TSS paper weight

Rob Matson (Rob_Matson@cpqm.saic.com)
27 Feb 1996 10:54:53 U

In reply to my remarks/questions regarding the TSS tether break, Philip Chien
wrote:

> According to ASI the satellite was worth about $200-400M > (depending on
whether or not you count the cost for the original > satellite, modifications
after the first flight, etc.)  But in any case
> the satellite was designed for only two flights.  So from one point
> of view nothing of value was lost - since it wasn't designed to be
> used again.

If this is the case, then I can certainly understand why they wouldn't attempt
recovery.  I was under the mistaken impression that it was a reusable
satellite, with future missions pending.  Thanks for clearing that up.  Seems
to me from a safety standpoint, once the satellite was reeled out and its
experiments completed, the plan all along would have been to "cut the cord". 
No sense attempting to reel it back in and risk the Shuttle/astronauts if the
payload has no real value.

In any event, we have an interesting satellite to look at for a while.  Hope
it lasts thru next week so I'll have a chance to check it out...