Questions tagged [astronauts]

Questions regarding people present on spacecraft or space stations.

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15
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2answers
2k views

Do astronauts qualify to be calculated for hazardous duty in their pay?

Earlier today a grotesque incident occurred. My attempt to navigate to SOHO was redirected instead to this notice which wrote to say Due to the lapse in federal government funding, this website is ...
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1answer
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How many astronauts have had spiritual experiences while in space?

In the video Overview 5 astronauts talk about having powerful spiritual experiences in space, and their descriptions match enlightenment experiences. This strikes me as rather more important than you'...
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Did any “washouts” of the Mercury program eventually become astronauts?

The movie The Right Stuff portrays several dozen candidates for Project Mercury, who are eventually culled down to the final seven astronauts. Did any of the unsuccessful candidates for the Mercury ...
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If a human is being sent to space in a rocket, does the seating angle matter?

All manned spacecraft have had seats in an "on-back" angle for launch. What is the benefit of this seating position for a manned spacecraft launch?
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How many seconds of near-zero gravity are practical with a Reduced Gravity Aircraft?

When I saw "50 seconds of weightlessness" (see quote below) I made a very rough estimate based on 45 degrees nose-up to 45 degrees nose-down Reduced Gravity Flight centered at about 35,000 feet where ...
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1answer
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Scott Kelly age vs Twin's

Scott Kelly just returned from nearly a year of orbiting the Earth in the space station. How much younger is he than his twin, now that he has spent a significant amount of time, traveling at high ...
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1answer
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If I want to be an astronaut pilot, what career should I start?

What kind of career should I start if I want to be an astronaut pilot? First astronauts were military aircraft pilots. Since those days, automatic flying was present in the spacecraft so that someone ...
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1answer
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Why did NASA discontinue use of the MMU?

One of the comments on this recent question touched on the use of the Manned Maneuvering Unit. It seemed like a good idea at the time: a system that would allow astronauts to do EVA without being ...
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1answer
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Do the majority of astronauts experience space sickness while adapting to micro-gravitational conditions?

Do the majority of astronauts (and cosmonauts) experience nausea, or symptoms of space sickness while adapting to micro-gravitational conditions? How severe are their symptoms and how much they vary ...
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Astronaut orientation etiquette

How does the microgravity environment on the ISS change how people interact or converse? Is it polite or common to be oriented the same direction as who you're talking to? Also, when you see new ...
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What is the difference between an astronaut in the ISS and a freediver in perfect neutral buoyancy?

For example, does the blood of the freediver accumulates in his/her head while being upside down, as it would on land, or not, as it would in microgravity environment ?
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How long were the Apollo astronauts allowed to breathe 100% oxygen at 1 atmosphere continuously?

This answer explains that from the time they suited up "in the Suit Lab before launch" until the time the capsule started depressurizing during ascent, the Apollo astronauts were breathing 100% oxygen ...
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Have astronauts in space suits ever taken selfies? If so, how?

Have astronauts in space suits ever taken selfies? Were selfie sticks used? If not, how was this feat accomplished?
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Does NASA hire foreign nationals as astronauts?

I've dreamed about it ever since I was six, and where I live people laugh at me when I tell them about this because for one, no one's ever been an astronaut in my country and two, I'm a girl. But I'll ...
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707 views

Are all crew on board a spacecraft trained to handle flight-systems?

Spaceflightnow.com writes to say (Edited to apply my highlights) "The improvements are rather significant," Kelly said in a NASA interview. "The displays that the cosmonauts and myself ...
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995 views

What was the reason for an odd number of astronauts in almost every group of the early US space program?

We are familiar with the first groups of NASA astronauts, like the Mercury Seven and the New Nine. Something about that struck me as (literary) odd; All the first twelve astronaut groups had an odd ...
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What are the consequences if an astronaut's helmet gets damaged during a spacewalk?

Note: This has become a frequently asked question. Some related situations which have been regarded as duplicates of this question include these: Leaving vehicle / going outside without spacesuit or ...
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Do only Eagles walk on the moon?

Neil Armstrong was an Eagle Scout and the first person to walk on the moon. I have heard that everyone who has walked on the moon (through 2012), was an Eagle Scout. Is it true? If so other then ...
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What would happen if an Apollo astronaut landed on Pluto?

Pluto seems to be composed of Nitrogen and other ices that would be fluid or gaseous at higher temperatures. So what would happen if an astronaut using an Apollo era space-suit (crucially with that ...
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Do ISS astronauts notice, or experience symptoms of elevated CO2 levels? Do they wear monitors regularly?

A recent (Sept. 2017) news item on the company website of Gas Sensing Solutions Innovative sensor technology assists NASA with vital wearable CO2 monitoring equipment caught my eye. A section of the ...
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1answer
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How much does it cost to train an astronaut?

What are the total costs to train an astronaut from selection until they are ready to go to space? How much time does it take? And is it possible to break down the costs by category (salary, training, ...
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Do astronauts aboard ISS always follow orders?

There have been many documented cases of astronauts not following direct orders during the Skylab and Apollo missions. Some of these have been publicly reprimanded but most have not. Most of the ...
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341 views

What is this device/object that the SpaceX astronauts are holding?

Watching the SpaceX Demo-2 launch preparation livestream, I saw both Bob and Doug using some sort of little gadget. It looks like a chunky cell phone, or a flat gopro. It appears to have an LCD on the ...
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What do astronauts do with their trash on the ISS?

