AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin
January 25, 2024
In this edition:
- AMSAT Responds to Planned Decommissioning of IO-117 (GreenCube)
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AMSAT Responds to Planned Decommissioning of IO-117 (GreenCube)
Sapienza Space Systems and Space Surveillance Laboratory (S5Lab)
Sapienza University of Rome
To The GreenCube Team:
Over the past 13+ months, amateur satellite operators around the world have enjoyed the use of the digipeater on GreenCube (IO-117). As amateur radio’s first satellite in a medium earth orbit (MEO), it has opened worldwide long-distance contacts via amateur radio satellite that had not been possible since the loss of AMSAT-OSCAR 40 in 2004. As this letter is being written, a DXpedition to Clipperton Island in the Pacific Ocean has made contact with several hundred amateur operators around the world – the first activation of this rare location on amateur satellite in over 30 years. AMSAT and the amateur satellite community greatly appreciate your team making this wonderful resource available.
Not only has this satellite been a great resource to the amateur community, but the amateur community has also assisted GreenCube’s mission by uploading millions of frames of data received – including much data from when the satellite is not within the primary ground station’s footprint.
Launches above low earth orbit are rarely available for amateur satellite missions. Since the first amateur radio satellite launched in 1962, fewer than ten have gone to orbits beyond LEO and only QO-100 (available to only part of the world) and IO-117 remain in service.
Due to the unique orbit and capabilities, we request that S5Lab postpone the scheduled passivation operation and keep the satellite’s digipeater in service. Amateur satellites have a long tradition of extended lifetimes. Amateur radio operators still utilize AMSAT-OSCAR 7 – launched nearly fifty years ago in 1974 – for communications on a daily basis. Many other amateur radio satellites have been actively used for ten to twenty years. AMSAT stands ready to leverage our 55 years of experience in managing amateur radio satellites and work with S5Lab, AMSAT Italia, other AMSAT organizations, and the amateur satellite community at large to overcome any obstacles, regulatory or otherwise, to keeping GreenCube in service for as long as possible.
Robert Bankston, KE4AL
Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT)
[ANS thanks AMSAT President Robert Bankston, KE4AL, for the above information]
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73 and remember to help Keep Amateur Radio in Space!
This week’s ANS Editor,
Paul Stoetzer, N8HM
n8hm [at] amsat.org
ANS is a service of AMSAT, the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation, 712 H Street NE, Suite 1653, Washington, DC 20002