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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7
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2answers
113 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Outdated: KSLV-II is a homegrown South Korean orbital launch vehicle.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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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141 views

When were the presence of specific elements on asteroids first identified?

Is there an approximation on when scientists first found out about certain elements on asteroids? What about gold in particular?
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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-...
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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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What is the largest number of humans in space at the same time and what vessels were they on when it happened?

What is the largest number of human beings in space at the same time, and what vessels were they on when it happened?
21
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1answer
4k views

Who were the youngest and oldest persons in space?

In recent years there has been much talk about the possibility of establishing a permanent space colony somewhere in the solar system. If that happens it's plausible that within the next century ...
7
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2answers
2k views

Why has ESA never flown a crewed spacecraft?

According to Wikipedia, ESA has never had a crewed spacecraft. While this is reasonable, it's striking that no ESA crewed spacecraft is in development right now. What's the rationale behind this ...
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1answer
586 views

What were the Top 10 Shuttle Risks in John Young's "famous letter"?

Whilst reading A Technical History of the External Tank I ran across this comment: Although the problem has not recurred, John Young, in his famous top ten Shuttle risk letter ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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342 views

What was the smallest intentional, acknowledged slingshot maneuver?

I'll keep it short but please read through! Gravitation's $1/r$ potential means everything in the solar system is pulling on everything all the time. Gravitational slingshot maneuvers are normally ...
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1answer
524 views

Did the Apollo Command module really "skip" within, or off of the atmosphere as a part of its 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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1answer
353 views

What was the first satellite built 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 ...
4
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1answer
107 views

Has a fire alarm/emergency at mission control interrupted operations?

As seems likely to be common practice, in the first attempt at SpaceX's Crew-Demo2 launch, key operators were instructed to remain at their posts in the event of a fire alarm, while others evaluated ...
3
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1answer
162 views

How did the first manned flight re-entry happened?

How was Yuri Gagarin brought back to the Earth? Did he do entry himself, by ground control, or by software?
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1answer
2k views

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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1answer
164 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 ...
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3answers
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Why did the USA fail to be the first rocket power? [closed]

This question is more on the history side. What I want to know is what the differences between the USA and Germany before 1945 were that led to the States falling behind in space technology. The ...
2
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1answer
238 views

When was the idea behind the DESCANSO Book Series first conceived, by whom, and what is its "mission"?

When was the idea behind the DESCANSO Book Series first conceived, by whom, and what is its "mission"? When I'm looking for information on deep space issues including communications and ...
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4k views

What was the first attempt in history for space exploration?

Before the space race or modern technology of 20th century, what was the earliest point in history that space exploration was attempted? If available, I'd love to read the documentation.
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1answer
5k views

What was the first man-made object to enter space?

According to this article, the german V-2 rocket from WW2 had a max altitude of 206 km when launched straight up. That's clearly above the 100 km requirement to be considered 'in space.' The V-2 was ...
2
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1answer
115 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 ...
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713 views

Why were Europe's first few satellites so stylish? Why the pronounced alternating white and black stripes?

In The Century of Space Science, edited by J.A. Bleeker, Johannes Geiss, M. Huber, viewed in Google books I ran across the following text and images. Both satellites are quite stylish looking and have ...
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3answers
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What's the first recorded use of a countdown associated with a rocket launch?

Counting down the seconds leading up to a rocket launch is iconic - certainly it seems that every child knows that after "5, 4, 3, 2, 1" comes "Blast off!" However, the countdown can't always have ...
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1answer
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Why alcohol had been selected as fuel for the first American space rockets?

I was surprised to read that Redstone used 75% ethyl alcohol as a fuel. Looks like this idea was abandoned later, and modern rockets use rectified petroleum or liquid hydrogen instead for burning with ...
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Is true that Armstrong was not designated as first to walk on the moon?

A documentary on Apollo program (I can't remember the name at the moment) states that Aldrin and not Armstrong was the first astronaut designated to walk on the moon. But after LEM landed, mission ...
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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 ...
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297 views

When did they stop routing long-distance analog phone calls through satellites? What was the maximum volume at its peak?

Ouch! The 1960's 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 ...
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2answers
577 views

Why were the Titans so expensive?

The Titan II/III/IV family (derived from the ICBM family of the same name)1 were the premier U.S. expendable launchers for much of the late 20th century, being the most capable expendables in the U.S. ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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1answer
184 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) ...
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382 views

What was the first rocket with de Laval (convergent-divergent) nozzle to fly?

Rocket engine Wikipedia article states that Goddard was the first to use a De Laval nozzle on a solid-propellant (gunpowder) rocket engine, doubling the thrust and increasing the efficiency by a ...
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2answers
4k views

What was the first programming language in space?

Sputnik 1 was the first satellite in space. Did it have a programming language on board or was it purely analog? in 1949 Von Neumann released the language Short Code. Fortran was invented in 1957. ...
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2answers
2k views

Who was the first person to touch the moon rocks?

This might be a stupid question, but I can't find and don't know the answer: Everyone knows that Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin were the first men to land on/ walk on the moon. But were they ...
18
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1answer
531 views

Was Jules Verne the first to propose the retro-rocket concept?

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 ...
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1answer
1k views

What altitudes did the first astronauts reach?

Including the suborbital flight of Alan Shepard, what altitudes did the first men in space reach? I am looking for a list of maybe the first 5-10 people who reached orbit, but also the first ...
3
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1answer
405 views

What was the first space tourism company?

What was the first company that came up with the business plan of taking tourists to space? In which year was the company launched or the outline of the business plan known to public? What was the ...
6
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1answer
220 views

First sounding rocket to reach the mesosphere?

The mesosphere (the part of the atmosphere above the stratosphere where temperatures increase with altitude) is generally above the altitude reachable by balloon. It begins somewhere around 50 km. ...
5
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1answer
632 views

Where are the "World's First Space Engines" now?

From the Wikipedia article Pioneer P-30: At an altitude of about 370 km (230 mi), the first stage separated from the second stage. When the second stage was ignited, telemetry showed abnormal burning,...
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1answer
2k views

What was the first rocket to use gimbaled thrust?

A gimbaled thrust system was used on the Space Shuttle, which is easily recognized in the beginning of this launch video. Was this technology first used by jet fighters, or was it first invented for ...
10
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1answer
545 views

Who was the first to successfully implement on practice ablative heat shield?

Up until Shuttle/Buran era, all manned orbital reentry vehicles used ablative heat shield for reentry (Vostok, Mercury, Voskhod, Gemini, Soyuz, Apollo). This made me curious about who was the first in ...
2
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1answer
150 views

When was liquid hydrogen used for the first time in rocket engines?

When it was the first time the liquid hydrogen was used in a rocket engine? I mean for space launches, but it would be interesting to also know about first uses in experimental engines, in military, ...
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0answers
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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 ...
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98 views

How common is it to dedicate rocket launches to popular causes?

The BBC's Space Plane: Mysterious US military aircraft launches says: The launch was dedicated to front line workers and those affected by the pandemic. A message including the words "America ...
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61 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
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1answer
90 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, ...
7
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1answer
326 views

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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0answers
100 views

When was the first successful photograph of an orbital spacecraft from Earth taken?

Early artificial satellites were tracked by radio and visually by amateurs, scientists and military personnel for various reasons including fun and improving the understanding of orbital dynamics ...
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74 views

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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