Russia’s Hand-Tossed Satellites

On November 3, 1997, cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov and Anatoly Solovyov have been spacewalking outdoors the Mir house station to take away an outdated photo voltaic panel that was to get replaced three days later throughout one other outing. The photo voltaic panel was retracted on command, faraway from the Kvant module, and stowed on the outside of the core module. Earlier than returning inside, Vinogradov took maintain of a small satellite tv for pc named Sputnik 40 and waited till the station had oriented itself to present a transparent view of the satellite tv for pc’s supposed flight path. Then giving it an excellent toss, Vinogradov launched the satellite tv for pc into orbit. Because the little satellite tv for pc drifted away, it turned satellite tv for pc quantity 24958 in NASA’s catalog and the primary satellite tv for pc to be launched by hand.

Picture: Ann May |

Sputnik 40, often known as Sputnik Jr, and Radio Sputnik 17 (RS-17), was a one-third, working scale mannequin of Sputnik 1, the world’s first synthetic satellite tv for pc. It was constructed by college students from Russia and France to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the launching of Sputnik-1 on October 4, 1957, and was trucked as much as the house station within the Russian cargo freighter Progress M-36 a month earlier.

Whereas Sputnik-1 was comparatively massive at 23 inches in diameter and weighed practically 84 kilogram (184 lb), Sputnik Jr was solely about 8 inches and 4 kilograms (8.8 lb). The small spherical satellite tv for pc transmitted a “beep-beep” beacon on 145.820 MHz, versus Sputnik-1’s beacon at 20 MHz and 40 MHz. As Sputnik Jr looped across the globe, ham operators reported its reception from internationally. On the Jules Reydellet School in Réunion, the place the transmitter was assembled, an ideal cheer went up from the scholars and academics gathered to hearken to the Sputnik mannequin because it handed overhead on its preliminary orbit. The Russian college students on the Polytechnic Laboratory of Nalchik in Kabardino-Balkaria have been equally jubilant. They’d construct the satellite tv for pc physique. Actually, two working fashions have been constructed and transported to Mir, however just one was launched.

Mir space station.

Mir house station.

Sputnik-1’s energy provide consisted of three silver-zinc batteries. Two of those batteries powered the 1-watt radio transmitter and one powered the temperature regulation system. Against this, Sputnik Jr was powered by three one-pound packs of 4 lithium batteries. Regardless of being undersized by Sputnik-1’s large 51-kg energy provide unit, Sputnik Jr functioned longer than the unique Sputnik-1 radio had 40 years earlier. Sputnik-1’s battery lasted for under 21 days, however Sputnik Jr continued to transmit for 56 days. After Sputnik Jr turned silent, it continued to orbit for 4 extra months, earlier than falling again into the ambiance.

Russia launched two extra satellites by hand between 1998 and 1999. Sputnik 41 (RS 18) was carried to the Mir aboard Progress-M 40 on 25 October 1998, and on 10 November 1998 throughout an extra-vehicular exercise, cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Sergei Avdeyev deployed the satellite tv for pc by hand. Sputnik 41 was similar to Sputnik 40, besides it additionally broadcasted recorded voice messages in three languages along with beeps. The satellite tv for pc was constructed and launched to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of the Aéro-Membership de France, and the forty first anniversary of the launch of Sputnik 1. Sputnik 41’s radio operated for one month, and the satellite tv for pc fell again to earth a month later.

The third and the ultimate hand-tossed satellite tv for pc Sputnik 99 was notable for the controversary it generated earlier than it left Earth. The satellite tv for pc was developed by French and Russian newbie radio satellite tv for pc teams, with assist from the Russian Area Company’s flight management middle, TsUP. Nonetheless, TsUP made the error of partnering with Swatch, a Swiss watch producer to broadcast commercial from the satellite tv for pc over newbie radio bands selling the Swatch Group. Apparently, the Mir challenge was in dire straits and required funding to be able to survive. Swatch agreed to financially assist the house company in return for transmitting voice and textual content messages over newbie radio frequencies in flagrant violation of worldwide code of conduct. Newbie radio fanatics and newbie radio organizations world wide raised a storm and protested the misuse of newbie radio frequencies. In consequence, the Russian Area Company was pressured to disable the transmitter on the satellite tv for pc previous to launch. When French spationaut Jean-Pierre Haigneré hurled the satellite tv for pc into orbit, it was already useless.

Russia didn’t safe the mandatory funds to maintain Mir afloat, and in early 2001, the 15-year-old house station was deorbited to be burned up within the ambiance.

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# Tiny Beeping Mannequin Tossed From Station, Space Today

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