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)

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What is the safety record of launch vehicles per person-distance traveled, over all time?

Sometimes, the safety of various forms of transportation are compared based on the rate of fatalities (or injuries or other unplanned destructive accidents) per person-mile or person-kilometer ...
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Soyuz 11 - communication transcript

Are there any communication transcripts available of Soyuz 11 spaceflight? I am especially interested in the part where pressure equalisation valve was opened way too fast and the crew died due to ...
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Clustering of liquid fueled rocket engines

Which rocket first used clustering of liquid fueled rocket engines on their first stage?
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time trends in astronaut fatality rates?

A recent answer quoted the statistic that over 10% of astronauts have died on the job That got me wondering what the trend over time has been in mortality rate of astronauts, i.e. is space travel ...
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How much do the Voyagers' attitudes drift over time? How often are their thrusters used for attitude control?

@Hobbes' answer to Voyager 1's tape recorder and other angular momentum management issues says: There are no reaction wheels on Voyager [...] Voyager is not spin-stabilized. It used thrusters for ...
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How is the anniversary of Vostok 1 celebrated in the U.S. space community?

Sixty years ago, the first human spaceflight was celebrated in the Soviet Union as a great technical and historic victory. Americans at the time were concerned that the United States was losing the ...
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What's the lowest periapsis of a successful orbit around the Moon? [duplicate]

What's the lowest periapsis of a successful orbit around the Moon ever made by a moon-orbiting spacecraft? Theoretically, Moon-orbiters can go as low as a foot above the surface due to the lack of an ...
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Did astronaut Frank Borman really work at a petrol station after going to the moon?

I am listening to the book Rocket Men by Robert Kurson, and 22 minutes in to the epilogue, the author says the following: Weeks after the return of Apollo 8, Frank Borman went to work pumping gas at ...
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Why does the RD-0110 Injector have a larger cone spray angle in the outer element rather than the inner element?

Wouldn't a large cone spray angle in the inner element (oxidizer) impinge with the outer element spray cone (fuel) and facilitate better atomization and mixing? Here are the RD-0110 Injector specs:
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Why was Redstone Arsenal specifically chosen for post-war rocket development?

We have had questions on the origin of JSC, KSC, White Sands, and Wallops Island. Today is MSFC's turn. After World War II, many of the officials of the German rocket program -- including leader ...
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Has the ISS ever “flown upside down”? Has the cupola ever “looked up”?

For a spacecraft in low Earth orbit let's call the zenith direction (vector away from Earth) "up". For most of its life I think the ISS has orbited with it's "up side" pointed &...
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Are rocket self-destruct systems ever flight-tested/flight-proven?

Under the question SN11 was launched in fog. Why not wait for better conditions? I wrote the comment: armchair totally unsupported theory: the fog presented an opportunity to test the emergency self-...
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Origin, artist, and original purpose of this unusual NASA image from 1996 or earlier? (possibly related to Clementine)

Two astronomy questions below relate to Clementine and poking around I found Ice on the Bone Dry Moon which was Written by Paul D. Spudis, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, TX, Deputy Leader of ...
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First use of frangible nuts in space?

Wikipedia's Frangible nut begins: Not to be confused with Explosive bolt. The frangible nut is a component used in many industries, but most commonly by NASA[citation needed], to sever mechanical ...
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Did Skylab have several giant spirit levels? That's what these look like to me, except there's no bubble

The BBC's Skylab: The myth of the mutiny in space shows the image below of one big circular end bulkhead of the main Skylab main space, with an astronaut in the center hatch and giant air manifolds ...
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Did Skylab astronauts really “go outside” to look at comet Kohoutek? If so, why?

Today in The BBC's Skylab: The myth of the mutiny in space it says: The Skylab space station was a research platform in orbit where astronauts helped scientists to study the human body's response to ...
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Has Hubble ever focused on something close enough that it had to move away from being focused at infinity?

Hubble wouldn't have to change focus for Pranksat to work because Pranksat is cleverly designed to present a virtual image with a focus at infinity. But if the diffraction-limited Hubble wanted to ...
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What secondary science payloads deployed from primary science payloads were strictly battery powered?

