Questions tagged [astronauts]

Questions regarding people present on spacecraft or space stations.

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11 votes
1 answer
3k views

How close was the ISS to running out of supplies after the failure of CRS-7?

2014-2015 probably was a scary time to be aboard the ISS, though not for the usual reasons. They were worried about supplies running low, at least somewhat. There was quite the string of bad luck. ...
2 votes
1 answer
194 views

How many printed novels have been in space to date?

I am talking about actual novels brought for recreational purposes. As in manuals don't count. Also, I would like to know who and on what mission these were brought.
58 votes
1 answer
7k views

Do astronauts use plumber's bifocals?

Adults steadily loose the ability to see close-up (presbyopia). By the mid-40's, most people have surrendered to the inevitable and switched to bifocals. These provide closer focus when looking down (...
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8 votes
2 answers
383 views

Did any astronauts smoke within a spacecraft while in space?

A recent question yielded the image below that appears to show Buzz Aldrin smoking a pipe in space. Is there any confirmation that the contents of the pipe were ignited or was he just posing with it ...
30 votes
3 answers
6k views

Were any of the Apollo astronauts smokers and did that cause any problems?

Onboard the Apollo capsule, the astronauts probably weren’t allowed to smoke because of the risk. Apollo 1 blew up because of a small spark in a pure oxygen environment. Even though NASA changed the ...
14 votes
1 answer
4k views

Was the shot-on-the-ISS movie "The Challenge" ever released or is there a release date?

In October 2021 scenes for a movie entitled "The Challenge" were shot onboard the ISS with actor Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko spending a short stay on the station. Source: ...
22 votes
1 answer
7k views

Why was there a minimum height for astronauts?

According to this answer https://space.stackexchange.com/a/2254/44505 the minimum and maximum they could be were: Pilots: Height between 62 and 75 inches. (1.57 to 1.90 meters) Mission Specialists: ...
2 votes
0 answers
103 views

Will the passengers aboard Spaceship Neptune get rewarded?

The tourists who flew on New Shepard from Blue Origin got their astronaut wings once they returned. Spaceship Neptune will not pass the Karman line unlike New Shepard did, however it will pass the ...
5 votes
1 answer
222 views

For how long could astronauts stay on the surface of Europa, Jupiter's moon, with our current latest and most advanced spacesuit before dying?

Is it possible for astronauts to land on Europa safely? Given the fact that radiation level on Europa is about 5.4 Sv (or about 540 rem) per day and the temperature is around -260 °F (or about -160 °C)...
4 votes
1 answer
260 views

Will the Orion glass cockpit with CCD be tested with prospective astronauts on the ground during the upcoming Artemis 1 test flight ? If not, why?

Image credit: DesignNews article: "Exclusive: A Closer Look at NASA's Orion Glass Cockpit" Will there be video cameras onboard the Orion spacecraft that registrate the glass cockpit displays ...
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3 votes
0 answers
168 views

Why the Snoopy Cap rather than a conventional headset?

Why do American astronauts wear the "snoopy cap" elastic hood with communications headset rather than a more conventional style of headset that doesn't have a hood? Does the cap provide ...
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1 vote
1 answer
231 views

What percentage of humans could execute the job of astronaut if given the opportunity? [closed]

Becoming an astronaut is notoriously difficult, with something on the order of 0.01% of all applicants getting picked for the job. To a large extent this is inevitable as only a dozen people per year ...
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1 vote
1 answer
185 views

Why is the selection process for astronauts so rigorous?

Becoming an astronaut is notoriously difficult, with something on the order of 0.01% of all applicants getting picked for the job. However there are two possible explanations for why this is the case: ...
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14 votes
0 answers
395 views

Have astronauts ever used the helmet-to-helmet technique to talk to one another in vacuum?

Science Fiction has long written about this communication technique in vacuum: Astronauts touch their helmet against another astronaut's helmet, so that sound will transmit through that physical ...
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7 votes
1 answer
219 views

How many cargo flights are needed before Starship can carry people?

I have seen mention that the Starship will need to have a track record of a certain number of flights before it can carry people. I suppose NASA sets this number. I don't know if it's an absolute ...
7 votes
3 answers
410 views

Could an astronaut with a jump and a "jet pack" "jump" off of the Moon?

The initial naïve question was: "Could an astronaut with a jump and a "jet pack" "jump" off of the Moon?" :) For fun, let's assume the optimal circumstances: Gemini era ...
2 votes
0 answers
187 views

How many total NASA astronauts have died? [closed]

Including in space, launching, reentering, pre-flight, and in training.
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5 votes
1 answer
141 views

How does NASA count the order that people have entered space?

