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Haunting Images from NASA of a Space Suit Drifting in Orbit

21 May 2020, 19:44 UTC
Haunting Images from NASA of a Space Suit Drifting in Orbit
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Open the pod bay doors, HAL….
You might want to file this under “nightmare fuel.” Yes this is a thing that actually happened on the International Space Station in 2006. But if you’re not already familiar with what’s going on here, it’s probably not what you think…

Planet Earth is blue, and there’s nothing I can do…
It might appear to be a lone astronaut drifting in orbit, akin to Bruce McCandless’ historic untethered flight 320 feet from Challenger in 1984 (except lacking any way to return to safety) but this suit is thankfully vacant — it was the SuitSat-1 experiment in which a retired Russian Orlan space suit was released from the ISS by Expedition 12 crew members on February 3, 2006.
The official designation for SuitSat was AMSAT-OSCAR 54, though it was nicknamed “Ivan Ivanovich” or “Mr. Smith”. The radio transmitter used a frequency of 145.990 MHz. (Wikipedia)
Besides being stuffed with old clothes, the suit was outfitted with three batteries, internal sensors and a radio transmitter, which faintly transmitted previously-recorded voices of school children to amateur radio operators worldwide before its batteries failed a couple of weeks later.
Yes, I said transmitted voices of children. [shudder]
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