When is the last time that a battery-powered spacecraft was launched without an RTG or solar-electric power? had to be refined a few times because the use of battery-only power is much more widespread ...
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What was the first Soviet spacecraft that could recharge its battery it each orbit? Where were the photovoltaic cells made?

Sputnik 1 (/ˈspʌtnɪk, ˈspʊtnɪk/; "Satellite-1", or "PS-1", Простейший Спутник-1 or Prosteyshiy Sputnik-1, "Elementary Satellite 1") was the first artificial Earth ...
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When is the last time that a battery-powered spacecraft was launched without an RTG or solar-electric power?

Except for special sun-synchronous, Earth orbit eventually leads to eclipses, so spacecraft in Earth orbit generally have solar panels with electrical energy "buffered" by batteries. And ...
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Could the Soviets have gotten to the moon using multiple Soyuz rockets?

Saturn V's payload was 140 tons, about 20 times that of Soyuz. The Soviets did not have a functioning rocket with similar characteristics. But couldn't they launch 20 Soyuz rockets, assemble the ...
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Is there a cheap English translation of Tsiolkovsky's “Outside the Earth”?

Anyone know where to pick up a copy of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky's science fiction book titled "Outside the Earth" (alternately titled: "Beyond the Planet Earth" and "Beyond ...
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How did the UK “intentionally self-nuke its space exploration capabilities in the 1970s”?

I have it on good authority that The UK intentionally self-nuked its space exploration capabilities in the 1970s, and has only recently starting to recover from this self-inflicted damage. Question: ...
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Largest single burn spacecraft delta-v in deep space?

This 700 m/s maneuver that was avoided got me thinking and then CNN's NASA mission will zoom by asteroid before returning sample to Earth said: "Leaving Bennu's vicinity in May puts us in the '...
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What was the first satellite with mostly COTS electronics?

Computers and memory, radios, cameras, light sensors, temperature sensors, accelerometers & gyros1, power supplies, power conditioners and converters and battery interfaces can all be put together ...
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Was the famous SPICE package of programs, utilities and data kernels named after “Melange” found on the planet Arrakis?

This question is NOT about a fictional planet: This question is about NASA JPL history and the naming of SPICE. It is not primarily about the fictional planet Arrakis nor the fictional drug Melange ...
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What is the first time that two satellites were launched together as the same payload?

Below I've assembled some research into the question of which launch is actually the first to carry two satellites into orbit, but so far I think the results are inconclusive. So despite there being ...
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How was an emergency landing site at Diego Garcia used during the Apollo program?

On the current Starlink mission as the 2nd stage passed over the Indian Ocean I heard mention of contact with a ground station at Diego Garcia. Checking that article I found the subsection Space ...
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Has a rocket from a torpedo tube ever reached space?

Are submarine launches horizontal? is a general question and specifies by name two large ICBMs which are likely to need to be launched vertically. Since the large naval submarines usually come ready-...
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Did the Apollo Command module really “skip” within, or off of the atmosphere as a part of it's reentry program?

This answer to a question about the Shuttle reentry begins: Skipping reentries aren't unheard of. The Apollo command module performed a single skip when returning from lunar missions. but Wikipedia'...
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Mercury reentry heat shields; material composition, manufacturing process and explanation of all those concentric ridges?

A collection of photos in posts by Miles Lumbard there is a page titled Mercury Retro Pack Walk Around Page 1 (spotted here in reference to the thermal zebra stripes) can be found nine images with the ...
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What ever happened to 6Q0B44E - potentially the “artificial satellite (with) the farthest orbit around the Earth”?

I just started flipping through Handbook of Space Engineering Archaeology, and Heritage Space Hardware Ann Darrin & Beth L. O'Leary, Eds. 2009, CRC Press, Boca Raton, 1035 pages It looks as though ...
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Was the nature of Explorer 3's orbit intentional?

A number of early spacecraft launched into orbits other than the intended one. For example, Explorer 1's apogee of 2550 km was much higher than intended, and Vostok 1's was too high to decay in the ...
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How many Soviet space missions have had at least one tortoise?

