Linked Questions

24 votes
5 answers
7k views

Why doesn't the ISS orient itself to the Earth's magnetic field like a compass needle?

I was watching this video of a magnet aboard the ISS floating freely. When the person lets go of the magnet, it behaves like a compass needle and immediately orients itself to the magnetic field of ...
Wyck's user avatar
  • 1,593
14 votes
4 answers
4k views

Why aren't space telescopes put in GEO?

I don't know of any space telescope that has been placed in geosynchronous orbit among the communication satellites. I wonder why not? In GEO, a space telescope could use a single stationary radio ...
LocalFluff's user avatar
23 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is the cupola, on the inside of the ISS, cold or warm to the touch?

Does the temperature of the surface of the cupola vary when the ISS is in Earth's shadow, compared to when it is on day side of the Earth? Is it cold to the touch when the ISS in the shadow?
Bob516's user avatar
  • 6,939
10 votes
2 answers
2k views

What's the motion of two connected satellites orbiting the Earth after their separation?

Let's consider the following problem (it's a job interview question): two satellites are orbiting the Earth in a circular orbit; they are rigidly linked by a tether which is always pointing in the ...
g_don's user avatar
  • 433
17 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is the difference in orbital velocity of different parts measurable on board the ISS?

When two objects are in different orbits of the same body, no matter how close they are, the inner object will always be faster - it will move farther away from the outer one (until it gets closer ...
choeger's user avatar
  • 2,453
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Are all or some geostationary satellites tidally locked to the Earth?

Satellites in geostationary orbit always remain above the same location on the Earth's surface, at an altitude of 35,786 kilometres (22,236 miles) above the equator. But I wonder whether they're also ...
LoveForChrist's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
856 views

What is a gravity gradient?

The statement: 'For most of that day, Mir remained in a "gravity gradient," (sic) which basically means that the most massive part of Mir naturally pointed toward Earth.' is in https://...
Matthew Christopher Bartsh's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
898 views

How does gravity-gradient stabilization work?

I understand there is a stabilizing force due to gravity gradient. What I'm unsure about is the stabilization part. How does it work? It looks like to me that this tidal force would just make the ...
Calmarius's user avatar
  • 223
8 votes
2 answers
494 views

What are damper booms, and how do they facilitate triaxial stabilization?

I'd never heard of DODGE until I saw it mentioned this answer as the source of the first full color "full Earth" image. The spacecraft's primary function however was to experiment with ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
7 votes
2 answers
541 views

Do satellites in orbit undergo translational motion or rotational motion, when initially they are not given any additional spin?

Regarding the proposed duplicate: Thought the proposed duplicate has a similar titIe, I have read those answers and this question requires a different answer. We know satellites orbit around Earth, ...
Vishnu's user avatar
  • 3,286
3 votes
1 answer
996 views

Typical 1U CubeSat Detumbling time determination using passive control?

I would like to be able to estimate roughly how long it takes for a 1U cubesat using a permanent magnet for passive control to detumble after the deployment at about 550 km. Assuming there is some ...
Chayathorn Chatthanapornyothin's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
544 views

Help with my tensor tension; how to derive and calculate this rigid body gravity gradient torque?

Tensors make me tense. Imagine a long thin rod in a circular orbit. The gravity gradient will produce a net torque on the rod whenever it is not oriented parallel, or perpendicular to the radius ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
5 votes
2 answers
355 views

Could two satellites in the same orbit, but phased differently, be tethered in a sustainable manner?

Was reading this, and I immediately saw the problem with the angular momenta not lining up. Unfortunately, my mind likes to keep turning scenarios over and asking what would happen if ...
Magic Octopus Urn's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
368 views

How far would the ISS need to be to keep it's attitude with the earth from tidal forces without needing control moment gyroscopes?

I believe the ISS uses control moment gyroscopes (CMGs) to always have the same side facing the earth. How far from the earth does an object the size of the ISS need to be tidally locked with the ...
Speedphoenix's user avatar
  • 5,324
-1 votes
1 answer
275 views

Could this satellite wobble in orbit creating additional orbital angular momentum?

This question asks if this type of steam engine would work: Could a steam Engine outperform other electric producing devices in space? this not a sterling engine since it has far less moving parts. ...
Muze's user avatar
  • 1

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