Orbital Mechanics
Section M 3.12.
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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 Communications commission.

Dennis Ray Wingo

Orbital Mechanics

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