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Re: Right-sizing a sat

I sent this a couple days ago and never saw it in an amsat-bb-digest.  Sorry
if it's a repeat.

All previous Phase 3 projects were designed for specific launch
opportunities on test flights of new Ariane launchers. The "right size" for
the next major AMSAT project is likely to be whatever size/schedule gives us
a launch opportunity at a price we can afford.

What are our launch opportunities now that Ariane launches are now fully

1. Fully commercial launch.
What is the fee to launch a 650kg satellite?
(AO-40 launch was "practically free" - only 1.4 million DM)
A 150 kg satellite?

2. Low-cost launch as a "standby" passenger, replacing concrete ballast.
Is it practical to build a satellite for a "standby" launch?
Do we have the capability to perform "last-minute" launch preparations?
Is Arianespace even receptive to the idea?

3. Test launches.
I presume there will be no more Ariane test launches for many years.
Converted Russian ICBM? (LEO only, I think)

We have to work within our constraints, and by far our biggest constraint is
"low-cost launch opportunities".

Wayne Estes W9AE
Mundelein, IL, USA

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