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Elong Musk and Interplanetary Ham Radio

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KF5UNI, Oct 15, 2017.

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  1. KF5UNI

    KF5UNI Ham Member QRZ Page

    So recently Elon Musk gave us an update on his planned colonization of Mars > you see the video on youtube by searching "Elon Musk Mars Update" or go here:

    Now, I'm about to ask a whole lot of questions and get way ahead of ourselves here, but that's the fun of it right?

    My questions are:

    Once the colony becomes established, what bands & frequencies, times, & conditions, etc are going to be best for communicating with the colony.

    Are there any resources available to us now. (i.e. websites or apps telling us when the planet's "surface reference points" are aligned for line of sight? In other words, something that might tell us what dates and times your city and the colony and outposts might be within line-of-sight)

    What kind of equipment would be minimally acceptable?

    What kind of power/Watts are we talking about for point to point communications?

    What type of configuration will be used if any for Hamsat repeaters? Are there any plans in the pipeline for a Hamsat repeater system to facilitate communication between the two planets.

    Your insights. insider knowledge, and intelligent guesses are much apreesh!


  2. N2EY

    N2EY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Someone may finally earn the Elser Mathes Cup
    KD8ZMN likes this.
  3. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    KK5JY likes this.
  4. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Mars communication has been previously discussed and planned by AMSAT. It will require powerful high UHF or low Microwave frequencies, just like NASA uses. Additionally it will require large antennas just like NASA uses. No cheap or easy means here.

    You won't be scratching up a Mars link with HT's or "4-band" mobiles and an Arrow/Elk antenna. Sorry.

    AMSAT-DL paper on Mars communications, Phase 5
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
  5. K7WFM

    K7WFM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I vote for Musk to be one of the first travelers to Colony Mars and to activate the first Martian 6M repeater.
    AC0OB and W1PPP like this.
  6. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    1. IF a colony gets established. So far, lots of talk, little action. Until there's at least a hint of that happening, there's no point in trying decide which bands any possible ops might use. The U.S. doesn't have a manned space program at the moment, and what we did have has been limping along post Apollo. The Vietnam War and a President who neither liked nor understood the space program saw to that. IF we had continued, we could EASILY have been on Mars in the 1990s if not the 80s. But we didn't. Now people look to Elon Musk and similar characters, but, again, mucho talk and no action.

    I am in my 60s and don't expect to live to see a manned Mars mission. Heck, I'm not sure my children will see it.

    As for "which frequencies," UHF. But...if the plan is to communicate with individual hams (without radiotelescopes) they will have to run a heck of a lot of power. By the time we're on Mars, everybody will probably be using the neutrino band, anyway. ;)
  7. K8ERV

    K8ERV QRZ Member QRZ Page

    Much cheaper to just go to Mars, Pa.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
    KD8ZMN, KD4MOJ, NL7W and 2 others like this.
  8. K8ERV

    K8ERV QRZ Member QRZ Page

    I can think of a lot of others I would rather send to Mars, but I'll be nice.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
    W1PPP and K8PG like this.
  9. KF5UNI

    KF5UNI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you all for the timely and intelligent commentary. I think my fellow millennials and I have faith in Elon because of his Highly Accurate Propulsive Landing. and his financial daring and basically being Tony Stark incarnate. 5 years. We will see it. We live in the universe we create in our minds.
    K0KQ likes this.
  10. G8ADD

    G8ADD Ham Member QRZ Page

    This information used to be in the British Astronomical Association Handbook every year, it probably still is but I don't get it any more. It is available here:

    Send a "CQ Mars" and you will have to wait at least four minutes for a reply!

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