[amsat-bb] Re: THE DMSP launch

Ken Ernandes n2wwd at mindspring.com
Mon Oct 19 04:37:18 PDT 2009

Dan -

Great points - especially #4 !!!

73, Ken Ernandes N2WWD

-----Original Message-----
>From: Daniel Schultz <n8fgv at usa.net>
>Sent: Oct 18, 2009 11:51 PM
>To: amsat-bb at amsat.org
>Subject: [amsat-bb] Re: THE DMSP launch
>Someone wrote:
>>as I recall there were 50 some odd pounds of ballast launched with the
>>bad it wasnt an amateur repeater.
>>to bad we didnt have something to use that excess performance...they flew
>>ballast on the flight
>Why would they fly ballast on their rocket when they could have flown a ham
>1. Ballast does not need to be tested for Electromagnetic Compatibility or
>contamination of the primary payload. The Interface Control Document for a
>block of concrete can be exceedingly simple, with no need to pay a room full
>of engineers to review it for completeness and accuracy.
>2. Ballast does not need to have a separation interface tested and qualified,
>there is no chance of it coming loose inside the payload shroud during
>3. Ballast is certain to be ready in time for the launch date, without
>bringing another organization into the mix. There is no need to conduct a
>crash engineering program to design a satellite structure that will fit on the
>Atlas and then test and certify the satellite for compliance with the Atlas
>vibration and acoustic specifications.  
>4. Ballast does not have an e-mail group full of whining little people who
>think they could have designed it better or that it operates on the wrong band
>or mode, and complaining loudly when the mission falls months or years behind
>its original launch date. 
>If you were the Colonel in charge of the mission, you could not make a safer
>choice than launching a block of concrete ballast. A ham satellite is just a
>lot of additional risk and headache with no possible gain for you or your
>future career. 
>Somewhere in the world there may be an officer who is willing to take that
>risk. That is how Oscar-1 was launched in 1961. The challenge is to find that
>person and nurture a relationship with him or her. If they are reading the
>comments on Amsat-BB they are probably thinking "there is no way I would ever
>want to have a relationship with that wacky organization"
>Dan Schultz N8FGV
>Sent via AMSAT-BB at amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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