Questions tagged [iss]

Questions about the International Space Station, a habitable man-made low Earth orbit satellite whose first component was launched in 1998 and used to conduct experiments for a wide variety of research fields in a microgravity environment.

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1 answer
128 views

what does the space station use the 3d printer for?

it is big and the same as it is in space. NASA's latest space station cargo includes 3D printing. 3d printing can happen in space.
2 votes
1 answer
154 views

How can you calculate the pressure that a liquid develops when freezing in a pipe?

My current understanding is that in addition to the reasons pointed out in the answer to this question here, another reason for choosing ammonia in the space station external coolant loops is that the ...
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6 votes
1 answer
357 views

Why are there so many visible cables on the exterior of the ISS?

Looking at the modules of the ISS every one of them (the Russian ones in particular) seems to be covered by silver and white cables, wires and pipes on the outside. Some of them have been added later ...
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2 votes
1 answer
108 views

Does the ISS keep pointing prograde for most of the time?

I know the solar panels rotate independently, so theoretically there should be no need for keeping the station pointing prograde. It would also be problematic for docking maneuvers. But on the other ...
1 vote
0 answers
38 views

Identifying Antenna-Like Object with Gold Orb on ISS [duplicate]

Many photos of the Neutron Star Interior Composition ExploreR (NICER) show it partially obscured by an object which looks like a golden orb on a poll. What is this object? Attempted Solution Zooming ...
2 votes
1 answer
123 views

Is there any way to predict if the ISS will lose its signal or to know it directly?

I am currently working on a project by using the ISS livestream: https://video.ibm.com/channel/iss-hdev-payload But sometimes there is a loss-of-signal and it displays a screen that breaks the ...
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13 votes
1 answer
2k views

Does NASA have any rocket options to replace ISS segments?

Roscosmos has announced their ISS partnership will end in 2 years This might have been seen as an indication that the new administration at Roscosmos was in a more cooperative mood. Any such hopes ...
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3 votes
1 answer
111 views

Modelling ISS orbit in GMAT

I am a complete newbie in all things space related. I am trying to work out how I can model the orbit of the ISS in the NASA open source tool GMAT. I can get the TLE for ISS (ZAYRA) from space-track....
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19 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is the orange material seen within the window frames of the Columbia Shuttle?

I'm seeing this orange material within the windows of Columbia shuttles -- any thoughts on its precise function? The ISS's Cupola also contains similar international orange bands, though they seem ...
1 vote
1 answer
189 views

What percentage of humans could execute the job of astronaut if given the opportunity? [closed]

Becoming an astronaut is notoriously difficult, with something on the order of 0.01% of all applicants getting picked for the job. To a large extent this is inevitable as only a dozen people per year ...
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5 votes
1 answer
246 views

Why is the ISS camera (nearly) always off when passing over/near French Southern and Antarctic Lands / FSAL well south of India?

I have viewed ISS images for about 18 months and only twice seen partial glimpses of FSAL. Other areas of the world between 51 N&S latitudes routinely appear, although the camera is off sometimes....
3 votes
0 answers
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short duration of crew 4 mission

I am wondering why the crew 4 mission is (for the moment) only planned for 4 and half months and not the usual 6-6.5 months? Thanks.
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1 vote
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How spontaneously can a spacecraft be deorbited [duplicate]

Currently the return of AX-1 has been rescheduled multiple days due to weather concerns in the landing area. How quickly could astronauts on the ISS evacuate to the ground if so required? Scenarios ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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How fast can LEO be evacuated [duplicate]

Currently the return of AX-1 has been rescheduled multiple days due to weather concerns in the landing area. How quickly could astronauts on the ISS evacuate to the ground if so required? Szenarios ...
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7 votes
5 answers
3k views

What is the maximum distance between two satellites orbiting at 400 km that would still allow them to communicate with each other using radio waves?

All satellites have the same inclination. At an altitude of 400 km, the circumference of their orbit is $2\pi \cdot (6371+400) = 42\ 543$ km. If, for example, you have only 2 satellites separated by ...
1 vote
2 answers
148 views

Specifications for Spacecraft interior and exterior paint colours

Are there specifications for Crewed mission spacecrafts in terms of interior and exterior paint colours? I.e. Only specific paint colours are required internally and externally. Can these paint ...
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

What will happen to the parts of the ISS after they burn up?

