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Re: AO40: status

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jon Ogden" <na9d@mindspring.com>
To: "MCGWIER ROBERT" <rwmcgwier@home.com>; <amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org>
Sent: Saturday, January 06, 2001 12:55 AM
Subject: Re: [amsat-bb] AO40: status

> on 1/5/01 7:43 PM, MCGWIER ROBERT at rwmcgwier@home.com wrote:
> > Furthermore it is clear that it the increase in
> > angular momentum has occurred around the
> > Z axis since the spacecraft does not appear
> > to have an appreciable wobble.  The only
> > place I can see from a quick look for this
> > to happen is in the tubes that flow propellant
> > around the motor casing.
> Robert,
> I have more questions for you.  I thought about just sending this
> but thought people might have the same questions.  I'm not calling into
> question your knowledge on stuff because it seems to be pretty
> But humor my ignorance and my possibly "stupid" questions.

All thoughtful questions and you are reading the diagrams which is what one
do to come up with scenarios and then to tie those scenarios to
evidence.  It is all we have to go on until someone tells us more.

I believe the damage is most likely to the cooling jacket of the motor or
we might have destroyed the entire spacecraft since as you say, it would
have pooled inside.   When the spraying occurred on the outside of the
motor, it spun the spacecraft about the Z axis, thank God in the "right"
direction mostly, and by normal dispersion (since we aren't accelerating
anything much but a spin axis), some  dispersed inside the craft
and ate at harnesses.  If the stuff had pooled inside the bird, through
the spinning, it would be working its way out to the modules and probably
eating away at them.    I hope we find that most of them still function.
They too are controlled by harnesses mostly, so we have to hope and

Lastly,  we are not asking or answering the major question,  the really
one. This system was tested under harsh pressurization conditions.  It has
to be to satisfy the launch authority with the nitrogen tetroxide or
hydrazine or high pressure helium on board.  They need to feel really
that we aren't going to  blow up their launch vehicle and our fellow
We do not yet know what caused the leak in the first place.  Nor do I have a
as to how we will know unless and until command stations and designers
Something odd and unexpected most likely.

Fingers off keyboard, back into crossed for luck position.


> Secondly, if the leak did occur on the outside of the space craft, how did
> it get inside to potentially damage wiring harnesses, etc?  For one, how
> well are the individual spacecraft components sealed?  Two wouldn't any
> external propellant leak flow away from the craft?  It would have to
> particularly if it is in the amount you suspect that would cause the
> rotation to increase.  So in a micro gravity environment, how does a
> propellant having a particular force to spin the craft and that is flowing
> orthogonal to the Z-axis of the craft, get inside?  And if it did get
> through where the motor is mounted (center panel) how likely would it be
> make its way through the fuel tank section and then into the electrical
> section.  Again, how sealed off is each equipment bay/compartment?
> 73,
> Jon
> NA9D
> -------------------------------------
> Jon Ogden
> NA9D (ex: KE9NA)
> http://www.qsl.net/ke9na
> "A life lived in fear is a life half lived."
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