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Take off every suit
February 3, 2006 2:25 PM   Subscribe

Suitsat is ready to launch. Know it (wmv). Watch it. Track it. (previously)
posted by pantsrobot (15 comments total)

 
posted by pantsrobot

I can see how this would be of particular interest to you.
posted by davejay at 2:50 PM on February 3, 2006


"Launch" is perhaps not the right word.
posted by smackfu at 3:01 PM on February 3, 2006


And there it goes....!
posted by Thorzdad at 3:03 PM on February 3, 2006


Planet earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do...
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
posted by pantsrobot at 3:33 PM on February 3, 2006


I'm going to assume that SuitSat will be flying in the same orbit as the ISS -- there's only so much ΔV that one man can generate by tossing something, even if he's Kerry Wood. We're not going to see anything like a massive plane change.

For those wanting to try and grab the signal, I'd suggest Heavens Above. You'll want to choose your location, and then select the "Radio Amateur Satellites", rather than just the ISS link. (The ISS link give you visible passes -- fine at night, but for listening, daylight passes are acceptable.

For those of us in St. Louis, St. Paul, or St. Whatever, the database is looking for Saint Louis, Saint Paul, etc.

I won't get a useful pass, it appears, until 0300CST, then 0430, then 0930. Anyone in the River Midwest, these times are approximately useful to you.
posted by eriko at 5:43 PM on February 3, 2006


So if we tune to FM 145.990 what will we hear exactly? I would try it actually, if I had a decent tuner.
posted by snsranch at 5:59 PM on February 3, 2006


I went to the NASATV link, but all I got was a map of the world with a waveform pattern and what sounded like someone underwater narrating a golf tournament.

Still, I hope I'll be able to tune into Empty Space Suit Radio .
posted by fandango_matt at 6:10 PM on February 3, 2006


Godspeed to you, empty suit.
posted by mwhybark at 6:12 PM on February 3, 2006


So if we tune to FM 145.990 what will we hear exactly?

A voice beacon, and warbling tones from the SSTV (Slow Scan TV) transmission.

However, things are looking bad for SuitSat -- very little contact has been made, even by stations with large antenna arrays with preamplifiers. It's likely that it is, at best, transmitting with much less effective power than designed, if it hasn't failed outright.
posted by eriko at 7:23 PM on February 3, 2006


NASA-TV is reporting that SuitSat 1's batteries have failed.

Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horitio: a fellow
of inifite jest, of most excellent fancy...

posted by eriko at 8:08 PM on February 3, 2006


.
posted by mwhybark at 8:12 PM on February 3, 2006


SuitSat's payload will also include a CD containing hundreds of school pictures, artwork, poems, and student signatures from schools all over the world--Japan/Asia, Europe, Russia, Canada, US, South America and Africa.

Frank continues, "Two identical CDs were flown into space. One will go in the suit, and the other will be for the crew to review.


So they're taking the CD full of student work and putting it in a suit that's going to burn up in a few weeks? Cold.
posted by Jawn at 8:34 PM on February 3, 2006


The atmosphere-skimming aliens they don't tell us about just might grab it. And play the CD mix. And groove to it.
posted by dhartung at 9:13 PM on February 3, 2006


So, how, exactly, was SuitSat--and other satellites--launched? Do the astronauts just sort of lift it up and let go? Do they throw it, or nudge it in a direction? Do they spin it?

If you were spacewalking, and you threw a baseball directly at the Earth, what would happen? Would it go into its own rapidly-decaying orbit, or would it burn up like a meteorite?

Also, how big and dense does something need to be to survive re-entry? If you threw a washing machine at the Earth, would it survive re-entry?

(These are serious questions)
posted by fandango_matt at 9:30 PM on February 3, 2006


This one was launched by:
1) Carrying it outside the ISS
2) Pushing it away so that it wouldn't hit the ISS.
It did spin really lazily, but I don't think accuracy was very important since, being a part of the space station, it had the same velocity as the space station, and therefore the same orbit. Satellites are usually more precisely launched, but with the same general rule. They're usually released (via shuttle or rocket), then corrected (with onboard propulsion or fantastic release accuracy) into a stable orbit.

Educated Guesses:
The baseball would have a rapidly decaying orbit. It's horizontal vector is not zero, and it wouldn't fall straight down. But yeah, eventually burnination. It wouldn't become a meteorite; the materials its made of definitely wouldn't survive being heated to thousands of C as it falls through the atmosphere (meteorites are the meteors that make it to the surface).

I'm not sure if a washing machine would survive reentry. It would break up, and some components would eventually vaporize. The angle of impact is important here, the more atmosphere it goes through, the hotter it gets. But! The smaller it is, the more likely it is to get slowed down. Maybe someone would get a motor surprise in their backyard.
posted by pantsrobot at 11:46 PM on February 3, 2006


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