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RE: P3D/AO40 Contingency Plan

> 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.

The P3Lite would be an excellent idea, in the event of an AO-40 failure.
Even if it's a basic U/V bird, it would fill the void between AO-10 (how
long can the old bird kick on?) and P3E.
> 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.

Yes, I think we're at a crossroads right now, and the eventual outcome
depends both on the roll of the dice (will AO-40 come up?) and the next
moves AMSAT makes (e.g. P3Lite, etc).

> 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.

Until I hear more, I'll remain cautiously optimistic, but the worst is in
the back of my mind.  Let's hope AO-40 comes back to life.
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