ZCZC AS03 QST de W1AW Space Bulletin 003 ARLS003
From ARRL Headquarters Newington, CT July 22, 2014
To all radio amateurs
SB SPACE ARL ARLS003
ARLS003 India’s VO-52 Satellite Goes Dark
Despite efforts to keep the flagging VUSat OSCAR-52 (VO-52) Amateur
Radio satellite in operation for a while longer, ground controllers
have yielded to the nearly decade-old spacecraft’s failing
technology and have permanently taken it out of service. Launched
into low Earth orbit in 2005, the VO-52 microsatellite carried two
Amateur Radio transponders for SSB and CW. B.A. “Mani” Subramani,
VU2WMY/KJ6LRS, of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said
that VO-52’s lithium-ion batteries had failed, and the satellite was
officially decommissioned on July 21.
The ISRO website can be found at, http://www.isro.org/ .
“We all here in ISRO do definitely hope that HAMSAT VO-52 worked
tirelessly and was a good friend to the Amateur Radio fraternity
around the world,” he said. “We are sure that HAMSAT was loved by
all who worked through her. Though, we are deeply saddened by the
loss of HAMSAT VO-52, she will never be forgotten.”
The VO-52 satellite was one of the most popular SSB/CW satellites
during its lifetime. One of its transponders was developed by Indian
radio amateurs with assistance from ISRO and AMSAT-India. The second
transponder was developed by William Leijenaar, PE1RAH, a radio
amateur and graduate student from the Netherlands.
VU2MWY said that VO-52 had completed nearly 50,000 orbits before it
was decommissioned. “Since 11 July, every best possible effort has
been put in by the spacecraft controllers here in ISTRAC Bangalore
to revive her back to life and to help her with workload, so she
won’t be swamped when she returns, but with no luck,” he said. “[W]e
thank each and everyone who contributed to the great success of
VO-52 had been designed to remain operational for just a year, but
it exceeded expectations by continuing to run for more than 9 years.