Questions tagged [atmosphere]

Questions regarding an envelope of gasses surrounding a celestial body held in place by the body's gravity.

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9
votes
2answers
691 views

Would an orbital Deep Space Network be more efficient?

Deep Space Network sites in California, Madrid and Canberra perform an excellent job, for example receiving from Voyager 2 (16+ billion km) at -150 dBm power. However, would it be more advantageous ...
11
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1answer
292 views

Is airglow always visible from space?

Looking at time lapses taken from the International Space Station, I discovered that the Earth's atmosphere can glow at night, even when it seems that those pictures were taken far away from auroras. ...
4
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0answers
42 views

Double satellite flare on iridium 6 [duplicate]

Last night here in Southern California, I was watching the flare of the Iridium 6, I use the Sputnik app to alert me. I was amazed when I saw not one but two bright lights tracking simultaneously.. ...
5
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1answer
665 views

Atmospheric scale height, how is it calculated?

Over on SE.Worldbuilding I found myself stuck on figuring what happens to the scale height of an atmosphere if the composition changes (The specific case involved something breathable in place of the ...
2
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2answers
286 views

How much efficiency is lost from a fixed De Laval nozzle when modified for atmospheric use?

Fixed nozzles designed for vacuum are larger/broader than those designed for atmospheric or combined air/space use, which have less flanged nozzles due to the drag a larger flange would incur in the ...
3
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1answer
893 views

Mars' atmosphere and the triple point of water

As I understand it, the average atmospheric pressure at the surface of Mars is close to the triple point of water. Is this a coincidence or does water have some sort of controlling effect on Mars' ...
3
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1answer
314 views

Could the Moon be terraformed by outgassing its oxygen?

The majority of the Moon's mass is oxygen. With energy it could chemically be liberated from its silicon et cetera compounds and be turned into oxygen gas. Given its low gravity, lack of magnetosphere ...
15
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2answers
24k views

Could you feel the wind on Mars?

The air pressure on Mars is about 1% that of Earth's at sea level. But wind speeds on Mars can be higher, up to maybe 60 mph sustained (actually I have come across several different figures, some ...
7
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1answer
412 views

Non-vacuum ion propulsion

Are there any ion thrusters which could conceivably provide thrust inside the atmosphere? Not that they'd have enough thrust to take off under their own power, of course; I'm just wondering whether ...
4
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1answer
178 views

First sounding rocket to reach the mesosphere?

The mesosphere (the part of the atmosphere above the stratosphere where temperatures increase with altitude) is generally above the altitude reachable by balloon. It begins somewhere around 50 km. ...
14
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1answer
649 views

Could helmet-fogging occur on Mars, or on any other celestial body with an atmosphere?

When I drive in cold/wet weather the state of the roads is cause for concern. But more worrying is the risk of the wind-screen fogging over when least it should. Space/Earth orbit is a different ...
3
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1answer
172 views

Is there a way to achieve any kind of atmospheric flight on the moon Europa?

I've been searching all over the site and the internet, but I can't find something about it. Is there really no way for a plane, helicopter or quad-copter to fly on the moon Europa? If it is possible,...
0
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1answer
103 views

What exoplanet atmospheres might support life beside our nitrogen and oxygen atmosphere? [closed]

What exoplanet atmospheres might support life beside our nitrogen and oxygen atmosphere? Related question: Could an exoplanet atmosphere be very similar to our own, but contain some component toxic ...
7
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1answer
2k views

How could a hot lander enter Titan's atmosphere without setting its hydrocarbons ablaze?

Whenever a lander enters an atmosphere, it generates a lot of friction and that heats up the heat shield. On Earth we have seen videos of spacecraft with red-hot shields. On Saturn's moon Titan, ...
5
votes
3answers
367 views

Is there any application for very low thrust engines within atmosphere?

Is there any (current, or planned, or hypothesized) practical application for engines of low thrust - like, below 40N - in the atmosphere? I'm asking this in relation to the Non-vacuum ion propulsion ...
7
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1answer
748 views

A cloud-top colony on Venus, will it drift to the poles?

