Here is my ICOM IC-211 linear 2m rig languishing on a shelf in the basement. IC-211 on shelfI bought it used (third or more hand I believe) some years ago for more than I probably should... whatever... a radio is a radio, and you can't have too many radios.  At the time I was planning on expanding my satellite ops.  Besides rigs capable of linear operation back then were hard to come by, and $$$$!

My satellite ops never expanded.  This was partly due to the failure of AO-40 the first and last Phase-3D dedicated amateur radio satellite.

I can't find a historical perspective on the various "phases" of amateur radio satellite development on line but you could use AMSAT-NA as a starting point.  Once upon a time I read about the various satellites, their development, and their derivatives.  Perhaps I read about it in the ARRL Satellite Anthology or The Satellite Experimenter's Handbook.  Neither of which seem to be in print anymore.  Both were ARRL publications.  There is a new publication The ARRL Satellite Handbook, which may have similar information, and likely brings everything up to date.  There are also publications from AMSAT.

A year or so after purchase, the frequency display began to go all eights (8888888), and the radio would no longer receive anything.  Cycling the power would bring things back to normal.  Unfortunately the problem that causes the microprocessor to flip out is intermittent, and seems to be random.  I have yet to discern any pattern to the loss of control.  I do have the full manual though, and one of these days I'll dive in.  I have already been thinking about pulling the existing micro processor, and substituting some flavor of PIC device.  

We shall see.