Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [construction]

Questions regarding the building or style of building used to create a spacecraft.

4
votes
0answers
66 views

How much would mass-production impact the cost of solid-fuel rockets?

Let's imagine that, for some arbitrary reason, solid-fuel rocket stages were needed and built en masse in factories, like planes or even like cars. How much would it drive down the cost of an ...
0
votes
2answers
177 views

Floating Launch

Can a space rocket launch if it had no platform underneath it? If a blimp could lift a rocket into the stratosphere to launch, What problems would arise and how big would it be? What prevents a blimp/...
1
vote
1answer
98 views

What is the maximum speed can a space rocket can travel with an air pressure of 14psi? [closed]

What is the highest threshold speed of a space rocket traveling in an air pressure of 14psi with all of its stages if they where able to leave a solo at Mach 1 or more? Related: What benefits can be ...
2
votes
1answer
162 views

Expected differences between concrete prepared on the ISS and matched samples prepared on Earth?

The Spaceflight Now article Cygnus arrives at station with CubeSats, quantum physics experiment describes experiments that will be done on the ISS mixing small samples of either cement or concrete (I ...
40
votes
5answers
11k views

What did the Soviet Union and Russia bring to the ISS?

From a comment on another question: The international agreements leading to the ISS are quite complicated. Leaving Russia aside, each of the international partners brought significant assets ...
2
votes
1answer
166 views

Can air pressure be accumulated this way for a biodome or spacesuit?

Using plastic or rubber or something similar and transparent be inflated with each layer having a increasing pressure lessening the strain on the containing material? When one or two layers fails the ...
0
votes
2answers
119 views

How do constellations appear to stay constant despite Earth's spin and orbit? [closed]

Our Earth is spinning and also orbiting the Sun, so how do the constellations appear fixed and constant? Almost all galaxies and stars are said to be fixed relative to constellations.
4
votes
2answers
147 views

What was going to lift the components of Space Station Freedom?

For the Space Station Freedom (predecessor of ISS), what was the plan for lobbing the various components up into orbit? Was it going to be launched on a modified Saturn V like Skylab was, or were the ...
6
votes
1answer
475 views

Using bamboo as space construction material

Due to the miracle of biology a bamboo plant can transform water, atmosphere, sunlight, and nutrients into a long and stable rod or tube at a incredible growth speeds (some species can grow 90cm/35 ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

How to find the optimum balance between amount of fuel and number of engines?

I'm coming from a background of Kerbal Space Program, so I'm not 100% sure all of this applies to real-life but I'm asking in the hopes someone might tell me that. Yes, I know, it's not real space ...
3
votes
2answers
279 views

Building ship to Mars in orbit

I am a layman when it comes to this stuff, but I don't understand why we don't build a large ship like the ISS in orbit. Then we can launch the propulsion portion separately and attach to the cargo ...
22
votes
8answers
4k views

Puzzler - which spacecraft(s) incorporated real wooden structural elements?

Not a trick question, but a real puzzler - which spacecraft or spacecrafts incorporated real wooden structural elements?
2
votes
1answer
139 views

Can Li-ion batteries replace parts of the physical structure of a spacecraft, such as the hull of a crewed spaceship?

Batteries contain metals with some structural rigidity themselves, and need encapsulation anyway. Could the batteries a spacecraft needs be used to build part of the physical structure, such as the ...
2
votes
1answer
158 views

What is the largest single project (in tonnage) in which an international space cooperative has launched and or constructed in space?

Science fiction has given us countless examples of international space campaigns (exp: Star Trek's "Federation"). But what's the largest and most active space campaign from Earth and how much (in ...
1
vote
1answer
163 views

What are the challenges of a large Bola style Habitat

A quick calculation for 1g spin gravity at a leisurely 1 round per 20min gives a radius of 360km. Assume, we find a strong enough material for lightweight cables, what are the challenges for ...
3
votes
2answers
802 views

Would an orbital scaffold or shipyard be useful?

Suppose you have a manned orbital shipyard. It obviously has no manufacturing capability, but instead it serves as an anchor and assembly point for modules launched from earth. It might have remote ...
3
votes
3answers
550 views

What's required to construct a space port on the Moon or Mars?

