[amsat-bb] Re: Ride to space

Robert McGwier rwmcgwier at gmail.com
Mon Oct 29 15:38:55 PST 2007

Several months ago we were made aware of a shift in policy in the United 
States government that now has potential to have a lot of impact. 
Almost no one knew of it but Rick and I went to the Pentagon and went 
pretty deep inside and talked to people who knew this policy was about 
to be pushed out the door. The U.S. government is a large subsidizer of 
the launcher business in the US since it uses a lot of them.  The DoD 
grew tired of having lots and lots of excess capacity on board vehicles 
they paid for but unused when a bit of fuel could allow them to carry 
extra payloads.  They started making loud noises about making it have 
the force of law or regulation that these things had to have secondary 
payloads on them for U.S. paid for launches.  The commercial satellite 
vendors rapidly stepped in to fill this with ways for them to get paid 
for this!

In addition to this,  if we consume solar energy efficiently and radiate 
it RF,  we are a help to them and the amount of energy becomes 
significant over 15 years!

As always, we will have to argue a business case for ourselves that 
includes more than just paying a big fee, but you can begin to take 
direction on your thinking from my comments.  There are others doing 
this as well.


Tony Langdon wrote:
> At 05:26 AM 10/30/2007, Robert McGwier wrote:
> First, I have to say this is fantastic!
>> Intelsat offers both!  We are asking for Piggy back for us and will ask
>> for secondary payload should it be required for P3E.
> I'm curious why they're going for it.  What's in it for Intelsat?  Not 
> being picky, just curious how it looks from their perspective.
>> We just have to face some very very hard realities.  There has not been
>> a high earth orbit bird from us for years because of the lack of
>> launches available to us.  We have to be creative to get them launched.
>>   We are attempting to do exactly that.  In our case, what makes us
>> attractive to funding is piggyback.
> A fantastic effort from all involved no doubt.  I'm certainly looking 
> forward to these sats seeing the light of day.  And as for linking, I 
> agree that Earth -> Sat -> Earth -> Sat -> Earth (as opposed to Earth -> 
> Sat -> Sat -> Earth) is going to be easier to manage in the longer run.  
> keep the complicated bits on the ground where they can be serviced. :)  
> Also means we don't need another set of antennas pointing out into space.
> 73 de VK3JED
> http://vkradio.com

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

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