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Questions tagged [history]

Questions pertaining to the history of space exploration.

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Why did Neil Armstrong alone, not NASA, end up coming up with the first words uttered on the moon?

"That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind" (Neil Armstrong) These words are now firmly established in the history of space travel, and at least according to his bio, was concocted ...
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0answers
63 views

Source for Shuttle SRB segment history diagrams

I'm looking for a source for these ATK booster segment history images. Sadly absent user TildalWave posted a comment with a link to an article containing this one 3 1/2 years ago. I've finally ...
4
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1answer
173 views

What ever happened to the Asteroid Redirect Mission?

In Robert Zubrin's Moon Direct; A purpose-driven plan to open the lunar frontier (found in the Pod Bay) there is a paragraph that says: Essentially, the gateway is a vestigial form of the Obama ...
11
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1answer
196 views

What advice did NASA give Kennedy prior to his “Go to the moon” speech?

In September 1962 a nice young man ordered the United States to commit to landing on the moon in eight years. What input did NASA have in the decision? Did James Webb support or discard the idea that ...
3
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0answers
63 views

Are there calculations regarding the Kármán line in the Theodore von Kármán collection?

According to this article, page 673: The "von Kármán line" appears to be what mathematicians refer to as a "folk theorem" , arising out of a conference discussion but never formally published by ...
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1answer
66 views

At what conference the “von Kármán line” arose and was discussed for the first time?

From this article on page 673: The "von Kármán line" appears to be what mathematicians refer to as a "folk theorum", arising out of a conference discussion but never formally published by him. It ...
6
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1answer
136 views

What did Karman's original “Karman line” calculations look like?

Looking for the atmospheric parameters (density for example) and vehicle parameters (CL for example) as well as formulae that were used in the original calculation. Primary sources strongly preferred,...
6
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1answer
193 views

Did the Soviet Union put an unmanned satellite in “very low orbit”above the Kármán line which used aerodynamic attitude control?

This interesting, archived page https://www.webcitation.org/618QHms8h?url=http://www.fai.org/astronautics/100km.asp which I found in this answer, says: Later in the same decade (or very early in ...
1
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1answer
75 views

When was the ISS's “SPEED LIMIT 17500 MPH” sign originally posted?

When was the ISS's "SPEED LIMIT 17500 MPH" sign originally posted? above: "STS110-353-012 (8-19 April 2002) --- Astronaut Ellen Ochoa, STS-110 mission specialist, poses by the speed limit signs in ...
3
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1answer
237 views

Acceleration due to uncontrolled rotation of Gemini 8

Having just watched the movie "First Man," I'm interested in analyzing the Gemini 8 malfunction in physics terms and possibly turning it into a homework problem or an example for my physics classes. I ...
1
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1answer
122 views

How would the Apollo telescope have worked in the Apollo command module? Where would it be located and how would it be operated?

In the Vintage Space video episode Missions we Lost When Apollo was Cancelled, there is discussion of the Apollo Telescope and the Block 3 command module after about ...
8
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0answers
94 views

Was Jules Verne the inventor of the retro-rocket?

In his novels 'From the Earth to the Moon', and 'Around the Moon', Jules Verne writes about a set of rockets fitted to the spacecraft he imagined, that were intended to be fired in order to slow down ...
2
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2answers
139 views

Arcustangent function of the Apollo Computer, atan() or atan2()?

What type of the arcustangent function was used, the one with single argument only or the famous atan2(y, x) or arctan2(y, x) with two arguments x and y? What kind of aproximation was used?
15
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1answer
3k views

Did Michael Collins ask for a fourth gimbal for Christmas? Is there a recording or transcript?

Did Apollo 11 Command Module Pilot Michael Collins ask for a fourth gimbal for Christmas, while looking for the lunar ascent module? If so, is a recording of this available for posterity? Or a ...
120
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2answers
17k views

How did the Apollo computers evaluate transcendental functions like sine, arctangent, log?

Navigation with a sextant or maneuvers using gimbal angles might be two examples of cases where an Apollo computer might need to do trigonometry. Trigonometric functions like sine, arctangent, etc. ...
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0answers
67 views

Was the nutation problem of the Ulysses spacecraft successfully mitigated? If so, how was it implemented?

I ran across this https://web.archive.org/web/20070812135755/http://ulysses-ops.jpl.esa.int:80/ulsfct/rgpCafe/NutGame/index.html which lead me to 1, 2 and 3, links connected to the Ulysses Nutation ...
2
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1answer
130 views

Was the gravity turn used in early spaceflight?

