European Hams Hear Signals from the Edge of Space

This one gets filed under "cool stuff," for sure:

Hams in Germany received signals from American spacecraft Voyager 1 March 31 using a 20 meter parabolic antenna of a radio telescope on a frequency of 8.4 GHz….

A team of hams at AMSAT-DL/IUZ Bochum (The Institute for Environmental and Future Research at Bochum Observatory) using Doppler shift and sky positioning, received the signal from a distance of 8.82 billion miles (14.7 billion km). That’s roughly 98 AUs, or 98 times the distance from the Sun to Earth. This is the first recorded reception of signals from Voyager 1 by radio amateurs….

Voyager 1 was launched in September 1977 to conduct close-up studies of Jupiter and Saturn, Saturn’s rings and the larger moons of the two planets. Originally built to last only five years, the probe will continue to send back astronomical information to NASA and the JPL until at least 2020. Voyager 1 will continue to study ultraviolet sources among the stars, and the fields and particles instruments aboard will continue to search for the boundary between the Sun’s influence and interstellar space. Communications will be maintained until the nuclear power sources can no longer supply enough electrical energy to power critical subsystems. 

 The achievement by the German hams makes Satellite Radio seem déclasse.

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