[amsat-bb] Explorer I

Davidoff, Martin MDAVIDOFF at ccbcmd.edu
Fri Feb 1 09:54:09 PST 2008

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 at amsat.org [mailto:amsat-bb-bounces at amsat.org] On
Behalf Of Roy
Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2008 12:33 PM
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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