Questions tagged [history]

Questions pertaining to the history of space exploration. Includes how current things will be viewed historically from the future (e.g. Apollo Moon landing sites 100 years from now)

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
10
votes
2answers
614 views

Has any piston machine been used on a space mission?

Inspired by question about engine lubrication in space. Piston engines are not used for propelling spacecraft, but there are some possible uses for especially Stirling engines and compressors: ...
5
votes
1answer
157 views

What 1960s era launch pad and vehicle is shown in this still from stock footage?

The interesting question Identify this 1960's launch site and mission? contains some screenshots of launch pad stock footage. Most are of LC39, but as @Puffin points out in a comment, one does ...
2
votes
1answer
66 views

What was the first spacecraft intentionally moved from GEO to the graveyard orbit to die? (just a bit above geosynchronous)

Why “super” for supersynchronous orbits? Why not “trans”? and discussions and answers there got me wondering: Question: What was the first spacecraft intentionally moved from GEO or geosynchronous to ...
2
votes
1answer
48 views

What was the first spacecraft intentionally placed in a supersynchrous Earth orbit? (period longer than a sidereal day)

Why “super” for supersynchronous orbits? Why not “trans”? and discussions and answers there got me wondering: Question: What was the first spacecraft intentionally placed in a supersynchronous Earth ...
4
votes
0answers
110 views

Two additional Saturn V flights planned in 1967 - but for what?

Per this question, there was no "cancelled" second run of Saturn Vs: only the first fifteen were ordered, and no second batch was ordered and then later cancelled. This had always been my ...
8
votes
2answers
238 views

Deke Slayton's Molded Mercury Capsule Couch?

Recently got a hard question from an observant, sharp-eyed, and curious high school astronomy teacher: Reference this article about some of the training the Mercury Seven astronauts did. Note that the ...
5
votes
1answer
73 views

Will Artemis 2 and/or subsequent Artemis moon flights be able to break humanity's Earth distance record?

How high above the Moon are Artemis' Orion spacecraft going to orbit, in comparison to the Apollo spacecraft? Will their flights surpass or be able to surpass humanity's current record of the farthest ...
3
votes
1answer
101 views

Which space project was remained as most postponed in space history?

I am asking this question before few hours to launch of JWST space telescope. This many times JWST space telescope was postponed: Early 2019: planned launch date as of October 2017. May 2020 or ...
7
votes
0answers
74 views

How was AS-212 (Saturn 1B) supposed to carry both a CSM and LM?

I recently came across this overview image of Saturn 1B missions: (source: NASA) AS-212 is asterisked with the note (bottom-left of the image) that it is "scheduled to carry both a CSM and LM.&...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

What does the ATOLL programming language look like?

During the Apollo program, checkout tests of launch vehicle and spacecraft systems were gradually being automated, moving away from the manual processes during the early years of the space program to (...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Where did AS-206 go between 1967 and 1973?

The Apollo program was a bit stressful. In 1967 a lot of things went wrong, especially with the delivery of the lunar module: General Phillips's office originally planned to launch the first lunar ...
5
votes
0answers
49 views

Are any more details on the September 5, 2007 "Ares-1X Steel Rod Mishap During Static Strip Test at KSC Parachute Refurbishment Facility" available?

The presentation Recurring Themes from Human Spaceflight Mishaps During Flight Tests and Early Operations contains several rather "hinty" references to a mishap that occurred in September ...
3
votes
1answer
61 views

Radio antenna used to communicate with the Telstar 1 satellite in 1962

Related to Why was Telstar 1 put in a 952 x 5933, 2.6 hour 44.8° MEO orbit?. The satellite ground station at Andover, Maine, that was used to communicate with the Telstar 1 satellite was a horn ...
4
votes
1answer
179 views

Why was Telstar 1 put in a 952 x 5933, 2.6 hour 44.8° MEO orbit?

Wikipedia says that Telstar 1 was put into a 952 x 5933, 2.6 hour 44.8° MEO orbit but doesn't really say exactly why this particular orbit was selected. Did it perhaps behave roughly like a Molniya ...
6
votes
3answers
734 views

How were Intelsat 1 “Early Bird” and Telstar 1's "hundreds" of simultaneous telephone conversations multiplexed/demultiplexed?

When did they stop routing long-distance analog phone calls through satellites? What was the maximum volume at its peak? contains images, sources and descriptions of both The Intelsat 1 “Early Bird” ...
5
votes
1answer
399 views

How much did we know about space in 1940? [closed]

I'm reading a thoroughly ridiculous book, Calling Captain Future. It was written as a pulp serial in the 1940's, and is set in a very futuristic 1990. In addition to its many rather entertaining ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Has ion propulsion ever been used in a deep space trajectory correction maneuver proper?

Answer(s) to What types of propulsion are used to adjust an orbit? lead me to wonder if electric propulsion has ever been used for a proper TCM or "trajectory correction maneuver" in deep ...
10
votes
0answers
166 views

What space capsule is this part from?

One of my relatives has this metal component sitting in their backyard. It was a souvenir that my grandfather got to keep from his days working in the aerospace industry (primarily for Boeing). My ...
3
votes
1answer
88 views

First hemispherical resonator used in spaceflight? First used on a deep space mission?

This answer to How exactly did Cassini provide rock-solid attitude control to enable high resolution low light imaging? (1.2 arcsec/pixel for narrow angle camera) says: Cassini was the first ...
7
votes
2answers
120 views

KARI's homegrown KSLV-II almost hit the target orbit on its very first launch. How many OLVs can boast success on the first flight attempt?

Outdated: KSLV-II is a homegrown South Korean orbital launch vehicle. While KARI's launched the Russian-derived KSLV-I before, KSLV-II (or Nuri) uses only new, domestic, hitherto un-flight-tested ...
19
votes
1answer
3k views

What is this pin on John Glenn's suit jacket?

I'm watching the documentary "The Real Right Stuff". Around the 14 minute mark they show a clip of a news interview of the 7 mercury astronauts describing how their family feels about them ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

First left-handed primate on the Moon? First in space?

The various world space agencies' crewed missions have had a long series of firsts, Yuri Gagarin's first being the grandparent of them all. Crewed space missions are recognized worldwide as barrier-...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

How "big" is a 2 megawatt preburner?

Reaction Engines recently announced a milestone completion in their SABRE development program: we have tested the engine’s advanced hydrogen pre-burner at energy delivery levels in excess of two ...
1
vote
0answers
50 views

Which space stations used Torque Equilibrium Attitude? [closed]

My recent question and the related ones made me wonder which space stations in history used Torque Equilibrium Attitude so that one side always faced the Earth and the other faced zenith, and which ...
3
votes
0answers
84 views

What did Intelsat-1 do in 1990 for its 25th anniversary brief reactivation? Could it be reactivated again? Is there a secret code?

Ouch! The 1960s From This Is What Broadband Satellite Communication Looked Like in 1965 The Intelsat 1 “Early Bird” communications satellite, built by Hughes Aircraft Co., was able to relay 240 ...
4
votes
1answer
189 views

Why were American Apollo-era launch towers red, and why was the reused elements of the Shuttle-era FSS painted over in grey?

This image of STS-8 shows red peeking through the grey of the launch structure. That got me thinking... Mercury-Atlas launch towers were red (although Mercury-Redstone's towers were yellow, I think) ...
23
votes
3answers
8k views

Can we write with chalk on blackboard in space?

There was an ongoing discussion on how fisher pen was invented independently for safer writing method. I was just wondering weather we can use chalk and blackboard in space? Also if there are ...
2
votes
0answers
101 views

Is half of Rocket Lab still owned by Mark Rocket?

Wikipedia's Rocket Lab links to Spaceflight Insider's Rocket Lab: The Electron, the Rutherford, and why Peter Beck Started it in the First Place which links to The Otago Daily Time's 2009 arrticle ...
2
votes
0answers
68 views

What other space vehicles were affected by cold welding?

The Wikipedia page on cold welding states that Mechanical problems in early satellites were sometimes attributed to cold welding. But only mentions Galileo as an example of spacecraft were cold ...
4
votes
1answer
91 views

What kind of training did chimpanzees go through at the Chimp College?

In the Congress hearings on qualifications for astronauts in July 1962, a "Chimp University" where chimpanzees are trained for spaceflight is mentioned. Miss COBB. I have passed physical, ...
3
votes
0answers
101 views

Does the beeping satellite shown at the end of NASA Goddard videos represent any spacecraft in particular?

Just as an example, the end of the NASA Goddard video NASA’s OSIRIS-REx: Mission to Bennu has a double-beeping satellite at the end, which performs a flyby of the camera. It's shiny and spherical and ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Were Nixie tubes used by a space program?

I’ve been receiving this ad from a company selling Nixie tube clock kits online: The technology that was used in the first space shuttles and submarines can be in your home and moreover in a unique ...
5
votes
1answer
220 views

Did the "don't ask don't tell" policy affect American astronauts?

Until very recently, no astronauts were known to be LGBT. Only after her death did we discover that Sally Ride was a lesbian. And Anne McClain became an astronaut after the repeal of DADT. Don't ask ...
1
vote
1answer
109 views

When was advertising on Earth from space first proposed? By who?

