Questions tagged [identify-this-object]

Questions which ask for an object in a photograph or other media to be identified and/or have its function described.

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What was this stationary, then moving light point seen at daylight?

While lying on the garden couch looking straight up I noticed a point light directly above me, similar to a star. This surprised me as it was about an hour before sunset and the sky was still bright. ...
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3 votes
1 answer
156 views

What's this small source of glowing blue plasma next to Psyche's Hall effect thruster for? What does it do and why does the plasma curve and connect?

PV Magazine's NASA’s 1.5 billion-mile Psyche asteroid mission will be solar-powered includes the image below which is PIA24030 and the relevent part of the NASA caption is: The photo on the left ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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What is the purpose of these three taut cables near an ISS astronaut during EVA? To what do they connect and why do two appear intertwined?

During CBS News senior space analyst Bill Harwood's explanations in the video Russia's space agency severs ties with the U.S. and its European partners they keep showing the same five seconds of an ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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Will the NASA Commercial Crew "zip line away from the tower and into" this "military armoured truck" in case of emergency? Does the truck have a name?

The NASA Commercial Crew @Commercial_Crewtweet The #Crew4 astronauts have been busy getting ready for their upcoming mission to the @Space_Station! The crew recently participated in simulations ...
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4 votes
0 answers
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What can we know or at least deduce about this "mysterious blob in an Ingenuity navcam image"?

Near the end of Mars Guy's new video Mars helicopter escapes sand trap linked below there's an image taken by the Ingenuity helicopter where an out-of-focus bit of debris passes in front of the navcam ...
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2 votes
0 answers
60 views

Why does this "satellite antenna at the Laguna Peak Tracking and Injection Facility" look so weird? (two dishes back-to-back)

The video 1967 Navy Satellite Navigation training film (IBM 7094 data center) after 11:57 (older version here) the narrator says: For every pound of satellite in ...
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7 votes
2 answers
547 views

What are the black stripes on Kepler's image sensor?

Kepler Focal Plane Array with each tile partly covered by something looking like a bar chart. If real, what is it? EDIT: I do not mean the seam between the two CCDs of each tile but the slighly curved ...
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8 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is this South Korean rocket and why does it have separate yellow and blue exhaust plumes?

The BBC's Watching North Korea from a supersonic fighter jet (screenshot from YouTube) shows the launch of a South Korean rocket. I notice that it has both a very long, nicely expanded blue exhaust ...
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5 votes
1 answer
177 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 ...
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1 vote
1 answer
100 views

What are all these packages attached to a side module of the ISS? How did they all get there?

Ars Technica's New images of the International Space Station reveal that it is still a jewel includes the photo below and I've added a view of a side module with a collection of various rectangular ...
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1 vote
1 answer
173 views

Very slow blinking object — high orbit satellite or some balloon? Any idea?

Could anyone help me to explain? This evening I played with a Gen 3 night vision binocular. I spotted a very slow blinking light 5 hours after sunset. I made a 5 minute video, I but can't attach that ...
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12 votes
0 answers
182 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 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
447 views

What is the "recovery" helicopter for the Electron booster carrying?

This Rocket Lab tweet says While we won’t be attempting a mid-air capture today, for the first time a helicopter will be stationed in the recovery zone offshore to track and observe the descending ...
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1 vote
1 answer
126 views

What is that yellow fixture that the launch vehicle is resting on?

What is that fixture called as? I think it is used to support the launch vehicle during integration. Please correct if wrong. source - https://www.ruaviation.com/news/2019/3/12/13107/?h here's ...
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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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
170 views

Which pipeline is this, found outside the launch vehicle?

which pipeline is this found on the electron launch vehicle?
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2 votes
1 answer
122 views

What flag is flying over the landing site of the Shenzhou 12 crew astronauts returning from Tiangong? What does it say?

NBC News has a short video clip Astronauts Return After 90-day Mission To China's Space Station A trio of Chinese astronauts touched down in the Gobi Desert after completing China's longest space ...
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-2 votes
2 answers
138 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 ...
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1 vote
1 answer
160 views

What are these squiggly lines in Jonathan McDowell's tweets about Yunhai-1?

Anton Petrov's new video Another Satellite Collided in Space, But Everyone Missed It Until Now (below) is fun to watch, and links to Jonathan McDowell's tweet string which begins Space-Track catalog ...
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13 votes
1 answer
2k views

What spacesuit helmet is this?

