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Re: Explorer I



Martin,

I was involved with the MA-10 (MVM-73) mission as a project engineer 
at the 210-foot Goldstone tracking station that followed MA-10 around 
Venus and on to Mercury.  I was involved in the Venus dual-band (S/X) 
atmospheric study.  I was one of the two receiver operators that 
tracked MA-10's signal as it was occulted behind Venus.  The 
differential bending of the two microwave signals provided one of the 
first direct measurements of Venus' atmospheric density.

How time flies! (34-years).

73 Ed - KL7UW

At 08:54 AM 2/1/2008, Davidoff, Martin wrote:
>1 February 2008
>
>         Reading the comments on the Explorer I Spacecraft by Roy (W0SL)
>and Dan (N8FGV) has certainly stimulated lots of old memories.
>
>         In late 1983 I attended a presentation by James Van Allen at a
>meeting of the National Academy of Sciences in DC convened to celebrate
>25 years in space.  At this point in time the development of the Space
>Transportation System (The Shuttle) was being seriously debated.
>
>         Most (!!!) scientists of the era thought the program was a
>political boondoggle whose costs would seriously impede the progress of
>real space science.  As Van Allen, a spokesperson for this group, put it
>(my paraphrase) -- These guys claim they're going to reduce my launch
>costs by a factor of 100 by taking a scientific instrument with a one
>cubic foot volume, putting it in a bus and adding all the life support
>systems necessary for five people.
>
>         These past few weeks we've seen spectacular photos of Mercury
>taken by the Messenger Spacecraft on its first flyby of the planet.  How
>many people realize that the Messenger mission is the follow on to
>NASA's Mariner 10 spacecraft which    mapped about 45 percent of the
>Mercury's surface during three flybys in 1974 and 1975.  Because (?) of
>the Shuttle Program it took us more than three decades to return.
>
>de K2ubc (Martin Davidoff)
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: amsat-bb-bounces@amsat.org [mailto:amsat-bb-bounces@amsat.org] On
>Behalf Of Roy
>Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2008 12:33 PM
>To: AMSAT BBS
>Subject: [amsat-bb] Explorer I
>
>If I'm not mistaken this is the 50th anniversary of the launch of
>Explorer I, the USA's first satellite put in orbit.  I listened to the
>telemetry broadcast on 108 mHz and recorded it.  The JPL had asked for
>the loan of any recordings made so I sent them out for their analysis.
>I received my original tapes back along with a supply of new reels of
>tape for use in making further recordings.  JPL sent copies on to the
>Air Force Research Center at Cambridge.
>
>I later received letters from JPL and the Air Force Research Center
>describing the data they had recovered from the recordings relative to
>micrometeorite impacts and other items.  It was a really exciting period
>
>for Amateur Radio.
>
>--
>Roy -- W0SL
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73,
Ed - KL7UW
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