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Questions tagged [energy]

Questions addressing the energy requirement for space/orbit/interplanetary missions.

14
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1answer
9k views

Escape velocity for our galaxy

What should be the escape velocity for our galaxy and can we calculate it? For instance, if we assume that we don't know the mass of our galaxy, you may consider it as small 'm'.
-5
votes
1answer
212 views

Send a wind turbine to space [closed]

Would it be viable to send a wind turbine which will be propelled by wind during a lift to space? Will it be able to produce significant amount of electricity while in space?
9
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3answers
4k views

Does the ISS need more heating or more cooling?

While reading the recent question 'Do exercise machines on the ISS generate electric energy?', I got thinking all of the exerciser machines generate heat (heat energy). So yes all exercise machine ...
7
votes
3answers
258 views

Will space-based energy beamed to earth increase heat on earth?

A Japanese paper on beaming energy from solar installation on the moon to earth via laser and microwave recently made the rounds in the media. Would this, or any space-based energy system cause a net ...
19
votes
4answers
3k views

Is wind-power a viable backup power source for Mars One?

A question related to What power source options provide reliable and sustainable power generation for a Martian Colony, particularly the answer that solar and nuclear based energy sources being the ...
19
votes
3answers
395 views

Are there proven sufficient $^3\text{He}$ reserves in the inner Solar System to sustain fusion reactors for colonisation?

According to the NASA website Energy from the Moon, that assuming we perfect the helium-3 ($^3\text{He}$) nuclear fusion technology required, that $^3\text{He}$ would generate only a very slight ...
9
votes
2answers
647 views

Could Earth-lunar flybys be repeated consecutively without the use of propellant?

Ever since a recent orbital mechanics question, lunar flybys have been nagging me in the sense that there is obviously energy available in the system. I'm interested if you could get a repeatable ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

Can we get energy from the motion of orbiting bodies?

Can we convert the motion energy of bodies (such as satellites) moving around a high-gravity objects (like Earth or the Sun) to some kind of usable energy?
14
votes
3answers
4k views

Can we transport energy through space?

I heard somewhere about a possible way to mantain power plants outside Earth. To transport energy, we can send it into space as electromagnetic waves through satellites to reuse them later. It may ...
13
votes
2answers
349 views

Is solar system active cryovolcanism a potential viable power source for future colonies?

According to Geology.com's web-article Active Volcanoes of Our Solar System, there are several volcanically active regions in the solar system asides from the Earth. In particular, the satellites ...
11
votes
1answer
825 views

Practical Lunar He-3 mining approach?

There is a lot of popular talk that There may be huge deposits of Helium-3 on the Moon, and It could be used for very efficient fusion reactors. Unfortunately in the bulk of popular talk actual ...
19
votes
2answers
1k views

What types of sustainable energy are available beyond Mars?

Most of the energy we use on Earth in our daily activities is a derivative of solar; wind, hydroelectric, coal, gas (oil), wood fire, solar cells. While we might not think about it, all of these are ...
12
votes
1answer
183 views

Does the hull of a spacecraft acquire a charge during its rapid ascent through Earth's atmosphere?

Known fact: Heat causes a charge to accumulate on the hull of a craft at reentry. Questions: Does the hull acquire a charge during the course of its ascent too? What magnitude is this charge? (My ...
9
votes
1answer
951 views

Peltier cell as solar cell in space

There's a related question: In space can the difference in temperature between the inside and outside, provide useful energy? The problem with that one is that it relies on the concept of "hot inside"...
11
votes
2answers
674 views

In space can the difference in temperature between the inside and outside, provide useful energy?

The Thermoelectric effect allows for electrical energy to be created, based on a difference of temperature. In fact the Radioisotope thermoelectric generator is based on this principal and does/has ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Would geothermal energy be practical on a lunar base?

Given sufficient liquid in the form of water or other suitable medium, would the use of geothermal energy be practical or feasible for powering a lunar colony? Wikipedia (referenced) gives an ...
8
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3answers
1k views

Would a solar windmill in space be practical?

From this question we know that solar cells be problematic the farther you get from the sun. We know that solar sails provide viable propulsion far from the sun. Would it be practical to use a solar ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

How far from the Sun can solar power be used as a reliable energy source?

Space probes headed for the far reaches of our Solar System rely on radioisotope thermoelectric generators for power (Cassini–Huygens, Voyager 1, Voyager 2). Presumably this is because solar power ...
9
votes
3answers
346 views

Alternative energy sources for inter-stellar probes?

Are there any alternative energy sources to power inter-stellar probes such as Voyager I and II developed or in development by any space agency? Plutonium (238-Pu) has a half-life of about 87,7 years,...
16
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6answers
4k views

Methods for propulsion other than rockets for leaving Earth's atmosphere?

Due to the large amount of energy required, the standard method for leaving the Earth's atmosphere is rocket propulsion. Is there any other methods in development that don't involve rockets? E.g. ...
17
votes
1answer
404 views

How will Curiosity manage its power when its nuclear power starts to run low?

As we've already determined, Curiosity should last about 14 years on its nuclear power. What happens near that timeframe? Will NASA start to manage the rover's use of power by shutting down unused ...
32
votes
3answers
11k views

About how long will Curiosity last on its nuclear power?

Curiosity, we know, has no little nuclear reactor, it has a RTG. Great! But how long will it last? For how many years will our little 1-ton friend be roaming around another planet?
12
votes
2answers
444 views

What is the status of concentrated solar energy (CSE) in space exploration?

The Cassini Environmental Impact Statement, Chapter 2 (page 53–54) describes the status of Concentrated Solar Energy in space: A 1981 conceptual study of the system impacts of using a concentrated ...
20
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2answers
610 views

Is it possible to build a Dyson sphere or its variant in our solar system based on our current technology?

Dyson sphere, a concept coined by the physicist Freeman Dyson, is a solar megastructure built around our Sun to harvests most of the radiated energy from it. While this sounds impossible for now, ...