Suppose a cloud-top colony on Venus. Provided that it has no thrusting engines, where it will tend to go naturally with winds, to the equator, to the poles or elsewhere?
4
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1answer
713 views

How long would a blimp last in Venusian atmosphere at an altitude of 65 km?

It would be the same blimp on Earth, except with some modifications like anti-corrosion coating. The blimp will use helium as the gas to keep it aloft. Would it last long enough to be useful?
3
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1answer
376 views

How to produce oxygen out of Venusian atmosphere's carbon dioxide?

What are the possible methods of in-situ extraction of oxygen from the atmosphere of Venus, which is mostly carbon dioxide?
10
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3answers
443 views

Strategies for combating ESD and ground plane potential shifts on spacecraft charging?

What are some common design guidelines/practices to combat the electrical effects of spacecraft charging(e.g. ESD, ground plane shift). Is it to focus on more resilient parts, and reduce resistance/...
0
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2answers
127 views

Faster alternative to travel to any location in the west

Suppose one needs to travel to Somalia from Indonesia(which are approximately at a distance of $4000$ miles from each other on the line of equator). To accomplish this task, I suggest the following ...
12
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1answer
447 views

Does Venus have doldrums or horse latitudes (latitudes with lower winds)?

Because of all the heat fueling convection cells, Venus has some brisk winds especially in the upper atmosphere (up to 370 km/h). I realize the winds are quite slow at the surface, but are there any ...
7
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1answer
1k views

Limits of bypass ratio in air-augmented (ejector-jet/ducted) rocket

Air-augmented rockets have not historically been very successful. In most cases, adding a shroud around the outside of an existing rocket was a large weight cost in exchange for only a modest increase ...
11
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1answer
1k views

Why is the Karman line for Mars defined higher than for Earth?

In an answer to a similar question, the Karman Line for Mars is stated as being at 125km compared to 122km for Earth. However, Mars has an atmospheric pressure about 1/10 that of Earth, its ...
7
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2answers
87 views

Monoatomic species at orbital altitudes

Besides monoatomic oxygen, what other monoatomic or chemically reactive atmospheric or environmental constituents, if any, are present at orbital altitudes that aren't present at lower altitudes, and ...
7
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1answer
282 views

What is the problem with pressure?

Among other reasons, the high pressure of Venus and the gas giants atmospheres are often stated as one of the major problems for an unmanned lander. They say the pressure will "crush" the probe. Why ...
5
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1answer
1k views

Re-entry Dynamics

I've been reading around a lot and I haven't been able to find any clear explanations. Maybe I'm a bit confused or maybe I am just looking in the wrong places. My question is, what are some basic ...
10
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1answer
7k views

If Mars had more atmosphere how warm would it be?

Looking at Venus, Earth and Mars, the closer you are to the sun the warmer you are. At the same time the warmer planets also have thicker atmospheres. ...
2
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2answers
291 views

Flying in Thin Atmosphere [closed]

How thin could at atmosphere be before it could not be flown in using a modern plane? Does speed affect this to a reasonable degree?
19
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1answer
2k views

Air in International Space Station

How do astronauts/cosmonauts manage the atmosphere at the International Space Station as their missions are years long, versus shorter flights? Do they recycle? Import via cargo vessels? Electrolyze ...
1
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1answer
97 views

Martian atmosphere's effect on radiation?

The atmosphere of Mars protects it's surface from micrometeorites. How significantly does the Martian atmosphere reduce radiation in comparison with, for example, the Moon's surface or open space?
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4answers
795 views

Is powered descent from orbit a viable method of reentry on bodies with an atmosphere?

Pretty much like the title says. Beyond a simple (one or more) retro burn into unpowered plummeting into the atmosphere, is some form of powered descent a viable method of reentry from orbit on ...
4
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2answers
948 views

What are the fast-moving, bright things I saw July 25, 2015 at night?

I am an amateur in space, and I usually read here to better my understanding. I was camping Saturday night (July 25, 2015), and while I was looking at the sky I noticed a bright object moving really ...
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1answer
140 views

Orbital insertion by rotating shaft

Consider the following idea for inserting a human on the surface of the earth into orbit: In orbit, attach a long (~80km) rigid shaft to a large weight (presumably an asteroid) and set it spinning. ...
11
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1answer
383 views

What causes Pluto's atmosphere to recede/collapse?

