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

It is important to note that Amsat-DL and Amsat-NA are different
organizations with different operating philosophies. Amsat-NA is an
organization of radio amateurs and its mission is to build
communications satellites for the ham radio community. Amsat-DL
considers itself a scientific research and space technology development
organization, in which amateur radio plays a role but is not the sole
justification or purpose of their organization. A mission to Mars would
be a mission of scientific exploration and space development completely
in keeping with Amsat-DL's purpose. It would not be done for the purpose
of establishing a ham repeater in Martian orbit, or for providing a
spacecraft that the "average ham" (without a big EME dish) would be able
to use for communication.

Amsat-NA is more or less completly dependent on membership contributions
to build satellites. Amsat-DL has other funding sources including the
German government, which sees some value in supporting their research
and development mission. Although certain Amsat-NA members may decide to
contribute their time and effort to this mission, it is important to
remember that an Amsat-DL Mars mission would NOT be built using funds
that American hams have contributed for the construction of ham radio
satellites. So let's let them build the Mars spacecraft if they choose
to do so, it is not our money that is being spent.

Dan Schultz N8FGV


>Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2001 23:22:59 -0500
>From: "Robert Oler" <cvn65vf94@msn.com>
>Subject: Re: [amsat-bb] 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
>"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
>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
>that makes "Oscar Zero" a reliable communications mode to "modest"
>smallish EME stations) stations might be a worthwhile goal.

>However the other thing that frankly kills a lunar orbiter or a L1
>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
>thats primarily propulsion. Both the L and lunar orbiter are heavy
>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
>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
>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.
>a few years in the offing.

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