[amsat-bb] Re: High orbit satellites?

n0jy n0jy at n0jy.org
Fri Aug 30 09:20:09 PDT 2013

In fact many, many VOLUNTEER hours have been put in by the AMSAT 
leadership to get the two launch opportunities we have for Fox-1 and 
RadFXSat.  You wouldn't believe the work involved.  They deserve a big 
thank you for getting that done for us!

It would be wonderful to share everything going on "behind the scenes".  
To keep everyone updated often, on what the state/progress is.
But for a few reasons, it doesn't quite happen that way...
Number 1 reason the many, many volunteer hours just spent on the project 
means that the rest of the time is spent on those things outside the 
hobby like a normal person.  I mean, how often do any of us sit down and 
write a detailed letter to the BB about our AMSAT activities over the 
last week or month?
If we had a PIO that could relate the Fox-1 happenings to everyone... 
well, everyone would each still have to spend time telling the PIO what 
they have been doing!  There are a lot of people working just on Fox-1, 
scattered all over the United States. I'm sure everyone who has done 
weekly status reports knows how fun that is.
Number 2 reason, ITAR.

Perhaps you say well Jerry, you just spent time writing this email...

Then in the same amount of time I could tell you without jeopardizing 
the project, AMSAT, or my prison-free existence, after sitting for a few 
moments to recall what I did over the last week or two, that I worked on 
a lot of system bus changes and their related document updates (the same 
Fox-1 documents you read in the 2012 Symposium proceedings) because of 
design evolution, I worked on the downlink specification (how we're 
going to get all of the wonderful telemetry and pictures to you and our 
university partners), I researched and worked on changes to systems 
interfaces (design evolution again) and updated those documents, checked 
up on requirements tracking (very important to be sure we don't miss 
anything), and worked on test procedures.  Talked to Tony on the phone, 
had an IHU software team conference call.  Emailed a lot with other 
Fox-1 team members.  And yes this took me about 10 minutes to recall and 
write here.

Was any of what I said about what I did of interest to this group? 
Maybe.  Useful information?  Not so much.  Something you want to hear 
about on a regular basis?  Probably not, there's not much real value in 
what I just said.  I doubt that any of us working on the project are 
very good at "sound bites".  That's not what we get paid* for.

Now add to that the fact it would take more time to relate any of the 
details of what I did and even more time to determine what details I 
might safely relate in respect to ITAR, writing a letter to the BB or 
even an article for the Journal about what just I did becomes quite 
frankly, something I don't want to do.  And I imagine that holds true 
for a lot of us.

I'll be working on Fox-1 some more now but later today I'd like to eat a 
snack and play a video game for a bit, then make supper for the XYL and 
spend time with her when she gets home from work if you please.  Oh and 
we have another Fox-1 conference call tomorrow, hope the XYL didn't 
already have plans for anything around 11 AM.

Fox-1 is moving ahead on schedule, and there are things of public 
interest to share which are documented on the AMSAT web site or in the 
ANS.  That's all...

I think it would be fair to say that the Fox Team are all as excited and 
anxious as you are to get these satellites built and launched! It is 
hard work.  But I love my job!

Sorry if I wandered off topic, but Drew's comment about having a little 
more faith is on target.  We have one very dedicated leadership and 
group of people volunteering for us.


*You didn't really think we get paid?  There wouldn't be anything left 
to pay Martha!

On 8/30/2013 9:21 AM, Andrew Glasbrenner wrote:
>> On 8/30/2013 1:25 AM, Jeff Moore wrote:
>>> How about hitting up the new COMMERCIAL launchers like SpaceX??
>>> Those guys originated as amateur rocketeers.
> I would hope that folks have a little more faith in AMSAT leadership as far as exploring opportunities for launches, even if you don't read about every contact or discussion in ANS or QST.
> SpaceX is Elon Musk's company, who founded PayPal and Tesla Motors as well. He's not an amateur anything; he's one of the most successful businessmen in the world, a real-life Tony Stark. AMSAT-DL has met with Space-X, and this fact has been published in many places (http://amsat.org/pipermail/ans/2010/000378.html). SpaceX rarely launches pure test flights, they normally have paying customers even on first launches. Secondary payloads are handled through Spaceflight Services, and their rates are published at http://spaceflightservices.com/pricing-plans/ . Fifty kg, or about half of what Eagle would have been, to GTO would cost 3 million dollars. Hey! that's only like $1000 per member! P3E, at 150kg, would be closer to 8 million, IF it could be made to fit the space available, and most likely mounted and launched sideways.
> Opportunities may still be out there to go to HEO, but it's a fairy tale to think that all we have to do is knock on the door and ask. It is also disheartening to see that so many just assume that we aren't trying.
> 73, Drew KO4MA
> _______________________________________________
> 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