On 8/30/2013 1:25 AM, Jeff Moore wrote:
How about hitting up the new COMMERCIAL launchers like SpaceX?? Those guys originated as amateur rocketeers.
I would hope that folks have a little more faith in AMSAT leadership as far as exploring opportunities for launches, even if you don't read about every contact or discussion in ANS or QST.
SpaceX is Elon Musk's company, who founded PayPal and Tesla Motors as well. He's not an amateur anything; he's one of the most successful businessmen in the world, a real-life Tony Stark. AMSAT-DL has met with Space-X, and this fact has been published in many places (http://amsat.org/pipermail/ans/2010/000378.html). SpaceX rarely launches pure test flights, they normally have paying customers even on first launches. Secondary payloads are handled through Spaceflight Services, and their rates are published at http://spaceflightservices.com/pricing-plans/ . Fifty kg, or about half of what Eagle would have been, to GTO would cost 3 million dollars. Hey! that's only like $1000 per member! P3E, at 150kg, would be closer to 8 million, IF it could be made to fit the space available, and most likely mounted and launched sideways.
Opportunities may still be out there to go to HEO, but it's a fairy tale to think that all we have to do is knock on the door and ask. It is also disheartening to see that so many just assume that we aren't trying.
73, Drew KO4MA