|AMSAT Fox-1A lifts off from |
Vandenberg Air Force Base in
California aboard the US National
Reconnaissance Office's Atlas-5
launch on October 8. (NRO photo)
The skies are once again filling up with amateur radio satellites, with eight new "birds" launched in late September and early October.
AMSAT's Fox-1A satellite, now known as AO-85, was successfully launched on October 8 and the AMSAT News Service reportst that signals were heard on its first orbit. For more information, visit <http://bit.ly/1McAMcG>.
The week before, Indonesia's LAPAN-2 satellite (now IO-86) was launched from India. This satellite carries an FM transponder and an APRS digipeater. Primary access will be to stations located in the tropics, between 30 degrees north latitude and 30 degrees south latitude.
China followed its mid-September launch of nine amateur radio satellites with the liftoff of three more on September 25 (Tianwang 1-A, 1-B and 1-C), according to the ARRL. Another Chinese ham satellite - LQSat - was launched on October 7. All four lifted off from a launch facility in Inner Mongolia.
Finally, two Danish ham satellites - AAUSat-5 and GomX-3 - were deployed from the International Space Station on October 5. The AMSAT News Service says the crew used the station's robotic arm to place the cubesats in orbit. As of this writing, no OSCAR numbers were available for either the Chinese or the Danish satellites.