Science Alert's These Are 7 of The Strangest Experiments Humans Have Ever Done in Space talks about two tortoises that flew aboard Zond-5 spacecraft on 2 September 1968, then later goes on to say: We'...
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Number of nonhuman primates dead in space exploration

This statue, "Sam", in Riga, Latvia, is dedicated to the animal cosmonauts who perished during space flight experiments. As far as I know, there were a lot of dead dogs on space flights, ...
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What is your name? What is your quest? What is the story behind Satellite 1963-38C?

Source see also the page On Possible Electric Phenomena in Solar Systems and Nebulae By Kristian Birkeland extracted from The Norwegian Aurora Polaris Expedition 1902-1903 (Book) Wikipedia's ...
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First Ham Radio contact from space; what frequency, what kind of antenna, and how did they route the coax out the window?

From Phys.org's Earthlings and astronauts chat away, via ham radio: NASA astronaut Doug Wheelock was just a few weeks into his six-month mission at the space station when feelings of isolation began ...
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Saturn V launch footage from in/on first S-IC stages

There first launches of each Saturn-class rocket were instrumented with, among other sensors, video cameras to learn about the vehicles’ behavior. The cameras were jettisoned at some point and then ...
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What was the furthest distance from Earth that Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins reached in Apollo 11?

An estimate is fine. But if possible, I am looking for a reference that I can cite.
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What radar-trackable steel ball was thrown from the ISS before October 2015? [duplicate]

The question What kinds of things have been tossed out of the ISS? contains a now-rotted link to a YouTube video of a steel ball being thrown from the ISS for radar tracking tests. I'd sourced it from ...
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Did NASA have black doctors around 1960?

In the 2020 TV series "The Right Stuff" a lot of changes are made for dramatic effect. The show has a black doctor working at NASA during the Mercury programme, and he seems to be pretty ...
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Is it common and good engineering for a pair of cables to be easily plugged into each other's connectors in modern spacecraft

Space News's Human error blamed for Vega launch failure Analysis of the telemetry from the mission, along with data from the production of the vehicle, led them to conclude that cables to two thrust ...
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How many independent demonstrations of optical communications between ground and space have been successful?

As everybody knows, the pioneering work of The Professor and his serendipitous collaborator Gilligan demonstrated the reality of ground to space optical communications back in 1964. In that case ...
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Is there anything left of the J-2 test stands at Santa Susana Field Laboratory and the F-1 test stands at Edwards AFB?

The Mississippi Test Facility (now Stennis Space Center) is used for a lot of rocket testing, including testing the F-1. However, many of the test stands are now gone. Rocketdyne, however, also had ...
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Lot 345 of Christie's “Voyage To Another World” auction supposedly has the only photo of Armstrong on the Moon, but isn't this one also?

Christie's press release Christie's Voyage to Another World: The Victor Martrin-Malburet Photograph Collection includes the following: Lot 345, The only photograph of Neil Armstrong on the Moon, July ...
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Who proposed detonating gunpowder on the moon to prove a rocket reached it?

I remember reading a about some rocket pioneer who had proposed that if a rocket were launched to the moon, one way to prove that it had reached the moon would be to detonate a large quantity of ...
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Where can I find list of deep space probes launched but yet to land on celestial bodies etc?

How can I find list of all deep space probes that have launched, but not yet landed on any celestial bodies?
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What was the first successful demonstration of a fuel cell in space?

Hydrogen fuel cells (together with batteries) were used for electrical power in the Apollo program, where it was recombined with oxygen on board to produce electricity. Doing chemistry in practical ...
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How was the Skylab 'parasol' deployed?

The parasol shield set up by the first Skylab crew was deployed through a scientific airlock. How did they control this when the inner hatch of the airlock must have been closed?
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How hard is it to fly through the tail of a comet? Has it been done?

The line between comets and asteroids is somewhat blurred (see below) but when we see a big bright tail we at least like to call it a comet. This question is about exploration of the tails of big-tail-...

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