On Feb. 3rd, astronauts onboard the International Space Station will hurl an empty spacesuit overboard.
The spacesuit is the satellite — SuitSat for short.
“Some Russian partners in the ISS program had an idea: Maybe we can turn old spacesuits into useful satellites,” explains Frank Bauer of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
Scientsits have equipped an outdated Russian Orlon spacesuit with three batteries, a radio transmitter, and internal sensors to measure temperature and battery power. As it circles Earth, it will transmit its condition to the ground.
To listen to SuitSat, all you will need is a big antenna and a radio receiver that you can tune to 145.990 MHz FM. “A police band scanner or a hand-talkie ham radio would work just fine,” added Bauer.
Use Science@NASA’s J-Pass utility to find out when the ISS is going to orbit over your area.