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Suit Satellite-1 (Suitsat-1)


Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

Experiment Overview

This content was provided by Sergey Samburov, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.

Brief Summary

Suitsat-1 uses a decommissioned Orlan spacesuit equipped with a ham radio transmitter and a compact disk containing messages and images from students around the world. After being released during extravehicular activities, the suit will transmit a ham radio signal for about 6 days and then after about a month reenter the atmosphere and burn up. Students and hobbyists from around the world can tune in to the signal to identify the transmitted words and image. This investigation will not only inspire the next generation of explorers but can help bridge the cultural gap of people around the globe.

Principal Investigator(s)

  • Sergey Samburov, Russian Aviation and Space Agency, Moscow, Russia
  • Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)

  • Frank Bauer, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States
  • Developer(s)

    Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States
    Roscosmos, Moscow, , Russia

    Sponsoring Space Agency

    Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos)

    Sponsoring Organization

    Information Pending

    Research Benefits

    Information Pending

    ISS Expedition Duration

    October 2005 - April 2006

    Expeditions Assigned


    Previous ISS Missions

    Suitsat-1 is a unique investigation.

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    Experiment Description

    Research Overview

    Information Pending


    A decommissioned Russian Orlan suit (used in extravehicular activities) has been outfitted with hardware designed by NASA and is now Suit Satellite-1 or Radio Sputnik, a communications satellite. This hardware will allow the spacesuit to send prerecorded messages and images using amateur (ham) radio signals to Earth. Ham radio frequencies are slightly above the FM broadcast band. Students, teachers, scout troops, ham radio operators and the general public have been encouraged to track the signals from SuitSat-1 and listen to the messages.

    The voices and images coming from Suitsat-1 were collected from students around the world. As Suitsat-1 floats in space, it will transmit voice messages from students in Russia, Japan, Europe (Spanish and German), Canada (French) and the USA (English). These messages contain a special word, students can copy of the special words in different languages from SuitSat-1 and submit the words to the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Team for special educational award recognition. SuitSat-1 will downlink images using a series of audio tones, similar to a computer modem, using the ham radio picture standard of Slow Scan Television and will downlink images of similar quality as received on cell phones.

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    Space Applications

    Information Pending

    Earth Applications

    Information Pending

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    Operational Requirements

    Crewmembers assembled Suitsat-1 using a decommissioned Orlan space suit and hardware sent onboard the 19 Progress supply vehicle. During an EVA, the ISS crewmembers will release the suit in a retrograde orbit. The recorded voice messages will be transmitted to Earth and downlinked on 145.990 MHz FM, which is the VHF portion of the amateur radio band. A repeat of the transmission can also be found on 437.80MHz.

    Operational Protocols

    Suitsat-1 will be created by using an Orlan Space Suit that is onboard the ISS and hardware that arrived on the Progress supply vehicle. The crewmembers install the Kenwood transmitter and the micro-controller electronics boxes by connecting the cables associated with each box and placing them inside a fabric container located inside the space suit. The School Spacewalk CD will be placed inside the suit as well.

    On the outside of the helmet, the crewmembers mount an antenna and the crew interface control box. The interface control box has three switches that will power on and activate the timers for the two boxes that are inside the space suit. The batteries are then attached to the transmitter, micro-controller, antenna and the interface control box.

    The crewmembers will turn the switches on the interface box to the on position and release the suit into orbit during an EVA. The suit will be released in a retrograde orbit, meaning that the suit will be moving in the opposite direction than that of ISS; causing the suit to drop below ISS and slow its movement down.

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    Results/More Information

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    Results Publications

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    Ground Based Results Publications

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    ISS Patents

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    Related Publications

      Bauer F.  This is Suitsat-1, Amateur Radio Station RS0RS!!. 23nd AMSAT Space Symposium and Annual Meeting, Lafayette, LA; 2005

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    Related Websites
  • Energia - Science Research on the ISS Russian Segment
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    image NASA Image ISS012E15666 - Suitsat-1 created using a decommissioned Russian Orlan spacesuit that is outfitted with transmission hardware will be released by hand during an Extravehicular Activity.
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    image NASA Image ISS012E15661 - Transmitter and microcontroller that are used for the vocal transmission located inside Suitsat-1.
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    image NASA Image ISS012E15652 - Cosmonaut Valery Tokarev, Expedition 12 Flight Engineer, prepares Suitsat-1 for deployment that will take place during an EVA on February 3, 2006.
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    image NASA Image ISS012E16899 - Suitsat-1 in orbit after release from ISS during Expedition 12.
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    Information provided by the investigation team to the ISS Program Scientist's Office.
    If updates are needed to the summary please contact JSC-ISS-Program-Science-Group. For other general questions regarding space station research and technology, please feel free to call our help line at 281-244-6187 or e-mail at JSC-ISS-Research-Helpline.