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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What's the farthest an ISS astronaut gets from the station's center of mass during routine activities? At 0.5°/s what centrifugal effects are there?

This answer to Are there really “Dead End” signs on the outside of the International Space Station? won't be helpful here since for the purposes of this question spacewalks aren't part of routine ...
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Do astronauts aboard ISS notice a change in ISS orientation?

The ISS was rotated by Nauka today. As far as I understand, this took quite some time, i.e. the ISS was not simply rotated by 45 degrees within a few seconds. I know that the ISS usually rotates once ...
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What is the definition of a “spacecraft emergency” at the ISS, and what is the response to it?

Several sources including the Orange County Register are reporting that a "spacecraft emergency" was declared today onboard the ISS due to the new MLM module's uncommanded thruster firings ...
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What is “Mission Alpha” and why does Expedition 65/66's Thomas Pesquet's tweet have the #MissionAlpha hashtag?

Expedition 65/66's Thomas Pesquet's tweet says: So long DC1! After almost twenty years of service, instead of getting a medal First place medal, one of the @Space_Station's oldest @roscosmos ...
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Did the ISS just turn upside-down? Nauka docking attitude maneuvers; did the cupola near pointing zenith and therefore show only black sky w/ stars?

This answer to Is the ISS going to yaw and assume the XPOP attitude for Nauka docking? contains lots of information on the attitude trajectory in yaw-pitch-roll space, but from those I can't envision ...
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Why aren't ISS attitude control thrusters a “tool” picked up by robotic arms?

Since ISS is an evolving structure which center of mass flucuates in position depending on added or removed modules, could Canadarm or latest European robotic arm be used to manipulate attitude ...
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Can a spacecraft be “too large to dock” to the ISS?

A comment below Is Starship planned to fly directly to the ISS without first stage? Is it even possible? says: to my best knowledge, the Starship will never be near the ISS. it is too large to dock ...
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Is the ISS going to yaw and assume the XPOP attitude for Nauka docking?

I noticed this in the launch of Nauka MLM to the ISS. (Previously I had assumed it would dock in a similar manner to Progress or Soyuz, that is coming from behind and underneath - this says the ...
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Is the zero gravity experienced in ISS the “artificial” kind?

I always wondered about the following: An astronaut floating inside a spaceship that is far from Earth or any other other planet will experience true zero gravity because there is negligible ...
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How will Nauka be configured on the ISS? In which direction will it extend?

The NASA Johnson Space to Ground: At the Midpoint: 07/02/2021 video this week from Mexico City to promote Espacio a Tierra includes the following: Also launching to the Station, a new multi-purpose ...
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How does ECOSTRESS measure both temperature and emissivity of the Earth's surface simultaneously? (Science package aboard the ISS)

The This Week at NASA video A U.S. Commercial Spacecraft Departs the Space Station on This Week @NASA – July 2, 2021 includes the following quote: Data from NASA’s Ecosystem Spaceborne Thermal ...
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Why doesn't the ISS orient itself to the Earth's magnetic field like a compass needle?

I was watching this video of a magnet aboard the ISS floating freely. When the person lets go of the magnet, it behaves like a compass needle and immediately orients itself to the magnetic field of ...
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What are the chances that a spacecraft is hit by space junk?

If a rocket flies into space there is a possibility that it will encounter a piece of space garbage; even a small screw can be fatal. What are the chances that such a collision really takes place? ...
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How does the ISS crew adjust the color of the new LED cabin lighting? Is there a knob somewhere? Can it be programmed to change by itself?

@OrganicMarble's answer to What's the small white gadget with two black buttons in this video of the International Space Station? includes the On/Off switch for cabin lighting aboard the ISS. Is the ...
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Where all is ROSA (roll-out solar array) planned to be used?

