OSCAR 1 and Ham Radio Celebrate 50yrs

1961. Mercury-Redstone 2 launches into space carrying Ham the Chimp. Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human in space. Alan Shepard becomes the first American in space aboard Mercury-Redstone 3. Gus Grissom, piloting the Mercury-Redstone 4 capsule Liberty Bell 7, becomes the second American to go into space. OSCAR I -- Orbiting Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio -- the very first Amateur Radio satellite, is launched into space.

Barely four months after the successful launch of Sputnik I, the United States launches the unmanned Explorer I on January 31, 1958. At about that same time, a group of hams on the West Coast -- Lance Ginner, K6GSJ; Chuck Smallhouse, W6MGZ; Ed Beck, K6ZX; Al Diem; Chuck Townes, K6LFH (SK), and Nick Marshall, W6OLO (SK) -- begin toying with the idea of launching an Amateur Radio satellite into orbit and organized themselves into Project OSCAR.

Ham Radio and Satellites


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