Linked Questions

24
votes
4answers
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?
11
votes
3answers
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?
16
votes
2answers
2k 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 - ...
4
votes
4answers
542 views

Probes on a Solar System Escape Trajectory

Not one probe that has or will leave the Solar System (Pioneer 10, Pioneer 11, Voyager 1, Voyager 2, and New Horizons) has a Solar Power System. This leads to the question, is there a reason behind ...
10
votes
1answer
464 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-...
9
votes
2answers
413 views

Which countries have built RTGs and used them in Earth orbit and/or beyond?

I know the US has; a few have even left the solar system, there's some on the Moon, one on Mars, and one inside Saturn, though now "extensively modified". Rosetta had to hibernate for 2.5 years for ...
8
votes
2answers
755 views

Is this the longest that a spacecraft “went to sleep” and then woke up on schedule?

For various reasons, spacecraft are sometimes "put to sleep" for periods of time on long voyages. Many systems are shut down, and radio communications suspended. Tracking of spacecraft at very large ...
8
votes
1answer
475 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, ...
9
votes
1answer
398 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
224 views

What spacecraft relied on solar electrical power farthest from the Sun?

Question: What spacecraft relied on solar electrical power farthest from the Sun? If you like you can break it down by use case; spacecraft that used it for solar-electric propulsion (and weren't ...
4
votes
1answer
270 views

Are there fuel cells for methane + oxygen? Could there be?

Hydrogen + oxygen fuel cells powered the week-long Apollo missions to the Moon and Shuttle missions to orbit, and there is a industry trying to build itself around hydrogen-fed fuel cell-based road ...
6
votes
1answer
156 views

Mass ratio of solar-electric versus radioisotope thermo-electric power for propulsion; beyond how many AU do RTGs win?

Solar-electric propulsion has been used several times now in deep space missions. This question explores the scalability in comparison to Radioisotope thermoelectric generation or other nuclear-based ...