[amsat-bb] Re: Was HEO naivete; now GEO rideshare frequency choice, etc.

Rocky Jones orbitjet at hotmail.com
Mon Feb 9 17:05:20 PST 2009

> Date: Mon, 9 Feb 2009 23:48:55 +0100> From: peter.guelzow at kourou.de> To: amsat-bb at amsat.org> Subject: [amsat-bb] Re: Was HEO naivete; now GEO rideshare frequency choice, etc.>
Peter...thanks for your complete (and interesting) run down on the various propulsion issues on 10, 13, and 40....
There is no doubt that "10" suffered from external forces which were beyond the control of the designers.
There is however no real excuse for what happened on 40.  Try as one might and put it in any terms one wishes, it is the equivelent of a B767 pilot taking off with the gear pins in...and there is no real explanation for that which is satisfactory.     The reasons are 1) human error...but more importantly 2) system/systemic error.  
The later is what should concern the AMSAT community as it contemplates a HEO spacecraft.  What it means is at least at the time of AO-40 the expertise to develop the structural system to deal with procedural issues in all aspects of the vehicle DID NOT EXIST.  
It isnt that the actual "red" "thing" was missed...it is that the engine had differences (known) from the operational engine and no one stood up and was recognized who said "before we fly this darn thing we need to REALLY understand the differences and what that means".
I have no doubt that the lessons of AO-40 are ringing in everyone's ears and my point is NOT to accelerate that ringing...NOR is it really to say "this is rocket science...and general that needs rocket scientist".
What it means is that folks who are good at looking at systems (irregardless of what the systems do) meed to have a good look at how "everything" is done.  The more complex a system is...the more that need exist.  The procedures and standards needed to operate my Ercoupe are somewhat different then needed to operate The B767.  
It wasnt what was done that lost Columbia  (or for that matter Challenger) for NASA...it was how the things were done.  Same problem with AO-40...
thanks again for your insight...
Robert WB5MZO  life member amsat (and for that matter Ercoupe and B767 driver LOL)
Windows Live™: Keep your life in sync. 

More information about the AMSAT-BB mailing list