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Questions tagged [design]

Questions about how space vehicles and related hardware are designed.

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Did NASA's Borg Collective-designed antennas work? Have similar designs ever been used in spacecraft beyond testing?

This interesting answer to the question Do antenna farms on spacecraft make any sense or are they purely aesthetic? in Worldbuilding SE links to the NASA Ames page 'Borg' Computer Collective Designs ...
3
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1answer
61 views

Where can I find schematics of rockets with their stage sizes?

I want to recreate real rockets inside a space sim game called KSP, but for that I need to know what sizes those rockets have ( diameter, height, etc ), not just in general, but each of their stages ...
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0answers
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Why is heated Helium used for tank pressurisation in Falcon 1?

Here in Falcon 1 user guide, in table 2-1 in page 8, heated Helium is mentioned as used for tank pressurisation. What will be the temperature of such He and why is heated He used?
3
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2answers
155 views

Do some solid rockets burn faster at the bottom? What's an extreme case?

Discussion in comments below this answer relate to how much solid rockets or SRBs burn bottom-to-top versus radially outward. I am sure I've seen a diagram somewhere showing that different designs ...
5
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1answer
88 views

What does this drawing by Konstantin Tsiolkovsky illustrate, or represent?

The Kinetic video (ironically titled) The first rocket scientist - Robert Goddard begins with an introduction to the even more first rocket scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and shows the following ...
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2answers
150 views

Why were the antennas on the spherical surface of some early satellites spiral-shaped?

In the question What's the spiral pattern on this satellite? I show this image of a spiral-shaped pattern on the spherical surface of a (presumably) vintage satellite or model thereof. @OrganicMarble'...
4
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1answer
176 views

How big of an external tank to replace the shuttle SRBs with more LH2 and LO2?

The space shuttle ascended using two types of propulsion: (1) liquid hydrogen and oxygen stored in the external tank and burned in the main engines on the orbiter, and (2) the solid rocket boosters. ...
5
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0answers
192 views

What colors were used in the Apollo Lunar Module interior, and why?

There are lots of publications and blog posts on the exterior colors of the Apollo Lunar Module (a function of material choices), but I've struggled to find any information on the interior colors and ...
5
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1answer
130 views

What are some practices Space Exploration that are no longer acceptable?

I'm sure that for every good idea that made it into a spaceship design, there had to be plenty of bad ideas. There's most likely a bunch of old designs (or practices) that passed previously, but would ...
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3answers
126 views

3D Printing Rocket Parts

The Rutherford Rocket engine is a 3D printed battery powered engine. While the engine is made for small rockets, is it possible to use elements of 3D printing and battery power for launches of bigger ...
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2answers
137 views

Is it true that hydrogen is the only practical fuel for upper stages?

Consider this quote about early designs for the Saturn upper stages: Formalized as Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) on February 7, 1958, the group examined the DoD launcher requirements and ...
6
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1answer
86 views

Is there internal diagram of Zvezda or information about the internal size of Zvezda?

I found a diagram of Zvezda showing the external features, but I can't find one showing the internal features. Does an easily obtainable diagram exist?
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0answers
68 views

Optimal Thruster Layout For Cubesat

I am working on a simulation of a Cubesat for rendezvous. Using the Clohessy-Wiltshire equations I calculate delta-v. Now that I know the thrust needed for operation, I would like to know how to ...
3
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0answers
91 views

How would the antenna on a spacecraft in GEO be provided an electrical ground?

I would like to understand better what specifications or guidelines address the electrical grounding/Earthing a parabolic reflector Antenna in GEO to minimize the potential difference with respect to ...
0
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1answer
90 views

Could the interaction of the Sun’s solar wind and trapped plasma ions be used to propel a rocket through interplanetary space?

I have recently had a renewed interest in comets and how comet tails are formed. From studying this process, a thought occurred to me that perhaps plasma ions can be created within a long hollow ...
4
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1answer
156 views

Generating power in zero-g

When generating electricity, energy is lost to friction in mechanical bearings (e.g. turbine or generator bearings) and as heat, through resistance in transmission wires. If you were generating ...
10
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1answer
442 views

How does a space probe differ from a satellite in terms of materials used and size?

