Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2014 April 27
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

SuitSat-1: A Spacesuit Floats Free
Image Credit: ISS Expedition 12 Crew, NASA

Explanation: A spacesuit floated away from the International Space Station eight years ago, but no investigation was conducted. Everyone knew that it was pushed by the space station crew. Dubbed Suitsat-1, the unneeded Russian Orlan spacesuit filled mostly with old clothes was fitted with a faint radio transmitter and released to orbit the Earth. The suit circled the Earth twice before its radio signal became unexpectedly weak. Suitsat-1 continued to orbit every 90 minutes until it burned up in the Earth's atmosphere after a few weeks. Pictured above, the lifeless spacesuit was photographed in 2006 just as it drifted away from space station.

Follow APOD on: Facebook, Google Plus, or Twitter
Tomorrow's picture: through the shadow

< | Archive | Index | Search | Calendar | RSS | Education | About APOD | Discuss | >

Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
NASA Web Privacy Policy and Important Notices
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.