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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86 views

Where is Farside's 4th stage?

This answer has a lot of images that I shouldn't need to repost here, and is supplemental to this answer to the question Help me understand what Farside, a ten “stage” rockoon looked like? How was it ...
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Why was this point chosen as the origin for the Saturn V coordinate system?

David Hammen gently corrected my erroneous comment on this fine answer to the question: How is the height of a rocket measured? by pointing out the following figure in the Project Apollo Coordinate ...
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What fractions of the time did Skylab spend in Earth-oriented and Sun-oriented attitudes?

The Introduction section of NASA Technical Memo TM-X-64628 Angular momentum desaturation for Skylab using gravity gradient torques begins: The Skylab Apollo Telescope Mount (ATM) experiments ...
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Are the Voyager spacecrafts' X-band TWTAs currently set to high or low transmit power? How often were they changed?

In this answer I discuss that the Voyager spacecraft can be commanded to use either high or low power to transmit to Earth on X-band. Question: Are the Voyager spacecrafts' X-band Traveling Wave Tube ...
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What is this strange, liquid-cooled tube hanging in a wind tunnel?

Near the end of the NASA video Rocket Engine Testing the NASA Way! there is an image that appears to be archival an possibly quite old. It's a long cylinder densely wrapped with what I assume is ...
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119 views

Help identifying this archival NACA/NASA image of a wind tunnel test object

Near the end of the NASA video Rocket Engine Testing the NASA Way! there is an image that appears to be archival an possibly quite old. It's a metal model of a launch vehicle with two very long ...
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366 views

What is known about these early Falcon XX concepts?

I came across this page with the following picture from 2010: I must say the Falcon X, Falcon X heavy and Falcon XX look rather interesting. Does anybody know of resources that explain the intended ...
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151 views

How many AGC keystrokes did an Apollo rendezvous take?

My kids have a rather nice picture book about the first moon landing titled “One Giant Leap”. I find it to be a fairly accurate retelling of the events of Apollo 11 in a poetic style. However, one ...
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181 views

What happened to Starlite? [closed]

I was talking to a person (lets say his name is Tim) that when Tim was a child he remembered in a grade school demonstration on this Starlite material (Starlite is a material claimed to be able to ...
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Where did Heinlein say “Once you get to Earth orbit, you're halfway to anywhere in the Solar System”?

I know what it means. I've seen delta-V charts. But I don't know if Robert Heinlein wrote this down, or simply said it off-the-cuff to somebody. Variations include: "Reach low orbit, and your ...
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Do all US vice presidents get cool jackets?

The Ars Technica article Vice President may tell NASA to accelerate lunar landings starts with "We're tired of generating PowerPoint journeys that don't go anywhere." and explains that one or ...
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Help me understand what Farside, a ten “stage” rockoon looked like? How was it configured?

@OrganicMarble's answer links to NASA Sounding Rockets, 1958-1968, A Historical Summary and in Appendix A starting on page 79 it lists: Farside: A type of rockoon developed by Aeronutronics ...
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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 ...
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When was the first strap-on booster used in spaceflight?

The first use of the term "strap-on" in Google Ngram viewer is in 1930 and presumably that wasn't about a booster being attached to a rocket for additional thrust at lift-off. When was a strap-on ...
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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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913 views

How did the Luna spacecraft collect samples of the moon and containerize them for return to Earth?

The Wikipedia page Sample-return mission and this answer list Luna 16, 20 and 24 missions as each bringing back of the order of 100 grams of lunar material to Earth, but their Wikipedia pages don't ...
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Any earth-based film or color still photography of Apollo CM re-entries?

After watching the IMAX Apollo 11 film today I wondered if there was any film footage from outside of an Apollo Command Module (CM) re-entry (or even color stills). It does not have to be from 11. ...
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Who released pre-launch TLE data for the Space Shuttle?

The question Pre-launch TLEs for NASA launches asks: I was curious if the United States is on the verge of launching maned flights to the ISS, will anyone release Pre-Launch TLE data like was done ...
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217 views

What is the universal emblem that represents space exploration?

