Questions tagged [deep-space]

Questions about deep space travel and observations that are related to the distance between the object in question and the Earth. For example, questions about communications delay, radial resolution, means of propulsion through the interstellar medium, e.t.c. Deep space does not exclude space near or around other celestial bodies past our Solar system's heliosphere, and should not be confused with the term "interstellar".

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How does the data rate of the Psyche mission's Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) system scale with distance?

NASA's Mission Page Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) includes the following: Key DSOC technologies developed for the project include: a low-mass spacecraft disturbance isolation and pointing ...
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Is it true that 18SPCS is "not really concerned with tracking deep-space debris like" the Chang’e 5-T1 rocket body that hit the Moon?

The Verge's After mistaken identity and confusion, a piece of space junk slams into the Moon goes through the identification saga of the thing that hit the Moon March 4 and includes the following: ...
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Was Tianwen-1 the first "triple-depl"? (orbiter-deploys-lander-deploys-rover-deploys-selfie cam) What are the highly hierarchical deep space missions?

What are the highly hierarchical deep space mission, those where one thing deploys the next which deploys the next... after leaving cis-lunar space. An example would be Tianwen-1 where a Mars orbiter ...
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How much more does it cost to produce two identically designed probes/rovers/satellites compared to making only one?

There are a number of historical planetary missions that have produced 2 flying instances. Examples include Voyager, Viking, MERS, some of the Mariners missions. Other missions have only one ...
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Are there any currently studied or hypothesized crewed Mars missions that utilize the Space Launch System?

Space Launch System is finally beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. If everything goes smoothly (fingers crossed!), we should see the Artemis program kicked into full drive by the end ...
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What antennas does JAXA use to communicate with its deep space spacecraft? Does it have a deep space network of its own?

@BrendanLuke's answer to Are there currently any spacecraft in orbit around Venus that might (or might not) be at risk of meteoric dust from comet Leonard C/2021 A? alludes to the exciting story of ...
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Are there currently any spacecraft in orbit around Venus that might (or might not) be at risk of meteoric dust from comet Leonard C/2021 A?

Astronomer Shreyas Vissapragada @astroshrey ​tweeted Check out the latest from @aciqra, @Yeqzids, et al (including myself!) on C/2021 A1 (Leonard) and its close approach to Venus: Preview of Comet C/...
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Are any space agencies working on an (essentially) 100% reliable sterilization technique for spacecraft bound for subsurface ocean worlds?

One answer to my previous question Is there any demonstrated or even proposed technology that can sterilize a spacecraft with 100% certainty and yet leave it electronically functional? asserts: ...
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What is the range of frequencies of a deep space channel?

I've been trying to find the values of bandwidth of each Deep Space frequency channel: band S, X and Ka. In the official NASA's documents only appears the center frequency of each one, but it doesn't ...
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Why are modern satellite ground station and deep space communications dishes with secondary mirrors almost always Cassegrain?

The simplest dish antennas have a concave reflector and their feed horns at the primary focus which is "up in the air". That has several inconveniences, it's hard to go up there to do any ...
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Closest distance that two unrelated spacecraft have come while both in heliocentric orbits?

In 2015 STEREO A and B passed each other passing roughly behind the Sun at the same time from opposite directions as seen from Earth. But these two are part of a single mission, put into these orbits ...
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What are the differences between 'Shield thickness' and 'Sphere thickness'?

In space radiation shielding-related literature, equivalent BFO doses are sometimes provided in terms of sphere thickness (g/cm^2). For example in Fig. 1 of [Ref 1] (the figure is attached below), the ...
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Currently, how many communications channels can a single DSN dish maintain at the same time? Are there plans to increase this in the future?

DSN NOW screenshot 2021-07-10 at 07:14 UTC DSN NOW screenshot 2021-07-10 at 09:48 UTC The screen shots show Canberra's Dish 35 simultaneously transmitting and receiving, and above it is written MRO, ...
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Where all is ROSA (roll-out solar array) planned to be used?

A comment below Why are DART's solar panels aligned like this? says: Maybe could have something to do with how much space they take up with rolled all the way in? This is also the first use of ...
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Textbook or scholarly discussion of equations used by the SDP4 part of SGP4 TLE propagators beyond Space Track Report #1?

(the famous) Space Tract Report #3 discussed at length in Dr. T.S. Kelso's Revisiting Spacetrack Report #3, AIAA 2006-6753 Describes the "deep space" corrections to the original SGP4 known ...
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Can a human land on Deimos using pressurized deodorant cans?

