Linked Questions

7 votes
5 answers
6k views

Could a fan be used to prevent overheating on a Venus bound space probe?

I saw something saying that the circuits on a Venus bound space craft would overheat and basically ruin the the spacecraft. Is that true? If so, could they install fans to keep the circuits cool?
Elle's user avatar
  • 113
22 votes
2 answers
5k views

Why can't lunar rovers survive long duration nights?

I saw that some missions end with the lunar night time, and the rovers are trashed permanently instead of trying to survive the night. The concerns have to do with trying to keep the rover at ...
sergbot's user avatar
  • 339
27 votes
2 answers
5k views

Is there any demonstrated or even proposed technology that can sterilize a spacecraft with 100% certainty and yet leave it electronically functional?

In this answer to Why are there no robotic missions on Europa or Enceladus I wrote: Missions going through the ice and into the ocean are currently hypothetical and problematic. You need a lot of ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
19 votes
3 answers
2k views

Potential high temperature power sources for a Venus lander

What power sources are viable on a 'long term' Venus lander? An RTG relies on a temperature differential, and is not likely to be doable with a 457C 'cold side'. Based on this answer there is not ...
OrangePeel52's user avatar
  • 2,561
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why did the Herschel Space Telescope need helium coolant?

Inspired by answering this question The Wikipedia entry says this On 29 April 2013, ESA announced that Herschel's supply of liquid helium, used to cool the instruments and detectors on board, had ...
Machavity's user avatar
  • 7,905
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

How does the Parker Solar Probe's heat shield protect it from dust near the sun?

In this answer the survival of the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft passing as close as 9 solar radii from the Sun's surface is discussed. Using guestimates for apoapsis and periapsis of 1.1 $a_{venus}$,...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
3 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is there anything like a standard for maximum temperature for mission-critical electronics in spacecraft?

In addition to radiation, acceleration, and vibration, a launch vehicle can encounter excursions in temperature, and critical electronics for guidance and control should probably be resistant to ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
3 votes
2 answers
939 views

When was the last normal electron tube (valve) for electrical circuitry launched into space?

The answer to my question The first transistors in space: Germanium or Silicon? What about LEO? actually addressed both the first Germanium and Silicon transistor. So now I've gotta ask about ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
11 votes
1 answer
1k views

How can the Parker Solar Probe survive passing within 4 million miles of the sun's surface?

There is a lot of information on the internet about NASA's Parker Solar Probe mission, including several multi-hundred page scientific reviews and in-depth studies - here's one. But could someone take ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
7 votes
2 answers
324 views

What are the technical challenges in building a Titan rover that didn't need heating?

In the discussion of this question it is assumed that we would need to heat the rover so that (most of) it's components were operating at temperatures much hotter than ambient (about 90K). Current ...
Steve Linton's user avatar
  • 19.6k
4 votes
2 answers
483 views

Temperature of photovoltaic cells vs efficiency - is it ever actively controlled?

The efficiency of photovoltaic cells is surprisingly strong function of junction temperature. Hotter usually means lower efficiency. If one searches for example for images and sites tagged with "...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
5 votes
0 answers
457 views

Did any of Voyagers' receivers' front ends take advantage of the "cold of space" to lower noise? (communications or radio/plasma science receivers)

Most of the Voyagers' electronics are kept warm by electrical heaters powered by their RTG's, and presumably protected by some amount of insulation from the "cold of space" which means loss ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
0 votes
1 answer
176 views

Are any space agencies working on an (essentially) 100% reliable sterilization technique for spacecraft bound for subsurface ocean worlds?

One answer to my previous question Is there any demonstrated or even proposed technology that can sterilize a spacecraft with 100% certainty and yet leave it electronically functional? asserts: ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
4 votes
0 answers
85 views

Taking photos from Venus surface from an airship. Possible?

On planet Venus at ground level temperature level is about 450°C which seems to high for electronic devices such as a camera. Could electronic devices and a camera on a airship just below the clouds ...
hello world's user avatar