[amsat-bb] Re: P3E / P5A projects @ AMSAT-DL

Stefan Wagener wageners at gmail.com
Sun Feb 12 05:12:44 PST 2012

Hi Andy,

In all fairness to AMSAT-DL, they are an independent group of amateur
radio operators that have the right to dream big and try hard to make
it work.  They are in touch with the German Ministry of Science and
are still very actively looking at options for P3E. It is just not
that simple trying to compete for government funding to support a
launch. As for the status of P3E, the basic components are all there
and can be very quickly finished. Remember, they and we are all folks
that do that because of interest and willingness to volunteer. Yes, it
sounds good to pool all resources together and focus on one project.
At the same time, I think it is great that AMSAT NA is focusing on
Cubesats and AMSAT DL is focussing on P3E+. Diversity is good, as long
as it is not mutually exclusive. We have to have short term solutions
to be able to dream big and make it happen. That's really my key
message. We will always come up with the funds to build the satellite,
we will never come up with all the funds ourselves to launch it (even
AMSAT-NA needs NASA to launch a cubesat). At this point let us help
the folks with Kiwisat, Funcube and Fox etc.

At the moment P3E has a target for launch many of us will help
financially getting it ready. Let's not trash each others project (and
you are not doing that!) but help where it makes a difference right
now. We are sometimes our worst enemies.

BTW, just read the note that Sweden wants to cut out the amateur radio
2.4 GHz frequency for folks there (I think that what it was). They are
trying to make a case for the amateur satellite use of that portion of
the band and as far as I see it, there is no current active 2.4 GHz
satellite for us to point to. We don't even have an argument to help
them. We need any and all satellites to use the spectrum we have. The
more the better. Otherwise, the only thing left for us to do is to HF
(scary thought). Oh, by the way that's a joke (before I get blasted).

All the best, Stefan VE4NSA

On Sun, Feb 12, 2012 at 2:54 PM, Andy Kellner <hawat1 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> From the amsat-dl website:
> "Following preliminary work the formal go-ahead was given in 2002 by AMSAT-DL for the P5A Mars probe.
> It should begin its nine-month journey during launch windows in 2009 or 2011. Before then AMSAT-DL will
> launch the P3E communications satellite with many test elements for the Mars mission."
> "Many mechanical and electrical elements for the P3-E Satellite are ready to fly, or being finalized shortly. After the proper tests under space conditions (i.e. temperature tests in a vacuum chamber and vibration tests), AMSAT P3-E is ready for launch in Summer 2007."  (Viele mechanische und elektrische Elemente für den P3-E Satelliten sind
> bereits flugfertig oder stehen kurz vor Ihrer Fertigstellung. Nach
> entsprechenden Härtetests unter Weltraumbedingungen (z.B. Temperaturtest in einer Vakuum-Kammer und Vibrationstest) steht AMSAT P3-E dann ab
> Sommer 2007 für einen Start bereit.) [Translated from German into English by me]
> Well here we are in 2012 and there is not even the hint of an idea if/when/how P3-E might be launched. Somebody posted earlier that the earliest even remote possibility for a launch with Ariane-V will be 2018 ? The satellite itself is far from completion due to what ? Lack of funding, interest, qualified people to work on ? And yet Amsat-DL is planning to work on a MARS (!) mission since 2002, with a launch window in 2007, with a P3E launch _before_ that ?
> I mean, I am all for great goals and bringing research forward and all. But maybe sometimes, somebody must admit that the goals set are a bit to ambitious ? In 2002 things might have looked a bit more positive, but today one could consider P5A nothing more then a pipe dream and even P3E fairly unrealistic ? Things have changed, researching, building, testing and launching of 150 kg HEO satellites (and interplanetary spacecraft for that manner) have become so expensive and time consuming that it seems unrealistic for a hobby-club to take on such a task.
> You can think of Amsat-NA what you want, but at least they have acknowledged the sign of times: Get a cheap, small, basic FM LEO in orbit now - Not because its the best solution for the amateur radio community, but because this is something which can _done_.
> I wish all the amsat organizations around the globe would line up behind one common goal and put all their efforts and resources behind that. Something which can be done in a somewhat reasonable time frame. Too bad that there are too many big ego's and politics involved to actually make that happen.
> Just my 2 c
> Andreas - VK4HHH
> ________________________________
>  From: Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) <amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net>
> To: amsat-bb at amsat.org
> Sent: Sunday, 12 February 2012 11:00 AM
> Subject: [amsat-bb] Re: ANS-041 AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin
> Hi Kevin!
>>   P3E is off in the future, I don't even think the sat is close to ready to
>> launch,
>> and then you have the launch itself to consider, I want P3E also but I also
>> understand its not going to be soon.
> That's been a question of mine, and a question asked of me in the
> recent past.  When someone asks me "Should I build my satellite
> station to work with HEO satellites now?", my answer is usually
> "Don't worry about it, until we have one in orbit".
> Until that day comes, I'm going to have fun working our current
> satellites - in FM, SSB, and occasionally CW.  When, or if, an
> HEO is launched, then I'll gladly reequip my station to work that
> as well.
> I remember seeing that at the AMSAT-UK Colloquium last year, the
> P3E launch cost was quoted as 10 million euros. One thing I have
> never been able to clearly determine is how much of that 10 million
> euros has been raised.  I know I can buy pixels on that picture that
> has been on the AMSAT-DL web page for a long time, but I expect
> there has been more raised than just what we see on that picture.
> Can anyone connected with AMSAT-DL answer?  That would help
> to put the P3E fundraising effort into some context.
> AMSAT-NA has the PayPal widgets that started out with one that
> was for ARISSat-1 and Fox, and now there's a Fox-only widget on
> the AMSAT web site and in other places (like my QRZ.com entries
> and web page).  I know there has been more $$$ donated to
> AMSAT than just what shows up on the PayPal widget, and I hope
> that combined total is publicized shortly - and then publicized on
> a regular basis.  The PayPal widget for the Fox project (not the one
> that was for ARISSat-1 and Fox) has increased by 1/3 in the past
> 24 hours since the announcement of the NASA decision.
>>    On the other hand FOX is NOW we have a means of getting into space,which
>> is the biggest hurdle, so it needs funding NOW to get completed and on that
>> ride.
> I agree 100%.  I've already made a couple of contributions, and I'm
> hoping AMSAT is able to deliver Fox-1 to NASA for that launch. :-)
> Projects like FUNcube and KiwiSAT have also done a good job of
> publicizing what they have been doing and their needs - financial
> or otherwise.  I've contributed to them, and - in the case of
> KiwiSAT - made multiple contributions.  I'm all for not putting all of
> our eggs in one basket.  More satellites would be a good thing.
> 73!
> Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK
> http://www.wd9ewk.net/
> _______________________________________________
> Sent via AMSAT-BB at amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
> Not an AMSAT-NA member? Join now to support the amateur satellite program!
> Subscription settings: http://amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/amsat-bb
> _______________________________________________
> Sent via AMSAT-BB at amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
> Not an AMSAT-NA member? Join now to support the amateur satellite program!
> Subscription settings: http://amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/amsat-bb

More information about the AMSAT-BB mailing list