An answer to this question sparked my curiosity. Pluto's atmosphere seems to come and go depending on its orbital position and distance from the Sun. If the heat up from coming closer to the Sun ...
13
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4answers
3k views

When does an aerobraking space craft create a sonic boom?

There are a lot of variables with the speed of sound, a sonic boom is created when all of those variables meet. the speed of sound, a critical speed known as Mach 1, and is approximately 1,225 km/h ...
7
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0answers
206 views

Convective heat transfer on rocket during ascent

I'm looking for a way to (very) roughly estimate the convective heat transfer onto a rocket hull during atmospheric ascent (ideally through different planetary atmospheres). While I'm comfortable with ...
17
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2answers
2k views

Can it be said that Venus is covered by an ocean rather than atmosphere?

At Venusian temperatures and pressures, CO2 becomes supercritical. This means it behaves as a dense liquid yet has no clear upper bound and continuously becomes gas with height. Can we thus say that ...
17
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3answers
8k views

How do you 'make oxygen' on Mars?

This morning's BBC News says that a 2020 rover mission to Mars will "make oxygen". There is a brief line indication that it will extract it from atmospheric CO₂, but no other details. What process ...
4
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1answer
125 views

What differences from conventional aerodynamics would result from a thinner atmosphere?

Propulsion modules have been adapted to cope in earth's atmosphere. However what are some of the differences that would have to be taken into account if one was ever to fly in a thicker or thinner ...
5
votes
1answer
317 views

What would be the best recipe for a breathable atmosphere in a base on the Moon?

I was reading Why does the ISS atmosphere contain nitrogen, and I wondered if some of the explanations there would also apply to a base on the Moon. There are considerations on the Moon that don't ...
15
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4answers
3k views

Why is it not possible to deorbit in a shallow glidepath?

The fiery re-entry of spacecraft has been a staple of spaceflight since the beginning, making ablative heat shielding a necessary component of any craft wishing to return to Earth intact. This is the ...
13
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3answers
2k views

Is it more challenging to put an airship in the Uranian than in the Venusian atmosphere?

The Soviet Union's (in cooperation with some European governments like France and West Germany) Vega missions put balloons in the atmosphere of Venus back in 1985. It was 30 years ago, the last ...
4
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1answer
310 views

Why can't infomation be transmitted during descent?

Apparently, no information could pass through plasma, therefore during descent of spacecraft, no information can be transmitted. Why so?
11
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1answer
407 views

Do atmospheric tides have any impact on orbiting satellites or rocket launches?

Wikipedia has an article on atmospheric tides but it is mostly earth based considerations. I was wondering if they have any impact on satellites or rocket launches? We know that satellites in Low ...
3
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1answer
2k views

What are the odds of finding a lifeless planet with breathable air?

As I understand it, our current breathable atmosphere on Earth is the result of early lifeforms transforming huge amounts of CO2 into O2. Before early life, even Earth's atmosphere wasn't livable for ...
5
votes
2answers
814 views

How do we measure the atmospheres of Solar system planets?

How much is it possible to measure from Earth and how accurately without sending probes to the planets? I am curious about how atmospheric boundary (altitude), atmospheric pressure, scale height were ...
4
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1answer
2k views

Is it possible to bring “nothing” back from space?

I think the ultimate souvenir would be not a moon rock or a martian, but space "nothing", but I wonder if this is physically possible... Can an astronaut go out to space with an open container, close ...
8
votes
1answer
934 views

Can you have a rainbow on any bodies in the solar system besides Earth?

We know from Flying on dense atmosphere planets & moons that many bodies in our solar system have sufficient atmosphere for at least the concept of flying to be considered. What about the ...
14
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5answers
2k views

What level of oxygen in a planetary atmosphere would be indicative of life?

Astronomical spectroscopy can be used to determine the chemical composition of far away bodies. In the related question Can we detect atmosphere on exoplanets? we learned that even now we are studying ...
2
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1answer
243 views

Minimum size meteoroids for meteorites on Earth, Mars, and the Moon?

What approximate size range, considering the different construction and composition, must meteoroids be to become meteorites on Earth, Mars, and the Moon?