There's a classic series of black-and-white photos from the mid-80s showing early shuttle astronaut Anna Fisher in a helmet; one was reportedly on the cover of Life magazine. Image source: reddit, ...
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2 votes
1 answer
190 views

Which two spacecraft are being shown disconnecting here, and what was the connection for?

The new Wall Street Journal video China's Answer to the Aging International Space Station: The Tech Behind Tiangong | WSJ shows what looks like it might be a fuel transfer connection decoupling at <...
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15 votes
1 answer
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Cartoon-like characters on the side of the Tianwen-1 Mars lander?

Scott Manley's excellent new video China's Mars Rover Zhurong Has Completed Its Primary Mission, Reaches New Milestone is chock-full of space-sleuthing goodies and interesting information about the ...
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3 votes
0 answers
102 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 ...
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1 vote
0 answers
49 views

What is this complicated experimental apparatus being pulled out of another complicated apparatus inside the ISS?

The new NASA video Science Launching on SpaceX's 23rd Cargo Resupply Mission to the Space Station a bit after 01:20 shows a large experimental apparatus which looks ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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What is the origin of this space station design concept and animation?

In the beginning of the ABC News video STEM industries are growing, but face shortage of qualified workers an illustration of a space station is shown, first with two cross-trusses each with solar ...
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4 votes
1 answer
108 views

What are these two devices extending from each end of the Progress MS16 cargo ship's solar panels?

CNET's See astronaut's wild view of a discarded ISS module burning up includes the image below. I've cropped, magnified and sharpened bits from each end of the Progress module's solar panels to reveal ...
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2 votes
1 answer
75 views

What is "Mission Alpha" and why does Expedition 65/66's Thomas Pesquet's tweet have the #MissionAlpha hashtag?

Expedition 65/66's Thomas Pesquet's tweet says: So long DC1! After almost twenty years of service, instead of getting a medal First place medal, one of the @Space_Station's oldest @roscosmos ...
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7 votes
1 answer
721 views

Which spacecraft are models in this Astronaut Group 1+2 photo?

The picture below of NASA Astronaut Groups 1 and 2 was taken in February 1963. Astronaut Group 1 was the original Mercury 7, and are seated in the front row (Cooper, Grissom, Carpenter, Schirra, ...
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5 votes
1 answer
192 views

Are there any markings that uniquely identify each Saturn-Apollo combination?

This question made me wonder: are there any markings on the Saturn I/IB/V launch vehicle, Apollo service module or command module that uniquely identify each vehicle (i.e. AS-5xx)? It doesn't have to ...
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6 votes
1 answer
164 views

Viking 1 - Cydonia Face on Mars Photograph Multitudinal Black Dots

The "Face on Mars" photograph taken by Viking 1 in 1976 of the Cydonia region on Mars has multitudinal similar sized small dots in a seemingly random pattern all over it. Are all those dots ...
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7 votes
1 answer
231 views

What is this thing on the right of the frame in this photograph? (STS-71)

What is this (blurred) thing that can be seen to the right of the frame in this photograph? (some versions crop it out) It is a photograph taken from Soyuz TM-21 of Mir and STS-71 Atlantis docked in ...
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1 vote
1 answer
140 views

What is an "Aceteria improved Ryan suborbital sounding rocket"?

Why does the Minotaur I wear a yellow jacket that "banana-peels" off as it launches? links to the NASA Wallops video NRO L-111 Launch (already cued at the statement in question). At the end ...
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37 votes
1 answer
5k views

Why does the Minotaur I wear a yellow jacket that "banana-peels" off as it launches?

Videos available of the recent Minotaur I launch at Wallops for NROL-111 show a yellow jacket on most of the four stage SRB-to-orbit launch vehicle. I read or heard somewhere that wires attached to ...
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6 votes
1 answer
248 views

What are these Martian space-whale (or seagull) shaped features?

In this recently released image of CNSA's ZhuRong lander and rover China releases new Mars image taken by Tianwen-1 probe, CCTV (English) Article there are many white features scattered over the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
176 views

What are these two little valve stem-like projections from the Northrop Grumman STAR 15G upper stage rocket motor? Why doesn't the STAR 20 have them?

NASA Spaceflight's Mars Ascent Vehicle from Northrop Grumman takes shape for Mars Sample Return mission says: For this, Northrop Grumman will provide a 3 meter tall, two-stage, solid propellant ...
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2 votes
1 answer
148 views

What exactly are "launch tables" and "dog bones" in the context of SpaceX's Super heavy-lift launch vehicle, as shown in these images?

