Linked Questions

24 votes
4 answers
14k views

Why aren't batteries used in space?

Like why use RTGs (Radioisotope thermoelectric generator) to power small spacecraft instead of just placing batteries inside them to power stuff?
max's user avatar
  • 357
17 votes
2 answers
6k views

WHY did Rosetta have to go into hibernation for 2.5 years?

It seems the Rosetta spacecraft was put (put itself) into hibernation 08-June-2011. It spun itself up to stabilize its attitude, then shut down navigation, attitude control, communication systems as ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
21 votes
2 answers
3k views

How is Voyager 1 still operating?

I watched a documentary on Voyager 1 and 2 last night and wondered "how is the digital equipment on them still operating"? I work in IT, and decided to look up what the longest running servers were - ...
e_i_pi's user avatar
  • 313
12 votes
3 answers
4k views

Will the Tesla Roadster return any telemetry?

Is there any equipment fitted to the Tesla Roadster to send signals back to Earth, even for a short time after launch?
Dave Gremlin's user avatar
  • 2,971
21 votes
2 answers
838 views

How does Rosetta "wake-up?"

Rosetta has been in hibernation mode for most of the last three years. As far as I am aware, "sleep" means using minimum resources since there is nothing for the probe to do during its long transfer ...
Stu's user avatar
  • 5,938
7 votes
2 answers
3k views

Can operators put their satellites to sleep temporarily?

I’ve read a bit about “safe mode” and “passivation”. While one seems to be triggered autonomously, the other is used to decommission the satellite. How does one put the mission in a temporary safe ...
AGS's user avatar
  • 349
7 votes
2 answers
3k views

How long would a Falcon Heavy last in orbit around Mars before degrading?

Elon Musk made another characteristic splash recently with his plan to launch a Falcon Heavy into orbit around Mars, with the bonus payload of his personal Tesla Roadster inside. Of course, it's an ...
TylerH's user avatar
  • 202
10 votes
1 answer
619 views

Could Rosetta have been awakened from Earth if necessary?

Today, January 20th 2014 AD of the Gregorian Calendar, is the wake-up day of Rosetta. Expected AOS window commenced at 1830 UTC before which Rosetta was expected to wake-up, and perform basic house-...
Everyone's user avatar
  • 13.6k
10 votes
1 answer
365 views

How accurately do they know where Rosetta is, and how do they know?

Title says it all really: how accurately do they know where the Rosetta space vehicle is at any given time, and how do they know that?
GreenAsJade's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
518 views

Spacecraft electronics heating

As much as I know of integrated circuits is that military components have lowest temperature working limit - I think -40 deg Celsius. Having in mind that temperatures in open space are less than -200, ...
Zoran's user avatar
  • 143
10 votes
1 answer
480 views

What's the record for the longest time a deep space craft has functioned without a reboot?

The question How is Voyager 1 still operating? and the interesting comparison to the record times that Earthbound servers have run without reboot got me thinking about deep space spacecraft. I'm ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
2 votes
2 answers
352 views

Spacecraft position determination

As I understand tone ranging is one of the technique used to determine satellite range from the earth station. In this case the ...
Soumajit's user avatar
  • 135