NASA has designated Matthias Maurer (crewmember of SpaceX CrewDragon 3) as the 600th person to fly in space. Leaving aside the question of whether those who flew with Branson and Bezos should be ...
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8 votes
2 answers
319 views

Deke Slayton's Molded Mercury Capsule Couch?

Recently got a hard question from an observant, sharp-eyed, and curious high school astronomy teacher: Reference this article about some of the training the Mercury Seven astronauts did. Note that the ...
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11 votes
1 answer
1k views

Does NASA police urine production by astronauts?

Acute abdominal pain is a medical emergency which requires diagnostic facilities not available on board spacecraft. It could require emergency return from LEO or mission abort in cislunar missions. ...
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2 votes
1 answer
84 views

What was the size and mass limit of a PPK for Apollo?

Astronauts are allowed to take a personal preference kit (PPK) with them to space. The Wikipedia page for PPKs states how they are defined by the Federal Aviation Regulations as of January 2001. This ...
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3 votes
0 answers
136 views

Are there examples of spaceflight equipment being redesigned to remove right hand bias? (To make it less difficult to use left-handed)

Writing First left-handed primate on the Moon? First in space? got me thinking. The first left-handed astronaut may "break a barrier" but not all barrier-breakings result in an improvement ...
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3 votes
1 answer
101 views

How long did the Apollo astronauts spend in the MQF?

After returning to Earth, the Apollo 11 astronauts were placed in a Mobile Quarantine Facility (MQF) to be transported to a NASA facility. How much time did the astronauts spend in the MQF?
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4 votes
1 answer
281 views

How can I become an astronaut?

For EU citizens to envisage a career in space, as an astronaut, the following ESA handbook gives details about the selection process. Similar information for US citizens can be found at this NASA site ...
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9 votes
1 answer
129 views

How do I get an astronaut to do my science in space?

Astronauts spend nearly all of their time doing science experiments that take advantage of their environment, specifically microgravity, easy access to hard vacuum, radiation, etc. My question is, how ...
0 votes
1 answer
159 views

What are the main impacts on the body of an astronaut exposed to long term zero gravity?

Zero gravity has considerable influence on the body of astronauts. After a long time in space it's difficult to walk when back on Earth. What would happen if future astronauts engage in spaceflights ...
2 votes
0 answers
177 views

What's the farthest an ISS astronaut gets from the station's center of mass during routine activities? At 0.5°/s what centrifugal effects are there?

This answer to Are there really “Dead End” signs on the outside of the International Space Station? won't be helpful here since for the purposes of this question spacewalks aren't part of routine ...
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6 votes
2 answers
329 views

Are Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson astronauts?

Are Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson (among others) astronauts? Does any flying to space makes a human an astronaut, also when they are dead weight? Assuming that the definition of space (Kármán line or ...
8 votes
2 answers
920 views

Is the weightlessness in a swimming pool the same as in outer space? [duplicate]

Astronauts practice the weightlessness of space in a swimming pool. Is this weightlessness the same as in space? Lets ignore the friction with water imagine them to be suspended in liquid helium...). ...
4 votes
1 answer
151 views

What are Virgin Galactic Space Suits for? What do they do? What don't they do?

In the CNN video linked below the reporter mentions to Unity 22's Astronaut 004 Sirisha Bandla: When people think of Virgin Galactic, they’re thinking of giving people new astronaut wings like the ...
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5 votes
0 answers
65 views

Other than astronauts, did any equipment go to the moon more than once? [duplicate]

It's been well documented elsewhere that three astronauts made multiple trips to the moon (whether to just orbit it, or actually land), these being Lovell, Young, and Cernan. Other than these 3 ...
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7 votes
2 answers
610 views

Why was a completely new (an "inexperienced" crew, w.r.t. Moon mission) selected for Apollo 11? [duplicate]

Apollo 10 was practically a full dress rehearsal of moon landing, except the landing act. As such, its crew (astronauts) gained all the experience needed for a moon mission. They were best suited to &...
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0 votes
0 answers
70 views

Is a PhD in space-related technology from a Physics background possible?

I am 24 years old, from Argentina. Next year I will finish my 6-year degree in physics from the University of Buenos Aires (We've been told that it is equivalent to a master's degree, but maybe is ...
21 votes
7 answers
3k views

Has sound ever been used to diagnose a problem not shown by other measurements?

