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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4 votes
2 answers
260 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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
368 views

Why does this "Midas missile early warning satellite" have a tilting cone with such a complex black-and-white checkerboard pattern?

Clicking on images of historic satellites led me to the airvectors.net page Foundations Of Automated Space Technology which includes this image and passage: A number of Samos satellites were also ...
11 votes
2 answers
323 views

On the ISS what is that frame with a criss-cross of rubber bands?

You can see below a picture of Steven Swanson doing a detailed tour of the ISS. I was wondering what is that frame with rubber bands on the right? It just seems to block access to the racks behind. ...
4 votes
0 answers
212 views

What are the arms for under the nozzle of NASA engine tests?

When NASA tests rocket engines at the Stennis Space Center, the engines have two arms under the nozzle. When the engines start these arms swing out of the way of the exhaust. What are these arms for? ...
9 votes
1 answer
941 views

What are those yellow trussed structures on Hubble Space Telescope?

Search as I might, I couldn't find them labeled on any schematic or mentioned in any fact sheet. My guess is Shuttle bay interface/attachment, but I also could not corroborate it by searching ...
12 votes
1 answer
1k views

What was the Modified Apollo option for a potential LEO transport?

In this website (scroll to the bottom), it mentions that ” Nixon’s advisors and NASA officials shifted their attention to developing a new transportation system to low Earth orbit. Options included a ...
13 votes
2 answers
1k views

What are the "insect antennae" on the MMU (Manned Maneuvering Unit)?

What are the “insect antennae” structures in front of the astronaut’s visor? They appear to be attached to the MMU, but do not appear in the MMU User Guide, static displays or Weightless Environment ...
4 votes
1 answer
230 views

Is it the Apollo CM "flowerpot parachute attachment fitting"?

An Apollo 17 recovery image of the top of the CM, ap17-S72-55888 from ALSJ. What is the structure inside the red polygon (drawn by me)? Is it the "flowerpot parachute attachment fitting"? ...
12 votes
1 answer
581 views

What is the utility of this peanut-shaped ground facility?

The following image is from GSLV-F11 GSAT-7A Mission: Location: Second Launch Pad (SLP), Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, India. Please click here in case you want to see the image in ISRO's ...
2 votes
2 answers
317 views

What mission is this Chris Hadfield photo associated with and what is the location? And what is that thing?

Many, many astronauts have gone on to be wonderful orators, educators, advocates for science, education and positive thinking, Major Tom Colonel (ret) and (fmr) ISS Commander Chris Hadfield is just ...
11 votes
2 answers
911 views

What is this device/object that the SpaceX astronauts are holding?

Watching the SpaceX Demo-2 launch preparation livestream, I saw both Bob and Doug using some sort of little gadget. It looks like a chunky cell phone, or a flat gopro. It appears to have an LCD on the ...
7 votes
2 answers
443 views

What are these things on the side of the GSLV Mk 3 SRBs?

Circled in green Images found by looking up “gslv mk 3”
4 votes
4 answers
2k 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 ...
6 votes
1 answer
284 views

What is the object seen in this Apollo 11 film?

At 3:42 in this Apollo 11 (16-mm magazine 1079-H) footage you can see a bright dot traversing the field of view towards the Moon. What is that? Could it be some mirror reflection due to the relative ...
3 votes
0 answers
275 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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
653 views

Does this Soyuz vehicle burn coal or oil? What is its official name?

This tweet shows the image below and says: Soyuz rocket on its way to the launch pad (on a train of course). Question: Does this Soyuz vehicle (a train engine) burn coal or oil? Does it have an ...
8 votes
1 answer
246 views

Why is a cartoon character visible in the artist's rendition of the McDonnell Douglas X-33 proposal?

I think I have figured out the what, it’s just the who, when, where and why that I don’t have the answer to. In 1995 during Phase I of the X-33 program NASA received proposals from Rockwell, McDonnell ...
3 votes
1 answer
246 views

What are these weird things on the McDonnell Douglas X-33?

Got another mystery. What are these things (highlighted) that are attached to to the heatshield of the McDonnell Douglas X-33 proposal? All I can think is maybe OMS? X-33 Proposal by McDonnell ...
11 votes
1 answer
1k views

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)? ...
22 votes
1 answer
3k views

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 ...
5 votes
0 answers
241 views

Which (vintage?) CAD software is this in the Scott Manley video regarding The Titan Rocket

I was recently surprised by seeing a CAD software in the Scott Manley video that seems to be running on old computers in a command line like interface. Which software is this? and is it still used by ...
8 votes
1 answer
217 views

What is the cabling on the exterior of the SLS solid rocket boosters that wasn't on the shuttle solid rocket boosters?

I noticed what appears to be foamed-over cabling running roughly parallel to the systems tunnel on the exterior of the SLS Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs). The cabling appears to run all the way from the ...
4 votes
2 answers
265 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 ...
10 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is pictured in this SHERLOC camera?

This picture was taken by one of the cameras on the Perseverance rover. What is pictured here ? And what is the purpose of this image?
13 votes
2 answers
412 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 ...
2 votes
0 answers
244 views

Are there "Space Jellyfish" in Florida? Would they be possible?

The Wikipedia article Space Jellyfish shows the image below with the caption: A California space jellyfish from 22 December 2017 I think that when other Q&A here have shown similar space ...
10 votes
2 answers
407 views

What are these on the Gemini Spacecraft?

