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Launch Pad Return

1969 - The Visionaries

Pictured above are some of the original Visionaries of AMSAT North America. (Left to Right): Jim Puglise (K9CQ), George Kinal (W3HPF), Cap Petrie (W3AWN), Chuck Dorian (W3JPT), William A. Tynan (W3KMV), Jan King (K8VTR), Perry Klein (K3JTE)


In 1969, a group of hams, many of whom were employed by government, commercial, or university laboratories in the Nation's Capital area, formed the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation, or AMSAT, incorporating in the District of Columbia and being granted 501(c)(3) status by the IRS. AMSAT's initial membership consisted of only a few dedicated individuals vowing to carry on the pioneering work begun by Project OSCAR and build a whole series of Earth orbiting satellites for the world's licensed amateurs and educators.. AMSAT membership spread rapidly all across the U.S. Canada, Mexico and to many overseas countries.

Once established, AMSAT began work in earnest, first refurbishing and launching a satellite built by students of the University of Melbourne in Australia. AMSAT's next project was a satellite which permitted licensed amateurs anywhere in the world to communicate with each other through its on-board transponder.

Over the ensuing 35 years AMSAT would build and launch 21 satellites providing the Amateur Radio and scientific community around the world with functional communications satellites, space technology education, and scientific development.

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