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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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Will the ISS need more docking ports?

Currently the ISS has two basic segments, the Russian and US sides. The Russian side has 4 docking ports. Usually occupied by 2 Soyuz, 1 or 2 Progress freighters or an ESA ATV vehicle. You can see ...
9
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1answer
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Do antennae on the ISS have to constantly move to maintain data links?

In this question and answer pair I see that the ISS can maintain data links to earth through direct access to ground stations as well as through the TDRSS geostationary satellite network. What kind ...
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4answers
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Are there any safety procedures in place on the ISS in case of puncture?

The ISS is a huge (relatively) satellite which, according to NASA, is longer than a football field. I am curious about what would happen if the station's skin was punctured - perhaps by a careless ...
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7answers
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Can I see the ISS from the surface with the naked eye?

Can I see the International Space Station (ISS) from the surface with the naked eye? If yes, how can I determine that it really is the ISS?
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9answers
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Why is the breathing atmosphere of the ISS a standard atmosphere (at 1 atm containing nitrogen)?

The Wikipedia page for the International Space Station says that it has a fairly Earth-like, sea-level atmosphere: 21% oxygen, balance nitrogen at 101.3 kPa. Supposedly it's because a pure-oxygen ...
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10answers
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Why isn't a centrifuge used for astronauts on the space station?

One thing I've always wondered is why don't astronauts sleep in a kind of rotating bed that spins creating force? This would allow them to sleep and would be able to simulate earths gravity. Why don't ...
41
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2answers
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What's the baseball bat for? (seen in CRS-8 berthing NASA TV broadcast)

Watching the CRS-8 Berthing live broadcast on NASA TV I noticed a baseball bat resting on top of a console in the front left part of the room, so I took some screenshots. Looking closer, it seems to ...
29
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1answer
2k views

How is the ISS equipped to deal with the outbreak of a contagion?

Suppose one of the astronauts was a carrier for a disease that did not show up in the medical testing prior to flying up to the ISS. How would the outbreak of this contagion be dealt with?
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4answers
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Why does the ISS have to be destroyed?

ISS might be destroyed soon, de-orbiting for a controlled reentry into the Pacific Ocean. Why isn't simply pushed away from Earth to an outer stable orbit (not sure if it's possible) or even into an ...
38
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1answer
23k views

How often does ISS require re-boosting to higher orbit?

I know that ISS, being in low Earth orbit, requires regular boosts. But I can't seem to find information on how often does this happen. Is it done during each resupply mission, only during some of ...
58
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3answers
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Is there no physical security in space, other than being in space?

I saw Gravity the other day and while visually and emotionally compelling, and besides the liberties taken with orbits, something else struck me as unrealistic, but I'm not sure if it is or isn't:...
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1answer
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What is the accuracy / uncertainty of Two Line Elements (TLEs)?

I use TLE sets supplied on this website to find the future position of satellites (well usually just the ISS) using the SGP4 propagation method implemented in C++. My question is: What is the ...
12
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1answer
985 views

Are there any humanoid robots on board the ISS?

Are there any humanoid robots on board the International Space Station to help out its astronaut occupants? If not, are there any plans to send humanoid robots to the ISS?
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1answer
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How is the International Space Station protected against orbital debris?

ISS is at an altitude of about 400 km (approximately). But there will be some of space debris at that altitude (since some of the space debris orbits decay over time). So the debris has a probability ...
15
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1answer
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How are the astronauts in the ISS protected from solar flares?

The Sun emits electromagnetic radiation which may consist of UV, IR, X-rays and also the charge particles that are emitted from the sun which are harmful to humans. But during intense solar flares it ...
12
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1answer
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What is the ISS drag?

ISS constantly loses altitude to air drag and other forces (tidal, electromagnetic). While finding that rate in the sources isn't that hard, with orbital mechanics of altitude loss actually increasing ...
12
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1answer
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When does the ISS have a loss-of-signal?

The ISS has a camera mounted streaming live video from space (HDEV). From time to time, there is a blue screen visible, which is noted to be during times of "loss of signal". What exactly defines a "...
7
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3answers
888 views

What kinds of things have been tossed out of the ISS?

