Questions tagged [heat]

Questions about issues related to heat and temperature, and situations where heat (too much or too little) is the primary issue. Examples include heat management in spacecraft and heat used for power generation using the flow of thermal energy from a source to a sink.

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48 views

Understanding the basics of spacecraft thermal control systems

I have a broad understanding that in spacecraft cooling systems where a circulating liquid is used, a first coolant usually runs through the spacecraft and collects heat and then passes through a heat ...
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Design considerations for a space suit going to Mars?

Essentially, I am trying to design a heat exchanger for a space suit traveling to mars. From my understanding, I assumed that the energy generated from the space suit relates to the astronaut as well ...
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74 views

How do Stirling radioisotope generators maintain a temperature differential in a vacuum?

I was reading the wikipedia page on RTGs and happened to stumble upon the section about efficiency. There were three methods that seemed to rely on direct conversion of thermal energy into electrical ...
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1answer
194 views

Why is the Heat Shield of ESA's Solar Orbiter Black in colour?

Solar Orbiter (SolO) is a planned Sun-observing satellite, under development by the European Space Agency (ESA). Due to its proximity to the Sun, it receives about 13 times more solar energy than we ...
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62 views

Minimal heating a realistic reentry vehicle could achieve?

In this question, I asked whether it would be possible to make a reentry vehicle that could slow down from orbit and glide to the ground entirely passively. The answers and comments point out several ...
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At the same temperature, what's the relation of speed of heat loss between Earth and Mars?

Mars has a thinner athmosphere than Earth. Let's say you have a similar shelter of the same volume and made of the same materials in Mars at -70 Celsius, and in Earth in some place in the Antarctica ...
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1answer
221 views

Why don't the hottest temperatures of a re-entering spacecraft occur near the “bottom”?

The paintings of the Apollo command module and space shuttle below portray the heating effects of re-entry. The whitest parts of the spacecraft get the hottest, with cooler parts in red and darker ...
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3k views

Why not increase contact surface when reentering the atmosphere?

If a craft were to increase the surface area where contact is made with air during reentry, I imagine the heat quantity per area unit would decrease, making the use of (heavy) heat shields less of a ...
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1answer
165 views

Launch pads flame deflectors

I was interested in knowing if all launch pads possess a flame deflector. I'm inclined to say yes, as the structure seems vital for a safe launch. Wanted to make sure, though, if there could be a case ...
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1answer
60 views

Heat balance of the ISS: breakdown?

Is there available breakdown of the heat balance of the International Space Station? In particular: How much heat is produced? by direct warming by sun by warming of solar panels (heat for the ...
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1answer
73 views

Selection crieteria for coolant media on spaceships

What is the Selection criteria for coolant media on spaceships? I have read that ammonia as well as water glycol have been used. These two have very diverse properties. So what makes both of them ...
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1answer
117 views

Could a spacecraft produce lift using sublimating material?

Following this question, could a spacecraft approaching upper atmosphere from very low circular Earth orbit, produce lift to soar propulsively, bleeding speed at constant apoapsis, by sublimating ...
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1answer
133 views

How much delta-v is lost to heat of exhaust?

It occurred to me that all of the kinetic energy not going exactly in the opposite direction of a spacecraft is wasted! Since heat is essentially kinetic "noise" in objects, I wondered how much more ...
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67 views

Has the monthly average skin temp of the ISS increased during its years in orbit?

Is there a source of monthly average sun-side maximum temperatures during its (ISS) years in orbit?
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1answer
953 views

Why is Adiabatic wall temperature taken as the driving temperature in rocket engines?

Going by the definition of convective heat transfer coefficient from Wikipedia (which I have started to doubt; reason follows): $h=\frac{q}{\Delta T}$, where the $\Delta T$ is taken as the difference ...
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2answers
435 views

Orbital reentry glider with no heat shield

Let's assume a reentry craft designed to not use heat protection like Soyuz or the Space Shuttle, and budget is not an issue. The Concorde max surface temperature was 400 K, so let's use this as a max ...
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1answer
113 views

What advances are there in heat-resistant materials for engines?

As one of the difficulties in engine design is to prevent it from melting, one can expect research to be conducted on what materials to use for thrust chamber and nozzle. Many engines seem to use ...
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1answer
324 views

Parker Solar probe's heat survival - Heat vs Temperature

This is not about about heat shields, materials, coolant, etc. I am not quite not getting the science that explains the Heat Vs Temperature, which is how the Parker probe is going to survive the ...
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1answer
158 views

How are the Titan Transtage's tanks protected from its engine?

As a follow up to this answer which identifies the two pointed objects flanking the Titan Transtage's engine in an unusual configuration as its propellant tanks: How are these protected from the heat ...
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1answer
173 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 ...
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1answer
344 views

SpaceX Falcon-9 fairing heating during launch?

In watching the SpaceX SES-12 launch last night, I noticed what looked like the fairing of the rocket glowing a bit a while after launch. This was most obvious in the SpaceX video SES-12 Mission ...
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1answer
187 views

Cooking in Space

Someone in the Worldbuilding SE asked How to Build a BBQ for the ISS. My first through was: Why not just stick it in a sealed container out in direct sunlight for a bit? It'll get plenty cooked ...
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2answers
1k views

Why doesn't the Tesla Roadster's windscreen crack or break in space?

The car is on the sun side of space as seen by the lens flare. This means that the car will absorb high amounts of radiation, heating the car up to well over 250 degrees Celsius . A car windscreen ...
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6answers
13k views

Why doesn't Tesla's Roadster melt in space?

Tesla's Roadster is somewhere above us taking sunlight directly part of the time, then very cold on the next half of the orbit. Or when it rolls, one side gets hot, the other is cold. Why don't the ...
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1answer
279 views

heat recovery thermodynamics in space

Let me try ask it this way. How efficient is current power generation thermodynamic cycles in space? Is it even used? My info is that most spacecraft use PV solar panels, is the heat turned to energy ...
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2answers
634 views

How does a thermal control system of a spacecraft basicaly work?

I'd like to know how a thermal control system of a spacecraft basically works. As the only possibility to get rid of the thermal heat is through radiation, I'd like to get a basic qualitative ...
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2answers
747 views

How are spacecraft engineered to prevent overheating?

Been reading about early space exploration again, especially Sputnik 2 (1957) and Venera 1 (1961). Both of these suffered from overheating. It strikes me that a metal object will easily "absorb" the ...
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1answer
164 views

Solar cell heating vs power draw

In a few questions ( Does the ISS need more heating or more cooling?, Why did Salyut 7 freeze over, while ISS requires massive cooling system? ) it is implied that the station inside heat budget is ...
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618 views

Why do some spacecraft have heat radiators? Why not repurpose the energy?

I would have thought that you would want to conserve as much energy as possible - or is energy/electricity not a problem?
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1k views

Dissipating large amounts of energy fast, in space

Currently, we have good methods of sustained, slow dissipation of energy through radiators. They take quite large area (and mass) per watt dissipated though. I know sublimators were used at least in ...
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1answer
333 views

Does it get cold in a container in space?

The image I have is that if we turn off heating in a space vehicle, the cold will be immense. However, I started figuring in terms of energy levels of particles (which is the temperature) and realized ...
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74 views

What instruments are necessary to measure/determine the process that generates Saturn's internal heat?

I am writing a paper about a possible mission to Saturn but I am a business and Spanish student and am quite ignorant when it comes to the engineering and science behind probes and their instruments; ...
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1answer
129 views

Do the size of rocky planets determine how hot they are inside?

As I recall, the main cause of the high temperatures inside e.g. the Earth is thermal heating due to the decay of radioisotopes. The thinking is that: Although small, the heat has nowhere to go, so ...
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1answer
2k views

What cooling improvements did the Venera missions make?

I've been reading about Russia's (former Soviet Union) Venera missions, and one thing about them that has impressed me is the incremental improvements the landers made in their lifespans before ...
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1answer
255 views

Convective heat transfer on rocket during ascent

I'm looking for a way to (very) roughly estimate the convective heat transfer onto a rocket hull during atmospheric ascent (ideally through different planetary atmospheres). While I'm comfortable with ...
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1answer
193 views

What are the requirements of a suborbital trajectory, to ensure that a small payload burns up?

How can one determine the required altitude/velocity/time from release required for a small spacecraft (1 to 10 kg) in a suborbital trajectory to ensure that it burns up as it re-enters the atmosphere?...
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1answer
339 views

Is the waste heat (sink) system dependent on whether the energy source is nuclear or solar?

A power plant in space causes waste heat which has to be removed from the plant. The need for large heat sinks, and their mass, kind of bogs down some of the advantages of big nuclear power in space. ...
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1answer
808 views

Mass and efficiency of heat radiators

Probably the only reasonable way how to get rid of waste heat in space is radiating the heat away. Most of the current satellites and probes probably do not produce much waste heat. However, assuming ...
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2answers
12k views

Why is gold used in space technology to protection from heat radiation?

AFAIK, NASA and others are using mainly gold to protect surface from heat radiation. But, as we can see with our own eyes, chrome or silver had probably a much better albedo, because they are white, ...
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1answer
281 views

How does Bigelow plan to handle heat rejection on the BA-330?

Bigelow Aerospace has two inflatables on orbit (Genesis I and Genesis II) with plans for attaching the BEAM module to the ISS. These are precursors to a full scale station, based on multiple (3?) BA-...