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Re: Delta 4 Heavy going up pretty empty?



>>> Nate Duehr <nate@natetech.com> 12/13/04 3:38:17 AM >>>
>Seems like a waste...  Anyone... know... why AMSAT's not 
>at least sending *something* up on this flight? 

"AMSAT" was involved.
We had a serious proposal for a super-GEO Amateur satellite
bird on that launch as a student project that was reviewed 
by DOD.  It would have had 4 transponders for packet, APRS,
and a linear trasnsponder.  It beat out 2 dozen other
proposals and made it into the top 4. 

see http://www.ew.usna.edu/~bruninga/RAgeo.html

The satellite was a BIG 5 foot diameter spaceframe on which 
we proposed to put about 100 sqft of terrestrial solar cells 
costing  about $10k to give us several hundred watts.   But 
at the last minute DOD suggested we team with the Solar 
Cell people at NRL who wanted to fly some high-tech cells.  
That bumped  the project from a $100K project to a $3M 
project overnight and caused us to fall off the list.

But pairing up was necessary to provide the "DOD" 
relevance,  because it was a DOD  launch they had to show
payback to the taxpayers.  It took all my time for a month 
working on that proposal, so believe me, an Amateur effort
was made.  I use "AMSAT" in quotes, because
the AMSAT BOD was fully informed of the project and
gave us their support, but "AMSAT" is no more than each 
and all of "us" doing what we can for the Amateur 
Satellite Service.  

No AMSAT resources were spent on this effort, but if it 
came in as a viable launch opportunity then AMSAT would 
have been involved to make sure we got a payload there 
on time.


de WB4APR
Naval Academy Small Satellite Lab'


>>> Nate Duehr <nate@natetech.com> 12/13/04 3:38:17 AM >>>
Curiosity killed the cat...

I was reading that the upcoming first Delta 4 Heavy launch (scrubbed 
Saturday -- awaiting a new launch date) is mainly going to launch a
fake 
communications satellite (DemoSat) which according to the article is 
only about half-a-payload for that big bird.  There's also two 
Nanosat-2's flying along, it appears.

I understand new, untested launch vehicles are not always the smartest

bet to be riding aboard (i.e. certainly Arianne V's first attempts were

rather spectacular), but it doesn't sound like AMSAT has anything
riding 
along on this Delta launch that's virtually going up "empty".

Seems like a waste somehow - but I'm not a rocket scientist.  Anyone in

the know have some good info on why AMSAT's not at least sending 
*something* up on this flight?  Sure "seems" to an outsider like a way

to get some cheap heavy-lift capabilities.

Bad timing?  Bad logistics?  Unlucky and not in the loop?  Limitations

imposed by Boeing/DoD/whatever?  Just not a good risk?  Nothing ready
to 
fly?  Fear of heights?  ;-) (GRIN)

Nate WY0X
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