Cubesats are (ir-)regularly deployed at very low velocity from the ISS, and they don't usually have propulsion. This tells me that the delta-v is enough to guarantee to those in charge that their ...
6
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1answer
722 views

Supply of liquid oxygen (LOX) maintained on the ISS? Kept cold using “space”, or refrigerator?

One can transport and store oxygen more efficiently (volume and weight of tank) if it is liquid under the order of 1 atmosphere. Liquid oxygen (LOX) is kept cryogenic in insulated tanks for short ...
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2answers
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Air temperature and humidity inside the ISS

The International Space Station being an artificial habitat for humans; it seems reasonable to assume the air temperature, and humidity levels are maintained at well-defined levels. What are the air ...
20
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2answers
3k views

Why did Soyuz TMA-18M take two days to reach the ISS?

Typically, a Soyuz crew vehicle takes 4 orbits to reach the ISS, but the Soyuz TMA-18M took 34 orbits or 2 days to reach it. Why is there so much variation from typical missions?
10
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3answers
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Could you take a Cessna from the ISS to Earth?

The shuttle had a empty gross weight of 172,000 lb (78,000 kg), and the only feasible way shedding the 27,724 kilometres (17,227 mi) per hour, of the relative speed of the ISS is Aerobraking. A four ...
20
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1answer
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Why would extra fuel be needed to de-orbit the ISS (if it comes to that)?

The BBC article The Astronaut Fighting to Save our Home in Space discusses “experienced astronaut, and astrophysicist Dr Michael Foale”'s exciting career aboard the Space Shuttle, Soyuz, ...
16
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3answers
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Does the ISS have zenith-facing windows?

I was looking at the NASA image of the day today, and it made me wonder about the windows on the ISS. I often see pictures of Earth taken from the ISS, but I was wondering if they had any windows that ...
9
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1answer
709 views

Did all of the Space Shuttles dock with multiple space stations or crewed spacecraft?

For example, the Space Shuttle Endeavour did dock with both MIR (bringing apple seeds) and the ISS. Did all of the shuttles dock with more than one space station and/or crewed spacecraft? above: ...
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4answers
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Why would a box full of 1cm balls released into LEO be so scary to an engineer supporting the ISS? - (Updated)

update March 2018: I just saw this in Buzzfeed (Google sent me there, I don't normally read it): Rich People Will Soon Be Able To Buy Fake Meteor Showers On Demand. It seems this might happen in 2018. ...
19
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1answer
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Does the orbit of the ISS decay?

Does the orbit of the ISS decay? I don't know much about the ISS, but I heard some rumors. The rumor I heard was that there is a very, very tiny atmosphere at the ISS orbit.
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4answers
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When the ISS moves, do the astronauts feel it?

The ISS has thrusters to avoid debris and to combat orbital decay. Do the astronauts feel the station moving? Do they have to hold onto something and it is the same for when they rotate the station ...
21
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4answers
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Why doesn't the ISS start to spin if people walk inside?

I have read that prior to launch all people and tools are fastened down to prevent a rocket from losing the balance. Why doesn't the ISS begin to spin as astronauts are walking inside of it? Or is ...
18
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1answer
4k views

How often does the ISS orbit align with the day/night terminator?

In the following image (coming from SAT-Flare) you can see the orbit of the ISS (in red) and the day/night terminator (in blue). The terminator separates night from day along the surface of the Earth. ...
16
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1answer
1k views

Is the difference in orbital velocity of different parts measurable on board the ISS?

When two objects are in different orbits of the same body, no matter how close they are, the inner object will always be faster - it will move farther away from the outer one (until it gets closer ...
10
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3answers
501 views

How close is the ISS to a closed system, in terms of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen?

I found this diagram of the ISS ECLSS material flow and noticed the $CO_2$ being vented off the station. source Now, I understand this is outdated since they added a Sabatier reaction system to ...
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3answers
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Why decommission the ISS?

What concerns, besides orbit decay and continued cost of operation (and potentially, a critical failure) are the motivations behind decommissioning the ISS by 2020? I mean, I'm fairly sure it would be ...
24
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2answers
5k views

What is the purpose of the rotating dish antenna on the ISS

I just saw some footage of the ISS in which a dish antenna could be seen, constantly rotating. The dish looked more-or-less parabolic, meaning that it is presumably sending/receiving along a fairly ...
19
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3answers
2k views

How does astronaut activity from within affect a spacecraft?

