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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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How did "the kid" (John Meisenheimer) calculate that there was a wave in the jet stream and Explorer 1 would be okay to launch?

The tough but timely question NASA at sIxty years, will there be a new moonshot mandate? links to the NASA YouTube video NASA 60th: How It All Began which shows a lot of really nice, historical file ...
uhoh's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
539 views

Has a rocket engine with LOX as the oxidizer ever fired beyond the GEO belt?

Intuitive Machines' Nova-C lunar lander is scheduled to launch in mid-February of this year. Notably, the lander uses liquid methane as fuel and liquid oxygen as the oxidizer, and it will rely on this ...
quinnkenri's user avatar
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9 votes
0 answers
242 views

What rocket uses the largest percentage of Fuel/Oxidizer before liftoff?

inspired by this question: How much propellant is used up until liftoff? which asks how much propellant (fuel/oxidizer) a typical rocket uses before liftoff. What has been or is the most non-typical ...
Sdarb's user avatar
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8 votes
0 answers
466 views

What are the negatives associated with Thrust-augmented Nozzles aka Afterburning Rocket Engines?

An interesting comment here introduced me to the concept of Thrust-augmented Nozzles aka Afterburning Rocket Engines. The pubs I've read on it so far introduce the concept as a way to provide good ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
8 votes
0 answers
571 views

What did NASA Vehicle Assembly Building's "weather" look like? Did it really have clouds? Did it rain?

Comments below this answer to Would there be snow, rain, fog or clouds in a deep, sealed, subsurface cavern on the Moon if water were present? point out that the NASA Vehicle Assembly Building ...
uhoh's user avatar
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7 votes
0 answers
97 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 :-) ...
uhoh's user avatar
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7 votes
0 answers
486 views

Were solar concentrators on HS-702 just a stop-gap measure until triple-junction PV cells were available?

According to Gunter's Space Page discussion of early versions of the Hughes HS-702 Bus: The first version of the 702 used solar arrays with concentrators. These concentrators tended to early fogging, ...
uhoh's user avatar
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7 votes
0 answers
259 views

How did NASA refer to dates and times of a mission in the 1970s?

Back in the 1970s, how did NASA describe when an event happened during a mission? For example, when Mariner 10 did its fly-by of Venus, how did the Mariner team refer to that moment in time? Did ...
Joe's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
530 views

Why would the Shuttle-Transtage have been unusable for science missions?

In the 1970s and early 1980s, NASA and the DoD evaluated four different existing or proposed upper stages for use with the space shuttle: The Centaur hydrolox stage (specifically, the Centaur G/G' ...
Vikki's user avatar
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6 votes
0 answers
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Has the continued monitoring of the Voyagers probes been in danger of being discontinued, and if so, how many times?

I assume the continued monitoring of the Voyager probes has been part of the annual NASA appropriations and authorization, NASA Appropriations and Authorizations: A Fact Sheet, for example. Have there ...
Bob516's user avatar
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6 votes
0 answers
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What specific contributions have ballooning experiments made to manned space flight?

I am vaguely aware that the US space program wasn't just kicked off after Sputnik. There is a history of balloons and sounding rockets that never seem to get mentioned in the books I've read, and ...
Greg's user avatar
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6 votes
0 answers
528 views

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

See also How were Intelsat 1 “Early Bird” and Telstar 1's "hundreds" of simultaneous telephone conversations multiplexed/demultiplexed? Ouch! The 1960's From This Is What Broadband ...
uhoh's user avatar
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6 votes
0 answers
570 views

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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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6 votes
0 answers
210 views

What is the smallest launch vehicle that has put a satellite in a geostationary orbit?

Minotaur V might become a candidate for the smallest current launcher to put a payload in GEO, but it has only launched LADEE yet. The first satellite in GEO seems to have been Syncom 1 which launched ...
LocalFluff's user avatar
6 votes
0 answers
169 views

What are the contributions of ancient Indian astronomers in mapping of the solar system and galaxies?

