The Lonely Death Of Mr Smith

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Look at him there: happier times, with the whole world looking up to him


To wit:

A spacesuit floated away from the International Space Station 15 years ago, but no investigation was conducted. Everyone knew that it was pushed by the space station crew. Dubbed Suitsat-1, [but also known as Mr. Smith, Ivan Ivanovich, RadioSkaf, Radio Sputnik and AMSAT-OSCAR 54], 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, the lifeless spacesuit was photographed in 2006 just as it drifted away from space station.

(Image: ISS Expedition 12 Crew, NASA)


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