Can an astronaut use deodorant sprays which contain pressurized butane as cold gas thrusters to land on Deimos from Deimos' orbit? If yes, how many cans would be required to get 5 m/s of delta-v for a ...
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Have solid dish antennas on deep space spacecraft (as opposed to meshes) ever provided any other helpful function? As meteor shields perhaps?

This answer to Which deep space spacecraft had main dish antennas that were perforated or made from mesh? tells the tale: Galileo's troubled high gain antenna was made from "a gold-plated ...
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Psyche & others will use Maxar 1300 series platform; are these the first instances of a commercial communications satellite bus sent to deep space?

Maxar's own blogpost Power and Propulsion Element: Five Questions with Maxar’s Tim Cole links to it's 1300 series platform page which says: The SSL 1300 is the world’s most popular spacecraft ...
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Where can I read about Lucy's complete propulsion system?

Wikipedia's /Lucy (spacecraft) says nothing of propulsion, and it's SWRI home page for the spacecraft http://lucy.swri.edu/mission/Spacecraft.html gives specification and enumerates what's on Lucy’s ...
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How will Lucy "make use" of a deep space atomic clock?

The entry for Lucy in Wikipedia's Selection of Discovery Mission 13 and 14; Finalists says: The mission will make use of the Deep Space Atomic Clock.81 81https://www.universetoday.com/122822/...
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Are Solid State Hard Drives in space made from radiation-hardened FLASH memory, or do they just use older technology with higher voltage and charge?

Answers to Why is the James Webb Space Telescope's data storage space so small? have got me thinking. Solid State Hard Drives (SSDs) are usually made from FLASH memory though alternatives like ...
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What happens with the upper stage of Deep space launches?

When a rocket is sending a spacecraft to another planet, in general, where does it separate from the upper (last) stage of the rocket? What happens to most of those upper stages? They remain in Earth ...
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Does a fully fuelled Starship in LEO have 0kg payload to Jupiter?

So I was looking into the payload mass a fully fuelled Centaur V could send to Jupiter and used the formula in presented in this answer to create a C3 graph. For a bit of fun I also looked into the ...
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When are close approaches of Helios 1 and 2 to the Earth? Any historical tracking data? Any reports in sky surveys?

This answer to ** notes that it's hard to get current data on the orbits of Helios-1 and Helios-2 and I couldn't find any in JPL's Horizons. They are shiny and in nice elliptical orbits between ...
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How many docking operations have taken place beyond GEO?

The Chang'e 5 ascent stage has docked with its parent craft in orbit around the Moon. The only other docking operations further out than geostationary orbit that I can find are the eight Apollo lunar ...
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Long delay-doppler measurements on deep space craft; couldn't optical measurements be made intermittently, mixed with contacts to other spacecraft?

In this comment below Will future deep space optical communications “ground stations” actually be in space, or on the ground? in response to a discussion about ground stations being used for tracking ...
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"...extending the Starlink network using longer-range laser comms and relay satellites to reach Mars and Starships in-transit" (Musk & Shotwell)

I have it on good authority that SpaceX's Elon Musk and Gwynne Shotwell: ...have talked about extending the Starlink network using longer-range laser comms and relay satellites to reach Mars and ...
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Will future deep space optical communications "ground stations" actually be in space, or on the ground?

Deep space communications ground stations are on the ground because their transmit and receive electronics alone is bulky and heavy, not to mention their 34 and 70 meter dish antennas! But those ...
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How would you calculate the maximum bandwidth possible in space?

If you'd take Earth and Mars, and at both their closest and furthest position (ignore the Sun being nearly in-between for a moment), what would be the maximum amount of bandwidth possible between ...
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Where can I find list of deep space probes launched but yet to land on celestial bodies etc?

How can I find list of all deep space probes that have launched, but not yet landed on any celestial bodies?
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When, if ever, did deep space probes start using encryption?

What, if any, mechanisms prevent unauthorized commands? Asks what measures are taken for spacecraft, although the answer doesn't go much farther than pointing to the What would one need to do in order ...
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How exactly do "commanded delta-v burns" work in practice? (e.g. OSIRIS-REx)

Reading this answer to Could the uncertain mass of the OSIRIS-REx sample affect the trajectory of the return capsule? I infer that traditionally deep space spacecraft are sent timed commands for burns ...
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Which spacecraft far from Earth have arc second resolution cameras that could measure Betelgeuse's position?