Astronauts often stay more than a year on the ISS, they produce trash like any other human. Is there like a limit that they may produce ever day or maybe some measures were put in place to reduce the ...
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What is Astronaut Sunita Williams wearing on her wrist?

The most recent installment of NPR's Brave New Workers A NASA Astronaut Stays In Orbit With SpaceX And Boeing (article & podcast) covers Astronaut Sunita Williams extremely cool new job. She's ...
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What is the backstory of this silly picture of the Apollo 1 crew?

The photograph below shows the first Apollo crew of Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee wearing silly hats and acting less seriously than typical NASA publicity photos. All three were later ...
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Did the crew of Soyuz MS-10 pass the Karman Line?

Just wondering if Nick Hague got his gold astronaut wings.
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How are the symptoms of long-term exposure to microgravity similar to those of bedridden patients?

A large number of symptoms of long duration stays in microgravity seem to be associated with the headward shift of organs and blood. I've always wondered, couldn't these symptoms also happen in ...
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1answer
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How is ISS commander chosen?

I've been looking at the ISS's List of International Space Station expeditions, and I'm curious about how the commanders are chosen. I can't really find anything that stands out. Sometimes the ...
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Is it possible to perform the Galileo's Leaning Tower of Pisa experiment on the Moon?

Since the Moon has no atmosphere, is it possible to perform the Galileo's Leaning Tower of Pisa experiment on its surface? Has any astronaut performed anything similar?
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What do astronauts eat for pre-flight breakfast?

I’m currently reading W. David Wood’s rather excellent “How Apollo Flew To The Moon” which details the technological development and execution in reaching the moon with the Apollo program. Part of ...
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How important is the size of an astronaut?

It seems to me that weight and size would be important in choosing spacefarers for many reasons; I came across this Wikipedia article where the Chinese astronauts (taikonauts) have to be between 50 ...
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Has there ever been an astronaut that bailed out on going to space last minute?

I’m just wondering if any astronauts have gotten cold feet last minute and have refused to go into space.
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Who is the space artist? Patterns on the Spheres robots on the ISS

The August 24, 2016 NASA news item: New NASA Record Holder For Cumulative Days in Space congratulates ISS station commander Jeff Williams for passing 520 total days in space - a new NASA astronaut ...
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Is it possible to prevent muscular atrophy in microgravity with proper exercises?

Is it possible to prevent muscular atrophy in microgravity (space station, spacecraft etc.) by proper exercises? Urban dwellers here on Earth can train/develop arm muscles to the equivalent of their ...
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369 views

What were Prince Sultan's duties in STS-51-G?

Prince Sultan bin Salman Al Saud was the first (and so far only) Saudi astronaut, and was included in the crew of STS-51-G as a payload specialist representing Arabsat. Does that mean his role was ...
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683 views

Did Charlie Duke actually get the measles?

Deke Slayton: Jim, we've got a problem. I got some blood work back from the lab. Charlie Duke has the measles. Jim Lovell: [Unconcerned] So we need a new back-up. Deke Slayton: You'...
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457 views

Has a non-space treaty citizen ever been in orbit?

The Outer Space Treaty of 1967, according to Wikipedia is ratified by any country with a chance of getting there - Article VI Makes each member country responsible for it's citizens actions. Article ...
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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 ...
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Can astronauts wear eyeglasses inside their helmets during launches and landings?

Are astronauts allowed to wear their eyeglasses inside their helmets during launches and landings?? Are there any special considerations or rules? During spaceflight (launches and landings) there can ...
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912 views

Why do we differentiate between astronauts and cosmonauts?

And how tenable is this distinction now that a third space agency carries out manned flights (China), and others are poised to follow? I can think of no other profession/job title where this ...
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How many astronauts are left handed?

One kind of 'popular science' fun facts that is very popular is to show how many of the individuals belonging to a notable group of people that are left handed, often showing a large disproportionally ...
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617 views

Can you enjoy a cold carbonated drink in space?

I will grant that launching a can of soda pop, or beer into space would be very expensive. Alternately it is not unreasonable to make it in the space station, carbonated drink makers are easily ...
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223 views

How would one come up with an optimal team-size for a manned interplanetary mission?

How big would a manned ascent stage for Mars need to be? assumes 3 astronauts. That question appears to draw inspiration from the Apollo programme, and the Soyuz evolution. Part of the rationale ...
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Becoming an astronaut with engineering background

Which engineering branch will be most suitable for becoming an astronaut, and what other options do I have if I want to become an astronaut with an engineering background?
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Ken Mattingly was also a bachelor, so why did everyone give Jack Swigert a hard time?

The Apollo 13 Flight Journal notes that Swigert's bachelor status was near legendary, even in contemporary times. The prime CMP Ken Mattingly was single as well, incidentally, but did not enjoy ...
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Why might an astronaut wear a wristwatch very loose on board the ISS?

In this video on board the ISS, CSA Astronaut Chris Hadfield wears his watch very loosely--so that it continually bumps against different sides of his arm. I imagine this might be mildly irritating or ...
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Was Gordon Cooper the last man to fly a whole mission in space alone?

Movie The Right Stuff (1983) claims at the end that Gordon Cooper was the last man to fly alone in space (if I remember it correctly and dubbing is right). Beside that, Wikipedia also states that he ...
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Astronaut distance from Earth?

After the Apollo Missions, what is the farthest that any country has sent astronauts into space (distance from Earth)?
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How do astronauts drink or eat in space?

As there is zero gravity in space, how do astronauts drink liquid from a container? Do they suck the liquid or is there any mechanism for that? Are there any changes in oesophagus?