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Father of DOVE Satellite Junior Torres de Castro, PY2BJO, SK


The father of the 1990s-era DOVE satellite, Junior Torres de Castro, PY2BJO, died on January 17. A prominent member of the League of Brazilian Amateur Radio Transmitters (LABRE), he founded Brazil’s AMSAT organization, BRAMSAT (AMSAT-BR) in 2015, and once served as its president. He also sat on the AMSAT-NA Board. Brazil’s first satellite, DOVE — Digital Orbiting Voice Encoder — launched from French Guiana in January 1990 along with three other AMSAT MicroSats and two larger UOSats. His vision for DOVE was to provide a strong 2-meter audio FM downlink signal (“This is DOVE in space”) that could be easily received by educational institutions around the world.

Founding AMSAT Director Jan King, W3GEY, called Torres de Castro “a very important part of AMSAT.” MicroSat Project team member Jim White, WD0E, described Torres de Castro as “a very warm and generous person [who] not only conceived of and funded DOVE, but also a receiver for the 60-foot radio dish that the Table Mountain the Deep Space Exploration Society was refurbishing. He was always tinkering and building things.” — Thanks to AMSAT News Service via Keith Baker, KB1SF/VA3KSF