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17 Aug 2006

LAUNCH OF 12 SATELLITES POSTPONED

The launch of 13 amateur radio satellites has been delayed after a problem was found with the rocket booster. The booster is being replaced and the satellites will now be launched on 26 July from the Kazakstan Baikonur Cosmodrome.

They were originally scheduled to be sent into space on 28 June. If the launch goes ahead successfully, it will be the largest ever deployment of amateur radio satellites. The satellites will be put into a 500 by 566km orbit with an inclination of 97 degrees. Each satellite, measuring just 10cm cubed, is packed with a battery, transmitter and various experiments.

Twelve of the satellites have downlinks in the amateur radio satellite service allocation between 435 and 438MHz and one will operate on 145.950MHz.

One of the satellites was built by students at the Nihon University in Japan. It contains a CW beacon, Digi-Talker and other experiments. After launch, it will operate a CW beacon on 437.485MHz using the callsign JQ1YGU.

For further information on amateur radio satellites, including advice on how to build one, visit website www.cubesatkit.com. Amateur radio satellites will also be discussed at the Amsat-UK International Space Colloquium on 28 to 30 July at the University of Surrey in Guildford.

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