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

Bill Ress bill at hsmicrowave.com
Sat Dec 12 19:31:25 PST 2009

Hi Michael,

Thanks for understanding the real world we face regarding launches.

It is really anyone's guess if and when the German government will 
support P3E. With the World economic situation being what it is, not 
many agencies have an extra 8 to 10 million dollars lying about.  Also 
remember that the launch costs to HEO for AMSAT-DL are no different than 
ours, hence the need to try and have the government underwrite those 
costs. The P3E team is very hard at work trying different strategies to 
get government support.

On the plus side, P3E is about 90% complete so if the OK would come in 
the near future, they would be just about ready to go.

Regard...Bill - N6GHz

Michael Tondee wrote:
> Hi Bill and Drew,
> I'd just like to let you and the board know that I appreciate your 
> efforts to get sats of any kind into orbit. I'm sure I'm not alone in 
> that but maybe you guys don't hear words of appreciation often enough, 
> it sure doesn't seem like it when I read this BB. I would dearly love 
> to be able to operate on an HEO satellite since I have never 
> experienced it before but I understand the reality. I don't for the 
> life of me understand why some people seem to feel that the BOD is 
> somehow against the concept of HEO's now. I must say that I find the 
> term "grid sat" to be derisive. Most of us out here are just trying to 
> have fun and if a single channel FM satellite is what's up there to do 
> it with, and all we can do is exchange grid squares then so be it.
> I hope that AMSAT DL is somehow able to get P3-E launched then I will 
> be able to experience HEO's and the guys who miss them so much will 
> hopefully be content . Does anyone have any idea when they might 
> receive a definite answer from their government?
> 73,
> Michael, W4HIJ
> Bill Ress wrote:
>> 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

More information about the AMSAT-BB mailing list