International Space Station (ISS) Location
July 2, 2020 - We offer both a free and basic web-based satellite tracking application and a more sophisticated graphical and integrated full-featured application based upon Windows UWP. With the web-based tracking application any web-browser running on an Android, Linux, or iPhone should work. The UWP application runs on Windows 10+ desktops and devices. Give it a try, it is free - just follow the above links! Most people are tracking the International Space Station (ISS).
April 30, 2020 - The DOSAAF-85 (RS-44) satellite has been switched on for amateur radio use. It sports an inverting transponder for SSB and CW. The satellite still seems to be attached to the Breeze K/M rocket booster and experiences deep communication fades (QSB).
Transmitter power: 5 watts
Beacon: 435.605 MHz – transmits CW call sign RS44
The satellite implements an inverting transponder.
Uplink: 145.965 MHz +/- 30 kHz
Downlink: 435.640 MHz +/- 30 kHz
Es'hail 2 QO-100
November 15, 2018 - The Es'hail 2 satellite launches on SpaceX's Falcon 9 flight 63. On board along with the commericial transponders is the amateur radio QO-100 transponder. It is the first geosynchronous amateur radio satellite transponder. Use of the transponder
for radio operators opened up in February 2019.
February 20, 1986 - Mir was a space station that operated in low Earth orbit from 1986 to 2001, operated by the Soviet Union and later by Russia. Mir was a scientific space station allowing studies in many difference scientific fields. Amateur radio operations were done from several operators U0MIR, U1MIR, U2MIR, U3MIR, U4MIR, and U5MIR on-board to amateurs around the world.
OSCAR 7 (AO-7)
November 15, 1974 - AO-7 is the second Phase 2 AMSAT satellite launched. After launched it remained operation until 1981 when the satellite had battery failure.
After 21 years of silence the satellite was heard again on June 21, 2002. AO-7 is the oldest amateur radio satellite currently operating. It works well in Mode B (70cm up and 2m down), but
if too much uplink power is given, it flips the satellite in Mode A (2m up and 10m down).
October 15, 1972 - AMSAT-OSCAR 6 (AO-6) was box-shaped, measuring 430mm × 300mm × 150mm, with a mass of 18.2 kg. It had a near-circular polar orbit of 1450 × 1459 km with an inclination of 101.7 degrees. It deployed two quarter-wave monopole antennas, one each for 144 and 435 MHz, and half-wave dipole antenna for 29 MHz. It remained operational for 4.5 years until a battery failure on June 21, 1977.
OSCAR 6 was equipped with solar panels powering NiCd batteries, AO-6 provided 24 V at 3.5 W power to three transponders. It carried a Mode A transponder (100 kHz wide at 1 W) and provided store-and-forward morse and teletype messages (named Codestore) for later transmission. Subsystems were built in the United States, Australia, and Germany.
AO-6 had a 1.3 watt transmitter into a half-wave dipole antenna. AO-6's receiver input sensitivity was approximately -100dBm (2 μV per meter) and had an AGC that provided up to 26 dB of gain reduction optimized for single-sideband modulation.
The transceiver team consisted of Karl Meinzer DJ4ZC, Wallace Mercer W4RUD, Dick Daniels WA4DGU and Jan King W3GEY.
January 23, 1970 - Students from The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia built this battery powered OSCAR 5 also called Australis-OSCAR 5. The satellite transmitted telemetry on both 2 meter (144.050 MHz at 50 mW) and 10 meter (29.450 MHz at 250 mW) bands that operated for 23 and 46 days respectively. Passive magnetic attitude stabilization was performed by carrying two bar magnets to align with the Earth's magnetic field in order to provide a favorable antenna footprint. The University of Melbourne compiled tracking reports from hundreds of stations in 27 countries.
Milestones for OSCAR 5 included: (1) first amateur satellite to be remotely controlled, (2) first amateur satellite launch coordinated by new the AMSAT organization (previously done by Project Oscar),
and (3) Arabic numbering used for OSCAR 5 instead of Roman numerals (I, II, III, IV).
