Thursday, February 2, 2006


Suit Sat: A space suit turns sattelite

Astronauts on the International Space Station will throw an old spacesuit overboard tomorrow, Friday 3rd:

The SuitSat has been equipped with batteries, a radio and internal sensors to measure temperature and battery power. It will transmit its condition as it circles the earth.  The radio message can be heard using a police scanner or a ham radio tuned to to 145.990 MHz FM.

Unlike a normal spacewalk, with a human inside the suit, SuitSat's temperature controls will be turned off to conserve power. The suit, arms and legs akimbo, possibly spinning, will be exposed to the fierce rays of the sun with no way to regulate its internal temperature.

"Will the suit overheat? How long will the batteries last? Can we get a clear transmission if the suit tumbles?" wonders Bauer. These are some of the questions SuitSat will answer, laying the groundwork for SuitSats of the future.

You can track the progress of SuitSat online and get more background information on NASA.

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