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Re: AO-40



on 12/17/00 8:17 PM, denmorr@bellsouth.net at denmorr@bellsouth.net wrote:

> My apologies on getting your call wrong.  I don't know enough about the
> construction of AO-40 to comment.  I certainly hope that the team did not
> knowingly take unnecessary risks with questionable components just to make a
> launch date.  It will be interesting if that question is ever answered.  It
> hope that is not the case and the current problems are due to the normal
> risks of space flight.

I think Kevin's statement about the team launching AO-40 with known problems
and "rushing" the launch date is totally uncalled for and totally unfair.
It seems that we may need some history lessons:

1.) There was a "problem" during testing with the sticky valve.  But it was
repaired.  So after repair work is done, one would assume there would not be
any more problems.  This would be particularly true if the valve issue was
found during the initial testing in the US and no problems were found when
at the launch site.  If repair work indicates a continuing problem, then I
guess my car is on the verge of always breaking down.  How dare automobile
companies make faulty vehicles!

2.) There was NO rush for launching AO-40.  It was originally scheduled to
go up over 2 years ago.  And we were lucky we were NOT ready.  Again, the
ground crew did NOT rush to get the bird done.  We missed the launch window
for the first Arianne V test flight.  That flight blew up.  So we had a
large bit of downtime before the rocket was fixed and before space became
available.  During that time, many improvements were done to the bird and
ALL the systems were tested.

Last year at Dayton, I was speaking with Keith Baker, KB1SF, while doing
booth duty.  Keith told me that if everything happened as we wanted it to
with AO-40, we'd be VERY lucky.  He said that there were so many variables,
so many things that could go wrong, etc.  After all, it's a VERY complex
bird.  We can't expect to get 100% out of it 100% of the time.

Do I think we have a major problem here?  Perhaps.  I am not as negative
though since I read Peter's response to me note.  I hope we have more
information forthcoming as I have asked.

But I think it highly inaccurate, immature and just plain stupid to blame
the control crew for launching when they did and claiming they rushed.  The
facts and history do NOT support that theory.

73,

Jon
NA9D

-------------------------------------
Jon Ogden
NA9D (ex: KE9NA)

Member:  ARRL, AMSAT, DXCC, NRA

http://www.qsl.net/ke9na

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

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