At the Symposium AMSAT President Rick Hambly, W2GPS, along with Vice President of Engineering Bob McGwier, N4HY, were able to make public the results of their recent work, which will change the face of Amateur Radio going forward. AMSAT has been in consultation with Intelsat regarding an application of Intelsat communications satellites carrying our Amateur Radio satellites into geosynchronous orbit.
Bob described changes in Department of Defense (DoD) policies that will require DoD-subsidized launches to allow secondary payloads to fill in excess launch capacity of the primary mission. During his talk, “Where’s the Launch,” Lee McLamb, KU4OS, explained that factors such as the increased size and efficiency of launch vehicles results in excess lift capacity. Gone are the days where adding a pound to the payload meant removing a pound of fuel from the booster. Lee described how current missions on the schedule have 1000 to 1500 pounds of excess capability. These are slots AMSAT can fit into.
Bob, N4HY, made the following observation about the Phase IV Lite project, “There is enough in place at this time that AMSAT needs to begin planning engineering work and possible construction of a geosynchronous payload so we are ready if Intelsat says they have a ride for us.”
This is a fantastic opportunity for the hobby, read the full article here.