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AMSAT is a worldwide group of Amateur Radio Operators (Hams) who share an active interest in building, launching and then communicating with each other through non-commercial Amateur Radio satellites. AMSAT has used predominantly volunteer labor and donated resources to design, construct, and, with the added assistance of international government and commercial agencies, successfully launch, over 30 Amateur Radio satellites into Earth orbit. Today, almost 20 of these satellites are operational.
Since the very first OSCAR (Orbiting Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio) satellites were launched in the early 1960s, AMSAT's international volunteers have pioneered a wide variety of new communications technologies that are now taken for granted in the world's satellite marketplace.
More info here: »www.amsat.org/amsat-new/index.php