Linked Questions

47 votes
11 answers
8k views

Finned heatsinks in space

Most heat radiators in space are flat surfaces. In a sense they are single fin radiators. Has anyone studied the used of multi-finned radiators in space (the vacuum of space, not inside a spacecraft)?...
martin's's user avatar
  • 549
18 votes
3 answers
5k views

Why exactly does Curiosity's RTG make more electricity on cold days?

There is a fascinating factoid in this answer to MMRTG- thermal and electrical output: The electric power of the thermocouples depends on cooling influenced by the environment. On a cold day on Mars ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
14 votes
1 answer
2k views

Now that Perseverance is "hot" (RTG in place) and before it gets to deep space, how will it stay cool?

As soon as they are assembled MMRTGs continuously produce about 2,000 watts of heat energy. That dips only slightly when they are connected to a load and producing electrical power (about 125 watts ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
11 votes
1 answer
6k views

How have space suits dissipated the heat removed from astronauts?

I never thought about this until reading the comments below this answer. To radiate something like 150W (a very conservative lower limit of human + suit systems heat production - see @Uwe 's comment ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
5 votes
3 answers
868 views

Why were Europe's first few satellites so stylish? Why the pronounced alternating white and black stripes?

In The Century of Space Science, edited by J.A. Bleeker, Johannes Geiss, M. Huber, viewed in Google books I ran across the following text and images. Both satellites are quite stylish looking and have ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why are RTGs so inefficient?

I recently learned about how an n-type and p-type "sandwich" with different thermal properties can create a potential difference in the presence of a temperature gradient. The subsequent ...
Vikrant Sharma's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why is the Heat Shield of ESA's Solar Orbiter Black in colour?

Solar Orbiter (SolO) is a planned Sun-observing satellite, under development by the European Space Agency (ESA). Due to its proximity to the Sun, it receives about 13 times more solar energy than we ...
Vishnu's user avatar
  • 3,286
2 votes
1 answer
1k views

ULA's plan for LH2/LOX 2nd stage that can maintain propellant for an extended period of time?

Business Insider's (long) article SpaceX's biggest rival has a 'genius' plan to cut its rocket launch costs more than 70% contains the statements sourced from ULA's CEO Tory Bruno: Vulcan should ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
3 votes
1 answer
221 views

What's this part of Curiosity?

What's this part here used for? The thing that looks like if you poured dirt into it, that it'd sift through it. Not the antenna, the white thing in center that looks as if it could spin.
Magic Octopus Urn's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
334 views

Are black and white stripes any better than uniform gray for thermal control?

Q: What color is a spaceship? Several answers and comments on Why were Europe's first few satellites so stylish? Why the pronounced alternating white and black stripes? contain phrases like "...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
2 votes
2 answers
171 views

How much will Bennu rotate faster and faster with mirrors facing the Sun on its left side?

Several answers to the question "Why paint only one-half of Bennu" describe the Yarkovsky effect as an important force acting on the asteroid 101955 Bennu. But what about the radiation pressure of ...
Cornelis's user avatar
  • 7,535