Questions tagged [crewed-spaceflight]

Crewed spaceflight (also referred to as human spaceflight or manned spaceflight) is space travel with a crew aboard the spacecraft. When a spacecraft is crewed, it can be operated directly, as opposed to being remotely operated or autonomous.

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Can I borrow a lunar rover?

According to Wikipedia there are 3 LRVs sitting on the moon, in very well defined locations. Would China, or whomever gets to the moon with a person next, be able to get in and drive around in an LRV ...
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111 votes
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If the astronauts on Apollo 11 had landed safely on the moon but could not take off, would there have been a rescue mission?

Say they landed on the moon but discovered the ship was damaged during the landing and they could not launch again. What would have been the plan? Would another crew have been sent to rescue them? ...
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How did NASA achieve their live TV broadcast in 1969?

In 1969, NASA not only went to the moon, but broadcast the whole thing live on TV. How did they achieve the TV broadcast? What technology did they need to use to send a video and audio signal from ...
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What can the KSP game actually teach about spaceflight and orbital mechanics, and what are its limitations?

I have seen at least several different users mention that they've found Kerbal Space Program helpful to understand issues of spaceflight and orbital mechanics. According to Wikipedia: While the game ...
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Could "peak Apollo levels" of support have gotten NASA astronauts to Mars in the 1980's?

In an "alternate universe" where NASA continued to receive a mandate, funding and public support at say peak Apollo levels, could another ten or twenty years have gotten boots on Mars, with astronauts ...
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4 answers
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Why do ISS crew members often cross their arms?

I am watching live stream from ISS to follow the return of two ISS crew members, Thomas Pesquet and Oleg Novitskiy. At several moments, they crossed their arms in a not really natural way: Why do ...
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3 answers
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Why did NASA send two astronauts to the moon instead of one?

I can think of a lot of good reasons for both arguments, and the Soviets made the opposite call for their lander, but what I'm interested in here is this: Given the mass penalty of another man (body ...
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55 votes
2 answers
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Why are we trying to build a base on Mars before the Moon?

My question is very close to the question answered in the link below and is raised by the answers that question received: Is a Moon-base inherently more dangerous than a Space Station? Why are we ...
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49 votes
5 answers
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How often is duct tape used during crewed space missions?

It seems Apollo missions carried some variety of gray tape, likely Duct Tape or similar. There's the scene in the movie Apollo 13 and the reality behind it discussed in the video below. Question: How ...
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Would it be easier to put humans on Venus rather than Mars?

With all the speculation of manned missions to Mars, there is very little talk of a manned mission to Venus (whose orbit is closer to the orbit of Earth than mars is). That being said, would it be ...
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Why did the Space Shuttle fly upside-down normally

After reading this answer I found out that the space shuttle normally spent its time upside-down. Why is that? I'd guess it has to do with shielding from the sun, but I can't back that up with ...
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41 votes
5 answers
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Why are there no more manned missions to the Moon?

Apollo 17 was the last manned mission to the lunar surface. Since then every country or organization I heard of are planning to send motorized, unmanned and automated lunar probes (list of plans). ...
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Why do they have a Snellen eye chart on the ISS?

During a recent NASA broadcast, I noticed something in the background: It looks like a Snellen chart to me, but why would they have that on board? If that's not it, what is it then?
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39 votes
7 answers
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What are the most serious injuries that astronauts have suffered while in orbit?

Among astronauts in orbit, what is the worst real injury recorded? Has anyone hit himself on the thumb with a hammer or something? Squeezed a finger in a closing door? Gotten poisoned by some leaking ...
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4 answers
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After the Crew Dragon's success, does Boeing's Starliner still offer value?

Boeing's Starliner is more expensive than Crew Dragon and seems not to offer any significant advantages. Is there still value to NASA or other parties in the future to having a choice between the two?
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Why can't we use the same radiation shielding in Mars that we used when going to the moon?

Note that this is somewhat related to this question but here I am specifically asking about the suitability of using existing shielding for Mars travel. This is about this article and video titled "...
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37 votes
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Why does the ascent stage of Apollo 11's lunar module look like it's made of paper?

