Questions tagged [environment]

How human made objects in space cope with the environment of space, including radiation, dust storms, thermal issues, magnetic fields, toxicity, etc.

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2 answers
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When was an operational satellite accidentally damaged by another man-made object in space?

In connection with the question on Starlink constellation potential contribution to a run-away phenomenon, also known as “Kessler syndrome”, it would be of interest to know how well actual collision ...
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Choosing a specific region to live on Mars, how important will the degree of dust there be, compared with the availability of water?

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU The map above shows underground water ice on Mars, it's from the article NASA's Treasure Map for Water Ice on Mars. The blue and purple represent water ice less than 30 ...
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Determine envelopes for the payloads?

I am a mechanical engineer who is trying to expand my domain knowledge in aerospace and am currently reading a book to increase my understanding of it. I am mostly interested in studying the design of ...
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Why is there no concerted effort to collect solar energy on a global scale?

edit and update: the assumption here is that necessary batteries for storing solar energy simply aren't available on a global scale (without intending to get into the veracity of such a statement).) ...
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Do vacuum-grade oils and greases trivially solve the "lubricants don't work in space, cold welding happens" problem (for short to moderate duration)?

(Related: How is the unwanted cold welding prevented in space?) I've often seen talk about fairly simple mechanical devices (hand tools, simple handheld power tools, firearms, etc) being unlikely to ...
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How cryogenic oxygen was heated up for CM cabin repressurization?

In related question How was temperature and humidity maintained inside the Apollo mission capsules? the basic concept of conditioning Apollo mission capsules environment is described. After ...
7 votes
2 answers
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How to make a camera survive in (near) space?

I'm working on project for a high altitude camera suspended from a weather balloon in order to approximately simulate spaceflight. I'm wondering how can I make a camera survive and continue to operate?...
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What kinds of activities experiment and procedures done on the ISS must be done in chambers vented to space?

This answer to the question in 3D Printing SE How is 3D printing done in space? says The first big space-specific issue is actually air quality. You can't just open a window to air out the molten-ABS ...
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Does a LEO mission to study the marine debris exist or is at least planned?

Would a mission to LEO to study and record the amount of marine debris be of use or is someone already doing it?
5 votes
2 answers
276 views

What happens in to the fuel in fuel-rich Lox-Kerosene?

This link Optimum Mixture Ratio shows a range of mixture ratios for Lox-Kerosene of 2.1 to 2.45. Its not clear to me where in this range is the stochiometric case. Some Russian designs are higher (RD-...
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What kind of lighting does the ISS use? [closed]

Is any feng shui used in lighting? Is the best light bulbs used with filters?
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Temperatures in "near" space compared to LEO

I've been reading about High Altitude Balloons (HAB) lately, and it seems that they take much greater pains to fight cold temperatures than cubesats do. Loads of insulation, especially on batteries, ...
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Will suits worn on Mars lose kilograms of "expendable water" each time they are used?

In this excellent answer to How have space suits dissipated the heat removed from astronauts? I learned that space suits from the Apollo missions and even when used in space walks from the ISS today ...
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What is the space environment between Van Allen belts like?

Van Allen belts contain high energy electrons and protons, but what about the area between the belts? Is it "regular" space, just like it is past the belts? Anything interesting going on there? "Just"...
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What was this Ziploc bag used for on an Apollo 14 moonwalk?

And how the heck would an astronaut have opened it with his gloves on? Is that bag likely to still be there in good condition, or would it have been broken down by radiation by now? Was it normal to ...
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Which computer monitors will work on Mars?

In The Martian by Andy Weir, the main character Mark Watney takes a laptop out of the habitation module to take notes. But when he comes out, he discovers that the LCD monitor is broken, because the ...
13 votes
2 answers
617 views

Decision Factors for using 100% $ O_2 $ cabin atmosphere in early US space program

What are the reasons for deciding to use a 100% $ O_2 $ cabin atmosphere in the early US space programme? Was danger of nitrogen narcossis a factor? Did all missions prior to Apollo 1 use a 100% $ ...
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2 answers
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Is water on Mars the same as Earth water?

I would like to know how similar Mars water is to Earth water. Can we survive on Mars with Martian water without any major health issues etc?
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Could permanent self-sustaining biodomes be built on Mars?

Somewhat apropos of the question of whether Mars could be terraformed (which really seems a non-runner due to lack of molten core) the interesting consideration of biodomes was thrown up. By using ...
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How plans for Mars colonization comply with Planetary protection act?

The existence of extraterrestrial life or proto-life organic evolution in isolated environment of Mars is question of ontological magnitude. Mars is probably the only place in solar system where ...
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6 votes
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Where can I breathe for free? [closed]

There ain't no such thing as a free lunch was often a plot point in the works of Robert Heinlein, particularly in regards to air. We know that Air in International Space Station comes at price, in ...
51 votes
2 answers
20k views

Why don't the Space Shuttle's tires explode in the vacuum of space?

According to this NASA article the tires are inflated to 340 psi (main gear) and 300 psi (nose gear). At landing, there is significant strain, but what about in space? Are the tires exposed to vacuum ...
20 votes
1 answer
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Why is the Angara rocket called eco-friendly?

I've read several articles about the new Angara rocket, that called it clean/eco-friendly. I know it runs on kerosene (and LOX), which is not super-toxic like hydrazine, but still... it's polluting ...
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Why are the EVA suits in the suitport (concept) exposed to the environment?

I know one of the main advantages of the suitport is to not need an airlock, hence saving a lot of production costs, launch mass, etc. But why are the EVA suits completely exposed to the environment? ...
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1 answer
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Choosing thickness of a Whipple shield

What are the calculations involved in choosing the thickness of a micrometeoroid shield during the tradeoff study phase? Where can I find publicly available data on the distribution of micrometeoroid ...
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Free program to analyze environment effects on spacecrafts

Is there any free program (online or downloadable) to analyze the effects of the environment (radiation, micro-meteoroids...) on the spacecraft (after having defined the orbit)?
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Dangers of launching a nuclear thermal rocket

Nuclear thermal rockets may have great benefits for Solar system exploration. But one consideration is that the launch of a nuclear engine from Earth's surface, as the payload on a chemical rocket, ...
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1 answer
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Combating negative effects of space

After seeing this article about a skin-tight space suit, I was wondering what were the different ways of combating the negative effect of being in space, e.g. artificial gravity? How far away are ...
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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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
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Environmental impact of the Kennedy Space Center

Most launches from the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Base drop their lower stages into the Atlantic ocean. The majority of these stages is not recovered. What is the environmental ...
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9 votes
4 answers
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Vehicle liquids freeze on the Moon -- how has this problem been solved?

What methods keep the internal liquids on lunar rovers from freezing? I understand that temperatures on the Moon are extremely low, way past freezing, especially in places where the Sun does not shine,...
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35 votes
2 answers
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What would it feel like to be in a Martian dust storm?

In a recent question, 'Could an EVA Suit meant for Mars be used for EVA on another celestial, or vice-versa?', there was some discussion in the comments about the effects of a dust storm on Mars ...
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Could an EVA Suit meant for Mars be used for EVA on another celestial, or vice-versa?

A quick follow-up to What is the power requirement of a spacesuit? The Apollo 11 crew were in a vacuum out on Luna; their space-suits fulfilled the purpose of a basic space-suit about which Wikipedia ...
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24 votes
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Air temperature and humidity inside the ISS

The International Space Station being an artificial habitat for humans; it seems reasonable to assume the air temperature, and humidity levels are maintained at well-defined levels. What are the air ...
14 votes
3 answers
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How does the Curiosity rover survive dust storms on Mars?

According to the answers to this question, a dust storm on Mars can last for many days. Dust is a serious problem for mechanical joints if they use lubrication, because it may stick to the lubricant ...
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16 votes
1 answer
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How long could Solar Impulse fly in the Venerean atmosphere?

Extremes of temperature, and pressure serve to effectively constrict the life-span of a PV cell on the Venerean surface. Despite the cloud cover, the Venus' proximity to Sol makes for upto 1km ...
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15 votes
2 answers
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How big of a problem is the Lunar eclipse in April 2014 for LADEE?

I've been watching this NASA ScienceCasts video on YouTube (also published on NASA Science), and towards the end the narrator mentiones the end of life for the LADEE (Lunar Atmosphere and Dust ...
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25 votes
1 answer
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Has any technology been demonstrated that allows a useful payload to survive at least one month on Venus' surface?

According to the Wikipedia article on Venera-D, A lander, based on the Venera design, is also planned, capable of surviving for a long duration on the planet's surface. The surface of Venus has ...
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44 votes
2 answers
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Can fish really live in microgravity without water?

Yes, you read that title correctly. I saw the claim in "Colonies in Space", hosted on the NSS site. In a weightless space farm, it may be possible to raise fish without water. On Earth, when a ...
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2 answers
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How is equipment sterilized for space missions?

This refers to the sterilization of space exploring tools like rovers and probes. It is important to not send out rovers that contain any bacteria, because another rover, from another mission, could ...
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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 ...