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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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5 votes
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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
  • 149
2 votes
1 answer
87 views

Connection between Vanguard spacecraft, Vanguard rocket, and Project Vanguard?

I think I created the vanguard tag for Why would low pump inlet pressure result in such a spectacular explosion? (Vanguard TV3) and now I'm not sure of the connection between the Vanguard spacecraft, ...
uhoh's user avatar
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38 votes
5 answers
7k views

Did Sputnik 1 tell us more than "beep"? What science was improved by information gained from its orbiting the Earth?

Sputnik 1 was the first artificial satellite launched by humans to orbit the Earth. This answer begins: Sputnik had just one single job: Prove its existence by sending a simple "beep" ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
17 votes
4 answers
7k views

Was "Apollo" an acronym for "America’s Program for Orbiting Lunar and Landing Operations"?

I came across this paper which, on page 9, says the following: The guidance or “shooting” algorithm is based on the Linear Peturbation Theory (Battin) developed for the America’s Program for Orbiting ...
NeutronStar's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
223 views

Resources for number of orbiting and active satellites by year?

What are the standard resources for numbers of all orbiting as well as specifically active satellites by year? I'm interested in finding information on how many satellites were in orbit and how many ...
Joe Jobs's user avatar
  • 2,650
2 votes
2 answers
257 views

Most busy times in space launches by decade?

If anyone has the curiosity and time and possibility to run the scripts, I think it's interesting to see the most busy day, week, month and year, by decade. Most busy week of 1960s then most busy week ...
Joe Jobs's user avatar
  • 2,650
2 votes
1 answer
546 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, ...
Joe Jobs's user avatar
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12 votes
2 answers
4k views

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

When it was the first time the liquid methane was used in a rocket engine? I mean for space launches, but it would be interesting to also know about first uses in experimental [rocket] engines, in ...
Joe Jobs's user avatar
  • 2,650
14 votes
1 answer
2k views

Have other space capsule splashdowns attracted a crowd of civilians on boats?

We saw on the SpaceX Demo 2 splashdown livestream that various clearly-non-mission-associated civilian boats appeared to approach the Crew Dragon within 100-300 ft. Has this happened on any previous ...
CourageousPotato's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
198 views

What is the longest period of consecutive daily space launches?

What is the largest number of days with at least one space launch every day? Also what is the largest number of days with at least a launch per day on average? For example two launches yesterday and ...
Joe Jobs's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
131 views

Largest gap between two consecutive space launches?

What was the largest period without space launches after say 1970? I had to chose a random year because I guess in the first years of the Space Age the gaps were the largest anyway. Related questions: ...
Joe Jobs's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
172 views

Most busy times in US space launches?

In the history of USA space era, when did it have the most launches in the same day, week, month and year? Related questions: What was the most busy week in space launches? What is the longest period ...
Joe Jobs's user avatar
  • 2,650
18 votes
2 answers
2k views

What was the most busy week in space launches?

In the history of space launches, which week has had the most space launches? It would be also nice to know the second and third place. I think its also interesting to ask about most busy month and ...
Joe Jobs's user avatar
  • 2,650
8 votes
1 answer
916 views

What was the nature of the communication problems during Apollo 11's Eagle's descent? How were other antennas selected?

In the video of Los Angeles station KTLA's Frank Buckley interviewing astronaut & Apollo 11 CAPCOM Charlie Duke a communication problem and antenna selection is described: BUCKLEY: Many of us who ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
3 votes
1 answer
206 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?
vikramvi's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
145 views

Movie "Gagarin" what is the meaning of "DTH" which gets activated during re-entry?

In movie "Gagarin"; towards end there is something called "DTH" which initially doesn't gets activated and it was feared spacecraft will draft away 100 km. what exactly is this ...
vikramvi's user avatar
  • 435
18 votes
1 answer
3k views

Why were there two cosmonauts shown in the movie "Gagarin"?

Today I saw movie "Gagarin" and in the bus scene towards the first flight; there were two cosmonauts. If Gagarin was chosen to fly first then why was the second guy present? What was his ...
vikramvi's user avatar
  • 435
4 votes
1 answer
593 views

Is Earth's "pear shape" mostly J₃?

@OrganicMarble's answer to 1959 Peanuts cartoon about the Fischer ellipsoid (Earth is “pear-shaped”)? finally let me see the cartoon that Mathematician, Engineer and Geoscientist Irene Fischer wrote ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
19 votes
1 answer
2k views

When did photographic film stop being used in satellites?

Some early observation satellites took pictures on photographic film and the film was dropped towards Earth and picked up by airplanes (e.g. Corona). What was the last satellite to use photographic ...
usernumber's user avatar
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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
  • 149k
-7 votes
1 answer
223 views

How did the first astronauts/kosmonauts in the 1940s/1950s *know* that the sky isn't actually a dome with "little dots" (stars)?

This may sound ridiculous, like a joke question, but I'm for real. I've been thinking a lot about things like this, but I always return to this question: Those early "space explorers" who ...
J. Reistroffer's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
140 views

How did the TIROS video tape recorders record and playback images rather than audio; how were the signals modulated?

(At least) one answer to How were video tape recorders adapted to work in orbit in 1962? argues that the recorder should not be called a "video" tape recorder because the record/playback ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
3 votes
1 answer
239 views

Did Corporal or other rockets launched from White Sands land in Mexico? If so, how often?

At 10:39 in the video Explorer One is the following: Pickering had once half-joked that JPL could do anything, but building the corporal proved a humbling ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
3 votes
1 answer
177 views

How long was Sputnik 1's second stage rocket body in orbit? Are there TLEs for it?