Here's an image (AS11-40-5922) from Apollo 11 that NASA describes as: View of the ascent stage from the northeast. Note the wrinkled surface of the RCS plume deflector and the warping of the rear ...
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Why were the SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts backed up by guards with automatic weapons?

The photo in NPR's 4 Astronauts Aboard SpaceX Crew Dragon Successfully Dock With Space Station shows the four astronauts standing in front of a serious-looking military vehicle flanked by at least two ...
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Could the Saturn V actually have launched astronauts around Venus?

One of the more interesting proposed uses of a Saturn V was to launch a manned flyby of Venus. Some of the cargo would have been stored inside the tank of the upper stage, which would be retained ...
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1 answer
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Is there a mockup of the ISS on the ground?

Is there a replica of the interior of the space station on the ground? For training astronauts and to try out equipment installations.
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What are these shiny wrist plates worn by astronauts in the SpaceX crew capsule

What are these shiny wrist plates worn by astronauts in the SpaceX crew capsule? screen shot from the NASA YouTube video Watch NASA's SpaceX Crew-1 Mission Arrive at the International Space Station
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35 votes
8 answers
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What led NASA et al. to decide the ISS should be a zero-g station when the massive negative health and quality of life impacts of zero-g were known?

As the month of November 2020 has marked 2 decades of the ISS being operational as well as the first operational flight of a next-generation spacecraft to it, I felt it fit to ask this question today. ...
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35 votes
1 answer
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Why is there currently so little talk about a Venus gravity assist for a crewed Mars mission?

I just came across this video about manned Mars and Venus missions that were planned in the 1960s. They considered a Venus flyby the best way to get humans to Mars. Indeed, there are also modern ...
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33 votes
1 answer
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How do manned spacecraft achieve an airtight connection while docking?

By another question I was reminded how hard it is to build airtight equipment such as vacuum chambers from multiple pieces. Docking or berthing space ships / space station modules is a rather similar ...
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32 votes
4 answers
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Why was this Saturn rocket elevated for launch?

This is an image of a Saturn on the launch pad on July 20th 1973 It appears to be resting on an elevated platform that raises it significantly off the ground. Why was this done? It seems like a lot ...
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32 votes
3 answers
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Why do astronauts wear spacesuits during launch?

I have noticed that astronauts in every launch I've found wear a spacesuit during launch, like this example from the shuttle. I don't understand this. What kind of problem could cause loss of cabin ...
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Did Apollo carry and use WD40?

It appears from this question that Apollo missions carried Duct Tape and used it for in-flight fixups. Did they carry the other half of the "Universal Repair Kit" - WD40 (or similar)? If so, was it ...
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32 votes
3 answers
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Has the ISS ever not had a lifeboat?

The International Space Station typically has one or more (manned) spacecraft docked. This is obviously to ferry crew to and from the station for each of the Expeditions. The Soyuz currently fulfils ...
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30 votes
6 answers
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What crewed space flight landed farthest off-target?

Astronauts are usually prepared to land at a random place on Earth; in case the planned reentry burn fails, but by other means they achieve reentry trajectory, the orbital motion will pretty much ...
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How are astronauts in the ISS protected from electric shock?

On Earth, most of the electrical appliances having exposed metal parts, such as electric iron, are grounded, to protect the user from electric shock when an uninsulated-wire accidentally comes into ...
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29 votes
2 answers
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How did the Apollo guidance computers deal with radiation?

I was wondering how the Apollo guidance computer handled the radiation encountered in space
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29 votes
1 answer
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What are the "unpleasant effects" of having a cold in microgravity?

I went to Technik Museum Speyer's space exhibition, which presented an excellent overview of the Apollo missions in a series of posters. The poster describing the Apollo 7 mission (an Earth orbit test ...
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28 votes
4 answers
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What will be NASA's successor to the Saturn V rocket?

The Saturn V rockets were the "tallest, heaviest, and most powerful rocket ever brought to operational status and still holds the record for heaviest payload launched and heaviest payload capacity to ...
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27 votes
4 answers
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If the ISS had an emergency, how long would it take to get a rocket to it?

If there was an urgent need to launch a rocket to the ISS, how long would it take to have a rocket ready to launch? I am trying to understand what factors take up the time to prepare for a rocket ...
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27 votes
2 answers
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How many times has there been 13 people inside the ISS and is it hard on the station?

