[amsat-bb] Re: [Bod] Re: Re: Top 10 sats

Bill Ress bill at hsmicrowave.com
Sat Dec 12 13:31:31 PST 2009

Hi Vince,

Speaking as a Board member, I'm very confident the Board will commit to 
building an Eagle (HEO satellite) when it can see a "clear" financial 
path to building and launching it. We learned with the Eagle effort, 
that satellite launches are now a very mature business enterprise and 
the folks doing it are doing it make a profit.  Remember we're talking 
"8 plus million dollars" here just for the HEO launch costs.

As Drew states the days of folks in high places being able to secure 
free or relatively low cost launches for us is "very" over. We are now 
focusing on what is affordable and realistic.

So you can ring your hands in frustration about what was once possible, 
and still most desirable, or you came out from the HEO dream and help 
support what is "real" today. Every Board member would dearly love to 
build and launch a HEO, but we finally realized, with the cold hard 
facts before us, that we just can't do it. We hope that AMSAT-DL can get 
the German government to fund the P3E launch. They're our best HEO hope 
right now.

All that being said, this Board is working very hard to continue the 
pursuit of any and all launch opportunities, and who knows, maybe an 
affordable HEO opportunity will appear. That's our dream wish too, but 
until then, we must proceed on a realistic and affordable path "back 
into space."

Regards...Bill - N6GHz
> wrote:
>> It's really sad that Eagle isn't on it.  Can't seem to get the AMSAT-NA BOD 
>> to commit to building anything but grid sats.
> I speak for myself here, and not the BOD or organization as a whole. 
> Most of them are not the masochist I seem to be with regards to -bb.
> I don't think committing to build satellites that we CANNOT afford to 
> launch is good business, and neither do my fellow BOD members. Designing 
> a satellite for an unknown launcher envelope and orbit isn't very wise 
> either. Or would you prefer we have -two- HEOs that no amateur effort 
> could afford to launch? AMSAT members should understand the days of 
> cheap and nearly free launches to anywhere are over, especially to HEO.  
> ESA's past charity with the Phase 3 Ariane launches has really ruined 
> all reasonable expectations. I understand your frustration, but 
> directing it towards the BOD is not productive. Sometimes you have to 
> suck it up and face facts.
> We currently have two new projects in development. One is a 1U cubesat 
> known as AMSAT-Fox. 1U cubes only generate about 2w DC orbit average, 
> which is not enough to run a transponder at a level of performance our 
> members would expect. This is why it is a single channel system at this 
> point of development. The radios will also be suitable for inclusion on 
> other cubesats, as a income source for AMSAT, and as motivation to 
> develop secondary amateur missions. Fox can also serve as a partial 
> successor to AO-51 for about 1/5th of the cost. Without even really 
> starting fundraising yet, we are well on our way to being able to pay 
> for construction and launch.
> The other project includes a Mode U/V linear transponder as a possible 
> secondary package on a host satellite going to LEO. Sorry if that 
> doesn't meet your approval to be classified as a non-"grid sat". It's 
> the best we can afford to do in both terms of money and volunteers.
> We also have a third project in cooperation with SUNY Binghamton and IBM 
> to develop the frame and power systems for a 3U cubesat that will 
> support good LEO comms missions.
> I've been beating the bushes to find ways to get us back into the 
> business of building and FLYING satellites, along with the rest of the 
> Engineering Task Force. I have a spreadsheet two pages long of failed 
> attempts and contacts, with only a few "may happen"s. Perhaps we'll find 
> some path back to high orbit when we can revive Eagle, but we shouldn't 
> and won't twiddle our thumbs until then.
> 73, Drew KO4MA
> _______________________________________________
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> http://amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/bod

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