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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13
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2answers
2k views

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. ...
7
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2answers
533 views

Why do these satellite antennas look so weird? (strangely shaped with little white dots…)

The NASA Spaceflight article Arianespace press onward with dual-passenger Ariane 5 launch shows a photo of Intelsat 39 during testing. The dish reflectors are strangely shaped: rather than being ...
7
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1answer
450 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
177 views

What kind of camera was used to produce this Apollo-era footage of the Earth?

The question Reflected Earth is 1/3 the size of primary Earth in Apollo footage through spacecraft window; why? begins: In the video Brian Eno on Apollo at 08:20 ...
9
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3answers
2k views

What is this spacecraft tethered to another spacecraft in LEO (vintage)

In the really nice video Brian Eno on Apollo at 03:40 there is (possibly Apollo-era but not necessarily Apollo) footage of a spacecraft tethered to another ...
5
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1answer
501 views

Humanoid silhouette on SpaceX's Starhopper; what does it represent?

update: The silhouette now has a page in Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hughmann_for_scale.svg The images below are from a NASA Spaceflight forum post and can be seen in @...
2
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0answers
176 views

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. ...
4
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1answer
325 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. ...
4
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0answers
136 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 ...
5
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1answer
703 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: ...
25
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1answer
3k views

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 ...
7
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2answers
2k views

What was this capsule dropped from a truck?

I've been watching the PBS American Experience documentary, and they showed a brief clip of some accidents at NASA. One involved a capsule being carried on the back of a truck, on some kind of crane. ...
6
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2answers
334 views

What are the bumps on the Vega rocket

In the image below, we see some bumps at the conical section of what I believe is the transition from the first to the second stage. What function do they serve? Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
4
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1answer
263 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 ...
2
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1answer
653 views

What is this red spacesuit made out of, and why is it red?

The BBC News website often uses this file photo on spaceflight-related pages such as this one. Is it possible to identify the following? the astronaut the spacecraft the spacesuit the external red ...
2
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0answers
266 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 ...
6
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0answers
208 views

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 ...
6
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1answer
828 views

How do you plot a porkchop plot like this one?

I was looking around for gravity gradients then got sidetracked by looking at pork-chop plots because they're extremely cool. I'm still struggling to fully understand them, but I did find an ...
9
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2answers
1k 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 ...
3
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1answer
188 views

What's this part of Curiosity?

What's this part here used for? The thing that looks like if you poured dirt into it, that it'd sift through it. Not the antenna, the white thing in center that looks as if it could spin.
2
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2answers
138 views

Are there payload lights turning on and off in orbit on SpaceX STP-2?

In the video of the SpaceX STP-2 Mission during satellite deployment after around T+01:21:35 there are some areas that abruptly blink brightly. It's too fast and ...
9
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2answers
8k views

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 ...
4
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1answer
236 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 ...
0
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1answer
135 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 ...
5
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1answer
772 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 ...
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 ...
1
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1answer
61 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 ...
3
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1answer
307 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?
2
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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 ...
3
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0answers
251 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....
2
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0answers
184 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 ...
22
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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 ...
22
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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 ...
12
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2answers
588 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 ...
9
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1answer
581 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. ...
6
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1answer
317 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
145 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 ...
8
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1answer
388 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 ...
1
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0answers
54 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 ...
1
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1answer
113 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 ...
0
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1answer
203 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 ...
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 ...
-2
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1answer
267 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 ...
0
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1answer
134 views

Does the arrow in this STEREO 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 ...
4
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2answers
496 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 ...
9
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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 ...
3
votes
1answer
126 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?
0
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0answers
142 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
374 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)....