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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 ...
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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 ...
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Did any of Voyagers' receivers' front ends take advantage of the “cold of space” to lower noise?

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 of heat ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
642 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 ...
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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 $a_{venus}$,...
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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 ...