Tumbling spacesuit another bizarre object in space

Ends badly

By Mark Collins - Meteorologist

SuitSat was a empty Russian spacesuit with a radio transmitter mounted on its helmet deployed in orbit around the Earth.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - If you thought Starman driving the Tesla was bizarre, take a look at SuitSat tumbling in orbit around Earth. It didn't end well. 

SpaceX takes top prize for strange satellites with the Tesla Roadster flying across space, but another unusual sight was an old spacesuite tossed off the International Space Station by Russian astronauts in 2006.

The idea was to make it into a useful satellite by equipping a radio transmitter inside along with sensors to measure temperature and battery power. 

It worked and HAM radio operators could tune in and hear an automated data recording as SuiteSat passed overhead.

The Tesla Roadster's Interplanetary spaceflight goes beyond low Earth orbit and is expected to last a billion years. In contrast, the empty spacesuit only lasted seven months in low Earth orbit before it burned up careening into the planets atmosphere.

Drag helps keep low Earth orbit clear of debris. Space junk and natural objects experience friction as they skim through the outskirts of our atmosphere creating drag.

Eventually space junk or the random "spacesuit" loses speed falling back to Earth.



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