OSCAR 1 Launched In 1962

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14 December 2021 Current Affairs:On 12 December 1962,  the first amateur radio satellite called OSCAR 1 was launched and December 12 2021 marks the date of the launch of ‘Orbiting Satellites Carrying Amateur Radio’

Highlights:

  • OSCAR 1, the first radio satellite launched by Project OSCAR, launched into low Earth orbit on December 12, 1961.
  • It was launched in Vandenberg Air Force Base, Lompoc, California, by a Thor-DM21 Agena B launcher.
  • The satellite is a rectangular box, measuring 30 x 25 x 12 cm and weighing 10 kg, and launched as a secondary cargo for Corona 9029, the eighth and final launch of the KH-3 satellite.
  • It was the world’s first non-governmental satellite and the first satellite constructed by a collection of private individuals.
  • The satellite was designed and constructed using limited resources.
  • OSCAR 1 operated for 22 days, finishing operation on January 3, 1962, and re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere on January 31, 1962, completing 300 revolutions.
  • OSCAR 1 satellite contains a battery-powered 140 MW transmitter that operates in the 2-meter band and employs a monopole transmitting antenna, 60 cm long and opened from the center of the convex surface.

Project OSCAR

  • The idea to launch an amateur radio satellite was proposed within the months of Explorer 1’s launch. 
  • A group of radio amateurs formed it, built in the garages and basements of the group members. 
  • OSCAR 1 was gold-plated and included black metallic strips to regulate the internal temperature across the casing.
  • OSCAR 1 didn’t have any solar cell charging system, so the satellite operations were set to last till the batteries discharged completely. The anticipated battery life of the satellite was 28 days.

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