OSCAR 1’s winning performance

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What is the news?

12th Dec 2021 marked the launch date of the first amateur radio satellite called OSCAR 1.

OSCAR 1

Background

Sputnik 1 was launched successfully by the Soviet Union in 1957. This marked the beginning of the space age. 

Not willing to be left lagging behind, the U.S. launched their own satellite, Explorer 1 in 1958.

Barely four years after that, OSCAR-1(Orbiting Satellites Carrying Amateur Radio) satellite was launched in December, 1961.

About OSCAR-1 Satellite

OSCAR 1 is the first amateur radio satellite launched by Project OSCAR. It was launched into low Earth orbit (LEO).

This satellite was the world’s first non-governmental satellite.

It was also the first satellite constructed by a collection of private individuals.

The satellite lasted for around 22 days, and transmitted the letters “HI” in Morse code. These letters were chosen in particular over other possibilities because the letters “HI” was and still remains – an internationally recognised friendly greeting between radio amateurs. 

Significance: The success of OSCAR 1 not only showed that radio amateurs and private individuals could design, construct, and track reliable operational satellites but also that they could coordinate with government launch agencies to get the work done. 

Source: This post is based on the articleOSCAR 1’s winning performancepublished in The Hindu on 12th Dec,2021.

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