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Re: AO-40 -- Thanks!

Occasionally you read something and realise that there is no better way to
say it, than the text in front of you.

Deon ZR1DQ

----- Original Message -----
From: Jeff Davis <n9avg@home.com>
To: AMSAT-BB <amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org>
Sent: Monday, May 07, 2001 4:41 AM
Subject: [amsat-bb] AO-40 -- Thanks!

| As the reports of AO-40 transponder success roll in from around the world
| can't help but think back over all that's transpired with this project.
| fund raising, the integration facility in Orlando, the difficulties
| a launch and then the collective gasp as the first Ariane 5 launch blew up
| (how lucky were we not to be on that one?). And, sadly, we probably all
| at least one person who contributed to the project yet didn't live to see
| launched...
| When you think about it, ours is a strange facet of the amateur radio
| service. We dream big, build small and cross a lot of fingers. Sometimes
| things go well and sometimes they don't. Such is the nature of the launch
| business. It's risk-filled and not everyone is well suited for it.
| When you build a satellite on your kitchen table and set it atop a huge
| firecracker things can go wrong. Over the last year I've been privileged
| correspond with some of the sharpest minds in the world of amateur
| satellites and I've learned something--these folks aren't really
| when it comes to this kind of engineering. It's much more science than
| fiction and while they can squeeze a dime for all it's worth (who would
| believed that a steel tape measure could become an easily deployed
| omnidirectional antenna?) the systems are well designed and employ a level
| of redundancy that would make NASA proud.
| That's why AO-40 could have experienced a cataclysmic event and yet still
| prove operational. It's the same reason that AO-10 has been brain-dead for
| years and yet the 'body' doesn't know enough to quit working. This level
| success against all odds is a tribute to those who design and build
| satellites. And despite those long odds, it's beginning to look as though
| AO-40 is going to make an awful lot of people smile.
| My champagne glass is raised to all those around the world who worked
| and day without pay to take us from a dream to reality!
| Vy 73 de Jeff, N9AVG

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