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Shock as radio message sent in to space from Cornwall gets response

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: May 08, 2014

Space
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A group of amateur radio enthusiasts who sent a morse code message to a Jupiter-bound satellite were amazed to receive a reply from NASA.

Members of the Poldhu Amateur Radio Club in Cornwall spelt out the word "hi" before transmitting it towards the heavens.

To their amazement it was intercepted by the Juno spacecraft as it orbited the earth before heading to Jupiter on a five-year mission.

NASA engineers had asked Ham radio enthusiasts around the globe to try to contact Juno in 2011 to help them calibrate its receivers.

Three years on they sent a letter thanking enthusiasts Cliff Malcolm, Keith Matthew, Les Jones and Dave Usher for answering their plea.

Juno is currently half way towards Jupiter where it will complete 33 orbits during one earth year to collect scientific data.

The four friends are based out of the Marconi Centre, from where radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi sent his first transatlantic radio signal.

Mr Matthew - call sign G0WYS - said: "It came past us in the evening and it was in range for a couple of hours.

"We were using our normal equipment, although we have a fairly impressive aerial. We get as far as New Zealand now and again."

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