Community Digest

Top new questions this week:

How do you reliably blow up a rocket that was built not to explode?

NASA, and I'd imagine most space agencies around the world, demands abort systems of its commercial partners capable of destroying a rocket should it venture too close to populated areas. Note that ...

fuel abort rocket-explosion flight-termination-system  
asked by TheEnvironmentalist 20 votes
answered by BobT 20 votes

Evacuating the ISS but wait, there's only one Spacecraft?

I was doing some research regarding the Soyuz as I'm currently planning a summer project in which I would build a close replica of a Soyuz when the question popped into my mind, "What would ...

spacex iss soyuz-spacecraft dragon-v2 roscosmos  
asked by James Ervin 14 votes
answered by Organic Marble 54 votes

What is the procedure in case the ISS loses one of the evacuation crafts?

Suppose that a micrometeorite or a sudden failure renders one of the Soyuz inoperable, or that a routine inspection discovers a defect in one of them that makes it unsafe. What is the protocol to ...

iss crewed-spaceflight soyuz-spacecraft safety  
asked by Ginasius 11 votes
answered by Organic Marble 12 votes

How does Ingenuity measure its altitude when flying?

The Ingenuity folks at NASA and lots of viewers on the internet I'm sure were pleased to see the first data from "the first flight of powered aircraft on another planet" (by humans at least);...

altitude instrument ingenuity helicopter  
asked by uhoh 9 votes
answered by fred_dot_u 11 votes

time trends in astronaut fatality rates?

A recent answer quoted the statistic that over 10% of astronauts have died on the job That got me wondering what the trend over time has been in mortality rate of astronauts, i.e. is space travel ...

history failure statistics  
asked by Ben Bolker 9 votes
answered by Brady Gilg 3 votes

Why does Starship need to transfer crew to/from Orion to land humans on the moon?

In the new NASA Artemis program, Starship needs to transfer the crew to/from Orion. Why is this even needed? I thought that the Starship design allows it to travel directly from Earth to the Moon ...

the-moon spacex-starship artemis-program  
asked by Rahlis Alexander 9 votes
answered by David Hammen 10 votes

How did Ingenuity get such a sharp image of the shadow of its own high-speed helicopter blades?

On the NASA released self-picture of Ingenuity, shot while hovering over Mars' surface the shadow of Ingenuity with its blades is very clean. The rotational speed of the blades is said to be around ...

photography perseverance imaging ingenuity helicopter  
asked by Tom 7 votes

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

Nudism in space: Why wear clothes anyway?

Currently, doing laundry in microgravity is an unsolved engineering problem. The result is that clean clothes on the International Space Station have become a consumable resource. Clean clothes get ...

water humans long-duration waste hygiene  
asked by Philipp 139 votes
answered by Brian Tompsett - 汤莱恩 193 votes

How many active or inactive artificial satellites are in Mars orbit?

I just read in the BBC news that four nations have placed satellites in Mars orbit. How many active or inactive artificial satellites are there in orbit around Mars (2014)?

orbital-mechanics mars artificial-satellite  
asked by James Jenkins 26 votes
answered by called2voyage 27 votes

Why doesn't NASA release all the aerospace technology into public domain?

NASA is a publicly funded US governmental agency, yet it does not seem to release all the technology it develops into public domain for people being able to study it and learn from it. For instance, ...

rockets nasa public-involvement itar open-source  
asked by Kozuch 25 votes
answered by Russell Borogove 60 votes

Can I see the ISS from the surface with the naked eye?

Can I see the International Space Station (ISS) from the surface with the naked eye? If yes, how can I determine that it really is the ISS?

iss observation  
asked by Zoltán Schmidt 45 votes
answered by TildalWave 34 votes

What thickness/depth of water would be required to provide radiation shielding in Earth orbit?

If using water or ice as a radiation shield how thick/deep would it need to be? Would it make a difference if the water was frozen (water ice being less dense then liquid)? Edit I would like to ...

radiation space-station water  
asked by James Jenkins 30 votes
answered by KeithS 27 votes

How did NASA achieve their live TV broadcast in 1969?

In 1969, NASA not only went to the moon, but broadcast the whole thing live on TV. How did they achieve the TV broadcast? What technology did they need to use to send a video and audio signal from ...

the-moon crewed-spaceflight apollo-program communication honeysuckle-creek  
asked by JMK 100 votes
answered by Hash 73 votes

What are the choices today for orbital mechanics simulation software?

I used to be familiar with the various choices out there for orbital mechanics simulation software. Alas, those days are gone. What are the choices today, preferably sorted by platform? This ...

orbital-mechanics software astrodynamics  
asked by Erik 108 votes
answered by Erik 28 votes

Can you answer these questions?

How did Gagarin's flight affect improvements to the Vostok capsule?

Every spaceflight is an opportunity to learn what does not work well and to improve the vehicle for the next flight. Did Yuri Gagarin's first human spaceflight yield any changes to the capsules or ...

design vostok-program crew-module  
asked by DrSheldon 2 votes

How problematic is debris for Starship storage/depots?

So with the recent announcement that Starship has been selected as NASA's HLS (which is pretty radical), it's raised a question in me that been around for a while. For HLS; a Starship storage(depot) ...

spacex low-earth-orbit debris spacex-starship fuel-depots  
asked by Barry Jenekuns 2 votes

Apogee estimate starting from simplified one-dimensional numerical simulations

I asked a question on pen and paper apogee estimation and got an answer from @tom-spilker that called my attention: He said that he quickly estimated an inclined launch apogee from the results of a 1-...

rockets trajectory calculation  
asked by curioso 1 vote
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