NASA has announced that the ISS (International Space Station) will be deorbited in 2031. Even if this date is moved the space station will eventually deorbit. Once the ISS has broken into thousands of ...
7 votes
4 answers
925 views

Were Hasselblad cameras used in space after the Apollo mission?

Analog Hasselblad cameras with photochemical film were used extensively during the Apollo mission to the Moon. Were they used later for Spacelab, Space Shuttle and Mir or ISS?
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6 votes
1 answer
830 views

What is this patch worn by the American astronauts?

In this image the American astronauts wear some patches on their chest but what is it? If it is the expedition's emblem, why it is so different from Russian ones?
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4 votes
3 answers
843 views

Why is Nasa retiring ISS

Is there no need to do experiments in space or have that thing where people can go into space. If they spend so much time building it why just trash it for essentially nothing?
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32 votes
3 answers
6k views

What would happen to the ISS if the Russians undocked their part?

So... RIA Novosti (Russian media agency) made a video, where they show the Russians ostensibly undocking the Zarya module and the US part of the station falls into the atmosphere (someone was playing ...
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7 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is the purpose of these three taut cables near an ISS astronaut during EVA? To what do they connect and why do two appear intertwined?

During CBS News senior space analyst Bill Harwood's explanations in the video Russia's space agency severs ties with the U.S. and its European partners they keep showing the same five seconds of an ...
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7 votes
1 answer
248 views

Could SpaceX deliver the Interim Control Module to the ISS?

Three days ago Roscosmos chief, Dmitry Rogozin, bemoaned the sanctions on Twitter saying they could break the ISS cooperation, asking Joe Biden how he'd manage to manage the course corrections given ...
9 votes
1 answer
372 views

How does the Russian invasion of Ukraine affect ISS operations? [closed]

I realise this question may be shut down as opinion-based, but here goes anyway. With diplomatic relations in the toilet following Russian military activity in Ukraine, how will this affect future ...
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1 vote
1 answer
91 views

Do you need to operate laptop computers to run the ISS SSRMS robots Canadarm2 & Dextre? What if there's a pressure loss and you're wearing a suit?

Comments and to some extent the current answer to If an ISS emergency requires pressure suits temporarily, can they still use the laptops? Move the cursor? address a highly unlikely scenario where a ...
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1 vote
2 answers
150 views

Why procure a separate de-orbit vehicle for the ISS? Why can't the ISS flip over and de-orbit itself?

From NASA Solidifies Planning to Deorbit ISS in 2031: ISS average altitude estimates targeting re-entry early 2021 Figure 4. shows the ISS end-of-life de-orbit altitude, cargo resupply, and de-orbit ...
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4 votes
0 answers
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Why is ~280 km one month before reentry the lowest altitude that the final ISS crew may see? Isn't that cutting it kinda close?

Writing this answer to When will the ISS deorbit? I came across Space Policy Online's NASA Solidifies Planning to Deorbit ISS in 2031 and the image below. It shows the estimated last crew occupying ...
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3 votes
2 answers
178 views

When will the ISS deorbit?

Is this undecided or still up for debate? Also, might it be delayed or put earlier for some reason? What about if we just abandon it?
3 votes
0 answers
64 views

What can/do astronauts look at with the portable telescopes aboard the ISS?

I would like to know what will be the visibility from the portable telescope aboard the International Space Station. What could they potentially view, and what are (at least some of) the things they ...
7 votes
0 answers
157 views

New spin on laundry day: How will ISS cope with washing machine vibration and angular momentum?

Although the ISS currently has no laundry facilities, NASA’s Glenn Research Center sponsored a washing machine design contest to do the drudgery during spaceflight. Plans have been made for testing a ...
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5 votes
0 answers
88 views

How many hours/week on the ISS is spent on science vs maintenance?

This was asked in 2016 : Does ISS crew exercise time count toward their X hour work week? The answer as of 2016 was 40 hours / week for a crew of 6. But as noted there, when the crew size increases to ...
12 votes
1 answer
470 views

Why do EVA suits have legs?

Why do EVA suits have legs? Planetary exploration suits (PES) obviously need legs. Spacesuits with legs are “a classic icon of human space exploration” and a requirement for mobility. https://www....
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1 vote
0 answers
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Pressurized gloves have significant limitations. What are objective advantages/disadvantages of the alternatives? [closed]

Conventional EVA suits suffer from mobility and tactile sensory limitations due to their pressurization. Any articulated container which changes volume with motion will resist motion if pressurized. ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What are all these packages attached to a side module of the ISS? How did they all get there?

