Community Digest

Top new questions this week:

Are there multiple types of UTC time?

I have been checking in detail the specifications of RINEX navigation files version 3.05, and something in the definition of the header of these navigation files caught my attention. One of the lines ...

time rinex  
user avatar asked by Rafa Score of 14
user avatar answered by Erin Anne Score of 18

Using today's technology, is interstellar navigation possible?

I was watching this video essay discussion about space elevators, and on a bit of a tangent, the physicist talks about difficulties with interstellar missions, specifically comments about navigation ...

orbital-mechanics interstellar-travel navigation  
user avatar asked by Dragongeek Score of 10
user avatar answered by Woody Score of 2

How do Inertial Navigation Systems compensate for their inability to measure gravitational acceleration?

Inertial Navigation Systems calculate position by measuring acceleration. But they are unable to measure gravitational acceleration since gravity always acts equally on the test mass and the ...

gravity navigation inertia  
user avatar asked by Woody Score of 3
user avatar answered by Organic Marble Score of 2

Is it more common for crewed spacecraft (and spacecraft that interact with them) to have navigation lights, or not?

While trying to find details on the proposed improved Space Shuttle heat shields, I stumbled across a fact I'd forgotten: the orbiters didn't have navigation lights (i.e. red left, green right, white ...

spacecraft communication  
user avatar asked by Erin Anne Score of 3

Is it easier to detect a satellite than an aircraft with a land-based radar?

I am suspecting that it is easier to detect a satellite because in the space, there is no other thing. In other words, the background is cleaner. Is it right?

user avatar asked by S. Kohn Score of 3
user avatar answered by Woody Score of 4

sun pointing coordinate system design

I am trying to program slew maneuver procedure for a spacecraft. My goal is to define a target coordinate system that is aligned with sun vector so that the spacecraft can slew its attitude to always ...

orbital-mechanics physics  
user avatar asked by hater Score of 3
user avatar answered by Erin Anne Score of 3

Does a country need to announce the parameters of its newly launched satellite to the world?

I am wondering if there is any international organization regulating such things. Possibly countries do not need to tell anything about their spy satellites, but should tell about their commercial ...

artificial-satellite reconnaissance-satellite  
user avatar asked by S. Kohn Score of 3

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

When will New Horizons overtake Voyager 1 in distance from the Sun?

Basically, what the title asks. To my understanding, New Horizons is currently the fastest spacecraft that's moving away from the Sun, with arguably only Helios-A and Helios-B possibly faster still, ...

probe voyager navigation new-horizons  
user avatar asked by TildalWave Score of 73
user avatar answered by gerrit Score of 87

Highest number of satellites launched on a single rocket

What is the highest number of satellites that have been launched on a single rocket? What were the number of stages used in that launch? (It may be from the past or a future mission)

launch rockets record  
user avatar asked by Hash Score of 16
user avatar answered by Sujay Phadke Score of 14

What is the current cost-per-pound to send something into LEO?

As a student of economics and finance I would love to learn more about the cost structures of sending a payload into orbit. More specifically - What is the cost-per-pound to send something into LEO ...

launch commercial cost  
user avatar asked by Stu Score of 30
user avatar answered by PearsonArtPhoto Score of 21

How long does it take to get to ISS?

The ISS is in orbit about 250 miles high, the students in this related question get 62 miles in less than a minute. This NASA Press release indicates the The Soyuz TMA-13M launch on May 2014 has a 6 ...

launch iss  
user avatar asked by James Jenkins Score of 16
user avatar answered by David Hammen Score of 21

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  
user avatar asked by Philipp Score of 146
user avatar answered by Brian Tompsett - 汤莱恩 Score of 199

Is it possible to touch stars with our bare hands?

Well I'm new to Space SE and have gone through many questions but I couldn't help but notice that is it even remotely possible that one can touch the stars without burning him/her self ? Is there any ...

earth stars  
user avatar asked by vivek padelkar Score of 9
user avatar answered by Antzi Score of 16

Why does the International Space Station have a downward facing light?

I really enjoy watching the International Space Station fly over head. I subscribe to alerts so I know when it is in my area during the night time. I wouldn't be able to see it if it weren't for the ...

iss observation  
user avatar asked by Scott Score of 22
user avatar answered by TildalWave Score of 42

Can you answer these questions?

Objects move clockwise instead of counter-clockwise

I'm trying to write an orbital simulation with patched conics. For my sources I'm using and Fundamentals of Astrodynamics (Second Edition). Both sources suggest to use ...

orbital-mechanics mathematics simulation astrodynamics  
user avatar asked by Dzejkop Score of 1

Can a gravity assist be designed without using simulation?

Suppose a three body scenario with an artificial satellite, a planet (much massive than the satellite), and a sun (much massive than the planet). There is no other significant force on these three ...

gravity-assist three-body  
user avatar asked by paki eng Score of 2

NASA’s NIAC has awarded phase III funding for Diffractive Solar Sails. Demonstration mission in the works?

Diffractive lightsails use small gratings embedded in thin films to produce diffraction (which causes light to spread out when it passes through a narrow opening). Diffractive light sails are a ...

orbital-mechanics solar-sail space-weather  
user avatar asked by Woody Score of 2
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