In the history of astronomy we usually come up with the name of European astronomers like Kepler and Galileo. Earlier Indian astronomers, for example Aryabhata and Bhaskaracharya, are not usually ...
Bhaskar Bhadra's user avatar
6 votes
0 answers
2k views

Why exactly did Khrushchev present Pushinka to JFK's daughter Caroline?

Pushinka (Fluffy) was the name of one of the Strelka's (Arrow's) six pups that she had after being safely landed to Earth from orbit to which it was launched aboard Vostok-1K rocket No. 2 on 19 August ...
TildalWave's user avatar
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5 votes
0 answers
253 views

Which (vintage?) CAD software is this in the Scott Manley video regarding The Titan Rocket

I was recently surprised by seeing a CAD software in the Scott Manley video that seems to be running on old computers in a command line like interface. Which software is this? and is it still used by ...
zephyr0110's user avatar
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5 votes
0 answers
93 views

Were Mariner 3 and 4 the only spacecraft to use "solar paddles" to stabilize attitude?

This one sentence nearly link-only answer to What is the principle behind Mariner 4's “Solar Pressure Vanes”? In what case(s) would they be effective? and the discussion below explain that Mariner 4 (...
uhoh's user avatar
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5 votes
0 answers
139 views

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 ...
Bartosz Brożek's user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
158 views

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 ...
Morgoth's user avatar
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5 votes
0 answers
165 views

When, if ever, did deep space probes start using encryption?

What, if any, mechanisms prevent unauthorized commands? Asks what measures are taken for spacecraft, although the answer doesn't go much farther than pointing to the What would one need to do in order ...
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
178 views

Who invented the sun-synchronous orbit?

I was explaining sun-synchronous orbits to a co-worker and he asked me who invented it and when. I could not find an answer on wikipedia or a quick google search, so I thought about asking here.
Dronir's user avatar
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5 votes
0 answers
126 views

What (if any) key mission events ended up falling on birthdays or anniversaries due to fine tuning by Robert Farquhar?

NPR's 2014 news article and audio podcast: Space Thief Or Hero? One Man's Quest To Reawaken An Old Friend says of Robert Farquhar (NASA, Wikipedia): Farquhar is now 81 years old. He's been called the ...
uhoh's user avatar
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5 votes
0 answers
440 views

What radio frequencies were used by the Soviet space program circa 1961? ("Lost Cosmonaut" recording)

The recent Joe Scott video The Mysterious "Lost Cosmonaut" Recording | Random Thursday describes radio recording said to have been made by the Judica Cordiglia brothers from Italy in the early 1960's. ...
uhoh's user avatar
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5 votes
0 answers
191 views

Roughly when were these Pegasus photos taken?

This NASA Spaceflight Tweet shows historical photos of (presumably) Antonio Elias wishing Pegasus well. Question: Does anyone know roughly when were these Pegasus photos taken? Could they be circa ...
uhoh's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
115 views

Request for high quality Titan II turbopump audio

I'm making a historical spaceflight mod and I'm close to starting work on Titan II. Does anybody have high-quality audio clips of the Titan bwoop? All I have right now are the news broadcasts for ...
Brioche's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
315 views

Was Apollo 8 lunar orbit entry speed intentional at 7,777 ft/s?

When Apollo 8 first went behind the back side of the Moon, it was traveling at 7,777 feet per second (https://history.nasa.gov/afj/ap08fj/12day3_lunar_encounter.html). Was the speed being all 7s (the ...
jdude97's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
163 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 ...
Andrew is gone's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
96 views

Venera 13/14 Design specifications

Does anyone know where I could find design specifications, plan sets, or other documentation for the Venera 13 or Venera 14 spacecraft? These are Soviet spacecrafts from the 1980s. I suppose if ...
Erich Purpur's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
169 views

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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
59 views

What were the earliest rocket payloads (US and Russian) that supported coasting at anywhere in the ascent?

I know that sequential staging of rocket boosters was problematic, leading to Atlas stage-and-a-half and Russian hot staging. At what point did rocket boosters have attitude control allowing them to ...
lamont's user avatar
  • 973
4 votes
0 answers
206 views

Heart attacks & suicides in NASA Mission Control of the 60s?