Ars Technica's New images of the International Space Station reveal that it is still a jewel includes the photo below and I've added a view of a side module with a collection of various rectangular ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Oxygen Generation System

Is there any possible failure that OGS (oxygen generation system which ISS has) can overproduce oxygen in a spaceship? Just wondering the possibility how can spaceship explode by themselves without ...
6 votes
1 answer
816 views

World's most expensive space cookie? (What am I looking at, object identification, rivets and all)

On the NPR page Our Favorite Things, Short Wave-style there is an image whose caption reads Earlier this month, crew aboard the International Space Station received a a novel item in their cargo re-...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Shortest stay at the ISS once continuous operations and regular crew rotations began? How does Maezawa (planned) 12 days compare?

Confused about Yusaku Maezawa's first "standing on the shoulders of giants" PR photo on the shoulders of Elon Musk in 2018 then launching to the ISS aboard Soyuz, I found that the article ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Which S-Band ISS antenna stopped transmitting to TDRS and was replaced during the recent 2021-12-02 EVA?

CNN's says: Marshburn and Barron began their spacewalk at 6:15 a.m. ET, and it's expected to last for about six and a half hours. The team will replace a malfunctioning communications antenna. Live ...
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5 votes
0 answers
88 views

How long does it take for the ISS astronauts to isolate a module

In the chosen answer for What size hole in the International Space Station would be catastrophic, we find that a 0.6cm hole would depressurize the ISS to life threatening levels in 14 hours. A 20cm ...
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8 votes
2 answers
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What size hole in the International Space Station would be catastrophic?

I was reading "Russia threatens criminal charges against a NASA astronaut" in arstechnica.com. Somewhere in the article it says: " At the time, a 2 mm breach was discovered in the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
296 views

What do "initiate dragon safe haven" and "close all centerline hatches" and "next two crossings" mean?

CNN's video Hear warning to ISS after Russia's dangerous missile test plays an audio clip of a voice communication from NASA Houston ground control to the ISS crew, with the message: ...we will need ...
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8 votes
1 answer
248 views

What factors have enabled the increase in ISS crew?

A glance at the ISS expeditions wiki seems to show that the ISS's crew complement has been increasing in recent years, from between 3 and 6 to 6 to 11 - a boost to the science productivity, I'm sure. ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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What generates static charge on the ISS?

There are two plasma contactors on the ISS Z1 truss, designed to neutralize static electrical charge of the space station. What generates static charge on a spacecraft? If it is picking up charge from ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What are the operational details of the Canadarm Latching End Effectors?

There are numerous pictures of grapple fixtures and LEE available. I can appreciate how the wire snare works to snare the center pin of the grapple. But I’m foggy on how the location cam/arm ...
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9 votes
2 answers
3k views

Can an ISS module survive reentry?

Nasa is making plans to de-orbit the ISS safely over the pacific ocean, this eventually leads to the question of whether or not an ISS module can survive reentry (survive meaning it is recognizable ...
0 votes
1 answer
138 views

Is pre-deorbit explosive disassembly of the ISS utilising propellant a useful way to reduce impact debris?

The ISS could be disassembled post retro burn to provide smaller pieces for burn-up. If the hull space were filled with a stoichiometric mix of propellant from the deorbiting vessel post-burn, it ...
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4 votes
0 answers
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Deorbit of ISS is a unique event. Are there plans for scientific observation?

The ISS deorbit will be unique. Not only because of its mass, but because the time, location and observing conditions can be accurately chosen. Instruments could be placed for detailed observation. ...
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6 votes
1 answer
226 views

When the ISS is de-orbited, what is the likely mass of the largest impact fragment?

Some parts of the ISS will be more fragmentation-proof than others. Engine bells and pressure vessels, for instance. Has NASA done a formal assessment of component survivability to determine what big ...
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23 votes
3 answers
8k views

If you release a tool outside the ISS in space will it remain at the "same" place forever?

If an astronaut doing a repair outside the International Space Station (ISS) gently lets go of a tool into space, will it keep "flying" (orbiting) at the same spot relative to the ISS where ...
3 votes
2 answers
218 views

Can ISS trash be used as reaction mass for orbital maintenance

There have been a number of videos posted about trash being hand-pitched out the back of the ISS. This seems like a waste of potential reaction mass, especially since it cost $20,000/kg to get it up ...
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