Reading through the Wikipedia article about Gravity Turn, specifically the Use in spaceflight section, it seems that the Gravity Turn was not used in early spaceflight. Is that correct? For example, ...
2
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1answer
97 views

Better source for the 1967 photograph of Surveyor-1 by Lunar Orbiter-3?

In 1969 Apollo-12 Lunar Module pilot Alan L. Bean photographed Apollo 12 Commander Charles "Pete" Conrad Jr. standing next to Surveyor-3 because despite all of NASA's technological innovation that had ...
3
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1answer
174 views

Has a NASA administrator ever explained US military initiatives in Space to the press before this?

A search of the site will show that from time to time the political aspects of NASA (a US government agency) or the Space Exploration aspects of politicians have been considered on-topic in this site. ...
5
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1answer
92 views

What does this drawing by Konstantin Tsiolkovsky illustrate, or represent?

The Kinetic video (ironically titled) The first rocket scientist - Robert Goddard begins with an introduction to the even more first rocket scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and shows the following ...
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2answers
164 views

Why were the antennas on the spherical surface of some early satellites spiral-shaped?

In the question What's the spiral pattern on this satellite? I show this image of a spiral-shaped pattern on the spherical surface of a (presumably) vintage satellite or model thereof. @OrganicMarble'...
5
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1answer
147 views

Is there, or has there ever been anything remotely like an electron microscope in space?

I'm guessing Cmdr Hadfield's tweet is only showing an old file photo, but electron microscopes can be quite handy and complement optical microscopes, at high or even low magnification as shown here. ...
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2answers
84 views

How did Syncom-3 achieve eight stages of frequency doubling? I only see seven in the block diagram

@BlueCoder's nice answer to Syncom-3 was the first geostationary satellite. Anyone know of a description of the onboard electronics? mentions that the the master oscillator was doubled eight times to ...
2
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1answer
50 views

Syncom-3 was the first geostationary satellite. Anyone know of a description of the onboard electronics?

I am interested in any description of the electronics on Syncom-3, the first geostationary satellite. I've been able to find quite a bit of general information. There was a pair of 2 Watt TWTs and ...
3
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1answer
130 views

Apollo-11 AGC core memory has 5 wires per core (rather than 3 or 4) - why?

Apollo-11 AGC core memory has 5 wires per core (rather than 3 or 4) - why? I am referring to this image in Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_Guidance_Computer#/media/File:...
3
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1answer
110 views

Which mission delivered the first ever complete photograph of the Earth?

So far, I found a picture made from a captured V missile launched in US to image part of the Earth. Which mission did deliver a full view of the Earth from the space? Note. Of course it's ...
3
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0answers
66 views

Can I obtain the audio of president Eisenhowers message coming to me from a satellite circling in outer space?

I remember hearing a recording of this speech some time ago. However searching for it again has been difficult, which led me to believe that I probably heard a recreation from someone else. In this qz....
19
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2answers
3k views

Why was orbital rendezvous considered so controversial?

It's popularly understood that the Apollo program only selected lunar-orbital rendezvous as a mission profile after first thoroughly rejecting the direct ascent profile. It seems as though the ...
0
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1answer
106 views

What do these GPS-related emblems represent? Does one of them show “Marvin the Martian”?

The Wikipedia page linked in @OrganicMarble's answer about the Air Force Space and Missile Museum contains the image below, of a (now retired) GPS monitoring station. To the right of the station ...
2
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1answer
66 views

Materials used for turbopump construction for LOX

What are the materials used in the Rocketdyne F-1 engine's turbopump design and what was the pressure rise?
3
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1answer
91 views

Where is the LC-19 launch console now?

Julia Bergeron's recent tweet from Florida shows an electronics console that looks to be mid-20th century. Above it is written LC-19 but there are other ...
2
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1answer
228 views

Is this ISS artwork old but accurate? Was there a radiator that looked like this once?

Along with today's NPR.org news article NASA Needs Backup Plan To Maintain U.S. Presence At Space Station, Watchdog Says there is a big of ISS artwork of the ISS. The caption says: International ...
6
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3answers
537 views

In what ways did the Soviet Union “observe the Apollo Moon landings closely”?

