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Graham2001
2005-Jul-18, 10:56 AM
While looking through the Unmanned Spaceflight (http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/) forum I stumbled across something very interesting.

It was a link to a right-wing blog in which the contributor talks about listening in to the 38 year old DODGE satelite (http://www.blogforamerica.com/archives/005897.html#888168) :o (See Encyclopeida Astronautica (http://tinyurl.com/76bhj))

The writer implies that he is getting readable data from the craft. This stirred up memories of 'Prospero' (http://tinyurl.com/8f9m6) a satelite the British launched in the 1970s, supposedly while the batteries have failed the solar cells are still producing enough power to 'wake up' the satelite every time it comes out of the Earths shadow.

Does anyone have any idea of how many Earth-Orbiters there are that are still sending?

Edited to add links to information on the satelites in question.

Fram
2005-Jul-18, 11:52 AM
In the ultimate astronomy quiz, we came to the conclusion that the oldest still functioning satellite is some 30 years old (Oscar 7). There are a few older satellites still orbiting, but there are no confirmed mentions of receiving data from them recently (i.e. in the last two or three years). The oldest one seems to be a Vanguard. I have found no info on the reentry dates of e.g. the Syncom III satellite, the first geosynchronous one, so AFAIK, that one may still be orbiting as well. No communications though...

Graham2001
2005-Jul-18, 03:31 PM
I've just finished a websearch using metacrawler to see if the 'DODGE watcher' had a website.

Sadly all I could find were various DOD organisation websites, information on the satelite itself, three copies of the original blog message and a couple of sites dealing with 'Hollow Earth' #-o claims.

Also courtesy of the internet the Oscar7 monitoring page (http://tinyurl.com/bbubt) =D>

Charlie in Dayton
2005-Jul-19, 05:25 AM
And if you'd like to hear what those early satellites really sounded like, here are some recordings (http://www.amsat.org/amsat/features/sounds/firstsat.html) of Sputnik I, Vanguard I, Explorer I, and more.

Graham2001
2005-Jul-19, 02:28 PM
Someone else seems to have done the same thing for Oscar 7 (http://tinyurl.com/cwrot). The linked to sample is for Beacon A. To hear the transmission from Beacon B click here (http://tinyurl.com/azjrz).

Now onto a slightly more serious question. Listening in to something like Oscar 7 seems to be a straightforward lo-tech task, the telemetry is in morse code and can be picked up by a properly tuned 'Ham' radio antenna.

The claim that started this thread off (see above) is slightly more ambitious, you have a 35+ year old satelite in a high earth orbit and one using a telemetry system that is not only probably more complicated than that used by Oscar 7 but since the satelite was orbited by the US Department of Defence probably encrypted to block evesdroppers.

What level of sophistication would be required to (a) listen in to the DODGE telemetry, (b) assuming the claims of geting pictures are true, convert the data into a modern computing format?

Maksutov
2005-Jul-19, 02:37 PM
While looking through the Unmanned Spaceflight (http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/) forum I stumbled across something very interesting.

It was a link to a right-wing blog in which the contributor talks about listening in to the 38 year old DODGE satelite (http://www.blogforamerica.com/archives/005897.html#888168) :o (See Encyclopeida Astronautica (http://tinyurl.com/76bhj))

The writer implies that he is getting readable data from the craft. This stirred up memories of 'Prospero' (http://tinyurl.com/8f9m6) a satelite the British launched in the 1970s, supposedly while the batteries have failed the solar cells are still producing enough power to 'wake up' the satelite every time it comes out of the Earths shadow.

Does anyone have any idea of how many Earth-Orbiters there are that are still sending?

Edited to add links to information on the satelites in question.
Wow! A '38 Dodge is up there!

And here I thought the "grapefruit" sized Vanguard 1 launched by TV-4 on St. Paddy's Day, 1958 was the oldest artificial thing still orbiting the Earth...

Graham2001
2005-Jul-19, 02:51 PM
Wow! A '38 Dodge is up there!

And here I thought the "grapefruit" sized Vanguard 1 launched by TV-4 on St. Paddy's Day, 1958 was the oldest artificial thing still orbiting the Earth...

Well Vanguard 1 is still up there, but it's not transmitting anymore. If the "DODGE Watcher's" claim is true then the DOD got better value out of this thing than they did out of those toilet seats :wink: