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.

25 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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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.
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What ever happened to 6Q0B44E - potentially the “artificial satellite (with) the farthest orbit around the Earth”?

I just started flipping through Handbook of Space Engineering Archaeology, and Heritage Space Hardware Ann Darrin & Beth L. O'Leary, Eds. 2009, CRC Press, Boca Raton, 1035 pages It looks as though ...
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What (the heck) is this purple donut in the video of the Falcon 9 fairing's atmospheric reentry?

This SpaceX tweet (found in CNET's SpaceX camera captures incredible view of rocket part returning to Earth) shows a video taken by a camera in one half of the fairing on the recent STP-2 mission and ...
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What is this ring-shaped part falling from Starship SN9 after launch?

The picture shown is a screenshot during the recent launch of SpaceX's SN9 from a live stream, and I noticed that a black ring fell off the exhaust/engine. It only shows up for around a frame or two ...
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What are these strips on the Long March 4B?

There are yellow square strips arranged semi-erratically on the lower stage of the Long March 4. There are also some on the upper stage. What are they, and do they come off before launch? Why are they ...
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142 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 ...
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38 views

What does diiferent colours in orbital path seen in the CRS 21 launch video indicate?

The SpaceX broadcast of Falcon 9 - CRS 21 launch showed the orbital path of the vehicle differently than previous videos. Separate green lines and rectangualar boxes were visible. What additional ...
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209 views

What is the mysterious object flying by in this SpaceX video?

In the last second of this video tweeted by spaceX, you can see an object fly by on screen. Did this come from the SpaceX ship, or is it foreign space junk? If it turns out to be the latter, is that a ...
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133 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 ...
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130 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 ...
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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 are these white garbage-like things on Falcon 9 vacuum engine?

On recent launch I noticed, that some white things jumping on vacuum engine in space. Something like garbage or condensate. See video at right at times when Earth is at left: ...
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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....
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Why is the bottom of the SLS rocket covered with reflective silver “muffler” tape?

NASA.gov's First Artemis Rocket Stage Moved onto NASA Barge Ahead of Green Run contains a high resolution image of the rocket. The bottom end of the rocket's cylindrical shape is closed flat and ...
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What do these three historical IBM staff at NASA insignias designate?

The question Where are these historical IBM + Apollo related locations within NASA? What do these computers do? shows four images. Three of them show different IBM insignias on shirts of IBM staff. ...
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257 views

What are these white cylindrical objects pointed in different directions in this photo of the Saturn V instrument unit?

The BBC News article Apollo in 50 Numbers; The Technology shows an image of the Saturn V's computer along with the caption: The Saturn V's computer was probably the largest computer ever blasted ...
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183 views

What is producing 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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Help decoding the US Space Force 45th Space Wing emblem symbology

What is the difference between Cape Canaveral SFS and Patrick SFB? reminds us that the US Space Force now has bases or at least stations. Wikipedia's Cape Canaveral Space Force Station links to the ...
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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 ...
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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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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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478 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 ...
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what are the fast moving white objects in JCSAT-18 separation video

Fast moving objects seen at 0:27 (bottom), 0:30 (middle), 0:32 (top and bottom right) etc. What are they? They don't seem to originate from the rocket or the payload. ...
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141 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 ...
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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 ...