How big will a space billboard have to be to be visible? can be seen to raise an interesting question. Question: When was advertising on Earth from space first proposed? Who proposed it? This can ...
1
vote
0answers
62 views

Vela 1A and IMAGE "once were lost, but now are found"; are there any more "lost" satellites thought to still be in Earth orbit?

@BillGray's answer to Where is Vela 1A? Is there any information what its orbit would be like now? says in part: This object was "lost" for some decades. In October 2014, the Palomar ...
1
vote
0answers
25 views

Why exactly did SOLRAD 1 have a magnet? Why weren't its interactions with Earth's magnetic field anticipated?

Wikipedia's SOLRAD_1; Scientific results says: The satellite communicated results in real-time, which meant that data could only be received when there was a tracking station within range – either ...
3
votes
1answer
110 views

What happened to the launch debris that the US dropped on Cuba? Was it noticed or reported?

This answer to How does one dogleg from Florida to a sun-synchronous orbit? this answer to History of multiple-payload launches? both describe a launch of GRAB1 that secretly contained a second ...
1
vote
0answers
24 views

Closest distance that two unrelated spacecraft have come while both in heliocentric orbits?

In 2015 STEREO A and B passed each other passing roughly behind the Sun at the same time from opposite directions as seen from Earth. But these two are part of a single mission, put into these orbits ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

What potential Shuttle partner did this blue-and-white flag indicate?

This publicity slide from NASA in 1972 (?), explaining how wonderfully useful and flexible the Space Shuttle would be, has an intriguing image in the lower right. (NASA MH72-5017, via David Portree) ...
27
votes
2answers
3k views

Gagarin not ejecting from capsule

I'm currently reading a dutch book about the earlier days of manned spaceflight (Ruimtevaart B. van der Klaauw). Published in 1962 In a chapter about Vostok 1 the book reads as following Translated ...
4
votes
1answer
205 views

Did von Braun ever have issues with the imperial unit system?

In Nazi Germany, von Braun and his colleagues which would then go on to work in the US, surely worked with metric units. Coming to the US, I can imagine they would have had to adjust to the imperial ...
1
vote
0answers
81 views

How many bubble levels have been used in space? Were any of them used some place besides the Moon?

The lunar retroreflectors left by Apollo astronauts had bubble levels and Sun compasses to that they could be oriented correctly with respect to Earth's average direction. This was necessary to ...
5
votes
1answer
89 views

Are the initial conditions for the Apollo PFS objects' orbits known (or knowable) as well as they were for the ascent module?

This answer to Would we have spotted the ascent stage of Apollo 11's Eagle if it was still in orbit around the Moon? and discussion under it suggests that as a check of the orbital propagation ...
0
votes
1answer
132 views

Why is the Fermi paradox' assumptions so strong? Do they even need to be?

The Fermi paradox first states that it is highly likely that intelligent lives have existed on planets long ago. As in, not just on one planet, but on billions of planets. Then the paradox goes on and ...
5
votes
1answer
175 views

What pictures did Mrs. Hart show to Congress?

In the record of the July 17 and 18, 1962 "Qualifications for Astronauts" hearings before the special subcommittee on the selection of astronauts that was organized to know if women could ...
4
votes
2answers
92 views

Are there any pictures of the Qualifications for Astronauts hearing for the House of Representatives?

On July 17th and 18th, 1962, a hearing was organized in front of Congress for the special subcommittee on the selection of astronauts. This hearing was organized to ascertain whether women could be ...
1
vote
1answer
239 views

Did the Voyager spacecraft use a Golay, a Reed-Solomon and/or a Hamming code for data transmission encoding for error correction? (Need clarification)

The now-famous answer to How is stacking oranges in 24 dimensions related to receiving and decoding signals from the Voyagers? is worth stopping now here and going back and reading first. Okay welcome ...
5
votes
2answers
752 views

What Voyager spacecraft hardware performed transmitted data coding in such a complicated way? Did ground decoding use “a big monster filling a rack”?

The now-famous answer to How is stacking oranges in 24 dimensions related to receiving and decoding signals from the Voyagers? is worth stopping now here and going back and reading first. Okay welcome ...
63
votes
1answer
8k views

How is stacking oranges in 24 dimensions related to receiving and decoding signals from the Voyagers?

I was listening to Sphere Packing Solved in Higher Dimensions; A Ukrainian mathematician has solved the centuries-old sphere-packing problem in dimensions eight and 24. and reading the transcript ...
7
votes
0answers
80 views

Are launch vehicles or payloads transported through the Suez canal very often? Ever?

There are some comments under How do SpaceX intend to transport their starship/super heavy? referencing rockets in tight places including whatever you do, don't send it thru the Suez Canal :-) ...

1
2 3 4 5
11