Both of those space vehicles are meant to carry out different tasks. How are materials selected for both of them such that it benefits their task? And is size a debatable factor while building these ...
29
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4answers
4k views

When did the concept of “stages” enter rocketry?

The staged rocket design is common now, but at some point in the history of rocket design it must have been revolutionary. When was the staged design introduced? Was it quickly accepted or did it ...
0
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2answers
103 views

Shock absorbing alternator possible for a rover?

Could replacing a Rovers struts (maybe a faster one that uses shock dampers in the future) with magnets similar to a shack flashlight but more heavier duty work well for recouping energy from movement ...
7
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1answer
280 views

What is the function of this array of what looks like mirrors on TESS?

The Mashable.com article TESS is about to become your new favorite NASA mission shows a beautiful photo of the TESS spacecraft in a state that looks like it is nearly ready to launch. There is a ...
3
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2answers
1k views

Why are centrifuges not used on the space station? [duplicate]

The low tech county fair ride in the picture below is a centrifuge. How difficult would it be to send modified one like this picture to space? It could spin on non bearing engine indefinably to ...
0
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3answers
219 views

What is currently used to protect spaceships from meteoroids?

What is used to protect a Mars or possibly interstellar spacecraft against meteoroids and asteroids? How risky it it to travel through space and does higher speeds equal more risk? Would a long ...
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2answers
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Earthing system in space?

On Earth, we have a good reason to deploy electric devices with an "Earthing system": this helps to avoid dangerous leak currents on surfaces. Now how is this solved on a spacecraft?
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1answer
169 views

Would a rotating wheel spacecraft “flip”?

I am looking over some proposed rotating spacecraft such as the Nautilus-X and the Ares from the movie The Martian as well as much more fictional ones such as from the Jovian Chronicles and even Halo. ...
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6answers
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Do spacecraft ever release unneeded gases into space?

My child is learning about the human body and frequently wants to know whether his favorite things work the same way. He asked me if spaceships fart (we've talked about Firetrucks and tailpipes, to ...
6
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1answer
163 views

How spacecrafts are built e.g. Dragon, Orion, etc?

What materials are using to build nowadays spacecraft? What kind of joints of main structure is used - is it a welding, riveting or something else? Where can I find such informations? Any books, ...
22
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1answer
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Why does the ISS cupola have Interior Protective Sliding Windows

As shown in the center right part of the picture, the International Space Station cupola has an interior sliding window frame, maybe detachable, such as cameras among other instrumentation. Note that ...
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1answer
141 views

What matters are kept secret in space companies? [closed]

I already googled blueprint of rockets, I came to know that US space companies revealing their "blueprint of rockets". But still are there any matters kept secret in space companies?
7
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1answer
221 views

Why were individual shuttle tiles changed from white to black or black to white?

The Paper Space Scale Models website has a PDF which details changes to the STS Orbiter Markings on a per-mission basis. Most of the changes are in the tiles. It can be seen that often a single black ...
8
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2answers
2k views

Where are cameras mounted on the 'Starman' payload of today's F-H launch?

Where are the cameras on the Starman mounted? I see it (the entire payload) is a small engine with the roadster mounted on top of it. There are camera shots of the nozzle of the payload, of the ...
16
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2answers
598 views

Where does the thrust act in a rocket engine and how is it transferred to rocket structure?

A rocket engine is basically a device that generates a high pressure inside the chamber and the pressure difference creates a force. A nozzle helps in effectively accelerating the flow and increases ...
5
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1answer
598 views

Would a hex-cluster of SpaceX boosters around a central booster lift a large payload into space?

I'm sure it's possible, but would it be wise to place a hex-cluster of SpaceX boosters around a central booster to get a very large payload, or one going to a very high orbit, into space? Maybe even ...
6
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1answer
173 views

Did a fuel tank ruptured by a ballpoint pen really sever an engineers finger?

In Ars' series on the Apollo program Eric tells a story about the Lunar Module from NASA lore... ...recounted in Apollo: The Race to the Moon, a technician working with a test version of the ...
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2answers
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Why did SpaceX retire Falcon 1?

