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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72
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2answers
7k views

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 storage space so small? have got me thinking. Solid State Hard Drives (SSDs) are usually made from FLASH memory though alternatives like magnetic ...
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1answer
66 views

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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524 views

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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1answer
110 views

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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3answers
173 views

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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89 views

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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1answer
86 views

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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1answer
144 views

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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1answer
125 views

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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1answer
431 views

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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4answers
428 views

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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1answer
222 views

Does NASA's Deep Space Network sometimes listen to other space agencies' spacecraft “just for the heck of it” or other non-mission related reasons?

This answer mentions: It's well known that other countries routinely spy on each other (i.e. the NSA tapping of Angela Merkel's phone). NASA's Deep Space Network's space-related activities (like ...
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1answer
103 views

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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1answer
310 views

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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1answer
407 views

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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89 views

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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Curiosity / MRO UHF connection and weak signal modulation

In the case of MRO and Curiosity communications via UHF, an active feedback system was implemented in which Curiosity monitored the quality/SNR of the connection and commanded Curiosity to increase / ...
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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?

NASA news item NASA Funds CubeSat Pathfinder Mission to Unique Lunar Orbit says: The pathfinder mission represents a rapid lunar flight demonstration and could launch as early as December 2020. ...
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1answer
96 views

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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1answer
113 views

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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1answer
88 views

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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2answers
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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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1answer
232 views

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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556 views

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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1answer
553 views

Are Zond 2 and Venera 4 basically the same spacecraft design? What were the differences?

The question Which deep space spacecraft had main dish antennas that were perforated or made from mesh? shows some images of Venera 4, and there's one below. This answer to When did ion propulsion ...
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What was the first unplanned “over-the-air” software update of a spacecraft?

From time-to-time spacecraft have had to be rebooted, in one case Voyager 2 mutinied and had to be reprogrammed and in another Opportunity had it's memory "hacked". As far as I know, deep space ...
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10answers
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Have spacecraft photographed each other beyond Earth orbit?

There are several answers to Could a spy satellite image another satellite? and one answer with several examples to How many spacecraft have taken a “Pale Blue Dot” type photo of the Earth from beyond ...
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2answers
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How exactly were the signals from quad dishes of Apollo Deep Space High-Gain Antenna or Russian B-529 processed for local control of tracking?

The images below (and their sources) show the quad dishes of the Apollo Deep Space High-Gain Antenna and the Russian B529 ground station tracking antenna. From NASA Technical Note TN D-6723 Apollo ...
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3answers
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Which deep space spacecraft had main dish antennas that were perforated or made from mesh?

A long time ago I was considering asking why the dish antennas on some deep-space probes were perforated metal or mesh (presumably to save weight), while others were solid. I'm trying to finally ...
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1answer
47 views

Where can I get data on deep space satellites or probes like voyager 1

I am doing a research on deep space communication. I need data on any of the man made deep space probes like voyager 1. I need the probe's transmitter power, received power on earth, Signal to noise ...
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1answer
90 views

What would be the cost of a thorium reactors at the core of a large starship? [closed]

Thorium is a high power substance that can contains large amounts of energy in a small space. How much would it cost to install and maintain one on a large starship? As well as using solar panels, ...
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2answers
142 views

Would spacecraft rot or degrade over time faster on Mars, on The Moon, or in space?

One question I really wanna ask; do spaceship's rot? If they do degrade, does being on Mars, on The Moon, or in space increase the rotting speed of the spaceship? If so, in which environment would ...
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0answers
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Will ESA's Solar Orbiter crash into Venus? If so, why?

The BBC News article European SolO probe ready to take on audacious mission links to the ESA video shown below and contains this 5 minute audio interview with NASA deputy project scientist on the ...
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2answers
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What is ESA's Solar Orbiter's target inclination?

The BBC News article European SolO probe ready to take on audacious mission links to the ESA video shown below and contains this 5 minute audio interview with NASA deputy project scientist on the ...
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1answer
457 views

What exactly is an F-mission?

This @CometInterceptor tweet shows the mission's insignia. The complete wording on the patch is as follows: COMET INTERCEPTOR F-mission Question: What exactly is an F-mission? See also: Comet ...
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1answer
145 views

If a comet-sniffing spacecraft were launched today, could it catch up to newly-discovered ε>3 C/2019 Q4 (Borisov)?

As found in this answer to What makes scientists already so certain that Comet C/2019 Q4 (Borisov) is a comet and not an asteroid? the orbital parameters of this eccentricity > 3 visitor to our solar ...
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1answer
174 views

How high is the first Deep Space Atomic Clock orbiting? Does it receive radiation equivalent to that in deep space?

The Livescience article NASA's Tiny New Atomic Clock Could Let Spacecraft Drive Themselves in Deep Space says: But the radiation still changes the way the electronics operate. And those changes ...