Australis-OSCAR 5

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Australis-OSCAR 5
COSPAR ID1970-008B
SATCAT no.4321
Spacecraft properties
Launch mass17.7 kilograms (39 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date23 January 1970, 11:31:02 (1970-01-23UTC11:31:02)
RocketDelta N6 D76
Launch siteVandenberg SLC-2W
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth Orbit
Inclination102.04 degrees

OSCAR 5 (a.k.a. Australis-OSCAR 5) is an amateur radio satellite that was launched into Low Earth Orbit on 23 January 1970 by a Thor Delta launcher from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Lompoc, California. AO-5 was launched piggyback with ITOS-1 (TIROS-M weather satellite).[1]

Built by students at The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Battery powered, Australis-OSCAR 5 transmitted telemetry on both 2 meter (144.050 MHz at 50 mW) and 10 meter (29.450 MHz at 250 mW) bands that operated for 23 and 46 days respectively. Passive magnetic attitude stabilization was performed by carrying two bar magnets to align with the Earth's magnetic field in order to provide a favorable antenna footprint. The University of Melbourne compiled tracking reports from hundreds of stations in 27 countries.


  • First amateur satellite to be remotely controlled.
  • First amateur satellite launch coordinated by new AMSAT organization.
  • Switch to Arabic numbering for this and future OSCAR satellites, from earlier Roman numeral usage (I, II, III, IV) by Project Oscar.


  1. ^ "Oscar 5". NASA National Space Science Data Center. 30 June 1977. Retrieved 11 February 2013.

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.


  • William Dunkerley Jr., "Australis Oscar 5: The Launch Story," QST, Apr 1970, p. 61.
  • David Bellair and Stephen Howard, "Australis Oscar - Its Design, Construction and Operation," QST, Jul 1969, pp 58–61.
  • David Bellair and Stephen Howard, "Obtaining Data from Australis-Oscar 5," QST, Aug 1969, pp 70, 72, 82.
  • Jan King, "Proposed Experiments with Australis-Oscar 5," QST, Dec 1969, pp 54–55.
  • "Strays," QST, Mar 1970, p. 86 (a bibliography on AO-5).
  • Ray Soifer, "Australis-Oscar 5 Ionospheric Propagation Results," QST, Oct 1970, pp 54–57.
  • Jan King, "Australis-Oscar 5 Spacecraft Performance," QST, Dec 1970, pp 64–69.