What are these (circled in red) protruding from the retrograde section of the Gemini spacecraft?
3 votes
0 answers
75 views

Were there any external markings or features that allow the Gemini VI and VII capsules to be identified in photographs taken on-orbit?

(Inspired by What are these on the Gemini Spacecraft?) Gemini VI-A and VII rendezvoused and pictures of the spacecraft were taken. Given only the pictures and no other information, are there markings ...
21 votes
1 answer
3k views

What is this tube in the Space Shuttle Orbiter?

I found this picture of the left panel of the Orbiter: What is the function of that small detachable tube?
0 votes
1 answer
198 views

Does the arrow in this STEREO trajectory animation point heliocentric prograde, or towards the Sun?

This answer links to the NASA GSFC page Orbits of the two STEREO spacecraft. The first video shows the two STEREO spacecraft use two and three passes by the Moon to leave Earth orbit and enter into an ...
1 vote
0 answers
116 views

Is the author mistaken regarding this Apollo transposition and docking photo?

I came across this question, which asks about a photo with caption in this 1971 journal (google books link) of Comment: The Relevance of Space, by Arthur Kantrowitz, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists ...
11 votes
1 answer
920 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 ...
3 votes
0 answers
197 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 ...
24 votes
2 answers
6k views

What is the rotating gold object on the outside of ISS?

What is the rotating gold object on the outside of ISS? It is sometimes in view on the Live_ISS_Stream SD video feed: https://video.ibm.com/channel/live-iss-stream# A Google search gives no current ...
14 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
416 views

What are these wires visible in Space Shuttle ODS/APAS-95?

What are these three wires connected in a y-shape called and what is their role? Some sort of alignment guide? Sorry for the hard to see picture.
3 votes
0 answers
136 views

What is this thing that goes zipping past the Electron launch?

Watching the Electron launch 07 October 2022 on https://www.rocketlabusa.com/live-stream, what do I see in the video at T + 9:12, just after they confirm secondary engine cut off? I thought it was a ...
10 votes
0 answers
353 views

What's the shiny triangular feature on this Progress vehicle?

Picture from here What's the shiny, slightly curved triangular plate with rails above it? A larger version, cropped from here, thanks to a comment by ohsin.
1 vote
1 answer
169 views

What is that cone-shaped thingy on most orbiters?

Whether you're Looking at MRO, Odyssey, Juno, or MAVEN, you might notice it. That odd cone on the top or bottom of the spacecraft. Does anyone know what it is?
4 votes
4 answers
3k views

What is the largest antenna deployed in space?

@Tristan's answer says: The satellites are classified, so details are speculative, but it is believed that the Magnum/Orion and Mentor SIGINT satellites have parabolic antennae around 100 m in ...
7 votes
1 answer
416 views

What is this beige, pill shaped object on the back of the Apollo Lunar Module?

Is it an antenna, or something else? Image from https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/04/Apollo_11_Lunar_Lander_-_5927_NASA.jpg
2 votes
1 answer
254 views

What are these things on SLS' engine mount?

Watching the scrubbed inaugural launch of SLS, there has been plenty of close up views from the vehicle, including a close up of the SSME engine mount, that exhibits those white extruded squares or ...
11 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is this instrument on the ISS?

In this image (NASA original source) from the International Space Station. what is the "lightning rod"-like instrument at the end of the mast in the upper right of the photo?
1 vote
0 answers
41 views

Identifying Antenna-Like Object with Gold Orb on ISS [duplicate]

Many photos of the Neutron Star Interior Composition ExploreR (NICER) show it partially obscured by an object which looks like a golden orb on a poll. What is this object? Attempted Solution Zooming ...
2 votes
1 answer
474 views

Why does Curiosity have two images of itself on itself, or is one a QR-code?

The first image in CNN"s New images show Mars as you've never seen it before shows a partial "selfie" by the Curiosity rover which includes what looks like two images on the rover itself. The one on ...
13 votes
1 answer
3k views

Why is there a white panel in astronaut’s fabric headcover they wear inside the hard helmet?

Astronauts always have a black fabric headcover worn over their hair or scalp, when they are wearing the spacesuit and helmet for takeoff or EVAs. There’s always a white panel that looks about 3 ...
26 votes
3 answers
8k views

What is the purpose of the rotating dish antenna on the ISS

I just saw some footage of the ISS in which a dish antenna could be seen, constantly rotating. The dish looked more-or-less parabolic, meaning that it is presumably sending/receiving along a fairly ...
18 votes
1 answer
5k views

What are the "disks" seen on the walls of some NASA space shuttles?

I'm deep-dive researching older NASA shuttles, and a few elements in this image of a toilet (which could be found on display at JSC in the early aughts) stood out to me. See the red circles I added to ...
19 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is the orange material seen within the window frames of the Columbia Shuttle?

I'm seeing this orange material within the windows of Columbia shuttles -- any thoughts on its precise function? The ISS's Cupola also contains similar international orange bands, though they seem ...
3 votes
1 answer
188 views

What is this squiggly moving line in the recent SpaceX SARah-1 Mission?

I watched the livestream of the launch of the SpaceX SARah-1 Mission. Shortly after the boostback burn there is this squiggly white line that moves away from the first stage, starting at T+03:54. It ...

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