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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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2answers
5k 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 ...
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 ...
5
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1answer
280 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 ...
13
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1answer
823 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 ...
7
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1answer
498 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?
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0answers
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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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2answers
145 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 ...
44
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2answers
8k 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 ...
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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/...
33
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1answer
5k 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 ...
9
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1answer
1k 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 ...
7
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1answer
318 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 ...
4
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1answer
171 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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3answers
189 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 ...
1
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1answer
51 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 ...
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2answers
257 views

What is this tiny articulated dish antenna-like thing on Zvezda?

I spotted this tiny, articulated dish antenna-like thing on the Zvezda module of the ISS while looking around for images for here. It looks like it's associated with and/or pointing in the same ...
0
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2answers
569 views

What are these thirteen purple grape-like things inside this tank?

I am not sure this is a view of the inside of a liquid propellant tank, and even if was, not sure if it belongs to a Falcon 9 per se. But there are places for fourteen round objects at the far end, ...
0
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1answer
223 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 ...
53
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4answers
10k 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 ...
22
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1answer
5k views

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: ...
18
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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 ...
12
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2answers
643 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 ...
10
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1answer
1k 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?
2
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1answer
318 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 ...
9
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1answer
2k views

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 ...
7
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2answers
353 views

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 ...
7
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1answer
177 views

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 ...
6
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2answers
3k views

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 ...
5
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0answers
114 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 ...
4
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1answer
134 views

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"?
4
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1answer
334 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 ...
4
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2answers
202 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 ...
3
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1answer
100 views

Why does the Apollo-8 Trans-Lunar Injection burn appear to be pulsing in this photo?

This tweet called my attention to The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum story Photographing Apollo 8's Orbit Toward the Moon. The story is quite an interesting bit of space history and worth a ...
3
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1answer
277 views

What is the meaning of this writing on the InSight lander, and why is some in Braille?

I spotted this image in this answer and a few things caught my eye. Both images are cropped from the much larger image PIA22540. First Braille in Space? On the left and right sides there is what ...
2
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1answer
170 views

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 ...
2
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2answers
74 views

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 ...
1
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1answer
164 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
87 views

At what time in the Apollo 14 mission did the maneuver shown in this image happen, and what exactly was happening?

In a search for information for this answer I received this google books link of Comment: The Relevance of Space, by Arthur Kantrowitz, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 197, 4 April 1971, pp 32-33. ...
0
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1answer
110 views

What spacecraft components are in the foreground of this image of the Earth and Moon? What is the camera inside of?

This tweet shows the image below, and says: Finally, some images from Queqiao, the relay satellite for the Chang'e-4 far side mission, showing the Earth and Moon! Queqiao is in a halo orbit at a ...
0
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1answer
149 views

Was New Horizons launched on a copper rocket?

Screenshots below are from Brian May's new music video Brian May - New Horizons (Ultima Thule Mix) [Official Music Video] The beginning shows the launch of a rocket. I can't tell for sure if this is ...
0
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2answers
115 views

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/?...