It is sometimes suggested that space ports, or at least launch pads, should be constructed on the Moon to support water exports and on Mars to support large scale exploration and settlement. I get the ...
5
votes
0answers
170 views

How much of a mixed blessing is cold welding?

I know it's hard to quantify, but are rocket designers and astronauts more happy about the possibility of cold welding, or more negative about it? I mean: two "bare metal" surfaces in vacuum weld ...
3
votes
1answer
254 views

Mars: Readily usable sulfur for sulfur concrete?

Sulfur concrete is a mix of sulfur and aggregates that make a strong, quick-hardening concrete that is likely to be used for construction on Mars, which has a great deal of sulfur. Most experiments, ...
-1
votes
2answers
289 views

Why won't this configuration of fins work?

So I was building a rocket. I tried to find a more efficient way of attaching the fins. So then I realized how easy it would be if I just attached them like this: So instead of having the fins ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

SpaceX CRS-7 failure because of a bad strut — is it a sign of bad structural design?

In June 2015, SpaceX's mission CRS-7 on Falcon 9 was lost when the rocket exploded on takeoff. SpaceX investigation concluded that the problem was a failure of a single defective strut. The strut's ...
5
votes
1answer
676 views

Suitability of Hydrogenated Boron Nitride Nanotubes for structural and shielding elements of spacecraft

I'm writing a novel set 100+ years in the future. I'm looking into future materials from which spacecraft may be built. I read an article about Hydrogenated Boron Nitride Nanotubes. I'm interested in ...
7
votes
2answers
174 views

Could airships be used to construct large structures in the air?

This is relevant for Venus colonization since that considers floating cities. Since one can't use cranes, I was thinking perhaps helicopters or airships could be used to move construction pieces ...
9
votes
3answers
426 views

Are there any designs for a Mars Habitat made out of stone?

Have there been any designs for a Mars habitat that could be built out of the rocks that are on Mars? Maybe by having a rover find and scan rocks to build up a catalogue of 3D scans of rocks and then ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

How long does it take to build a Falcon 9 Rocket?

This came up while discussing the recent Falcon 9 failure with a friend. She posed the question: How long does it take SpaceX to construct a new Falcon 9? For the sake of the question, presume: ...
6
votes
3answers
203 views

Could interplanetary orbiters and rovers be designed as reusable upgradeable platforms?

Cassini at Saturn has sampled geysers although it wasn't designed to do it. The orbiter NEAR Shoemaker was soft landed on its asteroid. Two examples of how interplanetary probes have been partly ...
0
votes
1answer
10k views

Could we build a spaceship like the ones you see in Sci-Fi movies with current technology? [closed]

With our current technology could we build a spaceship like the ones you see in Sci-Fi movies (Enterprise in Star Trek or Star Destroyer in Star Wars)? Could self-gravitation be a problem? I would ...
7
votes
2answers
794 views

Why aren't orbital vehicles made of plastic?

Why aren't orbital vehicles made of plastic? Some type of plastic have good characteristic such as airloys which have low thermal conductivity, good pressure resistance and very low density. Why don't ...
11
votes
1answer
614 views

Could the ISS pressurized elements withstand a full depressurization?

In case of necessity -- for example in case of fire or contamination -- is it possible for any pressurized element of the ISS to be exposed to vacuum? If all compartments and airlocks were to be ...
8
votes
3answers
521 views

Could explosives replace drilling for science and construction in space?

Drilling seems to require heavy equipment, preferably with humans on site for maintenance, much energy and might be even more problematic in low gravity and unknown geology. Deepest hole drilled in ...
6
votes
2answers
569 views

On building future sustainable Mars habitat

Pertaining to Mars habitation, eventually, could the answer be in burrowing into the ancient volcanoes instead of building the habitation outside in the open? Since Mars does not have magnetic ...
4
votes
1answer
634 views

Mass and efficiency of heat radiators

Probably the only reasonable way how to get rid of waste heat in space is radiating the heat away. Most of the current satellites and probes probably do not produce much waste heat. However, assuming ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Structural composition of shuttle liquid fuel tank wall

Somewhere I read the shuttle fuel tank kept structural integrity only thanks to internal pressure of the fuel, a'la inflated balloon; empty it would collapse under own weight; and the walls were ...
3
votes
0answers
339 views

Can we build a factory in zero gravity space? [closed]

If you look at the challenge of building a factory in space, there are many challenges - some examples: Lathes and other industrial equipment is heavy, thus expensive to lift. Weight is often helpful ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Could Curiosity dig itself a burrow?

