RE: SuitSat 3 Feb 2006

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Thu Jan 26 2006 - 19:47:26 EST

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    Dale Ireland wrote:
    > I would assume that the suit will have a lot of drag and not 
    > stay near the ISS long unless they are tethered. Any 
    > estimates of the drag or decay rate?
    In his excellent satellite catalogue, Jonathan McDowell lists a couple of
    Russian Orlan DMA spacesuits, discarded from Mir in 1990 and 1991:
                                               Decay              Comment
    20407   1986-017BY   Orlan-DM  No. 7?   1990-Jun-27   large piece (5 sq m RCS)
    21603   1986-017EV   Orlan-DMA No. 10   1991-Oct-05
    86017BY decayed after about 166 d; 86017EV about 74 d. The latter initially
    decayed at about four times the rate of Mir, ad took 42 h to move 100 km ahead
    of Mir, about 14 s at orbital velocity.
    > Any estimates of the magnitude?
    I estimate mag 4 to 6, under the most favourable circumstances, while suit at
    ISS altitude.
    Ted Molczan
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