Moulton Lava

Moultonic Musings

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Location: New England, United States

Monday, February 06, 2006


After several days of nearly inaudible clips comprised mostly of static, a Canadian ham radio operator [Bob King / VE6BLD] posted a clip from this morning that is the best one so far.

"This is SuitSat-1 Amateur Radio Station RS0RS ..."

America has been in space almost my entire adult life. The amateur radio community already has other relay satellites in space.

But there is something about SuitSat-1 that chokes me up. Perhaps it's the recorded voice of 17-year old Michelle Bauer transmitting her greetings to children around the world. Perhaps it's the whimsy of packing an automated amateur radio station inside an old Orlan space suit from the Soviet era. Perhaps it's the challenge of capturing any signal at all from the tiny 5-watt transmitter tumbling 100 miles overhead and moving so fast that the receivers on the ground have to track the path of the hurtling spacesuit while at the same time tuning their frequencies to compensate for the rapidly changing Doppler shift.

In these troubled times, when youth around the world struggle against the odds, there is something hopeful and heartwarming about hearing children's voices and messages from space.


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