Technically speaking, given enough mission time and operator attention... Could Curiosity dig itself a burrow? How long would that take? What would be the technique for that? Has it already seen a ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

Realistic space battle, how it could looke like? No hollywood version or videogames like [closed]

I am about to program space exploration simulation game in the future, but I need to consider many factors. I would like to be as much realistic as possible, but keeping the game playable as well and ...
33
votes
4answers
8k views

What exactly makes a bolt “aerospace grade”?

I'm reading various articles on Tesla S electric car and many of them (one example) say that the car body is very strong because of using aerospace grade bolts. What are those I wonder? I found this ...
8
votes
2answers
885 views

Folding structures in space - What are the potential benefits and problems?

I wonder what the most important potentials and problems are with folding out structures in space. The basic idea is to achieve large structures in space while reducing launch mass and launch volume, ...
10
votes
3answers
6k views

Would unpainted iron or steel rust in space?

Iron and steel are made primarily of the same substance and they tend to rust. I believe other materials like non-ferrous metal are generally preferred for their lighter weight and strength, in most ...
11
votes
2answers
5k views

How fair is the claim that Shuttle boosters diameter is dictated by the railroad gauge?

There's a kind of urban legend that Space Shuttle boosters diameter could be larger only if was not limited because of the limitations imposed by the railroads and those are imposed by the railroad ...
9
votes
1answer
265 views

Maintaining ideal curvature (flatness) of a solar sail

If a solar sail is to be of any use, it needs to be a rigid structure and maintain its ideal curvature and orientation, otherwise it would eventually fold-up over its center of mass like an umbrella ...
10
votes
1answer
478 views

How are fuel leaks discovered on a rocket?

Most are aware of the fact that the launch of GSLV has been aborted due to a fuel leakage, but how was the cryogenic fuel leak discovered? I'm not interested in this case only, but in general. What ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

What is a flame trench?

This answer to a question states that: .... construction left a large pit, now filled with water, that will be used for the Ariane 6 flame trench. What is a flame trench, and what is its ...
6
votes
3answers
600 views

Why such a large gap between ISS construction and inhabitation?

I was studying this NASA infographic, and noticed something interesting on the timeline portion: It looks like the station was originally assembled in late '98, while the 'first crew' didn't arrive ...
6
votes
1answer
166 views

Is GOCE designed to break up in the atmosphere?

Soon, ESA is planning to deorbit GOCE, letting it burn up in the atmosphere. It seems this has been the plan for a long time - so why won't the satellite be completely annihilated into pieces small ...
29
votes
5answers
15k views

Why does a rocket engine provide more thrust in a vacuum than in atmosphere?

According to NASA Each Space Shuttle Main Engine operates at a liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen mixture ratio of 6 to 1 to produce a sea level thrust of 179,097 kilograms (375,000 pounds) and ...
16
votes
2answers
5k views

Why are spacecraft assembled in cleanrooms?

You see many pictures of spacecraft being handled by people with masks and hairnets. What's the reason for this?
15
votes
2answers
1k views

Are there any theoretical size limits of man-made space stations/structures?

The question speaks for itself. If the answer is "yes", what are the problems in creating a large-scale space structure, maybe even dozens of kilometres large? What about moving & repositioning, ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Ultra-lightweight material for structural components - aluminium foam?

This is (again) something from the back of my head, that I am looking for right now. I think that in 2008, I saw a presentation on foamed / expanded aluminium for structural components (1). The ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Does Mars contain materials that could be used to build a space colony?

If a manned mission to mars was made with the hope of colonization, we would probably need to make many of our structures there out of materials found there - they would probably be simply too heavy ...