December 21, 1965 - Originally planned as a geostationary satellite and riding piggy-back on United States Air Force satellites, the launch vehicle had a failure and put the group into an unplanned 161 km × 33000-km orbit.
About 12 amateurs communicated through OSCAR 4, during the satellite's 85 days in operation. Nonetheless, OSCAR 4 had three new milestones: (1) first higher power (3 Watt) 10 kHz wide linear transponder (144 MHz uplink and 432 MHz downlink), due to higher planned orbit, (2) first direct satellite communication between the United States and the USSR,
and (3) successful development of innovative workaround procedures for satellite usage, based on launch vehicle partial failure.
March 9, 1965 - OSCAR 3, again launched from Vandenberg, had 3 new milestones: (1) the satellite used the first amateur satellite transponder relaying voice contacts in the VHF 2 meter band through a 1 W 50 kHz wide linear transponder (146 MHz uplink and 144 MHz downlink), (2)
was the first amateur satellite to operate using solar power, and (3) was the first amateur satellite to use beacon transmitters. 176 two-way contacts were claimed to have been made using the satellite's transponder during the 247 orbits (18 days) it remained powered-up. See the Spots page for the list.
June 2, 1962 - Launched again from Vandenberg, OSCAR 2 was similar to OSCAR 1 but incorporated 3 design changes: (1) thermal coatings to achieve a cooler internal space environment, (2) added better temperature sensing as batter decayed, and (3) lowered the transmitter power output to 100 mW to extend the life of the battery. The satellite decayed only after 19 days though.
December 12, 1961 - Launched at Vandenberg Airforce Base in California, USA, OSCAR 1 was a secondary payload (ballast) for Discoverer 36.
OSCAR 1 had a battery powered 140 mW transmitter using 144.983 MHz in the 2-meter amateur radio band. OSCAR 1 trasnmitted 3 weeks a simple CW morse codemessage "HI."
October 4, 1957 - The Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1 into an elliptical low Earth orbit as the first human-made artificial satellite to orbit the Earth.
Sputnik 1 transmitted signals heard by amateur operators around the world until the satellite's batteries failed 3 weeks into operation. The satellite was in a 65° inclination allowing the majority of people on the earth and opportunity to hear and see the satellite.
Low Earth Orbit (LEO)
A low Earth orbit (LEO) is an orbit around Earth with an altitude between 160 km (99 mi) and 2,000 km (1,200 mi). LEO demonstrate an orbital period of between about 84 and 127 minutes. Orbital decay is experienced when objects are below approximately 160 km (99 mi) primarily due to atmospheric drag.
Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)
A medium Earth orbit (MEO) is an orbit around Earth with an altitude between 2,000 km (1,200 mi) and 35,786 km (22,236 mi).
Medium Earth orbit's demonstrate an orbital period between about 2 and 24 hours.
MEO's are sometimes called intermediate circular orbit (ICO).
High Earth Orbit (HEO)
A high Earth orbit (HEO) is an orbit around Earth with an altitude above geosynchronous orbits at 35,786 km (22,236 mi).
High Earth orbit's demonstrate an orbital period greater than 24 hours.
High Earth orbit’s exhibit an apparent retrograde motion.
The Earth’s rotation speed is faster than the objects making the objects ground track to appear to be moving westward compared to the Earth.
Lunar or Moon Orbit
This type of orbit depicts the orbit of the Earth's Moon. The Moon orbits the Earth at an altitude between 357,000 to 399,00 km.
A graveyard (junk or disposal) orbit is an orbit above geosynchronous orbits, above 35,786 km (22,236 mi).
Objects are moved here one their operational life is over to avoid crashing into other objects and generating more space debris.
Tiangong 1 Tracking
The Chinese Tiangong 1 satellite reentered the earth's atmosphere and burned-up April 2, 2018. In memorance you can still psuedo-track using the last set of NORAD keplerian elements for the satellite. Click here for the simulation.