Was It My Imagination...
I remember when I was a kid 1997-ish. I remember there being Phase 3 satellites and there were people buying SSB V/UHF rigs like there was no tomorrow, a lot of people even selling their HF equipment. Then there were 16 & 18 element yagis (can't remember the names of them). You could work the world just on satellites. What happened? The only Sats I hear about now are LEOs. Back in the 90's I heard about a project to put up 3 geosyncronous satellites that would cover the entire world 24/7. It just seems like the golden age for satellites was the 90's, or maybe that is just me imagining things.
"I prayed to God for a new motorcycle, but I learned that God didn't work that way. So, I stole a motorcycle and prayed to God for forgiveness. " -Unknown
The problem with getting a ride to space these days is cost. Way back In The Day, we could get a free ride as ballast, or a greatly reduced cost ride on rockets that weren't flight-proven.
These days, with launch costs upwards of $100 MILLION, and even secondary payloads looked at as a 'revenue stream by the launch providers, it gets pretty expensive to get something into orbit.
AMSAT-DL has a Phase-III bird ready to go, and is looking for an affordable ride.
AMSAT-NA was in negotiations with a large satellite operator (Intelsat?), but that kind of fizzled out.
Commercial space launches are expensive, but the cost will go down as technologies mature and flights increase. Of course a well-timed opportunity can prove even more cost effective, but you're right they are hard to find...
Originally Posted by KQ6EA
I admire your optimism, but working in the launch industry, I see both sides.
Costs will not go down, regardless of who the current "I can get you to orbit cheaper than anybody" company is.
The technologies *are* mature, and there's only a certain number of payloads to be launched. The launch companies compete on far more than price; reliability is #1, followed by many other things. There's a LOT more to it than just delivering your payload to the launch provider and standing back.
I believe P3C (aka AO-11) was the last successful bird in the series, and served for many years, but unfortunately due to the effects of gravity several years ago; possibly due to unexpected forces from the Ol' Sol. P3D, aka AO-40 suffered multiple launch, orbital, and equipment failures, and is apparently permanently silent.
Originally Posted by KF4LYH
However, I doubt that any time there were ever AMATEUR satellites that would be launched in a GEO-SYNC orbit, as it would limit their coverage to only specific areas of the Terra globe.
Just on a logical standpoint, an Amateur satellite that only favored (or excluded) other than a world-wide capability would not be supported by the AMSAT organization.
Such as the case for AO-40, where a combination of launch failure AND other considerations were at play?
Originally Posted by KE7HQY
I don't like, nor would I want to make donations to AMSAT for A "do everything, everywhere, on all frequencies" satellite, when the stakes are "all or do nothing." AO-40 was supposed to be a "do everything everywhere" satellite, on a questionable, new launch vehicle. So, we lost everything, all in ons swell foop, partly due to a new launch vehicle, partly due to lapses in AMSAT design and maintenance, and MOSTLY the idea of "putting all our eggs" in one basket.
AO-40 would have been a GLORIOUS success. IF it had been a success. Instead, many ideas and projects that might been able to be launched in a lesser endeavour, despite the excellence of the technology, hardware, and most importantly effort of volunteers worldwide, were all dashed . I simply can't support "pie in the sky" everything on an Amateur satellite. Apparently,"insurance" isn't even an (affordable) option on Amateur payloads. So WE suffer the entire loss of the Amateur equipment, even if the commercial entities recover their loss fro Lloyd's of London, or similar brokerages. THEY can claim commercial losses. AMSAT world-wide has to seek other donations for the commercial failures of launch vehicles.\, with little or no recourse. We need to choose wisely, not cheaply.