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ARRL Satellite Bulletin ARLS018 (1997)

ARLS018 Phase 3D delayed

Space Bulletin 018  ARLS018
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington, CT  June 19, 1997
To all radio amateurs

ARLS018 Phase 3D delayed

AMSAT Phase 3D officials remain optimistic despite another delay in
the launch of the Ariane 502 that is scheduled to carry Phase 3D
aloft in mid-September. The European Space Agency, ESA, announced
this week that the Ariane 502 launch will be delayed a couple of
weeks until September 30 at the earliest while the rocket gets
another engine. It's the second delay announced this year for the
Phase 3D vehicle. In March, the launch date was moved from early
July to mid-September. AMSAT-NA President Bill Tynan, W3XO, remains
philosophical about the schedule changes. ''It's more of the same,''
he said. ''We're trying to use all the time they give us

Orbital Report On-Line said this week that a faulty component was
detected in the liquid oxygen turbopump of the Vulcain engine due to
fly on Ariane 504. Since the origin of the flaw was identified as a
possible production defect and a similar element is known to be in
the pump of the engine already mounted on the Ariane 502 rocket that
recently arrived in Kourou, French Guyana, the European Space Agency
and the launch consortium (CNES) have decided to remove the engine
and replace it with the one originally scheduled for Ariane 503,
which features a component from an older production batch.

Any delay increases the overall cost of the project, but Tynan
characterized the additional cost factor of the most recent delay as
''noise level.'' He did not have a precise cost estimate. Tynan, who
was at the Phase 3D Integration Lab in Orlando, Florida, said
everything is going along well in the process. ''The RF equipment
integrated fine,'' he noted.

For more information on Phase 3D, including pictures of the assembly
and integration process, see