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Re: What happened to AO-40?/ NO news is BAD news !!!!

Here you go, -
ANS 035

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The month of February begins with command stations continuing their
on-going recovery efforts of AMSAT OSCAR 40.

The AMSAT-DL web site is currently featuring the following statement:

AO-40 is currently like a ship on a sandbank at low-tide and in the fog.
In the fog because of the high solar-angle (maximum of 77 degrees)
where the onboard sun sensor(s) temporarily cannot see. At low-tide
because the increasing solar-angle leads to less illumination (minimum
of 23 percent) - thus less energy is produced. AO-40 is stuck on a
sandbank because the satellite cannot be maneuvered out of this
situation very easily. The 'de-spinning' software routine may help. This
program should work without sun sensor data and will use on-going
measurements from the solar panels as an attitude indicator. Intensive
work on this software is currently taking place.

Even if this routine doesn't work immediately, there is no reason to
panic. The 'fog and low-tide' orbit will disappear with further seasonal
Sun movements around the spacecraft. By April the sensors will see the
Sun again and active attitude control can be restarted. After lowering
the current spin rate, improving the Sun angle and repositioning AO-40's
antennas, all further tests can be done.

Command stations G3RUH and W4SM have completed a long-term
prediction of AO-40's new orbit. Even after last year's accident and the
resulting decrease of perigee - AO-40's orbit will be fairly stable through
this period.

ALON/ALAT is currently 248/-7, as last listed on the AMSAT-DL
web page.

The AO-40 element set (number 30) is as follows:

Satellite:              AO-40
Catalog number:         26609
Epoch time:             01027.28372779
Inclination:            5.8370 degrees
RA of node:             227.6036 degrees
Eccentricity:           0.8132970
Arg of perigee:         212.6216 degrees
Mean anomaly:           48.4646 degrees
Mean motion:            1.26933309 rev/day
Decay rate:             -7.0e-07 rev/day^2
Epoch rev:              111
Checksum:               274

Stay tuned to AMSAT News Service, the official source of AO-40 news
and information.

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

73 Jens    ZL2TJT

p.s. I don't believe in the mushroom conspiracy theory, (for the sake of
decent language, I can't discuss that theory here).

KB7WW Art Moe wrote:

> I am beginning to believe that NO news is BAD news. If there was any good
> news the command team would be disseminating it by the page full.  Since
> they appear to be in HIDING, one can only guess what the news is......
> If I am wrong, maybe someone from the command team would like to step up
> and fill ALL of us in as to what's going on.  Not a three line blurb but
> a detailed paper on what is known and what's not, what are we doing and
> what are we not going to do..etc
> I may be off base but I think the FACTS should speak for themselves.
> Art
> "Richard D. Burgan" wrote:
> >
> > Hi All,
> >
> > We are all wondering what happened to AO-40.  We may never
> > know for sure but there must be some well informed theories.
> > Many of us have been waiting patiently to let the command team
> > figure it out.  The latest word is that we have a couple of
> > months to wait before the sun sensors start working.  We have
> > had no official information about the incident aboard AO-40.
> > Back in December 2000 AMSAT-NA made an announcement about a
> > formal investigation.  While we wait it would be appropriate
> > for the command team and the AMSAT officers to update all of
> > us on what happened to AO-40.
> >
> > Sincerely,
> > Rich Burgan, WC8J
> >
> > ----
> > Via the amsat-bb mailing list at AMSAT.ORG courtesy of AMSAT-NA.
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> ----
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