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Re: Phase 5

John Marranca, Jr wrote:
> This is strictly opinion, but I think the Phase 5/Mars concept is foolish.

John, Fred, AMSAT members:

Phase 5A is a dream of Karl Meinzer that has been adopted by AMSAT-DL.
It is not a distraction from delivering communications satellites.  Many
of the subsystems needed to support the P5A mission are being put into
P3E for testing.  These include the IHU-3, the ultrastable oscillator,
an all SDR telecommand link, etc.  Even though these are going into P3E,
they are not the impediment to getting HEO payloads up.  That said,
nothing has been built for P5A while P3E is sitting waiting to be
buttoned up for a ride to HEO to materialize.

The space world has changed absolutely, totally, completely in a way
that cannot be easily understood by those not living it daily.  For
years,  space was an adventure for lots of engineers and developers.
Either NASA or ESA was doing develop of rockets and it was easy to work
out some kind of relationship with the "steely eyed rocket men" to get
our payloads hoisted into orbit.

During the middle of the P3D campaign,  ESA handed over the Ariane to
Arianespace completely.  ESA is "like NASA" and Arianespace is a
purveyor of space services and they care about the quarterly report. It
left the hands of the steely eyed rocket men and went under the control
of the bean counters.  The concern of the latter group, being the
counting of beans, is for the rider to make a business case for riding.
 Period, end of story.

No one is better than Karl Meinzer at figuring a case for someone giving
us a ride.  He has done this again.  If you have N million dollars,
where N is a number no one can afford,  you can get a ride.  When all of
this really began to become apparent to AMSAT leadership everywhere,  we
began to pursue all sorts of avenues.  For years we went down all sorts
of blind alleys desperately trying to find a way to get a bird into a
usable orbit by any means that we could afford.

Last summer, we heard of Intelsat's changed position on the ride-share
situation.  We have relentless pursued this since we learned of the
opportunity at exactly the same moment as THE REST OF THE WORLD.

The all volunteer staff of AMSAT is trying very hard to finally pull
together the complete tapestry needed to build a real mission to high
earth orbit.  It is as close as I have seen it since AO40 barely made it
to orbit.  We need support to get some things done.  Either volunteer to
be useful, send some money, or find another way to use your hobby hours
and support that you can believe in.


AMSAT Director and VP Engineering. Member: ARRL, AMSAT-DL,
“An optimist may see a light where there is none, but why
must the pessimist always run to blow it out?” Descartes
Sent via AMSAT-BB@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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