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Eagle and AO40

I am curious at the thoughts of current satellite users.  As I read the AMSAT Journal and see the progress of the Eagle Project, it reminds me of a few years ago when another "do it all" satellite was being planned - AO40.  Amateurs are pumping thousands of dollars and time into this project.  I remember I followed AO40 with great excitement, not to mention spending a few grand upgrading my station to be ready for this "super bird".  And after all the things that went wrong after the launch, I thought - never again.

So my question is basic:  why spend all this money and wait years for something that might end up another catastrophe?  Why do we have to try and design a bird that does it all?  We all know the more complex the bird the more room for failure.  Why not just pop out another AO13 - or similar?  I can't tell you how many hours of fun I had with RS10/11.  And with the way things are in amateur radio now, who knows if there will be anybody even interested in this by the time Echo finally is useable.

Just a thought.  I would like to hear yours now please.

Jim Beeson

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