A comment below Why are DART's solar panels aligned like this? says: Maybe could have something to do with how much space they take up with rolled all the way in? This is also the first use of ...
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How much did NASA pay Roscosmos for the Soyuz to provide assured crew return services

The STS orbiter wasn't able to stay on orbit for very long, and the ISS had an SOP of having a return seat for each body on the station, so during the years of the Shuttle performing crew rotation ...
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What does “1g ref” mean in the ISS Crew Notebook?

Earlier I happened across What's the small white gadget with two black buttons in this video of the International Space Station? via the HNQ list. I was intrigued by the snippet from the "...
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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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When jettisoning heavy objects from the ISS e.g. 2.9 tons of batteries+, how much torque is there on the station? Are corrective actions necessary?

Discussion below this answer to Why does it take so long for ISS garbage to fall out of orbit? addresses the jettisoning of the ~2.9 ton pallet full of used batteries full of nickel and other things. ...
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What are the “Big 13” critical contingency spacewalks on the ISS? Have any actually been performed?

There is a list of Critical Contingency items on the US side of the International Space Station called the "Big 13". The failure of any of these items would force an unscheduled spacewalk ...
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Could amateur radio operators or others contact the ISS against NASA's wishes?

In real life, but more often in fiction, there are have been a number of examples of "Don't tell the crew" i.e. Mission control finding out about an issue and deciding that for whatever ...
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What is the maximum allowed occupancy of the ISS?

With the recent Crew-2 docking while Crew-1 was still docked, there were Four Crew-1 members Four Crew-2 members Three Soyuz members That totals eleven. There have been as many as 13 aboard at once (...
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Is the life support system on ISS and other used manned spacecrafts fully redundant?

I just finished watching the Sci-Fi movie Stowaway where the crew of the spacecraft MTS-42 heading to Mars, gets in all kind of troubles after the failure of the single life support system. My ...
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Why do we never see astronauts doing breaststroke or the “Man from Atlantis” swimming movements, say, and thus swimming in air in free fall?

Why do we never see astronauts and others swimming in air in free fall? The swimming strokes that work well under water on earth are the breast stroke and especially that "Man from Atlantis" ...
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What is the acceleration in an orbit decaying due to air resistance relative to one not decaying?

This answer to Is there an upper limit for the internal size of space stations? has this paragraph: Finally, if you are stuck ["stranded" in the middle of a room in a space station filled ...
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How do modern “space windows” protect from dangerous UV? Is it simply the type of glass, or are there coatings or filters also?

Answer(s) to Did Valentin Lebedev or any another Salut cosmonaut actually get suntanned for fun and/or for science? explain that at least a few Salut cosmonauts "experimented" with getting ...
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Could the ISS be separated into two parts to make two space stations?

Let's assume that for some reason Russians wants to have a space station on their own, thus to separate their part from the rest of ISS. Would that be even possible without much of work?
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How many burns does it take to reboost the ISS?

When the International Space Station is given a reboost, how many burns are performed? Is it a Hohmann transfer orbit, with one perigee burn and one apogee burn? Or is it one burn at apogee just to ...
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When ISS Launches Cubesats, which direction do they usually fire them?

I was listening to Houston We Have A Podcast and they mentioned that spare payload on ISS supply/crew runs frequently get filled with cubesats which get (more elegantly than the word suggests) tossed ...
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What can the ISS do that a SpaceX Starship could not?

The SpaceX Starship (lunar and/or crew-rated version, upper stage only) is expected to have more habitable volume than the International Space Station. On the other hand, the ISS is around 400 tons, ...
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How big are Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) boots?

How big are Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) boots? Are any NASA equipment related to the ISS open to the public, if so were where would I find it?
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What is the density of the earth's atmosphere at an altitude of four hundred kilometers?

What is the density of the earth's atmosphere at an altitude of four hundred kilometers? I want to use it to calculate the drag on something in orbit near the ISS. The Jacchia Reference Atmosphere is ...
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Why did ESA retire the Automated Transfer Vehicle, instead of developing it into a crewed spacecraft?

The Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) was a cargo spacecraft for the ISS developed by ESA, analoguous to the Russian Progress and America's Cargo Dragon. It had three times the Progress' capacity and ...
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Do standard procedures for securing the ISS before an orbital boost burn include making sure that at least large objects are securely “strapped down”?

