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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Is this the golf ball that Alan Shepard hit on the Moon?

The BBC News article The Five Greatest Space Hacks of All Time shows a photo of Alan Shepard on the Moon swinging an improvised golf club. Is the spot in the upper right corner of the photo a golf ...
6
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6answers
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What is “propulsive passivation” and why will the SpaceX STP-2 mission do it?

The Teslarati article SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy flies a complex mission for the Air Force in launch video discusses the upcoming third Falcon Heavy mission STP-2 and quotes the caption on the linked ...
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1answer
95 views

What's this mini-cupola-looking object in this photo from the ISS?

(I went through this exercise for my own benefit, so I figured I'd post it) Recently stay-extended astronaut Christina Hammock Koch posted this image to Facebook today and the object indicated by the ...
16
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2answers
4k views

Does anyone recognize these rockets, and their location?

I clicked an advertisement in the sidebar of an Economist article and it took me to this infomercial from Mitsubishi Heavy Industry Group's Spectra website How new technology is democratizing access ...
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2answers
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What's this camera view of Falcon Heavy's test flight?

At about T+1:51, the lower left tile switches to some camera view I don't understand. But only for the fraction of a second, then view is back to normal. Video at that position: ...
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1answer
81 views

What is this long black tube snaking up to the capsule payload of the Antares rocket?

Scott Manley's video The Antares Rocket - NASA's Less Famous Ride To The Space Station includes some file footage of Antares rocket launches. There is a long black tube or cable snaking its way up to ...
3
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1answer
215 views

What are the white dots traveling fast in this video?

In this impressive video, between 40s and one minute, one can see white "dots" traveling very fast. What are these? My guess is that the separation with the payload is done thanks to pyrotechnic ...
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1answer
148 views

What is an “M motor”? (used in a full-scale model of a Corporal missile)

The NASA JPL video Corporal: America’s First Guided Ballistic Missile shows that it used an Acid/Analine engine. That would have been both challenging and unpleasant to reproduce. So instead, the ...
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2answers
2k views

What are they doing to this rocket following its test fire?

Watching video of today's test of Northrop Grumman's OmegA first stage SRB after the test is over and the flames have died down a bit, it looks like they are sticking something into the back end of ...
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What light was the Falcon 9 grid fin occulting in todays SpaceX Nusantara Satu Mission live broadcast?

What light was the Falcon 9 grid fin occulting in todays SpaceX Nusantara Satu Mission live broadcast? I backed up the time slider on the YouTube live broadcast and snapped some screen captures, ...
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1answer
1k views

What are these giant NASA boxes?

In this answer I saw Figure 35 of the encyclopaedic ISS Interface Mechanisms and their Heritage and from the link I saw Figure 37, and I've included both below (click for larger size). What are these ...
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1answer
34 views

How does the JEM/Kibo connect to the “Porch Module”?

In this answer I saw Figure 35 of the encyclopaedic ISS Interface Mechanisms and their Heritage also shown croped below, and in this answer I see the second image (though an SE/imgur bug shows it with ...
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1answer
152 views

What spacecraft part is Mike Pence touching in this photo?

In this photograph, Vice President Mike Pence is touching an item labelled "Critical Space Flight Hardware". What is it? Has the photo been doctored?
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0answers
93 views

What is the function of this Merlin engine's tube, and why is it getting red hot?

In the video of the recent SpaceX Starlink launch, one view of the Falcon-9 2nd stage engine shows a cane-shaped tube that glows red hot at the "handle" end and seems to get hotter over time. ...
11
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2answers
277 views

What does this SpaceX tweeted photo show and what causes the pure red and blue color?

This May 4, 2019 SpaceX tweet says More photos from Falcon 9’s 40th successful launch from Pad 40 in Florida and 39th first stage rocket booster landing to date → http://flickr.com/spacex and ...
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0answers
88 views

What caused these strange lights around the Falcon 9 grid fins (Starlink launch)?

Early in the video of the launch of the first sixty SpaceX Starlink satellites we can see that after stage separation the first stage grid fins open. Around that time there are some phenomena I don't ...
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1answer
2k views

What is the function of the corrugations on a section of the Space Shuttle's external tank?

There is a section of the Space Shuttle's external tank that appears to have large corrugations. I spotted them and saw how deep they are in a photo in this answer, a cropped section of which is shown ...
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2answers
338 views

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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1answer
4k views

What were the “pills” that were added to solid waste in Apollo 7?

In the BBC News Worldservice podcast 10, 9, 8, 7: The dramatic missions that made the Moon landing possible told by retired astronaut Nicole Stott (Expeditions 20, 21, STS-128 and STS-133) after ...
6
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1answer
130 views

Are mechanical pencils used on the ISS?

I have read through this question ("Is it possible to use mechanical pencil instead of space pen in ISS?") and it seems that without specially made pencils, it's unlikely as there are better options. ...
5
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1answer
203 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
102 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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0answers
74 views

Why does the Electron rocket throw sparks; especially at SECO?

The RocketLab YouTube video STP-27RD Launch - 05/05/2019 shows the exhaust plume from the second stage engine evolve as the atmospheric pressure drops. During this time there are frequent outbursts of ...
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1answer
148 views

Why did Skylab have a thick blue flexible cord running down its central axis?

After watching the video below (found here and here and here) I am reminded of the series of possibly less than 100% serious questions here about being weightless in the middle of a large volume and ...
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45 views

What object is visible in the background of the Dragon view from the CRS-17 launch?

