Saturday, February 04, 2006

Suitsat becomes Mutesat....

Last night during an EVA, ISS station commander Bill McArthur and flight engineer Valery Tokarev released an old Orlan spacesuit into space. NASA-TV had some wonderful footage of the spacewalk and release of the expired suit, which was hurled into space by hand by Tokarev.

As a gimick, the suit had been fitted with a.o. a battery-powered radio transmitter, transmitting a 1 Watt signal at 145.990 MHz. The transmission should have included voice greetings, telemetry spoken by a voice synthesizer, and slow-scan TV.

Should: because all radio amateurs eagerly waiting for a pass behind their receivers were disappointed. Suitsat ceased transmitting very shortly after release and thus rather became "Mutesat". I was behind my scanner-radio too, during the 6:06 and 7:41 UTC passes, to hear only static.

See also:
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/station/exp12/060203evawrap.html

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