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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
4 votes
2 answers
354 views

When and what 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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
14 votes
2 answers
876 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. ...
Vikki's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
138 views

What routinely happened in the TIROS control center? Was anything controlled there?

Question: What actually happened in the TIROS control center at Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland? Did they receive and print out satellite images in this room? If so, how? Did they ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
0 votes
1 answer
81 views

Is it possible that dark matter is civilization? [closed]

If the zoo theory is correct. Is it possible that dark matter then is civilization?
user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
549 views

History of investigation of lunar and Martian surface gravity

I wonder when it was discovered that the Moon has about a sixth of the Earth's surface gravity and that Mars has 0.38 g. I think that until Newton, everyone assumed there was the same gravity on every ...
LoveForChrist's user avatar
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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7 votes
1 answer
554 views

How could RCA Satcom III have been completely lost? (Or was it?)

This answer to What “missing satellite” was part of the story of CNN's debut? quotes the 1981 UPI Article The RCA Satcom III-R commercial communications satellite, designed to... as follows: The ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
3 votes
1 answer
436 views

What "missing satellite" was part of the story of CNN's debut?

NPR's Tune In To 'Up All Night' For The Story Of Daniel Schorr And The Birth Of CNN includes the following about the beginnings of Cable News Network On CNN's rocky debut: There were so many ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
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
15 votes
3 answers
2k views

Did Ed White, on his Gemini 4 spacewalk, have to release pressure from his suit to reenter the capsule?

I'm reading the book Das kleines Handbuch für angehende Raumfahrer ("The Little Handbook for Budding Space Travelers") by the Doctors Bergita and Urs Ganse. I generally like it. They got a few little ...
Greg's user avatar
  • 4,287
4 votes
1 answer
149 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 ...
WBT's user avatar
  • 1,144
1 vote
3 answers
905 views

Was there a rocket launched to space with Japanese manga characters painted on it?

In How common is it to dedicate rocket launches to popular causes? I mentioned a launch for which I could not remember the details. I'd seen photos of a rocket, Japanese I believe, that would be ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
0 votes
0 answers
113 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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
5 votes
1 answer
807 views

What was so "Mini" about Minitrack?

In the US Naval Research Laboratory video Vanguard 60th Anniversary: A Look Back Roger L. Easton says: Now, how did Vanguard Start? I think it’s fair to say that Milt Rosen started the Vanguard ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
2 votes
0 answers
58 views

Did NASA develop any crewed moon landing programs between Apollo and Constellation?

I just assumed that NASA has always been developing some plan to get humans back on the moon since Apollo was cancelled. But while attempting to verify this, I found that this doesn't seem to be the ...
Alex Altair's user avatar
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
1 vote
0 answers
84 views

Missing Launch Vehicle

Early Soviet era launch vehicles had a variety of designations, e.g. the well known Vostok launcher and its derivations have been known as the R7, 8K72, Semyorka, SS-6, Sapwood, A-1 and SL-3 . I'm ...
Puffin's user avatar
  • 9,754
6 votes
1 answer
590 views

Did they mount the Apollo Mobile Service Structure (MSS) to the launch pad using nuts and bolts to be prepared for a storm?

The Mobile Service Structure (MSS) was used for every launch preparation of the Saturn V. It was removed some hours before launch. The MSS is the white tower on the left side. The MSS was moved and ...
Uwe's user avatar
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29 votes
1 answer
2k views

How did they access the LM to mount the flag package while the Apollo stack was already on the launch pad?

NASA decided rather late to take a flag to the Moon on the Apollo 11 mission. In fact, they were so late that the package containing the flag was only attached to the leg of the LM on July 9th, two ...
Ludo's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
255 views

Why were two simultaneous command transmissions interpreted by Kosmos 57 as an order to begin the descent?

This answer to Encryption in radio system points to the Wikipedia article Kosmos 57 which says: The unmanned spacecraft was destroyed on its third orbit around Earth. Two ground control stations, ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
8 votes
1 answer
269 views

Why was ISEE-3 "the most cost-effective spacecraft we ever had"?

NPR's 2014 news article and audio podcast: Space Thief Or Hero? One Man's Quest To Reawaken An Old Friend quotes Robert Farquhar (NASA, Wikipedia) when discussing the ISEE-3 mission before the ISEE-3 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
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
  • 149k
-7 votes
1 answer
276 views

Why did the Apollo lunar missions not let all astronauts at least set foot on the Moon's surface? [duplicate]

All Apollo lunar missions had a third crew member who remained on board the command module. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_landing#Crewed_landings Imagine being the guy who has to risk ...
Rylynn's user avatar
  • 9
3 votes
1 answer
221 views

What other options to egress the Apollo Lunar Module were considered, given the height of the LM hatch above the ground?

The egress hatch of the LM is almost 3.5 meters above the Lunar surface. The astronauts descended using a ladder, which is actually quite high above the ground (see also this question). Were any other ...
Ludo's user avatar
  • 14.4k
3 votes
2 answers
507 views

How and/or why did Elon Musk mistweet Roadster's C3 so badly?

In this answer to How close would the Tesla Roadster with Starman have to get to Earth in order to become attracted and fall on Earth? I just wrote: When Roadster was launched from Earth Elon Musk ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
2 votes
2 answers
479 views

Who called the Lagrangian points as "Libration" points and and why was the terminology "Libration" used?

I am curious about the naming and why were the equilibrium solutions of the CR3BP called as Libration points? Who called them that and what is the history behind it?
John's user avatar
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