It may come as a surprise to you, but despite the name ‘amateur’, our world-wide community has a long history of being at the forefront of new technology, often innovating and developing techniques in common use today. Space is one of the environments that amateurs around the world are exploring today.
Did you know that just over four years after the launch of Sputnik in 1957, a west coast USA-based group, Project OSCAR, built and launched the very first Amateur Radio satellite, OSCAR, on December 12, 1961
In 1969 The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (as AMSAT is officially known) was first formed in the District of Columbia in 1969 as an educational organization. Its goal was to foster Amateur Radio’s participation in space research and communication. AMSAT was founded to continue the efforts, begun by Project OSCAR. The general history of amateur radio in space can be explored on the AMSAT website by clicking here.
AMSAT-UK represents the amateur satellite community in the UK whose members not only operate amateur satellites but also help to design, build and fund them. You can find out more about the work of UK amateurs in space on the AMSAT-UK website by clicking here
Since the earliest days of the Space Shuttle, many astronauts have become licensed radio amateurs to communicate to stations on earth while traveling in space and on the International Space Station. UK Astronaut Tim Peake is a licensed amateur holding the US callsign KG5BVI.
The umbrella for this activity is ARISS – Amateur Radio on the International Space Station. You can find out more about this on the ARISS Website by clicking here.
Check this section from time to time as we will add more pages detailing and providing links about this fascinating aspect of the hobby.