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Re: NASA reconsiders satellite servicing missions

Happy April's Fool Day!


At 05:43 AM 4/1/2004 -0500, you wrote:
>Following a review requested by members of Congress, the National Academy of
>Science and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration have agreed to
>reconsider NASA's earlier decision to forgo further servicing of the Hubble
>Space Telescope. Following the publication of the review panels findings, NASA
>has therefore agreed to resume its satellite servicing program.
>The review panel has also recommended that because of the long down time
>between Space Shuttle missions, crew members will need additional
>opportunities to practice their EVA skills prior to carrying out the ambitious
>Hubble Service Mission 4. The panel members suggested that astronauts should
>practice their repair skills on a smaller satellite while preparations for the
>HST service mission are being revived. Accordingly NASA has directed shuttle
>program managers to identify additional satellite servicing opportunities to
>allow astronauts to obtain the experience they so urgently need after being
>grounded for the past year.
>One such mission opportunity was immediately apparent, the recently defunct
>Amsat-Oscar 40 satellite. According to NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe,
>"Repairing Oscar 40 is a challenging and difficult mission that will provide
>NASA and all Americans with the renewed confidence and inspiration that are
>needed for the ambitious space missions that lie ahead for us."
>An all-ham shuttle crew has been selected to fly this important training and
>repair mission.
>Astronaut Mike Foale, KB5UAC, said yesterday "We are thrilled to be selected
>to fly this important and historic satellite servicing mission. AO-40 is a
>much loved satellite and we are looking forward to returning it to service for
>the worlds radio amateurs."
>A total of 5 EVAs will be needed to repair the failed main battery, all of the
>failed transmitters from 2 meters up to 10 GHz, and the damaged antennas.
>Spacewalking astronauts will also repair AO-40's fuel system valves, external
>sheet metal and thermal blankets. Following completion of all mechanical and
>electronic repairs, the monomethylhydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide tanks will
>be refilled with a fresh load of fuel and the satellite will be released back
>into orbit to complete the series of rocket burns that were intended to place
>AO-40 into its high inclination Molynia orbit.
>To prepare for this mission, an Amsat furnished AO-40 satellite mockup has
>been shipped to the Weightless Environment Training Facility (WETF) at the
>Johnson Space Center in Houston where astronauts will practice their repair
>procedures in the underwater training facility. AO-40's command stations will
>soon begin a series of Joint Integrated Simulations (JIS) with the Mission
>Control Center in Houston to practice the complex interactive satellite
>command sequences that will be needed to conduct aliveness and functional
>tests of each new module as astronauts complete each phase of the repair
>Prior to starting their repair work, astronauts will restore power to the
>satellites' Integrated Housekeeping Unit and telemetry beacon, using a special
>Amsat-approved pair of automobile jumper cables. In keeping with Amsat's low
>cost satellite philosophy, a suitable set of cables was found in the
>automotive section of the Orlando Florida Wall-Mart for $8.95. A new
>Thermometer was added to the Amsat Web site today to track fund raising
>efforts for the purchase of these cables, which are currently on lay-away. The
>jumper cables are considered to be the key to the success of the entire AO-40
>servicing mission. A special President's Club pin is available to those who
>contribute $1 or more to this purchase.
>In other space related news today, President Bush has announced that future
>manned missions are in work to retrieve and repair the Mars Polar Lander and
>Beagle 2. A mission to install a new battery aboard AO-7 is also under
>Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
Not an AMSAT member? Join now to support the amateur satellite program!
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