Community Digest

Top new questions this week:

Is it legal to steal the American flag from the moon?

I'm not quite sure whether the question is correctly answered here or whether it belongs to Law Stack Exchange. Assuming I can fly into space, more precisely to the moon and back again. What laws ...

the-moon law  
asked by Anton Hinkel 47 votes
answered by Russell Borogove 50 votes

When did photographic film stop being used in satellites?

Some early observation satellites took pictures on photographic film and the film was dropped towards Earth and picked up by airplanes (e.g. Corona). What was the last satellite to use photographic ...

artificial-satellite history earth-observation  
asked by usernumber 18 votes
answered by A. Rumlin 14 votes

Why were seven astronauts selected when there were only six crewed Mercury flights?

Seven astronauts (the Mercury Seven) were selected to fly during the Mercury program. Yet Slayton, one of the Mercury Seven didn't fly during Mercury (though he did fly for Apollo-Soyuz). Why were ...

project-mercury  
asked by usernumber 14 votes
answered by Russell Borogove 31 votes

How do space blankets (thermal blankets) work?

On earth, blankets serve to primarily buffer temperature changes / heat transfer that would occur via convection (e.g. a blanket traps air near you so that after your body warms it, it doesn't just ...

spacecraft temperature thermal heat  
asked by Kasper Kubica 9 votes
answered by Tristan 2 votes

How does the Dragon nose hinge work?

The Dragon nose has a fairly elaborate hinge. I've read it's actuated by a hydraulic cylinder. Is that what I see in the picture below by the green line? Is it perpendicular to the longitudinal axis ...

spacex dragon  
asked by Alex 9 votes

What goes in the bottom of the Dragon structural dome?

The Dragon has a structural dome shaped like a truncated cone (A below) on a stubby cylinder (B). Q: Is the crew section entirely in the truncated cone, or is it split in two stories with the second ...

spacex dragon  
asked by Alex 7 votes
answered by DrSheldon 5 votes

Would a Foucault pendulum work on the Moon and on the Galilean moons?

I wonder whether the Moon and the Jovian moons spin fast enough for a Foucault pendulum to swing on their poles. For instance, I think that it wouldn't swing on Mercury and Venus because these planets ...

moons rotation  
asked by LoveForChrist 6 votes
answered by uhoh 10 votes

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

Did the space shuttle fly straight "up" when leaving Earth?

I was watching space shuttle launch recently, and at 2:53 you can see the space shuttle from an angle, even though it's high above the earth and you should see only the bottom. Did the space shuttle ...

launch space-shuttle  
asked by Buksy 27 votes
answered by mpv 40 votes

Why not build Saturn V's again?

Why is the US developing a new rocket and spacecraft as opposed to building the Saturn V and Apollo stacks again? The SLS / Orion development programs certainly can't cost less than the unit cost of ...

apollo-program cost saturn-v sls orion-spacecraft  
asked by dotancohen 54 votes
answered by Russell Borogove 74 votes

Do the planets really orbit the Sun?

We often say that the planets orbit the Sun, which is usually a reasonable approximation. But in reality both Sun and the planets orbit the center-of-mass/center-of-gravity of the whole solar system, ...

gravity solar-system  
asked by CodesInChaos 120 votes
answered by Vedant Chandra 148 votes

Why destroy Juno at the end of the mission?

As follows from the mission timeline: Launch - August 5, 2011 Deep Space Maneuvers - August/September 2012 Earth flyby gravity assist - October 2013 Jupiter arrival - July 2016 Spacecraft will orbit ...

juno end-of-life orbital-lifetime  
asked by Creative Magic 86 votes
answered by Mark Adler 125 votes

Who installed the camera on the Moon to film the "First step"?

On Wikipedia page on Moon landing, Neil Armstrong is shown stepping down on the surface of the Moon using the spaceship's ladder:        Still frame from a video transmission, taken moments before ...

the-moon apollo-program camera myth-busting moonwalking  
asked by Val 43 votes
answered by TildalWave 64 votes

How stable would a Falcon 9 first stage be after it has landed on a drone ship?

Presumably, the booster would be a very light, very tall tube (Most of the fuel spent) standing on 4 fairly small legs on a ship in the middle of the ocean. It would also still contain some LOX and ...

spacex falcon-9 reuse falcon9-r first-stage  
asked by neelsg 20 votes
answered by TildalWave 13 votes

How much protection do space EVA suits offer against radiation for the wearer?

How much protection do space EVA suits offer against radiation? Do they shield certain kinds of radiation more than others? Any idea how many sieverts an individual is exposed to wearing a space ...

radiation spacesuits eva  
asked by Cosmos 10 votes
answered by Hash 6 votes

Can you answer these questions?

How to calculate the maximum heliocentric speed during a flyby?

The following graphs are related to the Voyager 2 / Jupiter flyby occurred on July 1979 (I did the calculation with the SPICE library and NAIF’s data files). We see that the maximum speed relative to ...

flyby celestial-mechanics acceleration  
asked by Cristiano 3 votes

What are the most commonly consumed solid foods on the space station and why?

Clearly, an astronaut’s diet varies from day to day to ensure proper health while in space. And depending on the astronaut’s place of origin, preferences, and availability, their choice of foods ...

astronaut-lifestyle food  
asked by Paul 2 votes

how much force can a falcon 9 landing leg handle

According to spacex, the falcon 9 landing legs are made of carbon fiber with aluminum in a honeycomb shape. How much force would be needed to break that?

spacex falcon-9  
asked by cf68916 3 votes
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