I just saw this photo in @SF.'s answer it is ISS023-E-023513 STS-131 and Expedition 23. The full caption is below. Are there really 13 people on the ISS at one time? Is STS-131 the only shuttle ...
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27 votes
2 answers
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Is there an independent cost estimate of the Mars One proposal?

Has anyone outside of the Mars One foundation done an independent evaluation that concept in terms of the following heads? Initial Cost Ongoing Cost Technical feasibility?
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26 votes
9 answers
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Why would such a powerful computer (or a computer at all) be needed to go to the Moon?

I keep hearing people say things like: Duuuude! It's so insane that we're carrying around phones in our pockets that are a thousand times faster than the computers that took us to the moon! Why do ...
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26 votes
5 answers
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Have there ever been people trapped in a shut down spacecraft?

I was reading some one-line sad stories and came across this one: Goodbye mission control, thanks for trying. So I was wondering if there have ever been people trapped in a spacecraft without a ...
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26 votes
4 answers
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Why has the ISS not been left unmanned?

I found this question, and I was wondering why the ISS is constantly manned (Except for some hours during particular situations). Is that a technical problem? Is it to guarantee safety? Or just ...
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26 votes
7 answers
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Could a Human reach escape velocity by jumping from the surface of Ceres (a dwarf planet)?

According to this answer the surface gravity of Ceres is estimated to be only $0.27 m/s^2$. With a rotation period of 9 hours. The gravity seems light enough to overcome by leg muscle alone, and if ...
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26 votes
4 answers
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What is the largest number of humans in space at the same time and what vessels were they on when it happened?

What is the largest number of human beings in space at the same time, and what vessels were they on when it happened?
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26 votes
1 answer
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How much piloting did the Apollo astronauts actually do?

I understand Armstrong landed the Eagle manually, and Apollo 13 did a manual burn. Other than emergencies like that, did the Apollo astronauts do much piloting of the spacecraft.
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26 votes
1 answer
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Would this chair support astronaut during launch in Crew Dragon

Recently reporters were allowed to take pictures of Crew Dragon and the SpaceX flight suit. Among them is this picture: I was under the impression that: Chairs needed to be custom molded / adjusted ...
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25 votes
4 answers
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How can Yuri Gagarin's Vostok 1 flight be considered to have been orbital, since he did not go all the way around Earth?

How can Yuri Gagarin's Vostok 1 flight be considered to have been orbital, since he did not go all the way around Earth? According to the Wikipedia article about Vostok 1, the launch site was near ...
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25 votes
3 answers
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What happens to astronaut sweat on the ISS?

Does perspiration from the astronauts aboard the ISS stick to the skin, evaporate or somehow float away from the skin? Is the part of the sweat that sticks to an astronaut's skin kept there until they ...
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25 votes
6 answers
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Why did Armstrong pilot the LM, when Aldrin was tasked as Lunar Module Pilot?

Buzz Aldrin is credited (or was tasked) with being the Apollo 11 Lunar Module pilot. However in fact it was Neil Armstrong who piloted the craft down when the LM guidance computer overflowed, with ...
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  • 6,553
25 votes
5 answers
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What materials provide the best protection from cosmic radiation?

For long-distance manned missions, such as a mission to Mars, we are inevitably going to have to shield astronauts from cosmic radiation, especially in the event of a solar flare or SEP. What ...
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25 votes
2 answers
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Which space vehicle had the most interior, pressurized cabin space?

According to NASA's Space Shuttle Basics page, the Space Shuttle had 74.3 cubic meters (2,625 cubic feet) of pressurized cabin space. That provided its largest crew of 8 with only 328 cubic feet per ...
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25 votes
1 answer
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Was the Apollo 13 CM guidance computer fully shut down?

I was watching the movie Apollo 13, and one thing struck me as quite odd. According to Wikipedia, [Movie director Ron] Howard went to great lengths to create a technically accurate movie, employing ...
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24 votes
7 answers
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Why didn't the Apollo program do an uncrewed landing/ascent rehearsal?

They had a crew round the Moon before going for landing, but they didn't test any of the new landing and ascent operations uncrewed on the lunar surface. Why? Couldn't it be done by remote control? ...
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