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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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What would happen if a rocket was shot? [duplicate]

After the pre-launch explosion in 2016 of their Falcon 9 rocket, SpaceX seriously considered sabotage, going as far as to see how easy it would be to shoot the Falcon 9 rocket from the ULA building. ...
Starship's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
173 views

First use of spacecraft thermal control louvers, doors, pinwheels, or other things that physically actuate either passively or actively?

Below are some examples of Question: What was the first use of spacecraft thermal control louvers, doors, pinwheels, or other things that physically actuate either passively or actively? From this ...
uhoh's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
155 views

Which (if any) Vanguard satellite spun at 150 RPM? How fast did the rest spin, or at leased would have spun had they succeeded?

From Wikipedia's Project Vanguard; Launch_history I found some candidates for satellites that had pages which I could search for the term "RPM". This is not an exhaustive search, it's just ...
uhoh's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
106 views

What was the first successful two-stage-to-orbit launch by the US? What was the first attempt if different?

Wikipedia's Juno I (the launch vehicle for the first US satellite in orbit Explorer 1) begins: The Juno I was a four-stage American space launch vehicle, used to launch lightweight payloads into low ...
uhoh's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
169 views

How does NASA count the order that people have entered space?

NASA has designated Matthias Maurer (crewmember of SpaceX CrewDragon 3) as the 600th person to fly in space. Leaving aside the question of whether those who flew with Branson and Bezos should be ...
GordonD's user avatar
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16 votes
3 answers
4k 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: ...
jpa's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
229 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 ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
141 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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
62 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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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4 votes
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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
9 votes
2 answers
408 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 ...
Digger's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
280 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 ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
123 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 ...
Bobby Storm's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
428 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.&...
Ludo's user avatar
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18 votes
1 answer
2k 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 (...
Ludo's user avatar
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14 votes
2 answers
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 ...
Ludo's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
205 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 ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
123 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 ...
Fred's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers
876 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” ...
uhoh's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
808 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 ...
nuggethead's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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13 votes
2 answers
417 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 ...
Kevin's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
155 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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
141 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 ...
Anton Hengst's user avatar
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19 votes
1 answer
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 ...
KDecker's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
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-...
uhoh's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
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 ...
user44085's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
304 views

Which "Rockwell van" ran incredibly rough for the first two minutes? (call to the radio program Car Talk)

A caller to the long-running NPR radio talk show Car Talk described a problem with their Rockwell van. While it started fine, it ran "incredibly rough" for the first two minutes. Is it ...
uhoh's user avatar
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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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8 votes
2 answers
739 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) ...
Anton Hengst's user avatar
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23 votes
3 answers
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 ...
Talk is Cheap Show me Code's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
203 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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
120 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 ...
usernumber's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
149 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, ...
usernumber'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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7 votes
3 answers
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 ...
Jacob Krall's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
650 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 ...
usernumber's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
121 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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
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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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
93 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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
186 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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
33 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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
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) ...
Andrew is gone's user avatar
27 votes
2 answers
4k 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 ...
Jeroen Smink's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
579 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 ...
8192K's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
193 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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
123 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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
340 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 ...
Art's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
178 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 ...
usernumber's user avatar
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