Linked Questions

21
votes
8answers
6k views

Is there any way to land a rover on the Moon without using any thrusters?

Is there any way to land a rover on the moon without using any thruster, with the help of Thermocol, Cotton, Bubble wrap or any other packaging material, like we can receive from online shop?
34
votes
4answers
4k views

Why is there a large wooden ball on Mariner 3's magnetometer?

Wood is good for certain niche space exploration applications, but the one below is not for spaceflight. According to the documentation for the archived photo: Several spacecraft were built for the ...
14
votes
1answer
3k views

Why did early satellites (e.g. China's Fanhui Shi Weixing) re-enter the atmosphere narrow end (nose)-first?

I was surprised to find out from @JohnnyRobinson's new answer that China's series of Fanhui Shi Weixing spacecraft (FSW) used impregnated oak heat shields. I found this in astronautix: The capsule ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

Could a spacecraft be made out of wood?

Could a spacecraft use organic materials, like wood or bone or shell or other tissues, as an interface to the vacuum and radiation of space? Would wood outgas and crack up in space? I wonder if life ...
12
votes
1answer
884 views

Is this smoke from Expedition 53 returning Soyuz capsule?

I was clicking through YouTubes and came across the NASA Video ISS Expedition 53 Landing in Kazakhstan (also here). I don't recall seeing such prominent and continuous smoke from returning Soyuz ...
8
votes
1answer
828 views

Using bamboo as space construction material

Due to the miracle of biology a bamboo plant can transform water, atmosphere, sunlight, and nutrients into a long and stable rod or tube at a incredible growth speeds (some species can grow 90cm/35 ...
10
votes
2answers
985 views

Use of carbon monoxide as propellant on Mars

Is it possible to use carbon monoxide as propellant for a rocket? For example, carbon dioxide from the atmosphere of Mars could be transformed to carbon monoxide and oxygen via photochemical ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it possible for small satellites to orbit in MEO or GEO?

I am researching satellite technology, and in particular I am looking at the rise and implications of smallsat technology. As far as I know, there are currently no satellites beyond LEO that would be ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

White papers on alleged 1960s Chinese wooden ablative reentry heat shield

Popular sources, like Vintage Space and New Scientist, allege that the Chinese experimented with (oak?) wood ablative heat shields for manned reentry vehicles in the 1960s, but I have not been able to ...
2
votes
1answer
396 views

Is the entire underside of Schiaparelli one big crushable-structure?

The caption in this Space dot com video says that Schiaparelli will drop the last two meters, and the shock will be absorbed by a crushable structure. It is described in the text accompanying this ...
0
votes
1answer
358 views

What was the first piece of wood to reach the far side of the Moon? Or the first spacecraft?

Chang'e-4 is the first lander/rover mission to reach the far side, but probably doesn't have any wood on it. What was the first piece of wood that landed on the far side of the Moon, and what was the ...
3
votes
1answer
254 views

Can you use a light sail to achieve a survivable landing anyplace in our solar system?

Current answers at the new question Can you launch a probe to the Moon using a laser propelled craft? points out getting to the moon is not the problem, landing on it is. This answer suggests that ...
5
votes
0answers
158 views

Has lithocapture ever been seriously considered as a method of entering orbit around a planet or moon that lacks any atmosphere?

What I mean by lithocapture is an orbital transfer maneuver used to reduce the velocity of a spacecraft from a hyperbolic trajectory to an elliptical orbit around the targeted celestial body where the ...