Thursday, February 02, 2006

The ultimate in recycling!

It has been said that the history of Amateur Radio has time and time again displayed the resourcefulness of Amateur Radio operators.

In 2006 Hams are taking this reputation to the next level! Tomorrow, February 3rd is scheduled to be the launch date for SuitSat.

The Ham Radio ops who are currently assigned to and are living aboard the International Space Station will be making use of an old, worn out Russian space suit. They are filling it with various bits of Kenwood 2 Meter amateur radio gear; and they will be setting it free to float in orbit on its own. The EVA when this is supposed to happen is scheduled for tomorrow; and if all goes well, then SuitSat (as it has become to be known) will be born.

The suit will be under no kind of propelled orbit. It will just be free floating, orbiting around the earth under the influences of orbital and gravitational laws. The batteries that will be powering the equipment are expected to last about six weeks. The suit will be sending out a beacon message; and if the suit is orbiting over your area at a sufficient elevation above the horizon, you should be able to hear the message with an ordinary 2 Meter handheld tuned to 145.990 MHz.

For more information, check out the following links:

Happy monitoring and good luck! Who knows, this might get you interested in working the various OSCAR satellites that we have up in space. I've done it; and it's a ton of fun!

73 de Larry W2LJ

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