Orbiting Recycled Spacesuit Transmits Mysterious Radio Messages to Earth

Countdown to 22:20 UTC : NASA TV will provide live coverage starting at 21:30 UTC – World Clock
 
 
Multimedia Documentation of SuitSat Launch
 
Audio Files
Video Files
  • AMSAT Video News: SuitSat project description given September 2005, 8.4MB, runtime 00:05:25, Windows Media File Streaming & Non-Streaming.
  • AVI movie: Amateur collage of SuitSat clips taken from NASA TV broadcast. Running time 34 minutes, 65 MB.
  • YouTube: ISS Expedition 12 EVA (spacewalk) part 4/4. Runtime: 01:20:38. 
SuitSat Mission – Realtime Terrestrial Log:
 
18 minutes into mission: Astronaut Bill McArthur and cosmonaut Valery Tokarev have jettisoned the Orlan spacesuit into orbit. "Goodbye, Mr. Smith," Tokarev says in Russian. The second task has been completed, involving the successful removal and relocation of a grapple fixture from the Russian section of the International Space Station to the US section. They continue with mechanical maintenance operations on systems outside of the ISS at an Altitude of 220 miles over the South Pacific (00:45).
 
Some problems are experienced with the replacement of a safing bolt. Having tried several times to insert the bolt with no success, that part of the operation is brought to a close and the trailing umbilical system they are working on is wired-tied off to a handrail. The next task involves the retrieval of micro-organisms used in micro-gravity experiments. The bio risk samples will be brought back to Russia for analysis.
 
At 01:25, 2 hours 21 minutes into the mission the guys take a breather above the Ivory Coast, West Africa. Running well ahead of the mission time line they discuss scenes from the movie Alien, lightheartedly Tokarev says that while moving into the vicinity of the cables he imagined the feeling of merging with the hardware.
 
There’s confirmation from Japanese ham radio enthusiasts that the radio signal from the Orlan spacesuit has been received. SuitSat signals are expected to strengthen over the next several orbits as it moves over more populated areas of the world.
 
 
02:09 Back on the Russian side of the International Space Station
 
02:57: The spacemen continue their movement along the spacecraft. Assisted by American controllers, a male Russian controller now takes over the guidance of the spacemen during their external navigation of the ship. The interchange of instructions from the Russian experts is markedly more personal and a palpable sense of anxiety ensues during the communications.
 
Finally, a female controller takes over the navigation, explaining in textbook detail every precise facet of the ships anatomy, including technical descriptions of the cultured viruses. Her commands are clear and precise, there’s no room for error, every detail is relayed in a pre-determined fashion. The spacemen do exactly as told, they are ultimately guided by the controllers. It’s an extraordinary thing to listen to, the environment and obstacles completely beyond earthly imagination.
 
Their last task involves the external photo documentation of key Russian areas of the ISS , including any micro-meteor damage to the ship. At the end of the mission the controlling female voice says goodbye on behalf of all the territories involved in the Russian side of the operation.
 
After 4 hours, ground reports indicate all suits are ok.
 
The latest information suggests the spacesuit nicknamed "Ivan Ivanovitch" has ceased to transmit radio signals. But all is not what it appears to be…
 
 
News Updates:
 
AMSAT -The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation
ARLL Web The National Association for Amateur Radio.
SuitSat.org shows manually entered reports from people who have heard SuitSat.
The Times Tribune mainstream media news report.
 
 
SuitSat-1 Radio Project -The Prequel
 
A new unmanned satellite will shortly be orbiting the earth in the form of a recycled Russian spacesuit. Inside the disembodied suit a radio transmitter using an antenna mounted to the suit’s helmet will send signals down to Earth. With a battery life of around 90 hours the suit will relay a series of prerecorded messages and transmit a mysterious digital picture. As part of an interesting amateur radio experiment known as SuitSat-1, students on earth will track the broadcast and attempt to decipher the coded messages.
 
International Space Station astronaut Bill McArthur and cosmonaut Valery Tokarev will push the surplus spacesuit overboard tonight during the second spacewalk of their careers. 
 
SuitSat’s transmissions include special international voice messages, spacesuit telemetry, and a pre-programmed SSTV picture on its 145.990 MHz FM downlink. The unusual satellite is expected to remain in orbit for up to six weeks before burning up in the earth’s atmosphere.
  Midriod medeo retoid
NBC News space analyst James Oberg reports the details and background to the mission:

Spacesuit goes overboard for unusual mission – Space News – MSNBC.com 

To listen in tune your FM radio to 145.990 MHz , J-Pass will show upcoming satellite passes for your area (US).
 
Frank Bauer of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center explains:
"Point your antenna to the sky during the 5-to-10 minute flyby," advises Bauer, and this is what you’ll hear:
 
SuitSat transmits for 30 seconds, pauses for 30 seconds, and then repeats. "This is SuitSat-1, RS0RS," the transmission begins, followed by a prerecorded greeting in five languages. The greeting contains "special words" in English, French, Japanese, Russian, German and Spanish for students to record and decipher. (Awards will be given to students who do this. Scroll to the "more information" area at the end of this story for details.)
 
Next comes telemetry: temperature, battery power, mission elapsed time. "The telemetry is stated in plain language—in English," says Bauer. Everyone will be privy to SuitSat’s condition. Bauer adds, "Suitsat ‘talks’ using a voice synthesizer. It’s pretty amazing."
 
The transmission ends with a Slow Scan TV picture. Of what? "We’re not telling," laughs Bauer. "It’s a mystery picture." (More awards will be given to students who figure out what it is.) 
Russian Orlan spacesuits usually have a lifespan of about 10 to 12 spacewalks, before ending all human contact to be jettisoned into infinity as high-tech garbage bags.
 
 
Other High-Tech Observations
 
"You smell that? Do you smell that? Moondust, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of Moondust in the morning."
 
Generates simulations of both objects from user specified viewpoints. You can view the Earth from the Sun, the Moon, the night side of the Earth, above any location on the planet specified by latitude, longitude and altitude, from a satellite in Earth orbit, or above various cities around the globe. Options along similar lines are available for the moon. 
 
Extremely cool realtime Google Earth and MSN Virtual Earth viewing in your browser. Lets you zoom in to any location on earth using satellite photography technology.
 
A free satellite tracking system for radio amateur and observing purposes. It’s also used by weather professionals, satellite communication users, astronomers, UFO hobbyist and even astrologers. The application shows the positions of satellites at any given moment (in real or simulated time).
 
 
Previous Related Posts
 
NASA astronaut Steve Robinson transmits the first podcast from space.
 
Commentary, images, animations, world news reports and links.
 
A fan’s interpretation of the David Bowie song
 
An exploration of online resources offering streaming music, flash animations, Stanley Kubrik’s 2001: A Space Oddyssey and other cool movies with a space theme.
 
Learn about the mysterious coded messages of the "Number Stations" and other unusual broadcasts including Alien Transmissions, The War of the Worlds broadcast, Natural Radio Signals (VLF), Urban Legends.
 
Coverage of the Titan mission and Cassini-Huygens spacecraft resources, audio recordings and related space missions. 
 
 
SuitSat in Flight Configuration, Launch & Flash Earth Screenshot

One response to “Orbiting Recycled Spacesuit Transmits Mysterious Radio Messages to Earth

  1. I love your space enthusiamism and great links…i my self enjoy sci…keep up the good work and great job on your MSN Spaces Feature…
     
    Lai-Tro!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s