[amsat-bb] Re: Launch Costs (was-re: AMSAT-BB Digest, Vol. 7, Issue 312)

Robert McGwier rwmcgwier at gmail.com
Tue Sep 25 10:59:09 PDT 2012


You are going to be used for my generic rant, it's not personal.  I can get
away with this because I have no official role.

AMSAT here and elsewhere has NO desire to become just another customer for
exactly the reasons you describe. It amazes me that anyone thinks we don't
know this.

There is a reason for Cubesat work. It's about the only "free" ride
available.  Here in the USA, we have NASA ELaNa and there are similar
programs elsewhere as essentially our only access to space.

The Chinese "amateur" space groups are doing larger spacecraft but they
have direct government support as they try to build a spacefaring cadre of
engineers and scientists.

In the early days/years of AMSAT we could talk NASA or ESA folks into
letting us on board.  Now, there are no ESA test rides and Arianespace is a
corporation, desirous of making a profit, and giving away rides doesn't
contribute to their task of helping the bottom line.

People seem to think that AMSAT-anywhere have gotten lazy, stupid, old,
whatever.  It is not true.  We can build tiny sat's or micro sat's and get
them up with only cubesats being relatively easy.  I've seen a few of our
older supporters tell folks where to send their donations and support......
 This reminds me of being told things by politicians these days.. Promise
much, deliver nothing,,,

How has that worked out for folks?

If ANYONE has a known likely way to space for a significant amateur
transponder only mission, I dare say you will get trampled by
AMSAT-anywhere to get to the provider.

In general, suggestions like "why don't you folks" or "I think you folks
should" go directly to the null file because they consume AMSAT archive
storage and only increase its noise floor and they are known to the utter
novices working directly with AMSAT-Anywhere.


On Tuesday, September 25, 2012, R Oler wrote:

> Drew.
> If AMSAT becomes or has become "just another customer" of launchers then
> you are probably correct and even more so the future for "realsats" ie ones
> that actually do communications is bleak.
> I am sort of surprised that this is the "thought" ...if here in Houston we
> had to "pay rent" for our tower space (and we have a couple of them) then
> the group that I am a part of which has a pretty nice repeater/packet
> system would simply be out of luck.  What we were able to do is convince
> the folks who usually take the large dollars to view us as a public service
> and we get the tower space (and the everything else space including
> Electricity) for 10 dollars a year.
> My boss routinely sends his Gulfstream fleet out to do things for which
> people "pay" nothing or little because he gives to good causes.
> While AMSAT and other groups might or not compete with paying payloads
> have we lost the ability to go out and convince people that AMSAT is a
> worthy cause?
> Specific question.  Has AMSAT approached SpaceX for a "good cause" launch?
> Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2012 07:47:28 -0400
> From: glasbrenner at mindspring.com <javascript:;>
> To: orbitjet at hotmail.com <javascript:;>
> Subject: RE: [amsat-bb] Re: Launch Costs (was-re: AMSAT-BB Digest, Vol. 7,
> Issue 312)
> CC: amsat-bb at amsat.org <javascript:;>
> I'll just leave this here, to prove the reality of the situation:
> http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1913/1
> "Doud said that SpaceX recently completed an internal study on the
> feasibility of flying secondary payloads. That effort also developed
> prices for flying those secondary payloads, which he disclosed in his
> presentation. A P-POD would cost between $200,000 and $325,000 for
> missions to LEO, or $350,000 to $575,000 for missions to geosynchronous
> transfer orbit (GTO). An ESPA-class satellite weighing up to 180
> kilograms would cost $4–5 million for LEO missions and $7–9 million for
> GTO missions, he said."
> 73, Drew KO4MA
> -
> Drew..No it is not a false premise.
> .if SpaceX is flying with "not used" mass we should at least approach them
> to be able to see if we could put payloads on the vehicle..or take
> something to ISS...there is mass and space, the launch on Oct 7 will only
> carry 1000 lbs.  Also we might be able to find some space on the Falcon
> heavy launch.
> Robert WB5MZO
> _______________________________________________
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Bob McGwier
Owner and Technical Director, Allied Communication, LLC
Facebook: N4HYBob

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