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ARRL Satellite Bulletin ARLS007 (2006)

ARLS007 SuitSat-1 (AO-54), re-enters Earth's atmosphere

QST de W1AW  
Space Bulletin 007  ARLS007
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington, CT  September 8, 2006
To all radio amateurs

ARLS007 SuitSat-1 (AO-54), re-enters Earth's atmosphere

SuitSat-1 (AO-54) is history. The surplus Russian Orlan spacesuit
turned satellite re-entered and burned up in Earth's atmosphere
Thursday, September 7, at 1600 UTC some 1400 km south-southwest of
Western Australia. The announcement came September 8 from Amateur
Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS)International
Chairman Frank Bauer, KA3HDO. SuitSat-1 became one of the greatest
public relations vehicles for Amateur Radio in years. Bauer
expressed thanks to ''all who made SuitSat-1 the phenomenal event
that it was.'' Launched February 3 during a spacewalk from the ISS,
SuitSat-1 was heard around the world, although at a much weaker
signal strength than anticipated.

''Your hard work and dedication paid off,'' Bauer continued. ''In just
three weeks the SuitSat team developed and delivered a safe
satellite system that has gained the confidence of the international
space agencies.'' Bauer also noted the ''unprecedented press coverage''
that included more than 9 million hits on the SuitSat-1 Web site,, during February alone as well as several prominent
mentions in the general news media.

''Students around the world had the opportunity to participate in a
seven-month 'school spacewalk' with the artwork, pictures,
signatures and voices onboard,'' Bauer pointed out. ''And the
'super-sleuth' ham radio operator extraordinaires were able to pull
a significant amount of data from the satellite, despite its low
signal strength.''

After SuitSat-1's VHF ham radio payload stopped transmitting earlier
this year, AMSAT initiated a ''Chicken Little Contest,'' for
participants to guess when SuitSat-1 would deorbit. Winners and more
information are on the AMSAT Web site,

Bauer said plans for a potential SuitSat-2 will be a discussion
topic at the AMSAT/ARISS joint meeting in October.


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