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Re: Mars? Why not P3x in moon orbit...?


Well to toss in my two cents worth...

I think that any discussion of any AMSAT class probe to anywhere that the 
"light times" are measured in minutes is on the face of creating a 
communications package alone quite silly.  My take on life is that the 
"range" of a viable communications package is going to be probably the 
LaGrange points and thats just based on the "time delay".  now signal 
strength of course is another consideration.  We have left simple sat here 
and are into something like "large" directional antennas OR making the 
difference up on the ground.

Now as an aside I would note that a lunar orbiter or a lunar surface package 
that makes "Oscar Zero" a reliable communications mode to "modest" (read 
smallish EME stations) stations might be a worthwhile goal.

However the other thing that frankly kills a lunar orbiter or a L1 stand 
alone amateur package (not to mention a Mars one) is the need for mastery of 
skills which the satellite community has not come close to demostrating and 
thats primarily propulsion.  Both the L and lunar orbiter are heavy orbit 
maintenance places.  We almost lost 40 to propulsion efforts which to be 
kind were "incomplete success".

I think that its silly to try and develop that expertise or spend the money 
on such systems.

Now what might a Mars 'amateur' probe be "useful" for?  It might be neat 
just from a "complete" science package BUT if you think that lunar or 
Libration point comm is "antenna" intensive...Well take a look at what it 
takes to get a signal back from mars.

We will see the first lunar repeater/transponder at some point.  One day 
when we have a decent space program America will return to the Moon.  Thats 
a few years in the offing.


WB5MZO Houston TX
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