[amsat-bb] Re: so long

M5AKA m5aka at yahoo.co.uk
Wed Sep 18 14:44:12 PDT 2013

> From: "lucleblanc6 at videotron.ca" 
> For the record there is some lower cost affordable launch capabilities just read below:
> The
 primary payload is the Cygnus Mass Simulator (CMS) ...
> ...
> The secondary payloads are four 
CubeSats that were deployed from the CMS.Three of them are PhoneSats, 
> 1U
 CubeSats built by NASA's Ames Research Center. 
> Is
 it possible to carry P3E? numerous test launch use dummy mass why not 
launching one bigger satellite instead 
> of a bunch of small one?
> As
 for the debate LEO vs HEO those who vote in favor of HEO are waiting 
out of AMSAT watching the 10 minuts 
> LEO'S going up and down as the Jolly Jumper does.

If only, I suspect there may be issues with the fact that P3E carries a motor and explosive fuel. CubeSat's are passive and sealed inside the deployment Pod, they present no safety risk to a launch. 

I'm sure every single AMSAT-NA Board member would love to see a linear transponder satellite in HEO. It all comes back to money, $10 million is needed to launch P3E and further $10 million would be needed for it's replacement 10 years later to ensure continuity of service. However, in the years to come another approach may be feasible - a 3U CubeSat with deployable solar panels, antennas and an ion motor, but it will take many years and several launches to develop and test the new technologies required to achieve that.

Raising $10 million is probably beyond what can be done on Kickstarter, only one project which had mass appeal has ever raised that kind of funding. Getting up to $250,000 on Kickstarter may just about be feasible, enough for a 3U CubeSat in a low 700 km orbit, but I'd suggest larger amounts are out of the question.

Meanwhile, let's hope some opportunities arise to fly amateur transponder packages on commercial or research satellites going to MEO or GEO.

73 Trevor M5AKA

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