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alex .

Jan 30, 2006, 11:41 AM

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suit sat 1

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In what might resemble a horrifying moment in a science fiction film, astronauts aboard the International Space Station will toss an empty spacesuit overboard next week.

The Russian suit will carry three batteries and a ham radio transmitter and antenna. Amateur radio operators on Earth will be able to listen to its transmissions over several days until the batteries fail.

The space station has long had a bond with earthbound amateur radio operators, and there is a ham rig on the station to communicate with them. The idea of turning a suit into a satellite came from the Russians, NASA officials said.

In a few weeks, the orbit of the suit (designated SuitSat-1) will decay, and the suit will burn up as it falls into the atmosphere. Kwatsi Alibaruho, a NASA flight director who spoke yesterday at a news conference in Houston, said, "No part of the suit is expected to survive re-entry."

The suit will be released during a spacewalk on Feb. 3 in which the astronauts, William S. McArthur Jr. of the United States and Col. Valery I. Tokarev of the Russian Air Force, will also repair a moving platform that carries the station's robot arm.

In December, a safety device designed to cut snagged cables cut one of two control lines to the platform; NASA is studying why the accident occurred. The spacewalkers will install a bolt that will keep the second line from being cut until a more complete repair can be carried out.

"It's very important that we repair this," said Kirk Shireman, the deputy space station program manager.

Anyone with a ham radio or police scanner that picks up the FM frequency 145.990 MHz can listen to the spacesuit's transmissions. NASA has put a computer program online at http://science.nasa.gov/RealTime/JPass/25/JPass.asp to help people figure out when the suit will be traveling overhead.

The suit will be unpressurized, but the astronauts have stuffed it full of discarded clothing so that it should retain a somewhat human shape. Sensors will monitor the suit's temperature and battery power, which will be transmitted along with a message in five languages.

The message (which is not "heeeeeellllllppp!") will include an image and secret words for student listeners to decipher.



johanson / Moderator


Jan 30, 2006, 12:04 PM

Post #2 of 8 (7933 views)

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Re: [alex .] suit sat 1

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Hey that's the two meter band. Trouble is my hand held only has a whip antenna, if you will. Alex, do you have any idea what type of antenna would be needed to pick up the signal? Being a "no code" tech I do not have the slightest idea.

KD7ION


arbon

Jan 30, 2006, 12:05 PM

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Re: [alex .] suit sat 1

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That would look like a modern version of being buried at sea, plus a cremation where the ashes are scattered for every choice of location.

There could be a market for that, Alex, better tell your wife about it.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Ron Pickering W3FJW


Jan 30, 2006, 3:46 PM

Post #4 of 8 (7913 views)

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Re: [johanson] suit sat 1

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I believe it will work fine with your rubber duckie (or whip). However you need to know when the orbit is favorable for you. In other words, when they're above the horizon and line of sight.
Getting older and still not down here.


johanson / Moderator


Jan 30, 2006, 5:45 PM

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Re: [Ron Pickering] suit sat 1

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Thanks for the info. I shall try to see what I can get with my rubber ducky (Or is that duckie?)


Ron Pickering W3FJW


Jan 30, 2006, 5:59 PM

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Re: [Ron Pickering] suit sat 1

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Dunno.... It's just ducky that we can do this though.
Getting older and still not down here.


alex .

Feb 21, 2006, 11:44 AM

Post #7 of 8 (7844 views)

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Re: [arbon] End of the line

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Batteries are pooped out:
http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap060220.html
http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/index.php


(This post was edited by alex . on Feb 21, 2006, 11:46 AM)


johanson / Moderator


Feb 21, 2006, 7:36 PM

Post #8 of 8 (7823 views)

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Re: [alex .] End of the line

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Sorry to hear that. I tried a few times and failed each time I tried. I would go out on the porch with my hand held. Nothing more fancy than that.
 
 
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