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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8
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1answer
432 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 ...
13
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1answer
2k views

What are these air-vent-like structures on this satellite?

I struck out with my previous question so I'll try again. What are these large circular 4-vane structures on the sides of NOAA-19 - the satellite that "fell down"? They remind me of adjustable air ...
3
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2answers
527 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 ...
25
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3answers
6k 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 ...
5
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1answer
392 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 seems ...
9
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2answers
998 views

Apollo Mission Operations Control Room 2 display, what do these numbers indicate?

There are some really beautiful photos in Ars Technica's NASA’s restored Apollo Mission Control is a slice of ’60s life, frozen in amber See also NYTimes' NASA Reopens Apollo Mission Control Room ...
5
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1answer
559 views

What are these four “debris” objects along with the Starlink satellites?

Celestrak has an updated system of categories for retrieving lists of current TLEs, and there's already one for Starlink, yay! Currently https://www.celestrak.com/NORAD/elements/starlink.txt contains ...
53
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4answers
14k views

“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 ...
47
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2answers
10k views

What caused this bright light from the ground at night seen from the ISS?

The music video on the NASA Johnson YouTube channel The Sound (& Visions) of Silence shows images and video of Earth taken from the ISS by astronauts Sergey Ryazanskiy, Paolo Nespoli, and ...
22
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1answer
2k views

What are the small gas jets at the rims of the Space Shuttle Main Engines?

As can be seen in close-up footage of SSME ignition, such as the video below, there are small jets of an unknown gas/vapor emanating from specific points around the ...
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2answers
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What are these circular spots on these Ariane V SRB nozzles?

This Space Shuttle Almanac tweet says: Pics 1-4 of todays @Arianespace #ArianeV VA249 launch carrying the #EDRSC & #Intelsat39 comsats from Kourou and includes the cool (hot) image below. ...
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2answers
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What is this huge, red, blinking light structure on Earth seen from the ISS in this video?

The video ESA video Progress launch timelapse seen from space is of course striking for many reasons. However there is a strange, blinking light structure on Earth that's quite puzzling! I've added a ...
8
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6answers
3k views

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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0answers
120 views

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 ...
21
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2answers
5k 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 ...
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1answer
1k 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 ...
9
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1answer
671 views

What are the features on X-37 fairing/transport jig

Is the structure on the bottom side of the X-37 in this photo a launch fairing or a transport jig? In either case, what are the arrays of transparent-looking round things on it?
4
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2answers
372 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 ...
4
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1answer
206 views

What exactly are Tindallgrams? (spaceflight related)

The word "Tindallgram" appears in three posts: this answer to How complex was the math and physics necessary to place Apollo 11 on the moon? What is a “Lear Processor” and how did it work? this ...
3
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3answers
895 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 ...
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1answer
260 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 ...
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2answers
255 views

Where is the “antenna farm” from which this Soyuz launch photo was taken?

The Phys.org article SpaceX Christmas delivery arrives at space station had a small version of this photo, and I found this large one at wirenews.com's SpaceX Christmas delivery arrives at space ...
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1answer
375 views

What was the first piece of wood to reach the far side of the Moon? Or the first spacecraft?

Chang'e-4 is the first lander/rover mission to reach the far side, but probably doesn't have any wood on it. What was the first piece of wood that landed on the far side of the Moon, and what was the ...
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1answer
257 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 ...
25
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2answers
3k views

What is the function of this (apparently) fixed dish on the ISS?

I saw this image in Popular Science, one of the example photos from the book by astronaut/photographer/astrophotographer(?) Donald Pettit. It's beautiful and impressive not only from a color/...
11
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1answer
2k views

What is the object protruding from the left side of the payload fairing during ULA Atlas V 501 AFSPC-5 launch?

OK, What is it? I have not noticed it on previous launches. It's also visible in AFSPC-5 launch videos, for example in this one: And it also comes into view ...
6
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1answer
6k views

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 ...
34
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1answer
6k views

Why does there appear to be a 180-degree stereo microphone array outside the ISS?

I was watching a feed on the latest footage of Hurricane Matthew as seen from the ISS just now, relayed from NASA TV. Suddenly, I spotted something poking out of the ISS hull in the footage that ...
12
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2answers
740 views

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 ...
12
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1answer
344 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 ...
5
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1answer
395 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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1answer
336 views

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 ...
14
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2answers
3k 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 ...
10
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2answers
307 views

What is this balloon for in this clean room and what is the proper name for the “stand” that is holding the satellite?

What is this balloon doing in this clean room and what is the proper name for the "stand" (white & blue) that is holding the satellite?
9
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1answer
2k views

What are these stacked panels on the ISS in this image?

I found this image of the ISS in a folder on my computer. I don't know the exact source but a reverse image search shows it in many different websites. Unfortunately I can't pin down a date. What are ...
9
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1answer
463 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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0answers
139 views

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 seems ...
5
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1answer
481 views

Help understanding this Apollo 11 docking probe image, what are we looking at, and from where?

The New York Times mix media "article" Apollo 11 As They Shot It shows original photographic images taken by the astronauts and related quotes by them. In one section the text says: ...
4
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1answer
268 views

Where are these historical IBM + Apollo related locations within NASA? What do these computers do?

In the Fortune Magazine video IBM's Moonshot: Past and Future with the notes BM’s John Kelly reflects on Apollo 11’s historic mission and looks forward to what future technology will accomplish. ...
3
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1answer
216 views

How does this large, flat antenna made from overlapping circles at Australia's Carnarvon Space Tracking Center work?

@Fred's comment links to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's How the Apollo 11 Moon landing was achieved with the vital help of Carnarvon Tracking Station which links to their Carnarvon space ...
3
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1answer
270 views

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 ...
3
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2answers
298 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, ...
3
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2answers
200 views

Does this image of 91-core OTRAG “asparagus-staging” show a real launch, or is it “space-art”?

This answer to Were there any non-state organizations to organize space flight and colonizations in the second half of the 20th century? mentions OTRAG and links to Astronautix's OTRAG page. The ...
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2answers
753 views

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
1k views

What is the blue box that the Exp. 53 Astronuats/Cosmonauts carried with them?

Looking at a video from Roscosmos on instagram, Exp. 52 Cosmonaut Sergey Ryazansky carried a blue box with him during his walk to the Soyuz rocket. Upon looking at more videos of Astronauts boarding ...
2
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1answer
306 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;...
2
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1answer
127 views

Which Apollo 12 astronaut is shown examining the Surveyor 3 lander in this photograph?

I used this image in Exactly what was Surveyor 3 doing with a spring-loaded boxing glove-like device? but in the captions for the image on two NASA sites I noticed a disagreement in the identify of ...
2
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1answer
154 views

What did Luna 3's illuminator illuminate and why did it need a cover?

This comment below this answer to How was it possible for the Apollo 11 to film and take pictures with such radiation? links to the svengrahn.pp.se post Luna 3 - the first view of the moon's far side. ...
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1answer
127 views

Which Viking-1 orbiter photo is this? When was it taken and what part of Mars is shown?

This answer to Are there any photos of the Martian terminator from low Mars orbit? includes (without credit) what looks like an oft-repeated photo of Mars. A comment written from reverse image ...
1
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1answer
125 views

Which orbit around Earth has the least perturbation?

Which orbit around Earth would have the least amount of perturbation from the moon, Sun etc.? Does an orbit exist where in either direction of travel that the perturbation would be the same? The ...