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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1answer
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What is the purpose and necessity of this giant structure being used in tests of China's Mars lander?

Question: What is the purpose and necessity of this giant structure being used in tests of landing hovering and searching techniques to be used by China's Mars lander? It is shown in images (and a ...
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What are the louver-like structures on the sides of the Mariner 4 probe?

The COSMOS Magazine article First mission to Mars: Mariner 4’s special place in history July 14, 1965, forever changed the way we see Mars. Tim Wallace looks back at one of NASA’s greatest triumphs ...
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What radar-trackable steel ball was thrown from the ISS before October 2015? [duplicate]

The question What kinds of things have been tossed out of the ISS? contains a now-rotted link to a YouTube video of a steel ball being thrown from the ISS for radar tracking tests. I'd sourced it from ...
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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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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 ...
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What's the smallest kerolox engine that is/was used for spaceflight?

This comment linked in this answer to the question How does the camera make the exhaust of the Electron's RP-1/LOX exhaust transparent? says Some quick calculation suggests the thickness of the ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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Saint Elmo's fire on the ISS? What are these green glowing balls of plasma on a solar panel? Dangerous?

This tweet says: Almost the entire population of Egypt lives within a few miles of the Nile. But my eye is on the green glowing balls on what looks like it might be a solar panel. Question: What ...
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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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Exactly what was Surveyor 3 doing with a spring-loaded boxing glove-like device?

The thorough moon.NASA.gov/exploration page Moon Missions shows the image below. I learned almost all of what I know about Physics and Engineering from the Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner cartoons, ...
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What were Mars 2's conical aerodynamic braking shield and “gunpowder” engines?

The Soviet Mars 2 and Mars 3 lander missions were the first (human-made) spacecraft to reach the surface of Mars with Mars 3 the first successful landing. They both carried Prop-M's; the first wheel-...
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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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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. ...
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Why do these two Hubble Space Telescope star cameras point in nearly the same direction, and what's the other window for?

The article in Forbes Former Astronauts Share Ways To Cope With Social Distancing & Isolation includes the following image of the Hubble Space Telescope. Question: I believe that those three ...
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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 ...
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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, ...
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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: ...
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In this iconic lunar orbit rendezvous photo of John Houbolt, why do arrows #5 and #6 point the “wrong” way?

The NPR.org news item Meet John Houbolt: He Figured Out How To Go To The Moon, But Few Were Listening shows the iconic photo of John Houbolt next to a black board showing a free return scenario. I ...
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Did a Soyuz fly with a Union Jack?

In this schematic of a Soyuz rocket, the payload fairing is depicted with the flag of the USSR on one side, and what appears to be the flag of the United Kingdom on the other. Did the Soyuz ever fly ...
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What is this large fan in front of the Space Shuttle during Ground Turnaround?

In this amazing video of multiple camera angles of Endeavour landing and post-landing processing, at around the 15:45–15:56 minute mark, we see a large propeller running in front of the Orbiter. It ...
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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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What happens differently when ISS is inside this red boundary (Russia & Europe & …)?

The question Why are there advertisements in the Russian ISS flight control room? shows the image below. There is a large red boundary that looks like the boundary of the overlap of several circles ...
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What is Earthy controlling 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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Viking Lander descent engine design feature

The Viking Lander Terminal Descent Engine (3 per vehicle) was a ~600 lbf monopropellant hydrazine engine with an unusual exhaust system of 18 small nozzles. Multiple sources state that the reason ...
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What is Astronaut Sunita Williams wearing on their 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 ...
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What is this propeller-like object on top of the SpaceX Hopper?

In the spirit of Why does this rocket have a nose cone “cozy”? I'd like to ask why the SpaceX Hopper has a propellor on top, or at least something that looks reminiscent of Beany's propeller. What is ...
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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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Atlas Rocket Burning Hose

I was just watching The Right Stuff for the 100th time,and I've always wondered what is that hose spewing flame/burning propellant out of the bottom of the rocket. It's definitely not an engine,and ...
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What is the blue and purple glitter dinosaur above NASA astronaut Robert Behnken in this video?

The NASA video Expedition 63 Inflight with New York Times, Fox News, and USA Today - July 7, 2020 includes NASA astronaut Dr. Robert Behnken, and above can be seen a blue and purple glitter covered ...
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What are these Martian space-whale (or seagull) shaped features?

In this recently released image of CNSA's ZhuRong lander and rover China releases new Mars image taken by Tianwen-1 probe, CCTV (English) Article there are many white features scattered over the ...
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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 does the Minotaur I wear a yellow jacket that “banana-peels” off as it launches?

Videos available of the recent Minotaur I launch at Wallops for NROL-111 show a yellow jacket on most of the four stage SRB-to-orbit launch vehicle. I read or heard somewhere that wires attached to ...
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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)? ...
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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 ...
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What antenna is this in an Apollo 15 LM photo?

The video Apollo 15 landing from PDI to Touchdown (found in Why did the Apollo 15 LM violently shake & raise dust after the contact probes touched the lunar surface?) seems to pan across a still ...
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What are beta cloth and beta marquisette, materials used in Apollo-era space suits?

The NASA PDF Space Suit which contains CSM21 Spacesuits pp 223-228 in the url name mentions beta cloth and beta marquisette several times. Question: What are they ...
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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 ...
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What do the banana values mean in this tweeted plot of heavy lift vehicle capabilities?

@FreddieR's answer to What are the longest current rocket payload fairings, capable of carrying long space station sections? contains the following graphic. It's attributed to Ken Kirtland and I found ...
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Is this rocket design from 'The Americans' credit sequence real?

In the opening credit sequence of the TV show 'The Americans', a schematic of a rocket with 5 strap-on boosters is briefly shown: The diagram appears immediately after an elevation view of a Soyuz ...
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What is Tesseract's “secret sauce”? (green propellant)

TechCrunch's Tesseract makes spacecraft propulsion smaller, greener, stronger tells us to "ditch the hazmat suits" and https://www.tesseract.space/products-and-services lists the Lyra 22 (i.e. 22 ...