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

Daniel Schultz n8fgv at usa.net
Wed Sep 26 02:02:15 PDT 2012

We don't need anything so fancy as springs or rubber bands. Electric
propulsion is a mature, safe technology, with many universities and
organizations developing experimental thrusters that need to be tested in
space. Some of them even use solid propellant so no need to do safety
qualification on a high pressure gas cylinder. Nothing at all to explode. That
is how we will get our next HEO satellite.

Dan Schultz N8FGV

------ Original Message ------
> > And of someone wanted to try out a new propulsion system on a live
> > satellite, I'm sure AMSAT would be more than happy to help with the
> > comms side of things.
> One can understand the reluctance to allow an explosive kick-motor on a 
> launch vehicle.  But is that the only way?
> What about a trebuchet?  Springs?  Rubber bands?  Cylinders of 
> compressed gas?  Gas produced when needed by mixing two stable chemicals 
> together?  A motor that spins up an arm to 'throw' the payload? A 
> magnetic railgun that fires a slug down out of orbit, resulting in 
> recoil pushing the satellite up?  Or the payload up, while deorbiting 
> the railgun?
> Surely someone smarter than I can come up with a scheme that might 
> actually work?  And someone with a smoother tongue than I can persuade a 
> university that this is valuable research to be pursued by their space 
> science department?
> -- 
> 73, de Gus 8P6SM
> The Easternmost Isle

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