Why did SpaceX retire Falcon 1? Wouldn't it have been more cost effective then Falcon 9 for lighter missions?
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2answers
263 views

Was computer aided design used on the Space Shuttle Program?

With the Space Shuttle system being as complex as it was I was wondering the following; did the initial engineering teams in the 70's use any form of CAD/CAE or did they simply utilize the same ...
6
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0answers
116 views

Advantages of a Solid Fueled Upper Stage

I was recently looking at the specs of the Antares launch vehicle and I was surprised to find out that they were using a solid fueled motor as their upper stage. I've always learned that in the upper ...
25
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1answer
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Falcon 9 design: Why is the cargo fairing so much wider than the lower parts?

Why does the cargo fairing have a much larger diameter than the lower part of the rocket? Of course a larger diameter lets thicker payloads fit. But then the first, inter, and second stage could have ...
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0answers
57 views

What is the mechanism principle of the grid fins in F9? [duplicate]

What is the mechanism principle of the grid fins in F9? or how to design the mechanism for the electricity grid fins? or how to design a electricity folding wing like the grid fins in F9?
2
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2answers
173 views

How plausible is an upper stage with minimal/no avionics and RCS?

How plausible would it be to build and use an upper stage with little to no avionics and RCS, just an engine and fuel tanks? Would it be possible to use a satellite's/probe's RCS and guidance for the ...
2
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1answer
99 views

Orbit Design Process

Do orbit design/mission analysis have equivalent documentation to the Preliminary/Critical Design Reviews you would use in systems engineering?
0
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1answer
166 views

Why do the solar panels on the seven Sentinel configurations look so completely different from each other?

I understant that these six different Earth-observing satellite platforms measure and image Earth data differenty, but there is just such a wide variety of different ways to build solar panels and ...
28
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2answers
6k views

What is the “emergency crush core”?

In his tweet Elon Musk said: "Rocket is extra toasty and hit the deck hard (used almost all of the emergency crush core)" What is he talking about?
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2answers
900 views

Approximate sizes and relative positions of the ISS' cupola windows?

I have an idea for a cool Earth-pointing amateur experiment that could be done through the cupola windows of the ISS. All of them. It would be simple (and not look like the first photo below). Are ...
3
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1answer
334 views

ViaSat's 18 kW solar array - largest ever for a commercial telecom satellite?

Now that the protests at Kourou Space Center in French Guiana are over, Arianne has launched both EutelSat 172B and ViaSat-2 as 2017-029A. While EutelSat 172B has a ...
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2answers
522 views

If not constrained by underpasses, etc., would Falcon 9 have been less of a flying noodle?

This excellent answer to the question Why is Falcon 9's shape so tall and skinny? mentions California, Florida, Texas and Alabama, within and between-which there must be at least a few limiting ...
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2answers
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Why was SpaceWire designed with nine wires?

I just learned about SpaceWire in this great answer about the slip-ring rotating electrical connection between its solar panel and attached sun-pointing instrumentation, and the body of the craft with ...
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2answers
560 views

What are these very large, square panels on Inmarsat 5?

Question: What are these very large square panels on Inmarsat 5's? They seem to each have an extremely reflective mirror-like flat/smooth tiled-appearing side, and a nearly black side with a lot of ...
3
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1answer
287 views

to measure velocity of sounding rocket

How to measure velocity of sounding rocket?? is using a pitot tube an efficient way to measure and how exactly to measure speed of sounding rocket using a pitot tube ???are there any other method to ...
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0answers
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Were solar concentrators on HS-702 just a stop-gap measure until triple-junction PV cells were available?

According to Gunter's Space Page discussion of early versions of the Hughes HS-702 Bus: The first version of the 702 used solar arrays with concentrators. These concentrators tended to early ...
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2answers
198 views

Why are deeper folds better for absorption?

The NASA News item NASA’s New Shape-Shifting Radiator Inspired by Origami describes a technique for spacecraft temperature regulation combining both a shape-changing surface and an emissivity-changing ...