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Re: NASA reconsiders satellite servicing missions



Funnnny,
I got a big kick out of this.  Thanks for making April 1st memorable. Please be assured that the next hamfest I attend representing AMSAT will bring several questions asking how we arranged this(????!!!???)
73,
Dee, NB2F
NJ Co-ordinator

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Daniel Schultz <n8fgv@usa.net> 
Date: Thursday, April 1, 2004 5:43 am 
Subject: [amsat-bb] NASA reconsiders satellite servicing missions 

> Following a review requested by members of Congress, the National 
> Academy of 
> Science and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration have 
> agreed to 
> reconsider NASA's earlier decision to forgo further servicing of 
> the Hubble 
> Space Telescope. Following the publication of the review panels 
> findings, NASA 
> has therefore agreed to resume its satellite servicing program. 
> 
> The review panel has also recommended that because of the long 
> down time 
> between Space Shuttle missions, crew members will need additional 
> opportunities to practice their EVA skills prior to carrying out 
> the ambitious 
> Hubble Service Mission 4. The panel members suggested that 
> astronauts should 
> practice their repair skills on a smaller satellite while 
> preparations for the 
> HST service mission are being revived. Accordingly NASA has 
> directed shuttle 
> program managers to identify additional satellite servicing 
> opportunities to 
> allow astronauts to obtain the experience they so urgently need 
> after being 
> grounded for the past year. 
> 
> One such mission opportunity was immediately apparent, the 
> recently defunct 
> Amsat-Oscar 40 satellite. According to NASA administrator Sean 
> O'Keefe,"Repairing Oscar 40 is a challenging and difficult mission 
> that will provide 
> NASA and all Americans with the renewed confidence and inspiration 
> that are 
> needed for the ambitious space missions that lie ahead for us." 
> 
> An all-ham shuttle crew has been selected to fly this important 
> training and 
> repair mission. 
> 
> Astronaut Mike Foale, KB5UAC, said yesterday "We are thrilled to 
> be selected 
> to fly this important and historic satellite servicing mission. AO- 
> 40 is a 
> much loved satellite and we are looking forward to returning it to 
> service for 
> the worlds radio amateurs." 
> 
> A total of 5 EVAs will be needed to repair the failed main 
> battery, all of the 
> failed transmitters from 2 meters up to 10 GHz, and the damaged 
> antennas.Spacewalking astronauts will also repair AO-40's fuel 
> system valves, external 
> sheet metal and thermal blankets. Following completion of all 
> mechanical and 
> electronic repairs, the monomethylhydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide 
> tanks will 
> be refilled with a fresh load of fuel and the satellite will be 
> released back 
> into orbit to complete the series of rocket burns that were 
> intended to place 
> AO-40 into its high inclination Molynia orbit. 
> 
> To prepare for this mission, an Amsat furnished AO-40 satellite 
> mockup has 
> been shipped to the Weightless Environment Training Facility 
> (WETF) at the 
> Johnson Space Center in Houston where astronauts will practice 
> their repair 
> procedures in the underwater training facility. AO-40's command 
> stations will 
> soon begin a series of Joint Integrated Simulations (JIS) with the 
> MissionControl Center in Houston to practice the complex 
> interactive satellite 
> command sequences that will be needed to conduct aliveness and 
> functionaltests of each new module as astronauts complete each 
> phase of the repair 
> mission. 
> 
> Prior to starting their repair work, astronauts will restore power 
> to the 
> satellites' Integrated Housekeeping Unit and telemetry beacon, 
> using a special 
> Amsat-approved pair of automobile jumper cables. In keeping with 
> Amsat's low 
> cost satellite philosophy, a suitable set of cables was found in the 
> automotive section of the Orlando Florida Wall-Mart for $8.95. A new 
> Thermometer was added to the Amsat Web site today to track fund 
> raisingefforts for the purchase of these cables, which are 
> currently on lay-away. The 
> jumper cables are considered to be the key to the success of the 
> entire AO-40 
> servicing mission. A special President's Club pin is available to 
> those who 
> contribute $1 or more to this purchase. 
> 
> In other space related news today, President Bush has announced 
> that future 
> manned missions are in work to retrieve and repair the Mars Polar 
> Lander and 
> Beagle 2. A mission to install a new battery aboard AO-7 is also under 
> consideration. 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> ---- 
> Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the 
> author.Not an AMSAT member? Join now to support the amateur 
> satellite program! 
> To unsubscribe, send "unsubscribe amsat-bb" to Majordomo@amsat.org 
> 

----
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