All hands on deck! We have to measure the distance to Betelgeuse ASAP because Recent headlines saying that Betelgeuse is much closer than we thought, and they point to Standing on the Shoulders of ...
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Why is "delta-v + $\sqrt{{v_E}^2 + C_3}$ where ${v_E}^2 = $11.19 km/s" the correct way to calculate total propulsive delta-v? Please show all work

There is one answer to What spacecraft has had the greatest total propulsive delta-v? and I can not understand how its numbers have been calculated. Response to comments does not seem forthcoming so I'...
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What spacecraft has had the greatest total propulsive delta-v?

How fast is fuel escaping a rocket for it to reach the escape velocity 11 km/s? was an active and well-received discussion! It's always exciting when we first realize that a rocket can go much faster ...
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First LED left on another planet⁺ by humans?

Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs are ubiquitous now, but I still remember riding my bike to Radio Shack and buying my first LED, checking the diagram on the back of the package, and getting a battery and ...
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How is the space probe powered to travel a huge distance in a deep space mission?

As of March 2019, the New Horizons space probe was about 4.1 billion miles (6.6 billion kilometers) from our planet (Earth) and traveling deeper into the Kuiper Belt at nearly 33,000 miles (53,000 ...
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Are NASA (and ESA?) deep space spacecraft now generally able to store and forward messages between themselves?

There are discussions under the current answer to Will Curiosity and the Mars 2020 rover be able to communicate with each other via a Mars orbiter? about the feasibility of MRO receiving a message ...
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How much did each MarCO 6U cubesat weigh?

Yes the answer is zero now because they are weightless, but I used past tense. In any event, let's try to find a good, reliable source for each spacecraft's mass and whether that number is dry or ...
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Did the Perseverance rover's Atlas 5 really "leap off the pad"? If so, was it because the payload is tiny, or because it's going to Mars?

Spaceflight Now's ULA’s Atlas 5 is NASA’s go-to rocket for nuclear-powered space probes quotes Tory Bruno, president and CEO of United Launch Alliance: “This rocket is going to leap off the pad with ...
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How much does launch costs have to come down to make chemical fuel deep space probes feasible?

Considering that NASA have been running short of plutonium for their RTGs, it makes sense to consider alternatives. For the inner solar system up to Jupiter, solar cells have been demonstrated on ...
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What radio signals have NASA transmitted to outside our solar system?

What radio signal have NASA transmitted to outside our solar system and what did they contain?
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With current state of technology if we wanted how long would it take for newly launched probe to overtake Voyagers?

Not literally in a sense that it must go in same direction as they went, but in distance to Earth. I understand that this question may be a bit vague (is the budget 500M or 5B?) so feel free to ...
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How will NASA's software for autonomous navigation in cis-lunar space be tested; what information is processed, what outputs evaluated?

note: it's been a year and a half and Capstone is scheduled to be launched soon, so perhaps there is more information available now? NASA news item NASA Funds CubeSat Pathfinder Mission to Unique ...
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General overview of how deep space communications performed

What frequency bands and general classes of antennas are used to communicate with deep space spacecraft? As an example, if we place a cubesat in orbit around Io, what would the antenna need to be ...
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Will astronauts on the way to mars do experiments like in orbital labs?

Astronauts on Mars-bound missions will be stuck in their spacecraft for months on end. I could find many articles on what psychological issues will have to be faced, how they may/will be faced, how ...
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What's the highest heliocentric inclination achieved by a deep space probe, without using the outer planets?

Wikipedia and this answer explain that it will take several flyby's of Venus for ESA's Solar Orbiter to reach 34° of inclination. Question: Currently, what's the highest heliocentric inclination ...
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Why did ESA's Solar Orbiter mission's target inclination drop from 34 to 25°?

Wikipedia says that: During the planned 7-year mission the orbital inclination will be raised to about 25° But the information below shows that originally the target final inclination was much ...
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How many spacecraft deployed from the ISS have escaped Earth orbit? Are there plans for any in the near future?

After reading Why did the Ulysses probe reach Jupiter much faster than Galileo? and answers to How many Space Shuttle payloads ended up beyond Earth orbit? and also What's the largest rocket that was ...
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How many Space Shuttle payloads ended up beyond Earth orbit?

Before I'd read Why did the Ulysses probe reach Jupiter much faster than Galileo? and this answer to What's the largest rocket that was carried to space inside a Space Shuttle? I never really ...
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