Cool little piece of history about the AMSAT-OSCAR 7 satellite which is 46 years old and still going.
>In the summer of 1982 the Fighting Solidarity in Wroc?aw learned that AO-7 became periodically functional, when its solar panels got enough sunlight to power up the satellite. It was then used to communicate with Solidarity activists in other Polish cities and to send messages to the West. Satellite communication was invaluable at that time, as the regular telephone network was tapped by the government and shut down when martial law was imposed in December 1981. Ham radios were not of much use as they were easy to track. On the other hand, a satellite link required highly directional antennas which were impossible to track by the regime.