are full of doubts.  I really hope the bird
does come back, but I am beginning to fear the worst - that we hams have
launched yet another piece of space junk.  Such is life.......

I hope and pray I am wrong.



Jon Ogden
NA9D (ex: KE9NA)



My President is George W. Bush -> The legal winner in Florida

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