European Hams Hear Signals from the Edge of Space

NEWINGTON, CT, April 25, 2006 -- 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. Voyager 1 
transmits on 8415 MHz nominal.

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. Members of the AMSAT-DL /IUZ team include 
Freddy de Guchteneire, ON6UG, James Miller, G3RUH, Hartmut Paesler, 
DL1YDD, and Achim Vollhardt, DH2VA/HB9DUN.

Also helping out were Theo Elsner, DJ5YM (IUZ Bochum), and Roger Ludwig 
of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, as well as the Deep Space Network 
Tracking Station in Madrid, Spain.

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.

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