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Dead AstronautAuthor: Simon Sellars • Feb 12th, 2006 •
It was very remiss of me to not post about this event…luckily Rob from the JGB Yahoo Group has reminded me. It’s regarding the decommissioned space suit that was turned into a radio satellite and launched from the International Space Station. It will eventually enter the Earth’s amosphere, and if the image of a ‘dead astronaut’ burning up on re-entry is not a Ballardian ‘visual quote’ to rival drained swimming pools or motorway embankments, then I’ll eat my copy of ‘JG Ballard: Quotes & Conversations”.
“Spacesuit radio ‘alive’ in orbit
An old spacesuit stuffed with a radio transmitter and old clothes is still emitting a weak signal as it orbits the globe, amateur radio enthusiasts say.
Nasa had reported that the “SuitSat” device had ceased working within hours of its release from the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday.
But a US amateur radio spokesman said weak signals had been picked up. “Death reports were premature,” he said.
The suit is meant to transmit messages in six languages to amateur radio fans.
The makeshift satellite was tossed from the ISS by crew members Bill McArthur and Valery Tokarev as they began a six-hour spacewalk.
Made from a decommissioned Russian spacesuit, the SuitSat contains a radio, transmitter and sensors to monitor temperature and battery power, with old clothes packed in to hold the equipment in place…”
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