[amsat-bb] Re: More Future Thoughts

Tony Langdon vk3jed at gmail.com
Sat Jul 4 16:57:16 PDT 2009

At 02:52 AM 7/5/2009, you wrote:

>AMSAT as a whole (I mean the membership) needs a new challenge and dream
>that will bring out the very best in it to build what ever comes up. The
>Moon could be that new challenge as we have NEVER designed anything that
>would actually LAND and operate in that hostile environment. Is it
>viable, who knows! We can only ask ourselves that question and then step
>up to the challenge.

Well, the challenge as I see it is not so much in the RF side of 
things, but being to take advantage of the available (relatively 
affordable) launch opportunities available (i.e. LEO), then coming up 
with a way to being able to move the bird into an orbit more 
suitable.  Yes, propulsion hasn't been AMSAT's strong point, but for 
most of the last 20 years, I only recall LEOs being put up (AO-40 
being the only exception I can recall in that timeframe).

So the challenge is to find a means of propulsion that is relatively 
safe, inexpensive and lightweight, but can move a satellite into a 
significantly higher orbit (e.g. MEO).  I'd imagine that such a form 
of propulsion is probably only found in science fiction, but how 
close can one get in the real world?  Are there any universities 
working on cheaper ways to move satellites around, once launched, 
that need a suitable test mass (that happens to have a transponder or 
two on board)?

73 de VK3JED / VK3IRL

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