Linked Questions

7 votes
1 answer
236 views

Is a spacecraft able to measure it's current electric charge in some way? [duplicate]

In this question, there is discussion of charge buildup on a spacecraft. Is it possible for a spacecraft to measure its own charge?
Steve's user avatar
  • 1,174
11 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is this instrument on the ISS?

In this image (NASA original source) from the International Space Station. what is the "lightning rod"-like instrument at the end of the mast in the upper right of the photo?
bitmage's user avatar
  • 113
9 votes
2 answers
597 views

How is charge dissipated in ion-propulsed spacecraft?

I understand that an ion-thruster will continuously charge its spacecraft with a charge opposite of the one of the ions it thrusts. Over a long journey this charge would be considerable. What would ...
Diomidis Spinellis's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
496 views

Has NORAD ever experienced a catastrophic event and "lost track of" a bunch of objects?

NORAD tracks satellites for several very important reasons. From time to time an object might become temporarily mis-identified or otherwise confused with another object, these things usually get ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
7 votes
2 answers
755 views

What are these antenna-like structures seen in Oleg Artemyev twitter video?

Russian Cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev's Sept 3, 2018 tweet has a narrated video of Earth from the ISS, at the time over the Nile river. The video is also in YouTube (below). At the bottom of the screen, ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
12 votes
1 answer
245 views

How are differences in electrical potential between docking (or berthing) vehicles mitigated?

Different vehicles can have several hundred or even several thousand volts difference between their baseline electrical potentials. How do they ensure that upon first contact, there isn't a massive ...
Tristan's user avatar
  • 17.3k
1 vote
2 answers
815 views

Neutralization of ions in the ion thruster

I have a question about neutralizing the ion thruster, why simply does not put a positive potential on the satellite to prevent the emitted ions from returning to the satellite? is the ion current so ...
Ricardo Casimiro's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
274 views

Saint Elmo's fire on the ISS? What are these green glowing balls of plasma on a solar panel? Dangerous?

This tweet says: Almost the entire population of Egypt lives within a few miles of the Nile. But my eye is on the green glowing balls on what looks like it might be a solar panel. Question: What ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
6 votes
1 answer
272 views

What generates static charge on the ISS?

There are two plasma contactors on the ISS Z1 truss, designed to neutralize static electrical charge of the space station. What generates static charge on a spacecraft? If it is picking up charge from ...
Woody's user avatar
  • 22.4k
4 votes
1 answer
252 views

Did the Space Shuttle crew have to worry about the ionosphere? What relevant training or specific briefings did they receive?

Comments below this answer tell us that the Space Shuttle always remained in Earth's atmosphere. When it visited the Hubble Space Telescope or the ISS or Mir it was still in the thermosphere and ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
3 votes
1 answer
210 views

How would the antenna on a spacecraft in GEO be provided an electrical ground?

I would like to understand better what specifications or guidelines address the electrical grounding/Earthing a parabolic reflector Antenna in GEO to minimize the potential difference with respect to ...
Ali Damirchy's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
145 views

Why do satellites have capacitance? [closed]

In some comments on this forum I read that satellites have capacitance of some nF or pF, What is this about? How can I calculate it roughly?
Ricardo Casimiro's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
146 views

Problems with spaceflight high voltage

What problem exists if the surface of the satellite is at a high positive potential in LEO? What is the maximum voltage it could withstand? is there any document about it?
STM32's user avatar
  • 101
1 vote
0 answers
158 views

Do ISS crews have to worry about the ionosphere? Have hazards to EVAs or surface arcing/functional anomalies happened due to ionospheric charing?

Comments below this answer tell us that the International Space Station always remained in Earth's atmosphere. It orbits in the thermosphere and simultaneously the ionosphere. This answer to How do ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
1 vote
0 answers
42 views

Identifying Antenna-Like Object with Gold Orb on ISS [duplicate]

Many photos of the Neutron Star Interior Composition ExploreR (NICER) show it partially obscured by an object which looks like a golden orb on a poll. What is this object? Attempted Solution Zooming ...
user363165's user avatar