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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 will the X-ray communications (XCOM) transmitter look like?

The NASA news article NASA’s NavCube Could Support an X-ray Communications Demonstration in Space — A NASA First mentions the potential use of X-ray wavelengths for improved range of deep space ...
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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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What are the advantages and disadvantages of sending a telescope into deep space? [closed]

When I first heard of the Voyager missions I thought this: why not do the same, only make it a telescope? I thought it would surely see a lot of things we can't see from Earth or the inner Solar ...
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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 ...
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Autonomous Navigation for deep space missions

Autonomous navigation started in early phases of deep space exploration as a provision to achieve accuracy for planet/natural satellite targeting and approach, where radio tracking accuracies were low,...
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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 are the velocity and range of a spacecraft measured from ground based stations?

How are the velocity and range of a spacecraft measured from ground based stations? For example we can go on NASA's website and look at the real time data for the mission status of their past ...
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How will NASA's software for autonomous navigation in cis-lunar space work?

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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What is the feasibility of launching a probe to Sedna?

This dwarf planet reaches perihelion in the summer of 2076. At a distance of 76 au, is it feasible to launch a probe that would reach Sedna in time? With an orbital period of over 11,000 years, this ...
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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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Are there plans or a program for an optical relay pathfinder for deep space?

In Glenn Research Center's Richard Reinhart's slides Space Communication and Navigation TestbedCommunications Technology for Exploration for the 2013 ISS Research and Development Conference I saw an ...
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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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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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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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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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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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What are the main sources of radio noise & interference limiting deep space data rates and availability?

Let's call "radio" anything electromagnetic below 300 GHz (1 millimeter), unless there is a compelling reason to do otherwise. The question How well can Voyager 1 separate Earth signals from Solar ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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What would it take to get a message to another star?

Let's assume that we've somehow detected the existence of an extraterrestrial civilization through "passive" means, such as detecting a suspicious exoplanetary atmospheric signature. We're now hoping ...
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When a coronal mass ejection (CME) hits a spacecraft, from which direction will the particles come?

I have long assumed that when a CME (aka solar mass ejection, SME) hits a spacecraft, its particles will be coming in a straight line from the Sun. I've learned recently that it isn't so direct, and ...
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Was Hayabusa-2's plastic explosive charge the largest charge detonated beyond LEO?

The BBC News article Hayabusa-2: Japanese probe set to 'bomb' an asteroid says: The charge is carried on the Small Carry-On Impactor (SCI) device. This is a 14kg conical container attached to ...