October 4 marks the 61st anniversary of the launch by the Soviet Union of Sputnik 1, Earth’s first artificial satellite. The Soviets heralded the launch as a national triumph, and the space race between the USSR and the US began.
Sputnik 1 was a 58-centimeter diameter, polished aluminum sphere sprouting four antennas and transmitting a 1 W signal on 20.005 and 40.002 MHz, putting it within the range of nearly any radio amateur. Orbiting the planet about once every 96 minutes, Sputnik 1 could be seen from Earth. Following the launch, the US National Institute of Standards and Technology’s HF radio station WWV even halted its nighttime 20 MHz transmissions to avoid interfering with the satellite’s signal.
Scientists studying it gained information about such things as the density of the upper atmosphere, deduced from orbital drag. The propagation of its signals also helped to better understand the ionosphere. The US launched its first artificial Earth satellite, Explorer 1, on January 31, 1958.
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Photo: DX Engineering Skyhawk Tri-Band Yagi Antenna ” High-performance Amateur Radio antennas, now with unmatched customer support. In a move th... Read more
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Other satellites announced for the ELaNa 25 launch include Argus (St. Louis University), 437 MHz telemetry; AzTechSat-1 (NASA Ames Research Center) 43... Read more
Radio World reports that the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea (North Korea) has resumed testing digital radio broadcasting on the 80-meter amateu... Read more
Starting on Monday, September 16, WWV and WWVH will broadcast a US Department of Defense message to mark the centennial of WWV and to announce the WW0... Read more