ARRL

ARRL General Bulletin ARLB031 (1995)

SB QST @ ARL $ARLB031
ARLB031 2 amateur satellites lost
 
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QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 31  ARLB031
>From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT  March 30, 1995
To all radio amateurs 
 
SB QST ARL ARLB031
ARLB031 2 amateur satellites lost
 
Two amateur satellites were lost when their launch vehicle exploded.
The Israeli-built Gurwin-1 TechSAT and the Mexican UNAMSAT were part
of the payload of a Russian SS-25 rocket originally built to carry
ballistic missiles and recently converted to launch satellites.  The
Reuters news agency said the rocket, which was launched from
Russia's Plesetsk cosmodrome, came down in the Russian Far East, in
the Sea of Okhotsk, on March 28.
 
Both satellites were designed for packet radio repeater use.
Gurwin-1 TechSAT was built at the Technion-Israel Institute of
Technology in Haifa as a 9600-bit/s packet store-and-forward
satellite.  UNAMSAT was assembled by students at the Universidad
Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City.  In addition to
packet store-and-forward operation at 1200 bits per second, UNAMSAT
carried a unique ''meteor radar'' experiment. (See January 1993 QST,
page 97, for more information on UNAMSAT.)
 
Reuters noted that the 115-pound Gurwin-1 TechSAT was a prototype
for communication satellites and ''was to have been used by amateur
radio enthusiasts.''  Reuters did not mention UNAMSAT.  Two Russian
satellites also were lost in the failed launch.
 
In November 1993 the first test launch of a converted SS-25 was
successful, but with a lighter payload.  Radio amateurs,
particularly in Europe, have hoped that the Russian rockets will
provide an inexpensive way to launch Amateur Radio satellites.
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