In the livestream of the CRS-17 Mission, at 28:02 into the livestream (T+13:02) there is a flashing object visible in the bottom, left third of the screen. This object moves "up" in the frame. It is ...
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1answer
86 views

How did fictional asteroid 2019 PDC get its name?

Gizmodo's NASA and FEMA Will Simulate an Impending Asteroid Strike Next Week The hypothetical discovery takes place in 2019, but what does "PDC" stand for? Perhaps it is another "discovery" by the ...
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1answer
136 views

Why is DSX two satellites connected by a ring, and what are all those tubes? (upcoming SpaceX STP-2 payload)

Reminiscent of a chrome-plated exhaust manifold from a 20th century vehicle. The Teslarati article SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy flies a complex mission for the Air Force in launch video discusses the ...
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0answers
339 views

What makes this shadow pattern on the 2nd stage nozzle SpaceX JCSat-16?

I think it may be related to the sun, but I don't understand the "tooth" shape in the GIF - is this a shadow of something? Is the spacecraft already spinning for the satellite deployment? What are ...
0
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1answer
72 views

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

This answer links to this NASA page. The first video shows the two STEREO spacecraft use two and three passes by the Moon to leave Earth orbit and enter into an orbit around the sun. Below is a GIF ...
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1answer
200 views

What barge height limit warning sign is Scott Manley describing? (Falcon Heavy core fell into ocean)

In the beginning of Scott Manley's new video The First Commercial Lunar Spacecraft - 20 Years before Israel & Beresheet he takes a moment to talk about recent Falcon Heavy core falling off the ...
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2answers
202 views

What are these big shiny metallic “lumps” on the bottom edge of each Falcon Heavy nozzle?

What are these big shiny metallic "lumps" on the bottom edge of each nozzle of each core of this Falcon Heavy image from the Teslarati article SpaceX reveals Falcon Heavy Block 5 in first official ...
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1answer
2k views

What is the white spray-pattern residue inside these Falcon Heavy nozzles?

What is the white residue in a spray pattern seen on the inside of each nozzle of each side core of this Falcon Heavy image from the Teslarati article SpaceX reveals Falcon Heavy Block 5 in first ...
2
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1answer
98 views

What is the point in which metal turns white hot during launch or reentry called?

This is a slow motion film of the Sprint missle. There is a point where to skin goes white hot like a light switch. What is that called? What metal gets white hot while keeping its shape?
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0answers
211 views

Could a steam Engine outperform other electric producing devices in space? [closed]

What would be the Specific Impulse of a steam-based propulsion system like this model in space? Are there any types of engine that works this way? Could 2 tanks be designed to rotate slowly in space ...
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0answers
120 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 ...
4
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1answer
150 views

What kind of “jet engine-like propulsion” does HyperSciences use to accelerate projectiles to sub-orbital altitudes?

The Teslarati article For HyperSciences, geothermal energy builds a path to space describes the use of technology which has been applied to drilling to launching projectiles to sub-orbital altitudes ...
16
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1answer
973 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 ...
2
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1answer
126 views

What steel ball was thrown out of the ISS to help test how well ground stations can track orbital debris?

The question What kinds of things have been tossed out of the ISS? has a broken YouTube link. This is why it's good to include at least the name of the video in your post (which I didn't back in 2016)....
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1answer
155 views

How would this two-stage Mars Ascent Vehicle work? Where do you sit?

This curious answer shows an image of a liquid-fueled Mars Ascent Vehicle with a sign in front that only says Two Stage Mars Ascent Vehicle Question: Is there some NASA program associated with it ...
22
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1answer
6k views

Why is this part of the Space Shuttle launch pad suspended so high off the ground?

http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/missions/sts-107/images/high/KSC-02PD-1894.jpg shows a large part of the launch pad suspended off the ground. What is it for and why is there all that empty space ...
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2answers
145 views

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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1answer
245 views

What are these mysterious white star-like dots near MU69 Ultima Thule? Real objects near the asteroid, noise, cosmic rays, or something else?

NOTE: I think either possibility suggested below is possible, I'm not looking for arguments why one of them would be your favorite like this answer. Instead, I'm looking for a fairly conclusive answer;...
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2answers
614 views

What is the most number of stages, 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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1answer
83 views

Identify this astronaut and shuttle mission

After about 02:00 in the Kinematic video SpaceX Delivers Critical Docking Adapter for NASA to the ISS the astronaut says: You know the Space Shuttle’s been with ...
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1answer
2k views

What is under these four white covers on the upper part of the Orion capsule?

The New York Times article A NASA Journey to the Moon May Need to Find Another Rocket or Two shows an image of the Orion capsule in a file photo, along with the NASA director. There are four white ...
4
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1answer
80 views

How is atmospheric temperature measured from a satellite?

How does an Earth observing satellite measure the temperature of the atmosphere? Can they measure temperature at multiple altitudes, or measure the temperature of clouds?
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1answer
218 views

ISS location identification; estimate size and direction of astronaut acceleration puzzler

note: This question addresses the same video and phenomenon described in this answer (which I found after posting this) but here I'm asking for an analysis of the trajectories of the test masses (the ...
12
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1answer
3k views

What is Earthy controling in the ISS cupola?

ScienceAlert.com's Astronauts on The Space Station Liked SpaceX's 'Earthy' Toy So Much They Kidnapped It shows a series of photos of Earthy, the new plushy member of the ISS crew. In the photo below ...
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2answers
166 views

Was there once a semi-serious space-art project planning to use solar reflectors to put a spot of light on the crescent Moon?

Reading the question What are the effects of orbital reflectors and advertising on scientific observation and orbital debris? I am reminded of a story I read a while ago about an even in the past, ...
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3answers
457 views

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 ...