@DarkDust's comment says: If the USSR had had just a tiny amount of doubt whether the landings were faked, they would have used that for propaganda. Loudly! They observed the landings closely and ...
2
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2answers
135 views

Space station Freedom - purpose (specialisation) of pressurized modules

A project of Space station Freedom had a long evolution and eventually ended as US segment of International Space Station. For ISS we know specialisation of pressurized modules. What were purposes ...
4
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1answer
99 views

What attitude have past and modern manned spacecraft maintain(ed) relative to Earth?

I hope this question is not too broad. It is inspired by another question. We know that ISS keeps its nadir pointing to Earth's surface. What about other manned spacecraft? Do/did they have ...
37
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5answers
2k views

How do we know the Apollo Moon landings are real?

Since about 1976, conspiracy theories denying the Moon landing and claiming it was all faked have cropped up. As a website devoted to answering questions about space exploration, we receive questions ...
38
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2answers
7k views

What is the difference between Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center?

Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center are both at pretty much the same location in Florida. I do not understand why they are referenced separately in media. How much are they separate entities? Is ...
9
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1answer
232 views

What is the cause of the data discrepancy between these two Apollo 11 Reports

Table 7-11 on page 7-9 of MSC-00171 Apollo 11 Mission Report lists the CSM/S-IVB separation occurring 3 hours, 17 minutes and 4.6 seconds into the mission, at an altitude of 4110.9 nautical miles, at ...
15
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2answers
297 views

How would the space shuttle have been retrieved following a TAL out of Vandenberg?

Had the space shuttle ever launched out of Vandenberg AFB, its primary transoceanic abort landing (TAL) site would have been Mataveri International Airport (SCIP) on Rapa Nui (Easter Island; Isla de ...
12
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1answer
812 views

Could weight have been saved on the Apollo CSM using an alternative main engine?

It's well known that the Apollo service module's main engine, the AJ10-137, was oversized for its mission. The initial plan was to use it for liftoff from the moon surface. My question is - how much ...
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4answers
4k views

When did the concept of “stages” enter rocketry?

The staged rocket design is common now, but at some point in the history of rocket design it must have been revolutionary. When was the staged design introduced? Was it quickly accepted or did it ...
6
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1answer
416 views

What is BECO? (Gemini) Same as MECO?

This answer links to this answer which shows the acceleration g-force envelopes experienced by early astronauts, reaching as high as almost 7.5g! Both show BECO, which is what I might call MECO or ...
0
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1answer
146 views

Has an object ever been put in orbit where the first stage was always at maximum thrust?

Variable thrust through changing the number of engines burning, or through propellant throttling, or other means is often/usually done to reduce maximum aerodynamic stresses on the rocket as well as ...
15
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1answer
3k views

What is the biggest piece of space junk?

What is the biggest of space junk in orbit? What was it used for and is there a picture? Source: Wikipedia
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1answer
150 views

Apollo 11 ascent data/observation mismatch

I'm researching the Apollo 11 ascent to orbit and found an article showing a mismatch between the observation and the Boeing data The launch video shows the rocket punching through what appears to be ...
5
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1answer
791 views

What Soviet-era space-related film is this Nick Stevens tweet referring to?

@antzi's post in chat lead me to the Nick Stevens' Twitter account in which I found the following 9-Apr-2018 Tweet: Soviet film, dramatized version of #Korolev and #Gagarin with the ADU-1000 Pluton ...
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0answers
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Were the Apollo lunar ALSEP transmitter signals ever analyzed or used after the experiments were shut down?

This answer to the question Why were the “perfectly functioning” seismometers placed by Apollo 12, 14, 15 and 16 astronauts all shut off in 1977? links to a NASA News Release No: 77-47 dated September ...
4
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1answer
131 views

Got Milk? Why is the term “colloid” used in “Colloid or Electrospray thruster”?

From this answer to the question "Difference between colloid thrusters and electro spray thrusters" I've extracted the following: According to the Wikipedia article Colloid thruster they are the same ...
13
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2answers
2k views

What is the most heated exoatmospheric conflict to-date?

This tweet by ISS Archaeology (quote-tweeting Norishige Kanai) got me wondering: with all the accumulated time humans have spent in space, surely there have been disagreements, frustration, and ...
4
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1answer
110 views

Why were some Launch Complex numbers skipped?

The Cape Caneveral Launch Complexes are numbered from 1 to 47, but curiously some numbers seem to have been skipped. The missing numbers are LC-7, LC-8, LC-23, LC-24, LC-27, LC-28, LC-33, LC-35, LC-38,...