In discussions on previous posts it was debated whether ISS crew would need to "batten down the hatches" and confirm all objects were "lashed to the deck" before an orbital boost ...
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What do ISS astronauts do while the ISS gets reboosted? [duplicate]

For its orbit to not decay, the ISS reboosts itself to higher altitudes once in a while. During the reboost, I wonder how much gravity is felt by the astronauts onboard, and what do they do to avoid ...
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What is the procedure in case the ISS loses one of the evacuation crafts?

Suppose that a micrometeorite or a sudden failure renders one of the Soyuz inoperable, or that a routine inspection discovers a defect in one of them that makes it unsafe. What is the protocol to ...
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Evacuating the ISS but wait, there's only one Spacecraft?

I was doing some research regarding the Soyuz as I'm currently planning a summer project in which I would build a close replica of a Soyuz when the question popped into my mind, "What would ...
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Did or do space station engineers need to worry about angular momentum stored in circulating fluids?

One of the ISS' main uses is to provide a long duration microgravity environment for a wide variety of experiments. For some experiments residual acceleration needs to be much smaller than average. ...
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How much electrical energy is required to dissipate heat?

I'm modeling the electrical energy consumption of a chemical reactor for the Moon base. The reaction taking place in this reactor is highly exothermic, and the device must be cooled. My question is ...
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Why does ISS uses liquid ammonia in the Active Thermal Control System?

I saw this today and it made me very curious. See page 8 here: https://www.nasa.gov/pdf/167129main_Systems.pdf Ammonia has a boiling point of -30 C. The ammonia is liquid in these loops, so if ever ...
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Soyuz for Sale?

Reading through some stuff on the interwebs I came across some information saying that some old Soyuz Capsules are keep in a junkyard. Does anyone know if it's actually possible to purchase one of ...
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Is Starship planned to fly directly to the ISS without first stage? Is it even possible?

I'm having difficulty understanding how/if Starship and/or Super Heavy could be used to deliver crew to LEO. Is it expected to deliver astronauts to the ISS Crew-Dragon-style, but without the 2nd ...
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Has the ISS ever “flown upside down”? Has the cupola ever “looked up”?

For a spacecraft in low Earth orbit let's call the zenith direction (vector away from Earth) "up". For most of its life I think the ISS has orbited with it's "up side" pointed &...
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Has an astronaut ever gone into a docked capsule to take a photo out one of its windows?

A discussion below this answer to Did anybody on the ISS photograph this partial eclipse? How long did it last? How did they safely photograph it? has me wondering if astronauts can ever see "up&...
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Did anybody on the ISS photograph this partial eclipse? How long did it last? How did they safely photograph it?

Thanks to @gerrit's comment I have "irrefutable photographic circumstantial evidence" that the ISS (probably) passed through the penumbra of a partial solar eclipse. I know this is true ...
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What paper size do they use on the International Space Station?

We know they have at least one printer on the ISS – that's NASA-supplied so it would be in the US Orbital Segment. Presumably there is a printer in the Russian Orbital Segment as well. (Mir had a ...
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Why did NASA divide Expedition 13 into two parts?

Up until ISS Expedition 12, all are single parts, but why did NASA divide Expedition 13 into two parts?
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ISS nodal precession

I was confused by JPL Horizons data showing time variations in the ISS longitude of ascending node, until I realized maybe the orbital plane itself rotates around earth... A quick web search then ...
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How often are fewer than three astronauts present when moving a Soyuz spacecraft from one docking port to another?

CNN's Astronauts relocated a spacecraft outside the International Space Station (was it inside before?) says: Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, along with NASA astronaut ...
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Orbit design guidelines for rendezvous with ISS?

Are there guidelines for orbit design if you're launching a payload for delivery to the ISS? Altitude, maybe phase angle constraints? Orbital approach maneuvers, maybe? I've figured out how to control ...

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