Bouncing Radio Signals Off the Moon
The S band (2290 MHz) signals from the Apollo
missions at the moon were monitored by amateur radio
operators around the world. How is this possible? It was relatively easy.
There is a class of radio amateur operators that use what is called
"Moonbounce" communications. This consists of a large transmitter here on
Earth beaming a signal to the moon that literally "bounces" off the moon. As
you may imagine the signal strength is exceedingly small, allowing in even
the best circumstances, only Morse code and on occasion voice
communications. Since the transmitters on Apollo were in the tens of watts,
their power was thousands of times greater than a signal that has to make
the trip to the moon and back.
There is an entire British organization that monitors military satellite
launches and communications. This was a second group. If you want more
information on this you might contact the UK Amateur Radio Satellite
organization. Another resource is a gentleman from Canada, whose call
letters are VE3ONT. You can find his address through the Canadian
Dennis Ray Wingo
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Updated Thu, Aug 12, 1999.