Questions tagged [engineering]

Questions regarding the design or process of design of a spacecraft.

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3
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6answers
530 views

Are and should satellites use wireless communication internally, rather than cables?

Some applications on Earth replace wires with radio communication, standard stuff like Bluetooth. It saves mass and maybe complexity. Is this done for intra-satellite communication and deep space ...
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2answers
3k views

Why are Curiosity's wheels aluminum rather than titanium?

I was just reading this article on how Curiosity's aluminum wheels are getting pretty dinged up. Usually titanium alloy is considered an upgrade from aluminum alloys in most applications, from ...
-1
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3answers
125 views

Would the trajectory of a comet be altered by attaching a parachute to it?

I am curious to know if the trajectory of a comet that is on a collision course for Earth could be altered by simply attaching a parachute to it. The parachute interacting with the comet's tail should ...
4
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0answers
38 views

How is fuel measured in spacecraft? [duplicate]

On something like a gravity-bound automobile, fuel is measured with a float that moves a variable resistor but I would think this would not be possible on a rocket, one because of extreme G-forces ...
5
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1answer
207 views

Why do larger and newer rockets not use electric pumps?

Rocketlab's Electron uses an electric pump combustion cycle with no preburner so all fuel is fed into the combustion chamber rather than wasted in a preburner/staged combustion-powered turbopump that ...
2
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1answer
98 views

How is fuel distributed in multi engine rocket stages?

How is fuel distributed evenly to multi-engine rockets like the Falcon 9, Electron, or multi-engined Centaurs? I would presume that there is only one main propellant line that goes down the raceway ...
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0answers
34 views

How will SpaceX's VisorSat work? How could a sunshade articulate to shade parts of Starlink satellite as it orbits the Earth?

CNET's Elon Musk wants SpaceX to launch the next generation of space telescopes says: The billionaire entrepreneur said that "VisorSat" satellites equipped with a sunshade to block reflections from ...
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1answer
86 views

Would a small electron microscope in a cubesat work well in space at 400 km?

There is now an electron microscope in space! Suppose that once I win a lottery I can build a small, modest SEM column and put it in a 6U cubesat that opens one side to allow the electron optics to ...
12
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1answer
7k views

What material properties would be necessary to shield a lander from the environment of the Venusian surface?

On March 1, 1982, the Venera 13 lander survived for 127 minutes in an environment with a temperature of 457 °C (855 °F) and a pressure of 89 Earth atmospheres (9.0 MPa). This says nothing of the ...
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0answers
264 views

Could multimode (polymer) optical fiber Gigabit Ethernet be a better choice than WiFi inside future satellites?

In this answer the recent question Are and should satellites use wireless communication internally, rather than cables? it is stated that: This is actually an open research area and despite ...
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2answers
213 views

What is it about parachutes that makes people always want to “re-invent the wheel”?

For technology that involves complex engineering issues, standardization and specialization is extremely helpful. If I want to design a complex ASIC IC I don't design it from scratch, I just drag-and-...
13
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1answer
3k 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 ...
27
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1answer
3k views

How realistic would the Sea Dragon engine be to produce given today's technology?

Just learned of the Sea Dragon proposal from back in 1962. From the Wikipedia entry The first stage was to be powered by a single enormous 80,000,000 pounds-force (360 MN) thrust engine burning RP-...
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0answers
45 views

What is the load path for thrust in a rocket engine? [duplicate]

This may be a duplicate of this question but I wasn't sure if I could hijack that one to clarify or regenerate interest there. What is the distribution of axial force in a combustion chamber? My ...
1
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1answer
124 views

What calculations should I do to go from LEO to the moon with an ionic motor?

my question is, what calculations should I do to be able to go from LEO to the lunar orbit? If this were done, two of these thrusters would be used https://www.cubesatshop.com/product/ifm-nano-...
4
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1answer
2k views

How to seal the connection between the combustion chamber and outer shell in this rocket engine model?

Here is rocket engine drawing. The combustion chamber made from copper and the outer shell from stainless steel. The coolant, either water or gasoline will be between With either pressurised water or ...
2
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0answers
90 views

How is this engine put together? [duplicate]

I'm going through How to DESIGN, BUILD and TEST SMALL LIQUID-FUEL ROCKET ENGINES and am confused how their sample engine is physically built together. This is a picture of their assembly where the ...
4
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2answers
1k views

Is there an equivalent to aircraft ATA100 numbering system for Spacecraft?

