Monday, February 11, 2019

OSCAR Numbers Reach 100

OSCAR-1, for Orbiting Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio, was the name bestowed on the first amateur radio satellite after its launch in December, 1961. Since then, OSCAR numbers have been issued to amateur satellites that have achieved orbit and successfully operated. Nearly 57 years after the launch of OSCAR-1, on November 15, 2018, OSCAR-100 - the Qatari Es'hail-2 satellite - was launched into geostationary orbit over Africa. It is the first geostationary amateur radio satellite. 

According to the AMSAT News Service, two ham satellites with later launch dates - the Japanese OrigamiSat-1 and NEXUS - were designated as OSCARs 98 and 99, respectively. OSCAR numbers are issued by AMSAT, the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. (See the March issue' Awards column for info on special AMSAT 50th anniversary awards.)