From OSCAR 1 to Mars and Beyond

A video of the presentation about Amateur Radio Space Communications given by Mario Lorenz DL5MLO to hackers at the Chaos Communication Camp 2011 is now available.

The talk  was titled ‘From OSCAR 1 to Mars and beyond – Amateur Space Exploration – The last 50 years, now, and the future’ and the YouTube description reads:

Radio amateurs have been building and operating satellites for almost fifty years now, and we are aiming for more. In this talk, I’ll present who AMSAT is, what we have achieved in the last fifty years, and what we are working on now.

Back in the 1960’s, radio amateurs seized the opportunity of launching a satellite into space. It would not be the only one; we are approaching OSCAR 70 now. Building satellites has always been challenging and involves using technology in creative ways. I’ll cover some of the more fascinating cases, including some lessons learned during the process. In addition to the satellites in earth orbit, we are also aiming for Mars, and I’ll show what are doing to get there.

Watch From OSCAR 1 to Mars and beyond – CCCamp 2011

Hackers Plan Space Satellites 

London Hackspace Project: Hoxton Space Centre

London Hackspace work on HackSat1

The DIY Magic of Amateur Radio video

Radio Amateurs Receive Mars Science Laboratory

Mars Science Laboratory

Mars Science Laboratory

Radio Amateurs have received signals from the NASA Mars Science Laboratory using the AMSAT-DL amateur radio facility at Bochum in Germany.

On November 26, 2011 at 15:02 UTC the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) successfully launched on an Atlas V 541 from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41. It is carrying Curiosity, a 900 kg rover about the size of a small car.

It is expected to arrive at the “Red Planet” in August 2012 after a nine month flight.

Just over 7 hours after launch at 21:45 UTC the X-band telemetry signal from the MSL was received using the Bochum amateur radio facility. The signal, received at a distance of 112,000 km, had a spin-modulation of +/- 3.5 Hz with 2 revolutions / minute.

This is believed to be the first reception of the MSL outside the official NASA Deep Space Network (DSN) and the USN tracking station at Dongara, Australia (under contract to JPL for the MSL launch).

Bochum Amateur Radio Facility

Amateur Radio Facility at Bochum

For reception of MSL James Miller G3RUH remotely reconfigured the Bochum tracking and receiving system. The MSL X-Band telemetry signal was received automatically in Bochum, no-one had to be physically on-site. This shows how flexible and reliable the system at Bochum is, ready for the planned AMSAT-DL P5-A mission to Mars.

The 20m dish at Bochum is also used by AMSAT-DL to automatically receive real-time solar data from the NASA STEREO A / B satellites. The data is transmitted to a NOAA server in the USA via the Internet.

Congratulations to the AMSAT-DL team on a remarkable acheivement.

Control Software for the Bochum Radio Telescope by James Miller G3RUH

Stereo A/B Spacecraft Telemetry Reception at Bochum by James Miller G3RUH

AMSAT-DL in Google English

AMSAT-UK publishes a newsletter, OSCAR News, full of Amateur Satellite information. Sample issue at  Join online at

FUNcube Dongle at AMSAT-DL Symposium

On Saturday, May 14, there will be a presentation on the AMSAT-UK FUNcube satellite and Software Defined Radio dongle at the AMSAT-DL Symposium in Bochum.

The presentation titled ‘FUNcube and the amateur radio dongle’ will be given by Jim Heck, G3WGM, secretary of AMSAT-UK.

The AMSAT-DL Symposium and AGM takes place on Saturday, May 14, in the radome of the 20m dish antenna at Bochum, Germany. Visitors to the symposium are welcome.

Symposium information with full list of speakers is at

You can join the FUNcube Yahoo Group at