The ATA100 numbering system is frequently used in aircraft as a common referencing standard. "The unique aspect of the chapter numbers is its relevance for all aircraft. Thus a chapter reference ...
5
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1answer
167 views

Are there active (as of 2020) developments in liquid-fuel tank technology?

This question was broken off from previous mega-question located here. I am aware of the broad liquid fuel tank types: V-2-style steel fuselage Integral steel Integral aluminum (with varying types ...
4
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1answer
99 views

How well does polymer filament survive space radiation?

I am reading Medium.com's 3D Printing Is Going to Space and Made In Space is doing something very cool. However, the point of failure in a system like this seems to be the polymer strut itself - how ...
0
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0answers
98 views

Would it be possible to make a bubbleworld in an asteroid?

Would it be possible to drill a bore hole into an asteroid, fill it with water tanks and use sunlight to blow a hole large enough to fit a rotating space station inside, seal it off and fill it with ...
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2answers
180 views

Would a nuclear turbojet with a chemical afterburner be a suitable intermediate between a pure nuclear turbojet and a nuclear thermal rocket?

NOTE: This is not the place to question the fundamental viability of nuclear propulsion in aircraft and spacecraft. For context, in a spaceplane, the higher speeds you can attain under air-breathing ...
3
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2answers
327 views

Which CI/CD system do/would space companies like SpaceX use for continuous integration in their devops practice? [closed]

I wonder whether there are, or are recognizable in near future, industry specifics for CI/CD solutions in a space engineering company like SpaceX, compared to other companies where mass manufacturing ...
5
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1answer
856 views

For space-qualified electronic components, what is an “SCD”?

In terms of engineering documentation for space-qualified electronic components, what is an "SCD"? See, for example, page 6 of this document. Is an SCD a common document and does it apply to other (...
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2answers
205 views

Space Shuttle Stack alignment

The Space Shuttle is a good example of asymmetric launch vehicle. It required heavily-gimballing engines to keep everything balanced. As a KSP enthusiast, I found that attaching the external tank to ...
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1answer
142 views

Can sunlight be utilised as a mining “laser drill”?

Can sunlight be used to bore a hole into an asteroid in the belt, so metals with a high enough melting point are left behind, ablated off for easy recovery? Or is the sun too far away?
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3answers
361 views

Is there a space-certification procedure used by commercial spacecraft manufactures for electronic components?

For electronic components at the level of say electrolytic capacitors, ethernet connectors connectors, and possibly in the future fiber optic connectors/electrical signal interfaces are there well ...
5
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0answers
56 views

Are ferrofluidic seals used in spaceflight? Main applications? Human-rated?

Comments below this answer have inspired this quesiton. Wikipedia's Ferrofluidic seal sez: Ferrofluid-sealed feedthroughs routinely operate in environments including ultra-high vacuum (below 10⁻⁸ ...
2
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1answer
80 views

Could a magnetic scoop work as a means to refuel a tank with hydrogen in orbit?

How effective would this be or would the Earth's magnetic field make it useless? Would it take too long for this to be of any use?
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3answers
2k views

Troubleshooting a DIY Ion Thruster

Been following a Make-Magazine article on how to make your own ion thruster: https://makezine.com/projects/ionic-thruster/ Went through the tutorial step by step, not seeming to get any thrust out of ...
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1answer
108 views

What parameters drive the development effort and cost of a liquid rocket engine for orbital launchers(LEO - GEO)?

The development cost for a rocket engine drives the cost for a launcher and can be attributed to some basic parameters Apart from the few below, what others may be critical to developing and designing ...
2
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1answer
88 views

Where should ion drives be placed on a rotating space station of the lop-sided dumbbell variety?

I have been working on a model of a proposed artificial gravity facility by Joe Carroll, based on this paper. It is an initial concept paper and it doesn't spell everything out, so I am trying to ...
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2answers
114 views

Help Finding A Book

I am trying to find the book that contains the following chapter: https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/avs/offices/aam/cami/library/online_libraries/aerospace_medicine/tutorial/...
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3answers
204 views

Is it possible to identify the main systems that would be present in a generalized space station?