Can physical activity from within a space craft affect it somehow? For example if somebody on the ISS performs repairs involving a lot of hammering, would it perhaps affect the station's orientation a ...
15
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1answer
44k views

How long does it take to get to ISS?

The ISS is in orbit about 250 miles high, the students in this related question get 62 miles in less than a minute. This NASA Press release indicates the The Soyuz TMA-13M launch on May 2014 has a 6 ...
41
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1answer
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Why vent $CO_2$ and $H_2$ waste products to space on ISS?

In this answer, it's mentioned that waste $CO_2$ and $H_2$ from the Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) are vented into space from ISS. Are there no other uses for this material ...
39
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1answer
5k views

What would happen if a mutiny occurred on the International Space Station?

Historically, mutiny has often occurred in close-quarter situations. While the International Space Station (ISS) is not a military operation, the term mutiny is often used to refer any sort of ...
21
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5answers
4k views

Music played in space

Besides the Curiosity rovers's rendition of Happy Birthday and Chris Hadfields guitar playing aboard the ISS, is there a list of music played in space live (robots playing music counts too)? Note: ...
20
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2answers
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How long would ISS stay in orbit if it didn't get reboosts?

Apparently ISS is so close to Earth's atmosphere that it requires periodical boosts to stay in orbit. If the station were completely abandoned and it wouldn't get the boosts anymore, how long would it ...
16
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3answers
2k views

Can you make out the shape of the ISS with the unaided eye as it passes overhead?

Someone claimed to me that they could see the actual shape of the ISS as it passed overhead without use of any optical device. I would think this isn't possible since it is only about 100 meters wide ...
7
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1answer
447 views

What are the orbital mechanical consideration behind hand-launched nanosatellites from the ISS?

The NASA Spaceflight article Extended Russian EVA complete – conducts satellite deployments says: The first order of the day was for Ryazanskiy to head into the manual deployment of five ...
5
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1answer
417 views

Will the Neumann drive start testing aboard the ISS some time in 2018?

The 2016 Daily Mail article Radical ion rocket engine that could 'get to Mars and back on one tank of fuel' set to be tested on the ISS says: Neumann Drive achieves more than 11,000 seconds of ...
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2answers
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How many times were there thirteen people inside the ISS? Is it hard on the station?

I just saw this photo in @SF.'s answer It is ISS023-E-023513 STS-131 and Expedition 23. The full caption is below. Are there really 13 people on the ISS at one time? Is STS-131 the only shuttle ...
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3answers
11k views

What propulsion methods does the ISS use for station-keeping?

The International Space Station is constantly losing orbital energy due to atmospheric drag. How does station-keeping work for the ISS? What sort of propulsion system is used to keep it in the desired ...
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2answers
2k views

Do ISS astronauts occasionally let the sunshine in for a natural light “fix”?

I looked for images of a nice sunlit ISS crew cabin interior and predictably didn't have much luck. Most hits were mentions of the sunlight the astronaut would leave behind on earth, or enjoy again ...
9
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1answer
619 views

What is the user interface of SSRMS

How does the control panel for Space Station Remote Manipulator System (the robotic arm) look like, and where is it located? Is it some joysticks, or just a screen+keyboard? What kind of feedback (...
8
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3answers
320 views

How steady is the atmospheric drag force experienced by the ISS?

Suppose one wanted to modulate the power of a hypothetical, powerful ion thruster on the ISS to continuously compensate the atmospheric drag force in order to achieve near-perfect free-fall conditions ...
7
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2answers
645 views

How would the International Space Station be maintained unmanned?

Russia's lunch to the ISS failed and the crew may have to leave it unmanned. How would the ISS run without a crew? Could some one else take it over or squat in it? https://www.npr.org/2018/10/11/...
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2answers
593 views

What actually happened here with a satellite, the ISS and the moon?

I can't follow exactly what happened from this string of tweets - I'm not really twitter-literate. It seems like there was a predicted conjunction of the ISS with the moon, and an actual video of what ...