Bill...this is a great conversation and I can pick it up later but right now I need to head up to the ACDO (air carrier district office) and see what the latest plan is for the next airplane I am learning to fly. I am just getting back into that loop.
But these are not costs to AMSAT (which is what I thought you were asking) The astronauts are a cost to the US tax payers.
I would note this. I dont think that astronaut time is "free" to anyone ie that all the cost are borne by the US taxpayer.
My experience (although dated) is that the cost are far from free, that they are to some extent (and a large one) reimbursable to NASA by various organizations. AND someone has to pay the documentation/integration cost of the payload. That can be pretty steep. In the case of "Wake Shield" it was more then the payload itself cost. The suitsat witout a suit is going to ride up on a Progress and the Russians are far more reasonable then NASA...but I'll bet money that there are some NASA cost involved to AMSAT in documentation/integration..
As for AO-40. This was in my view clearly a case of "organizational creep" where eventually the project became to large for the organizational capabilities...it is clear from the failures on the ground which initiated the failures in flight that the organization was far less competent then the task at hand. I guess I have not heard what was the ultimate "fail point" in Suitsat but unless it was equipment malfunction it is likely that it was more of the same. IE trying to do more project then the capabilities of the organization.
anyway..talk to you later
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