OSCAR 1.jpg
Mission typeCommunications
OperatorProject OSCAR / DoD
Harvard designation1962 Chi 1
COSPAR ID1962-022B
SATCAT no.305
Mission duration22 days
Spacecraft properties
Launch mass10.0 kilograms (22.0 lb)
Dimensions15.2 by 25.4 by 33 centimeters (6.0 in × 10.0 in × 13.0 in)
Start of mission
Launch date2 June 1962, 00:43 UTC
RocketThor DM-21 Agena-B
Launch siteVandenberg LC-75-3-4
End of mission
Decay date21 June 1962 (21 June 1962)
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth
Perigee altitude207 kilometers (129 mi)
Apogee altitude394 kilometers (245 mi)
Inclination101.00 degrees
Period90.5 minutes

OSCAR II (a.k.a. OSCAR 2) is the second amateur radio satellite launched by Project OSCAR into Low Earth orbit. OSCAR II was launched June 2, 1962, by a Thor-DM21 Agena B launcher from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Lompoc, California. The satellite, a rectangular box (30 cm × 25 cm × 12 cm (11.8 in × 9.8 in × 4.7 in)) weighing 10 kg (22 lb), was launched as a secondary payload (ballast) for Corona 43, the fifth launch of a KH-4 satellite.

The satellite employed a monopole transmitting antenna 60 cm (24 in) long extended from the center of the convex surface, but had no attitude control system. OSCAR II lasted 18 days, ceasing operation on June 20, 1962, and re-entered June 21, 1962.[1][2]

OSCAR 2 incorporated certain design changes from the earlier OSCAR 1.[2]

  • Changed the surface thermal coatings to achieve a cooler internal spacecraft environment.
  • Modified the sensing system so the satellite temperature could be measured accurately as the batteries decayed.
  • Lowered the transmitter power output to 100 mW to extend the life of the onboard battery.

Project OSCAR

Project OSCAR Inc. started in 1960 with the radio amateurs from the TRW Radio Club of Redondo Beach, California, many of whom worked at TRW and defense industries, to investigate the possibility of putting an amateur satellite in orbit. OSCAR stands for Orbiting Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio. Project OSCAR was responsible for the construction of the first amateur radio satellite, OSCAR-1, successfully launched from Vandenberg AFB in California. OSCAR-1 orbited the earth for 22 days, transmitting the "HI" greeting in Morse code (four dots, then two dots .... ..). Project Oscar was responsible for launching three other amateur radio satellites during the 1960s: OSCAR 1, OSCAR 3, and OSCAR 4.

In 1969, AMSAT-NA was founded by radio amateurs working at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and the Baltimore-Washington DC region, to continue the efforts begun by Project OSCAR. Its first project was to coordinate the launch of Australis-OSCAR 5, constructed by students at the University of Melbourne.[3]

Over fifty years later, Project OSCAR's mission is "To initiate and support activities that promote the Satellite Amateur Radio Hobby". Its primary goal is to reach out and provide logistical support, training and in some cases equipment to amateur radio associations, schools and the public at large.

Signal of OSCAR 2

See also


  1. ^ "Oscar 2". NASA National Space Science Data Center. 30 June 1977. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  2. ^ a b "OSCAR 2". Gunter's Space Page. 31 December 1999. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  3. ^ "Space Satellites from the World's Garage – The Story of AMSAT". AMSAT-NA. Archived from the original on 5 October 2006. Retrieved 14 February 2013.

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  • Project OSCAR