On page 280 of Mike Gray's book Angle of Attack: Harrison Storms and the Race to the Moon (1992), Gene Kranz, legendary NASA flight director in Gemini & Apollo missions, is quoted as saying: It ...
desertnaut's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
84 views

Good example of early and simple orbital mechanics?

I am doing a talk on Katherine Johnson at my school extremely soon and I was wondering if you could give a relatively quick example of a simplified calculation in any kind of orbital mechanics ...
Isky Mathews's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
64 views

Is there any work in English that gives a systematic treatment of Soviet/Russian rocket engines?

There seems to be some piecemeal information online such as RussianSpaceWeb.com, and of course, Sutton's History of LPRE gives an anthropological treatment of Soviet/Russian rocket engine lineup ...
Meatball Princess's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
124 views

Were Soviet missions to Skylab ever considered?

The question How was Skylab's orbit inclination chosen? gave some rationale as to why Skylab was in such a high inclination (close to today's ISS at 51.6). Was there ever consideration (during and ...
costrom's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
105 views

Did anyone predict no return to the Moon for 50 years?

Back in the Apollo days, did anyone predict that there would be no return (of humans) to the Moon for 50 years? I remember some scepticism about the scientific, economic or military value of such ...
Keith McClary's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
158 views

Are any Apollo Launch Mission Rule Documents available for downloading?

Apollo Flight Mission Rule Documents (from JSC) are easy to find on the internet, but the Launch Mission Rule Documents (from KSC) - not so much. I found a couple paper copies for sale, but that's ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
107 views

What main engine used in a series of environmental satellites has failed more than once (according to the GAO)?

A GAO report on NASA's ongoing projects can be found here. On page 70 while discussing the Lucy mission, it says the ... main engine was the same model used on a series of environmental ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
146 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 ...
Cornelis's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
299 views

From where is this sequence in the Apollo 13 (movie) extra material showing Gene Kranz?

In the Apollo 13 movie extra material, there are several documentary shots interspersed with commentary about the makings of the movie. I am interested in the sequence beginning at about 29 minutes (...
user's user avatar
  • 7,330
3 votes
0 answers
104 views

Have spherical dish antennae been used with Molniya satellites to avoid switch-over signal loss?

Molniya-orbit communication satellites work well for ground stations near the poles. These high eccentricity, highly inclined orbits, with a period of 12 hours, “loiter” for about 6 hours over the ...
Woody's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
81 views

Were there any external markings or features that allow the Gemini VI and VII capsules to be identified in photographs taken on-orbit?

(Inspired by What are these on the Gemini Spacecraft?) Gemini VI-A and VII rendezvoused and pictures of the spacecraft were taken. Given only the pictures and no other information, are there markings ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
180 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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
106 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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
87 views

Did the Human Mission to Inner Space (HUMIS) experiment ever take place?

The final report of the 2003 Caves of Mars Project, formally ''Human Utilization Of Subsurface Extraterrestrial Environments'' (PDF), talks a lot about the "Human Mission to Inner Space" (...
lambshaanxy's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
86 views

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, ...
Ginasius's user avatar
  • 920
3 votes
0 answers
159 views

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 ...
Ludo's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
152 views

When did the FAI adopt the 100km line as border to space (for their purposes)?

Let me preface this with a disclaimer: This is not a discussion about which height makes sense. This is purely about international recognition by the FAI. Wikipedia says "An international committee ...
Polygnome's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
65 views

History of the planetary flyby for gravitational assist; first conception, mathematical demonstration, plan, and execution?

Planetary flybys for gravitational assists are a stable of deep space missions. When did the following things happen? First documented realization that gravitational assists in spaceflight were ...
uhoh's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
31 views

Which two spacecraft have spent the longest times in libration point orbits? (Lagrange points, Halo, Lissajous, etc.)

Libration point orbit is a general term including halos, Lissajous', and a whole zoo of others associated with Lagrange points in three-body systems. Which two spacecraft has been in such an orbit ...
uhoh's user avatar
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