What are the main parts of any space station? I have been making a 3D model of a hypothetical space station, and I'd like to ask if it is possible to identify some main components and/or subsystems ...
12
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1answer
765 views

Why does the YF-75D nozzle have such a strong spiral pattern?

Why does the YF-75D nozzle material have such a strong spiral pattern? Is it a result/biproduct of a manufacturing process only, or does it have some specific function? edit: The last, cropped ...
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2answers
2k views

How does the Saturn V Dynamic Test Stand work?

This photo instantly provokes a ton of questions in me: It shows the Dynamic Test Stand at Marshall SFC with the Enterprise, which was a Space Shuttle test vehicle, suspended for vibration testing. ...
9
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1answer
551 views

Sea level static test of an upper stage possible?

As we know that for the upper stages of the rocket, we need high propulsion efficiency thereby high specific impulse. For that we employ a nozzle with higher expansion ratios. Now, if we conduct the ...
15
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3answers
1k views

Why do KSC crawler-transporters use caterpillar treads instead of rail tracks?

The two Kennedy Space Center crawler-transporters, used to transport Saturn V, Shuttle and SLS rockets to the launchpad, move on caterpillar treads: Here's a SpaceFlight Insider video clip about ...
9
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4answers
285 views

What engineering processes (satellite/space vehicle related) require an atmosphere

So we all know that there are lots of engineering processes that are made 100 times better by negligible gravity, and that certain engineering process need to be performed in a vacuum (electron beam ...
21
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3answers
5k views

Why isn't there research to build a standard lunar, or Martian mobility platform?

While many terrestrial mobility platforms have been very successful, why are we spending millions to every rover device making it unique? Sure enough, different worlds offer different conditions, but ...
4
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1answer
182 views

What exactly are Tindallgrams? (spaceflight related)

The word "Tindallgram" appears in three posts: this answer to How complex was the math and physics necessary to place Apollo 11 on the moon? What is a “Lear Processor” and how did it work? this ...
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4answers
32k views

Becoming an astronaut with engineering background

Which engineering branch will be most suitable for becoming an astronaut, and what other options do I have if I want to become an astronaut with an engineering background?
5
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1answer
654 views

How are umbilical connectors held in place until their intended detachment?

When a rocket is on its launch pad, umbilicals allow the flow of liquids, gases, electric power, and signals to the spacecraft. The umbilical is detached from the spacecraft at or before launch, to ...
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2answers
3k views

Transitioning into space software engineering

I have been a Web Developer in London since I graduated in 2012. My skills reside mainly in the Microsoft stack (MSSQL, .NET, C#, MVC and all the front-end stuff). I have always been very interested ...
6
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3answers
661 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 ...
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3answers
3k views

How are fuel tanks filled with cryogenic hydrogen?

Cryogenic hydrogen can react with the atmospheric Oxygen to produce an explosion: as well as being cold enough to liquefy (and possibly solidify) atmospheric oxygen, which can be an explosion ...
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2answers
9k views

What is the ideal shape for a rocket?

Obviously there are many factors that go into the design of a rocket. However, to me, many rockets seem very tall and skinny. What I mean is that an ideal rocket would have as little mass used for ...
25
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4answers
10k views

Why is SpaceX building the Big Falcon Ship before the Big Falcon Rocket?

I believe that SpaceX is planning on building the BFS (Big Falcon Spacecraft) before the BFR (Big Falcon Rocket), which serves as the first stage for the second-stage BFS. Does anyone know why they ...
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8answers
12k views

What would be the (most difficult) challenge to make a “10,000 year satellite”?

Update: Bezos' recent Tweeted update on the 10,000 year clock. Also see The Verge's Construction begins on Jeff Bezos’ $42 million 10,000-year clock The discussions associated with the question Can ...
3
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3answers
580 views

Overcoming the speed of light thanks to ion thrusters

I am wondering if I could build an ion thruster, that is capable of exit velocity bigger that the speed of light. If I start with the equation for calculating exit velocity $v_e$ of a particle of ...