[amsat-bb] Re: Phase 3

Angus McLeod amcleod at caribsurf.com
Sat Sep 21 21:32:53 PDT 2013

If I recall,the amateur satellite community were instrumental in 
pioneering the 'secondary payload' concept.  Pity nobody thought to 
patent the idea!

On 09/22/2013 12:04 AM, Jim Jerzycke wrote:
> "The actual launch cost is in the hundreds of millions"
> Not quite.
> I work for a commercial launch provider, and the cost to put a large 
> satellite (DirecTV or Intelsat) into GTO is $95~$110 million, inclusive.
> You ship it to us, and we'll get it into space at the correct 
> injection point.
> Since we're always looking for new revenue streams, I specifically 
> brought up the possibility of releasing cubesats or "other" secondary 
> payloads before primary spacecraft separation, or after if better, as 
> I know we have the capability to support it.
> Top management replied (and knowing these guys personally I have no 
> reason to doubt them) that they looked into it seriously, BUT.....
> Since we don't build the "Payload Accommodation" (launch adapter, 
> satellite support structure, fairing, avionics, ordinance, etc), we're 
> at the mercy of the contractor who does build it to add in the 
> capability of multiple satellite deployments, and the cost figure they 
> came back with made it "economically infeasible to offer a secondary 
> payload deployment service".
> So while you may see launch providers that say they have the 
> capability to drop off secondary payloads on their way to GTO, once 
> you start talking "How much?", you'll find the game changes rapidly.
> 73, Jim  KQ6EA
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