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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 are the small red cylinders used for on the bottom of the Soyuz Launch vehicle?

They are fitted on each of the first stage strap on boosters and on the second stage core and are all orientated the same way. Pipes and cables connect to the stages from the cylinders. I believe they ...
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What are the two orange tabs stuck on opposite edges of each window of the ISS cupola?

The YouTube video ONE OF THE MOST DETAILED ISS TOUR!!! is cited in several Q&A here, and shows a tour and explanation of the ISS by astronaut Steven Swanson. Today I noticed between ...
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How many CICERO cubesats are in space now? What are their IDs?

Trying to better understand the situation discussed in CICERO orbit design and optimization for GPS occultations? I decided to look these satellites up, but got stuck right away. Gunter's space page ...
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Why is there such a large range of stage numbers, including fractional stages?

Falcon 9 clearly has two stages, but the smaller two-stage Electron has a "kick-stage" so some might call that 2.5. The question Quantitative benefits of Atlas II's engine-dropping or 1.5 staging? and ...
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Help reading this Mercury era NASA “ancient” iconography

In a collectspace.com forum, I found the following (merged) thread containing images, questions and answers: http://www.collectspace.com/ubb/Forum29/HTML/000962.html The two images below are ...
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CAPCOM Console at Mercury Control Center; what does Desired Retrofire Setting time display mean?

Wikipedia's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station page links to the image Alan Shepard in Mercury Control Center (shown below). The console has two large digital time displays. One is dedicated GMT but ...
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What spacecraft control is Margaret Hamilton pressing in this picture?

Margaret Hamilton was the Apollo Director of Software Engineering. In this picture, she is shown inside a mock-up of the Apollo command module. Hamilton is noted for many accomplishments during the ...
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RIP Kepler, how shall we call your orbit? Does this cyclic flip-flop process have a name?

So long, and thanks for all the Fish Planets The captions in the NASA Ames Research Center video What Will Happen to NASA’s Kepler Spacecraft? read as follows: NASA’s Kepler space telescope found ...
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What celestial body did NASA carve and why is it eating a spacecraft?

The Mashable.com article No one carves a Halloween pumpkin like NASA engineers shows several interesting examples. But this one I can't figure out. The caption reads only. Om nom nom. Question: ...
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what's this fluffy object on the SAOCOM 1A mission's upper stage? [duplicate]

When watching the upper stage of the Falcon 9, I noticed this white or blue tuft: It changes shape a bit as time goes on. That makes me think it is something very light (cotton candy, fiberglass ...
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Did a Soyuz fly with a Union Jack?

In this schematic of a Soyuz rocket, the payload fairing is depicted with the flag of the USSR on one side, and what appears to be the flag of the United Kingdom on the other. Did the Soyuz ever fly ...
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Is this rocket design from 'The Americans' credit sequence real?

In the opening credit sequence of the TV show 'The Americans', a schematic of a rocket with 5 strap-on boosters is briefly shown: The diagram appears immediately after an elevation view of a Soyuz ...
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Which one of these (if any) is the Moon? What are the rest?

I frequently see the Moon in SpaceX videos, "I suspect" the frequency is higher than random, but can't prove it (yet!) I found the SpaceX video Falling Back to Earth | HD Footage From Space (also ...
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1answer
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Need help identifying this (likely to be) phased array antenna used to track launches

I need help identifying the (what I believe to be) flat (and possibly phased) array antenna shown next to the tracking telescope in this photo, which can be found both here and here where the ...
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What is this combination tracking telescope and helical antenna pair? was it really used, and who is/was FlightLine?

I spotted the image below here which I found here (also seen here). Zooming in on this combination pair of telescope trackers and pair of RHCP and LHCP (right- and left-handed circular polarization) ...
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What are these antenna-like structures seen in Oleg Artemyev twitter video?

Russian Cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev's Sept 3, 2018 tweet has a narrated video of Earth from the ISS, at the time over the Nile river. The video is also in YouTube (below). At the bottom of the screen, ...
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What are these discs on the Crawler-Transporter?

