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Re: Antennas on the bird

>Thing is, what they seem to have been doing then is pretty likely what *I* 
>have done. It's a shame we don't have the resources to do what is often 
>done by
>The Big Kids; i.e. have multiple builds of a particular spacecraft in the 
>with one on-orbit...and when you get in one of these situations where 
>making it up as you go along you get to try stuff out on a machine that you 
>touch, where you can discover the difference betweemn theory and practice 
>relative safety. Like OV-101 "Enterprise", never inteded to reach orbit...
>  73 de Maggie

If I might make two points.

First in a house keeping note Enterprise was at one point going to 
orbit....it was ov-99 (what became Challenger) that wasnt going to orbit.  
Why that switch was made is not important I guess but at one point 
Enterprise would have gone there.

Second your comment on resources is important and I think the larger 
question that at somepoint we should address for future projects...it has no 
reference to the current efforts to "fix" AO-40.  While the amateur 
community may not be able to afford multiple AO-40's (indeed I think we 
could barely afford this one) its pretty clear that we could afford muliple 
AO-10/13 type satellites.  Now I realize that neither 10/13 would have done 
the things that AO-40 was designed to do but with its present difficulties 
it is unclear that AO-40 can humanly be made to do the things that it was 
designed to do.

Absent the really Dark Star (great movie BTW) scenario of the vehicle stops 
working period the solution parameters are that the vehicle has the 
performance it has today up to it has the performance it was designed with 
or something in between.  NOW I hope that it gets something more then it has 
today (or all we have is not a lot) but it strikes me as unlikely that it is 
ever going to have the performance that it was designed with.

So whats my point?  My point is that in the future it is a mistake I think 
to ever commit so much resource/talent/money to a project this large and 
lengthy and all at the expense of smaller but more frequent projects.

This in no way is dillatorous to the AO-40 command team or anyother group 
except perhapds to the the folks who made the decisiont hat we were going 
this big in the first place.  OK the decision to go big was made to bring 
more people into the ham sats but I have a flash....unless the satellite 
recovers to something I dont think its going to (glad to be wrong) those 
people are frozen out anyway.

Robert Oler WB5MZO Houston TX

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