I am interested if there is an official emblem that represents space exploration worldwide? Are there any small pictures that everyone would recognize or associate to space exploration? I had more ...
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Was the Soviet N1 really capable of sending 9.6 GB/s of telemetry?

On the Wikipedia page for Soviet N1, it says of the control system: The telemetry system relayed data back at an estimated rate of 9.6 gigabytes per second on 320,000 channels on 14 frequencies. ...
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188 views

Was this the first-ever photo of a full moon very close to lunar new year?

Limiting the concept of "lunar new year" to "Chinese New Year" (since there are many lunar and lunisolar calendars, the latter of which the traditional Chinese one is a widely used example), is this ...
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142 views

Highest velocity impact between a spacecraft and a solar system body? What about for a dedicated impactor (spacecraft component)?

In this answer I mention the proposed impact of DART: Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) Mission Double Asteroid Redirection Test The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) Element of the ...
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Is there a list of space exploration mission ordered by “size”?

While playing KSP I came to realize how how counter-intuitive distances in space exploration are. Just because a planet is closer doesn't mean it's easier to get to. For example, I used to think ...
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313 views

What did JPL's 1939 lunar lander look like and what practical aspects of landing on the Moon did this engineering design address?

According to Wikipedia's Jet Propulsion Laboratory: During JPL's Army years, the laboratory developed two deployed weapon systems, the MGM-5 Corporal and MGM-29 Sergeant intermediate range ...
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324 views

Which Chinese citizen co-founded JPL? Who are JPL's “founders” in general?

The Wired UK article The epic tale of China's out of this world plan for space domination says: A Chinese citizen co-founded the JPL, but these days no Chinese officials are allowed on a Nasa site ...
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JSC has reorganized its website. Where is the old /news/columbia information now?

At some point after the STS-107 failure, Johnson Space Center posted a lot of valuable material online that hadn't been publicly available before. Especially the STS Generic Flight Rules, which used ...
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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 ...
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Why is the Hubble Space Telescope mass increasing? [duplicate]

According to this Youtube video I came to know that the mass of the Hubble space telescope has increased from the time of launch. What is making this mass increment? Are these the debris?
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371 views

Who were the major manufacturers of the Apollo 11 rocket?

Organizing an exhibition around photographs from the 1969 launch and wanted to invite manufacturers.
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487 views

Did anyone piloting a Space Shuttle ever make a significant pilot error?

Did anyone piloting a Space Shuttle ever make a significant pilot error? (I've never heard of any, and I'm curious if that is due to their extensive training, or if it's just that that sort of ...
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62 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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194 views

Did the astronauts of Gemini 4 have any realistic rendezvous simulator training of orbital mechanic effects?

Gemini 4 was launched on June 3, 1965. It mission included the first attempt of a rendezvous manoeuvrer in space. The rendezvous test failed. Two years earlier, in June 1963, the Rendezvous Docking ...
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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 ...
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5answers
9k views

Have there ever been people trapped in a shut down spacecraft?

I was reading some one-line sad stories and came across this one: Goodbye mission control, thanks for trying. So I was wondering if there have ever been people trapped in a spacecraft without a ...
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Was the “Earthrise” witnessed by Apollo 8 the first available “full” photo of the Earth?

Was the video/photos taken during the earth-rise on the Apollo 8 flight the first "blue marble"-esque photo? I've heard the image equated to the "earth's first selfie" and question the technical ...
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217 views

Why did the Apollo cabin repressurization valve cause a banging sound?

As portrayed in the movie Apollo 13, Fred Haise tried to spook his crewmates by trigerring the cabin repressurization valve, which creates a banging sound. Indeed, every Apollo crew reported hearing ...
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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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136 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 ...
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793 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 ...
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433 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 ...
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124 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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At what conference did the “von Kármán line” arise, 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 theorem", arising out of a conference discussion but never formally published by him. It ...
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382 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,...
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535 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 ...
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525 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 ...
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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 ...
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389 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 ...
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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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199 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?
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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 ...

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