I've just watched this footage of SLS's Mobile Launcher Platform being rolled out to LC-39B for fitting tests. On the front of the drive trucks are two rotating discs with red markings which are ...
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How did Sergei Krikalev get (or build) the drum he is shown playing here?

In this answer @horsh shows an image of Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev playing what might be an improvised drum, together with cosmonaut Sergey Volkov on guitar, aboard Mir in 1989. Is it possible ...
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2k views

What kind of antimatter engine is this?

I found this diagram while looking up diamagnetic machines. Could anyone explain what engine this is?
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503 views

Design of 1970s era orbital fuel depot

Multiple concept art examples for a 1970s orbital fuel depot from Marshall Space Flight Center show cylindrical tanks perpendicular to a central core. But then at one end of the central core are ...
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What is the “baby rocket” attached to the booster on this rocket? [duplicate]

@OrganicMarble's answer shows some very cool looking historical rocket launches. What is the smaller structure attached to the booster on the right side, that looks like a "baby rocket"?
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Why is this rocket transparent, and why is there a nozzle in the nose, pointing up?

This tough question links to the NASA YouTube video NASA 60th: How It All Began which shows a lot of really nice, historical file footage and stills. At about 01:56...
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What do these GPS-related emblems represent? Does one of them show “Marvin the Martian”?

The Wikipedia page linked in @OrganicMarble's answer about the Air Force Space and Missile Museum contains the image below, of a (now retired) GPS monitoring station. To the right of the station ...
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Puzzler; “who” are the members of this family of comet-visiting spacecraft?

In the video Once upon a time... Rosetta's grand finale (also in ESA Space Videos) mentioned in this answer there is a "family portrait" showing Rosetta along with previous comet-visiting spacecraft. ...
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What ESA video contains this “family portrait” of comet-visiting spacecraft?

I don't use (or condone) FaceBook, but nonetheless I stumbled upon this page from a search: https://www.facebook.com/ISEE3Reboot/photos/a.801544933207256.1073741827.800538433307906/1384594101569000/?...
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What is the ESA Grip experiment, and why does it require Alexander Gerst to be strapped into it?

The text of this 14-June-2018 astronews.com tweet translated into English via google says: IMAGE OF THE DAY: Today's picture of the day shows the German ESA ...
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2answers
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Is the Hollywood “Enemy of the State” satellite at all based on a real satellite?

The page on the model maker Asylum FX's website shows some stills of a model used in the production of the movie Enemy of the State. We fabricated a 15ft long satellite model for motion control ...
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1answer
158 views

What is Kennedy's USB?

In this answer, the following picture appeared (emphasis in red mine): The VIC is the visitor centre (nowadays KSVC). But what is the USB facility? Is this by chance related to the Unified S-band ...
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Function of this big pointy thing on the Titan Transtage? Do other upper stages have something similar?

Jonathan McDowell's tweet Six more debris objects from Transtage 17 cataloged. Here is the Gabbard diagram showing apogee and perigee for each piece - green line is the GEO altitude led me to ...
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1answer
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Rocket name request: rocket company launching a rocket with a “punny” name

I'm trying to recall the name of a rocket. I read / watched about it this year, or late last year; unfortunately I cannot find it in my history. The name of this rocket, created by a company whose ...
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What is the purpose of the “shaft” and “block” in these two different engine gimbal joints?

This question refers to the device which transfers the thrust force from the engine to the vehicle while allowing the engine to swivel - the "gimbal joint". Both the F-1 and SSME have a bolt- or ...
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“Pillars of Baikonur” What is the purpose of the hundreds of short, white posts near the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch pad?

The caption given in the third image included in the Space.com page Expedition 56: The Space Station Mission in Photos reads as follows: At the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch pad, remote-controlled ...
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What could be used to associate these fairing halves with their launches?

Eric Ralph's Teslarati article SpaceX’s BFR factory in LA spied with four Falcon 9 fairing halves shows several panoramic photos of the site for the future rocket factory. In it, the author says: ...
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What was the design failure that Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory is alluding to?

