With the right equipment you may be able to receive messages from the moon sometime late this October! The Amateur Radio payload on the lunar-orbiting 4M-LXS spacecraft will carry up to 2,500 thirteen-character digital messages to lunar orbit for retransmission using the JT65B mode on 145.990 MHz.
The mission is scheduled to run slightly longer than eight days, with the lunar flyby occurring about halfway through the mission. The orbiter is one of the test models for Beijing's new lunar probe Chang’e-5, which will land on the moon, collect samples, and return to Earth.
LUXspace said the 4M spacecraft will transmit continuously on 145.980 MHz (+/- 2.9 kHz) at 1.5 W into a simple quarter-wave monopole antenna. “The transmission is based on a 1-minute sequence and a 5-minute cycle. The transmission will start 4670 seconds (77.8 minutes) after launch.” You will need the free WJST software to decode the signals.
More details are available on AMSAT UK's 4M-LXS Lunar amateur radio payload web page and LUXspace's Manfried Memorial Moon Mission (4M) website.
Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.
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