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RE: Fw: Mars? Why not P3x in moon orbit...?


An interesting example of "what" might be accomplished by landing something 
on the moon (that is conventionally powered...aka solar cells) might be to 
look at the lifetimes of they Surveyor probes and Pathfinder on Mars.

In the end what killed both was the cold.  Both probes (there were actually 
5 successful Surveyors...some lived longer then others but in no instance 
did they survive a year) used different methods for heating during hte 
night/winter (thats what got Pathfinder) but in the end it was unsuccessful 
in preserving long life.

AFter the points about very large antennas, time delay, and then preserving 
spacecraft life I guess my thoughts on amateur radio satellites come down to 

In the end from a communications package it really doesnt matter (except for 
the time delay, station requirements etc) where the spacecraft is...what 
matters is is it reliable enough for ongoing communications and experiments 
in communications technology BECAUSE stripped of everything else that is 
what ham radio is.

Imagine what life would be like today had AO-40 no propulsion system?

Assuming that there were no other generic problems with any of the 
spacecraft (and I think thats a good assumption) then what would we have 
today had the spacecraft been simply tossed out in GTO and the amateur 
community took it from there after the command group commissioned it?

What would we have?

We would have a spacecraft that would have changed the face of amateur radio 
satellite communications.  No it wasnt in orbit around the moon or at Mars 
or whatever butit would have been the supersat that has been promised now 
for at least a decade (I am rearrainging stuff here at the house and its 
amazing to read all the articles on Phase 3D)..

As it is because all these "neat" and "educational" ideas about propulsion 
were tried we darn the lost the vehicle and might yet still loose it due to 
whatever happened up there.

Now how does one justify that with "education"?  Who did we educate?  If the 
story goes "well we learned alot about propulsion" my answer would be that 
"we" (whoevere that is) knows about 1/2 of what it takes to make the 
propulsion system work AND thats not enough and frankly the folks who do 
propulsion for a living already "know" what this group is trying to find 

One can toss the arcjet out to an experiment that didnt work but the main 
propulsion system failure is a failure of the process of managing a large 
complex project not of the motor (ie the folks who put it on didnt get the 
right instructions to assemble it) and in the process they risked the entire 

Want to experiment?  Lets try some related to communications instead of 
simply trying to be NASA without being NASA.

Inflatable antennas come to mind as an example.  I realize that is not as 
"cool" as a lunar lander but then again its probably something more likely 
for hams to accomplish, 2 it would change the face of the hobby, 3 it makes 
some sense for what amateur radio is and 4 we stand a whole lot better 
chance of doing it then learning rocket science on the fly.

If I want pictures of the Moon NASA has a bunch of them.

Robert Oler WB5MZO Houston TX

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