I was looking through old saved urls and when an old Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory press release link didn't work, it sent me to the PageNotFound page, where I saw the image below. It ...
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1answer
262 views

What's the spiral pattern on this satellite?

I was looking through old saved urls and when an old Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory press release link didn't work, it sent me to the PageNotFound page, where I saw the image below. It ...
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2answers
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What's on the bottom of the Shuttle's external fuel tank?

In the Wikipedia article about Spaceplane there's a (rare and cool) shot of the Space Shuttle from one of the SBRs immediately after it was released. The web page for the image says: Space Shuttle ...
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1answer
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What are these two very large, round panels on opposite sides of AngoSat-1?

The Spaceflight101 article AngoSat-1 Satellite Overview Shows several images of the large communication satellite designed for GEO. Two color photos show that the spacectraft has two large (roughly ...
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1answer
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When was there a dog in ISS's Kibo module?

The interesting question What living organisms adapt to 0 gravity? includes several GIF images. One if them is shown below, that of (apparently) a dog in a NASA suit floating around in the ISS's ...
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What is the large circular device with a dozen concentric circles on Sentinel 3B?

The Spaceflight Now article Photos: Sentinel 3B satellite prepared for launch from Plesetsk Cosmodrome has of course lots of photos. One of them shows a dish antenna covered with shiny, metallized ...
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306 views

What is the function of this array of what looks like mirrors on TESS?

The Mashable.com article TESS is about to become your new favorite NASA mission shows a beautiful photo of the TESS spacecraft in a state that looks like it is nearly ready to launch. There is a ...
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What are the louver-like structures on the sides of the Mariner 4 probe?

The COSMOS Magazine article First mission to Mars: Mariner 4’s special place in history July 14, 1965, forever changed the way we see Mars. Tim Wallace looks back at one of NASA’s greatest triumphs ...
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Who is the unnamed astronaut in this uncredited photo used in commercial promotional material?

When I linked back to Do ISS astronauts notice, or experience symptoms of elevated CO2 levels? Do they wear monitors regularly? in this question, I was surprised to find that I hadn't named the ...
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What is Astronaut Sunita Williams wearing on her wrist?

The most recent installment of NPR's Brave New Workers A NASA Astronaut Stays In Orbit With SpaceX And Boeing (article & podcast) covers Astronaut Sunita Williams extremely cool new job. She's ...
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454 views

What is that thing spraying during a Falcon 9 launch? [duplicate]

What are those things spraying something at the pad during the beginning of a Falcon 9 launch?
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189 views

Identify this rocket and launch site from Gilligan's Island episode?

Since @geoffc has broken the "Gilligan's Island Barrier" with this answer I'd like to ask about the Space-themed episode 22 of Season 3 "Splashdown" which aired on February 20, 1967. What launch ...
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1answer
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What was the purpose of the small red tank attached to the Titan-Centaur launcher?

Watching a documentary on the Viking missions, I noticed the launcher had a small red tank/rocket attached to one of the solid boosters. It struck me as an odd feature/placement, as I thought you'd ...
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1answer
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Identify this 1960's launch site and mission?

These are screen shots from a video of the Assignment Earth episode of Star Trek (TOS). It was filmed in January 1968. I would assume that the image shown on the screen is NASA file footage, and that ...
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What space suit is this? [duplicate]

I recently saw this picture, and it puzzles me as to what they are wearing. At first thought, I imagined that they would be space suits. But, they went in a Soyuz craft, and the suits for a Soyuz don'...
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1answer
316 views

What is this object outside the ISS that looks like a loudspeaker?

Things in space are not always what they seem. The question Why does there appear to be a 180-degree stereo microphone array outside the ISS? makes that clear. What is this object shown to the right ...
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560 views

What is this spinning object seen on a spacecraft above the ISS?

In the YouTube Trailer for the PBS program A Year in Space at 00:56 a small spinning object can be seen, attached to a spacecraft well above the ISS. I think the ...