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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53
votes
7answers
36k views

Why is the breathing atmosphere of the ISS a standard atmosphere (at 1 atm containing nitrogen)?

The Wikipedia page for the International Space Station says that it has a fairly Earth-like, sea-level atmosphere: 21% oxygen, balance nitrogen at 101.3 kPa. Supposedly it's because a pure-oxygen ...
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 ...
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 ...
5
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2answers
877 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 ...
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 ...
10
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3answers
719 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/...
68
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3answers
42k views

What will be the effect if we stand on Jupiter?

As we all know Jupiter is a gaseous gas giant and it has a large mass, almost twice the sum of all other planets in the Solar system. So, if it happens that we go to Jupiter and as we know it does not ...
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 ...
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 ...
8
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1answer
435 views

Can we detect atmosphere on exoplanets?

We are finding new planets in other solar systems all the time. Some of them are in a habitable zone of their sun. Are we able to detect the atmosphere of any exoplanet? Is there any atmospheric ...
16
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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 ...
8
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4answers
2k views

What is the barometric formula for a gas giant?

The barometric formula describes the atmospheric pressure depending on height and a host of other things. This formula assumes a constant gravitational acceleration over the whole height of the gas ...
8
votes
1answer
625 views

Is there a profile of atmospheric pressure and gravity of Uranus?

One of the intriguing facts about Uranus is that somewhere within the gravity is about 0.9g. Now, if one wants to daydream about living on Uranus in slightly chilly balloons, it would be interesting ...
5
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1answer
362 views

Could increased atmospheric pressure act as a countermeasure for effects of microgravity?

Are there any possibilities to counter the negative effects of low or micro gravity by increasing the atmospheric pressure?
25
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8answers
15k views

Would a settlement on Mars need to import Nitrogen?

The air on Earth is about 20% oxygen and about 78% nitrogen. Best case, there seems to be sufficient oxygen (in water) to support colonization in the polar ice caps. What about the other 4/5 of the ...
2
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1answer
247 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?
8
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2answers
2k views

Depressurization of a habitat on Mars

Wikipedia lists the atmospheric pressure of Mars to be about 600 pascals, or just 0.6% of Earth's atmosphere. I'm wondering, can anyone shed any light on what that means, in practical terms? ...
6
votes
1answer
166 views

How would critical refractivity of radio waves on Venus be overcome?

Rereading my answer here and in particular, rereading the article Optical and Radio Refraction on Venus (Stratton, 1968) it is my understanding that there is significant refraction of radio waves, as ...
8
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2answers
2k views

Can we make a space blimp?

OK. Hear me out. I know that blimps float because of the buoyancy of air, and there is no air in space. But think of the way a boat floats on the top of water even though the material that the boat is ...
20
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4answers
4k views

Is wind-power a viable backup power source for Mars One?

A question related to What power source options provide reliable and sustainable power generation for a Martian Colony, particularly the answer that solar and nuclear based energy sources being the ...
14
votes
1answer
668 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 ...
1
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3answers
21k views

How would one go about proving humans have really been to outer space?

Background: I am 40 years old, and in my entire life the only face to face eyewitness event that I can remember where humans actually observed an attempt to fly into outer space, the craft exploded ...
19
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2answers
2k views

Would terraforming Venus destroy its ionosphere?

In "Can Venus be made habitable?" we see that Venus's atmosphere would have to be substantially altered in order to terraform Venus. "Why has Venus's atmosphere not been stripped away by solar wind?" ...
12
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1answer
1k views

How long will it be light on Venus at night?

The atmosphere of Earth bends light such that there is still light after the sun goes down for a period of time. How would such effects appear on Venus, given the thicker atmosphere?
5
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2answers
308 views

Any other advantages to passive atmospheric reentry besides reaction mass economy?

From Vostok 1 to date, atmospheric reentry has been essentially passive. Passive here means that retrorockets are used to de-orbit, and then aerobraking is provided by the atmosphere. In contrast, ...
11
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1answer
595 views

Will Pluto's atmosphere collapse prior to New Horizon's visiting it?

It is thought that Pluto's atmosphere will freeze as it moves further from the Sun. We know that Pluto was it's closest to the Sun in the 1990's. Is it known if the atmosphere will freeze prior to New ...
2
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0answers
1k views

Approximately how much water does Earth acquire/lose annually from extra-terrestrial sources? [closed]

The approximate volume of water on Earth is 1.338 Billion cu.km Earth regularly intercepts a number of space objects as meteors During the course of their descent through the atmosphere some burn ...
8
votes
1answer
970 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 ...
16
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2answers
9k views

Flying on dense atmosphere planets & moons

Would certain types of flying be possible on planets like Venus, Titan (which is a moon, I know :P), or gas-giants? I'm thinking on the aspects of these types of aircrafts: airships (that uses only ...
12
votes
2answers
626 views

Do we have instruments that can measure the depth of storms like the Great Red Spot on Jupiter and the Great Dark Spot on Neptune?

I understand if technology isn't quite there yet. If it isn't, is there any research being developed along these lines? I'm trying to wrap my head around the composition of these planets, and the ...
34
votes
3answers
14k views

Effect of atmospheric drag on rocket launches and benefits of high altitude launch sites

What is the approximate influence of atmospheric drag on the cost of rocket launches? Is it beneficial to have launch sites located at higher altitudes? Cape Canaveral is at sea level, but I've ...

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