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Re: the Moon - Again.

I guess my one question is, "Why?"

We have enough problems raising money for the birds.
We have enough problems getting a huge technical project to work w/o any
flaws.  There's already plenty of critical comments about the money spent on
AO-40 vs. the final operating capabilities the bird will have.  I am not
criticizing that right now, but let's face it - the truth is (and it's not
really anyone's fault), a lot of money was spent on AO-40 which will have
capabilities much less than anyone had wanted.

We are already talking about abandoning propulsion systems in our satellites
because of the "event" last December.  Now something going to the moon would
certainly need propulsion and a significant amount.  I think that there is
quite a difference between the escape velocity from earth required for orbit
vs. the escape velocity required to go to the moon. I'm no expert in orbital
mechanics but it seems like I remember seeing something one time that
explained the difference and it was huge.

And what purpose would something orbiting the moon give us?  I gladly missed
the last go-around of this topic, but yes, transponder operation would be
difficult with the link requirements.  So it sounds like your idea is just
to send telemetry.  Why?  Just so we can say we copied something from the
moon?  I think some of the old Apollo Lander bases still on the moon may
still be doing that.

My point is not to be a kill-joy here, but let's take a look at reality and
what we are faced with.  We have a difficult time enough getting people
focused on and agreed on a satellite platform.  We have a difficult enough
time raising money to do the project, getting volunteers, etc.  We have a
difficult enough time getting a good launch vehicle and we have a difficult
enough time getting satellites successfully commissioned in orbit.  Space
flight and operations are just infinitely more difficult than anything here
on earth.  That's just a fact.  Perhaps some day we can send a probe to the
moon.  But for now, let's concentrate on building a better, cheaper, more
reliable bird that orbits the earth.  Let's get better skilled at all that
so it is less difficult.  Let's walk before we run.



on 9/6/01 9:32 PM, Keith N6ORS at k2@pe.net wrote:

> All the banter on sending a sat to the moon intrigued me.
> But instead of sending a sat to the
> moon with the massive link requirements why not send a small
> probe launched from our next
> satellite?  It could use 10ghz links so antennas would be
> small and the larger 'mother sat' could
> relay the telemetry there by reducing the ground station
> requirements to a minimum.  (read- everyone
> can listen in) and those with larger stations can experiment
> by trying to hear it on their own.

Jon Ogden
NA9D (ex: KE9NA)



"A life lived in fear is a life half lived."

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