@geoffc's Pod Bay comment and link Great aerial photo of launch table with the 'dog bones' being installed. So curious how this will all play out! https://twitter.com/RGVaerialphotos/status/...
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9 votes
2 answers
2k views

What do the banana values mean in this tweeted plot of heavy lift vehicle capabilities?

@FreddieR's answer to What are the longest current rocket payload fairings, capable of carrying long space station sections? contains the following graphic. It's attributed to Ken Kirtland and I found ...
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11 votes
1 answer
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What's the small white gadget with two black buttons in this video of the International Space Station?

Does anyone know what's the small white square gadget with two black buttons on the right hand side of the hatch frame in this video on the second 2185 (36:25 minutes)? ...
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5 votes
2 answers
476 views

What are these details on (renderings of) the Zhurong rover's wheels?

Looking at some renderings of the CNSA Zhurong rover I noticed some curious (pun intended) details on the wheels: This Newsy Today article: In this The Conversation article: seen in some clips of ...
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13 votes
2 answers
1k views

What is this long truss associated with Mir?

Google translations: From roscosmos.ru Flight from station to station (Перелет со станции на станцию) 35 years ago, on February 20, 1986, the first module of the Mir orbital complex was launched into ...
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3 votes
1 answer
185 views

What JPL laboratory is this exactly, and what are the functions of these amazing-looking control panels?

The (somewhat strangely named) video clip How William Shatner Changed the World - Dr. Marc D. Rayman, Chief Propulsion Engineer, NASA, JPL contains several shots of what looks like an ion propulsion ...
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1 vote
1 answer
73 views

Help decoding the US Space Force 45th Space Wing emblem symbology

What is the difference between Cape Canaveral SFS and Patrick SFB? reminds us that the US Space Force now has bases or at least stations. Wikipedia's Cape Canaveral Space Force Station links to the ...
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1 vote
0 answers
155 views

Why so many little pieces of "space tape" on this communications satellite?

Maxar's own blogpost Power and Propulsion Element: Five Questions with Maxar’s Tim Cole contains an image with the caption The ABS-2 spacecraft at Maxar’s Palo Alto, California factory before its ...
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2 votes
1 answer
138 views

Origin, artist, and original purpose of this unusual NASA image from 1996 or earlier? (possibly related to Clementine)

Two astronomy questions below relate to Clementine and poking around I found Ice on the Bone Dry Moon which was Written by Paul D. Spudis, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, TX, Deputy Leader of ...
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9 votes
1 answer
442 views

Star-shaped artifacts in SAR images of the "Suez Canal traffic jam seen from space"

Wikipedia's 2021 Suez Canal obstruction links to the Sentinel-1 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) image of the Traffic jam in the Gulf of Suez caused by the obstruction as seen by the Sentinel-1 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
112 views

Identify this Mars helicopter prototype and when and where it was built and tested?

The new NASA video Things are really looking up (on Mars) is a short set of vignettes in anticipation of the Ingenuity helicopter's first tests on Mars. Below is a screenshot of a historical file ...
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1 vote
1 answer
167 views

Did Skylab have several giant spirit levels? That's what these look like to me, except there's no bubble

The BBC's Skylab: The myth of the mutiny in space shows the image below of one big circular end bulkhead of the main Skylab main space, with an astronaut in the center hatch and giant air manifolds ...
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10 votes
1 answer
902 views

What is all this about? (photo of several small cup-like structures on top of Perseverance)

I have been trying to figure out what this arrangement is for. Could it be where the mast had its 'face' buried prior to deployment? The various cups seem to fit exactly with lenses and positioning ...
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13 votes
1 answer
3k views

What is this unlikely-looking contraption ("plutonium battery and scientific equipment") they're making Jim Lovell cary around a parking lot?

The BBC's Did nuclear spy devices in the Himalayas trigger India floods contains the following image and caption. Questions: What scientific equipment and which plutonium battery is this? Since this ...
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0 votes
1 answer
99 views

What "advanced computer capable of faster processing and data compression" is the S. S. Katherine Johnson carrying? (Cygnus NG-15)

CBS News; says: The primary goal of the Cygnus mission is to deliver science equipment and supplies for on-going research utilizing the microgravity environment aboard the space station. One ...
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