[amsat-bb] Re: Congrats to SpaceX

Bruce Robertson ve9qrp at gmail.com
Fri Dec 10 11:56:33 PST 2010

On Thu, Dec 9, 2010 at 2:54 PM,  <G0MRF at aol.com> wrote:
> In a message dated 09/12/2010 13:37:06 GMT Standard Time,
> According to a report I saw from the NSS, they also deployed 4  CubeSats.
> Not a useful orbit for us, but a sign of good things to  come.
> Alan

At the small satellites conference of the  International Astronautical
Congress in Prague this year, Andrews Space's president gave details
about his new Spaceflight Services company, which aims to provide
retail pricing and service for small satellite launches.[1] For X
dollars, you get a date and place with your name on it, basically. The
eye-opener for me was that he was including launches in various
cubesat configurations all the way down to 1U, and in orbits up to
GTO. Some of this was arranged through a contract with SpaceX.

If I remember correctly, a 3U cubesat to GTO was under $800,000.
Obviously this is a huge technical challenge -- could we fit in a 1U
what would be necessary to go up to HEO, leaving 2U for our comms
hardware --, but imagine if an AMSAT organization could know that once
they'd raised and paid the $800,000, their bird would fly in, say, two
years. I think this would make raising the money in the first place a
much easier thing. (Even better, if they could tell their donors that
they have an insured launch and duplicate hardware!)

What this says to me is that the efforts being put into
miniaturization through Fox are finally putting us on the winning side
of the curve and provide us with further opportunities in the future,
maybe even opportunities in HEO.

[1]  http://www.andrews-space.com/news.php?subsection=MzQw

> Hi Alan.
> If they waited until the second stage had been removed from LEO, those
> cubesats would have had an apogee of 11,000km
> A very nice orbit......if it could be circularised to avoid the radiation
> belts.
> Thanks
> David  G0MRF
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