I don't know all of the obstacles involved, but your suggestion is the best one I've heard during the course of the SuitSat-2 discussion this week. The trade-off, of course, will be a lower orbit/smaller footprint, with passes that are a couple of minutes shorter than those of the current FM LEO satellites. Here, I em definitely willing to accept that to have another amateur-communications platform with multiple operation modes go active with the probability that it would stay active for at least a few years.
Thank you for this post.
73 to all,
Tim - N3TL
I agree with "the Bobs" and others that you have to play the cards you're dealt and be part of the solution. Allot of people put many hours of time, effort and their own money into AMSAT and I certainly thank them all.
I disagree that we should abandon the "HEO fetish" as it was put. At the moment it seems unlikely there will ever be another AO-40 but there could be opportunities for ride shares to higher orbits. But for that to remain even a remote possibility, we need to "be in the game". By continuing to be a visible member of the space community we enhance our chances of finding new opportunities for transport to space. We must continue to be flexible and adapt to whatever opportunity comes along. I think that is exactly where AMSAT has been moving.
This may be a dum question but, since so much effort has gone into building SuitSat-2, why are we throwing it out the ISS door? It appears we have multiple unused antenna ports on the ISS. If we connected SS-2 to one of those it will stay in orbit a long time, we don't need to repackage it to survive space or put in batteries. I'm sure there would be a process to make that happen not to mention maybe install an antenna. Even if it took another year to make happen, wouldn't it be worth it?
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