In a video released by NASA here, showing Perseverance recording one of Ingenuity's flights, they have the quotes: Sound adds a new dimension to space exploration. and As a mechanic listens to a ...
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4 votes
2 answers
286 views

What are the average masses of male and female astronauts respectively?

Considering that each pound/kilogram costs a vast amount of fuel to put into orbit/get to the moon or Mars, it might make sense to use jockey-sized people or even midgets as astronauts. They might be ...
2 votes
1 answer
155 views

Has an astronaut had a blood sample taken while in space?

Has any astronaut had a sample of their blood taken while in space? This may be as part of a scientific experiment, or for their own health. If yes, was the sample analyzed while in space, or was it ...
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1 vote
0 answers
55 views

Do U.S. Air Force astronauts now become Space Force astronauts?

Wikipedia has a list of astronauts from the U.S. Air Force. With the creation of the Space Force from parts of the Air Force, do these astronauts now become part of the Space Force? The question ...
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12 votes
4 answers
2k views

Cyanobacteria as Life Support?

I'm aware that cyanobacteria are responsible for the Great Oxidation Event and are very effective at turning CO2 into oxygen so it stands to reason that with the proper nutrients for the bacteria, you ...
3 votes
1 answer
104 views

How big are Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) boots?

How big are Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) boots? Are any NASA equipment related to the ISS open to the public, if so were where would I find it?
14 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why don't astronaut helmets fog up? What's the chemistry and thermodynamics behind keeping the field of view clear even during heavy breathing?

Some space walking involves exercise (e.g. moving heavy stuff around) and the outside surface of a faceplate is constantly radiating its heat out into space. At night that thermal radiation is not ...
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9 votes
3 answers
2k views

Which of the former Soviet republics have sent a cosmonaut into space?

The Soviet Union was composed of 15 Union Republics for much of its history and at the time of its dissolution in 1991. Which of the 15 former Soviet republics have sent a cosmonaut into space, ...
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3 votes
0 answers
94 views

Does NASA consider Joseph Walker to be an astronaut?

Joe Walker was a NACA and NASA test pilot who flew the X-15 aircraft twice above 100 km, which FAI uses their definition of an astronaut. Flight 90 achieved 106.01 km, and flight 91 reached 107.96 km....
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6 votes
1 answer
1k views

When did Chevrolet stop giving astronauts Corvettes?

According to Wikipedia, General Motors made a deal to give cars to the Mercury astronauts at drastically discounted prices. Pictures of America's heroes driving their cars was good marketing for GM. ...
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0 votes
1 answer
260 views

Is this really a picture of John Young?

This article from the Smithsonian Air and Space magazine is about eyeglasses for astronauts. The following quote about legendary astronaut John Young is immediately followed by a picture: Even ...
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5 votes
1 answer
4k views

Could Chuck Yeager ever have qualified as an astronaut?

Chuck Yeager was a legendary U.S. Air Force test pilot and the first person to break the sound barrier. He never earned a college degree, although he did finish one year at the Air War College. This ...
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14 votes
2 answers
2k views

Do astronauts wear G-Suits during the launch?

Nowadays, rocket launches (to the ISS) accelerate astronauts at a maximum of around 3 to 4g (source). I have seen quite a few ...
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15 votes
2 answers
3k views

Would an astronaut experience a force during a gravity assist maneuver?

When an astronaut is inside of a ship accelerating (from engine burns), or decelerating (due to reentry) they experience a tug in a relative direction. Suppose an astronaut is in a space ship that is ...
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2 votes
0 answers
96 views

JAXA/NASA astronauts on a Shuttle mission; was it like dual citizenship/joint appointment or did one agency take precedent?

Professor and former astronaut Takao Doi does many things, including being a Space Shuttle mission specialist, an amateur astronomer and discoverer of two supernovae 2002gw IN NGC 922 and Supernova ...
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2 votes
0 answers
113 views

Why did Richard Garriott have to quarantine following his trip to the ISS?

I was reading about Richard Garriott and the drama surrounding his departure from NCSoft, and I was surprised to learn that NCSoft forged his resignation letter while he was in quarantine following ...
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3 votes
2 answers
424 views

Did an astronaut on the Moon ever fall on his back?

I am curious to know if an astronaut on the Moon ever fell backwards and landed on his back. I have seen many photographs and videos of astronauts who accidentally tripped or lost their balance and ...
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