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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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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, ...
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ISS - Tiangong 2 minimum safe distance

Using the SGP4 propagator, I calculated the minimum distance between ISS and Tiangong-2 for this year. I obtained 12.32 km for 2017-09-27 17:29:36.376 UTC (which is the day 270.7289). I used the TLE ...
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1answer
436 views

Can astronauts hear sounds during space walks for repairs?

We know there is no sound in space in a vacuum, but when an astronaut is outside on a spacewalk doing repairs, can they hear the tapping when they use a hammer or the sound of a power screwdriver etc.?...
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Difference in communication delay on ISS

What cause the difference in communication delay, about 11 seconds in this video: and apparently almost no delay on this one: ...
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675 views

How do the booms on ISS (and other spacecraft) extend and retract?

In an answer to my previous question, OrganicMarble posted a video: The booms like through the center of ISS solar panels are quite common in space use - supporting ...
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1answer
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Can ISS fold its solar panels?

The solar panel modules of ISS use an extending central truss structure to stretch two "ribbons" of solar panels. Can that structure be re-folded in space, if need arose (for whatever reason), or is ...
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102 views

How many ways of communication with ground can ISS crew use?

I'm currently writing fictional story which is happening at ISS and I have so many questions about this topic, but this one is the most important to me. How many possibilities of communication they ...
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252 views

How are the orientations of the ISS' eight independent solar arrays optimized?

I've noticed that in various photos and videos the orientation of the ISS' eight independent solar arrays are often moving, and usually some are different than others. 0th-order naive thinking would ...
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6answers
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Is it safe to see the ISS with the naked eye?

As far as I understand, when we view the ISS, it is because the sun rays get reflected from the solar panels of the ISS and reach us at the appropriate angle. So that would be equivalent to viewing ...
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ISS Structural Integrity

The ISS occasionally fires thrusters to correct orbit and uses reaction control wheels to adjust attitude. It also experiences various external forces - tidal, aerodynamic, etc. From the outside, it ...
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9k views

What caused this bright light from the ground at night seen from the ISS?

The music video on the NASA Johnson YouTube channel The Sound (& Visions) of Silence shows images and video of Earth taken from the ISS by astronauts Sergey Ryazanskiy, Paolo Nespoli, and ...
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297 views

Has an astronaut ever seen pixies, ELVEs, sprites or blue jets (without a camera)?

The NASA Science video ScienceCasts: A Display of Lights Above the Storm shows several examples of Transient Luminous Events (TLEs) (Upper Atmospheric Lightning) being filmed by high-sensitivity ...
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1answer
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How does one refer to the “port port” on the ISS?

Saying "port port" is clumsy. Should I refer to it as the port berthing mechanism? Is there specific terminology for what I'm referring to or are there a few options? Also, I'm specifically ...
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Would it have been any more difficult to build the space station without the space shuttle?

I know that the Space Shuttle delivered a lot of modules and supplies to the International Space Station, but I also know that other rockets were just as capable of performing the task at that time ...
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2answers
241 views

Dish For Tracking and Communicating with ISS [duplicate]

It is already mentioned that ISS orbit the earth 15 times a day, how we design a dish network to stay communicate with it along its path? Are we build a dish in Atlantic Ocean too?
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2answers
626 views

What is this spinning object seen on a spacecraft above the ISS?

In the YouTube Trailer for the PBS program A Year in Space at 00:56 a small spinning object can be seen, attached to a spacecraft well above the ISS. I think the ...
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1answer
192 views

Expedition 53 group portrait - what's up with the cool shirts?

The image is from NASA Media Advisory M17-124 Georgia Students to Speak with NASA Astronauts on Space Station but there is no mention of the cool shirts. below: The six Expedition 53 crew members ...
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1answer
747 views

How much energy would it require to get the ISS to the moon? [duplicate]

How much energy would it require to get the ISS around or on the moon? And how much fuel would that require? And how many cargo missions would that require? And if that is not worth it, would it be ...
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798 views

How can astronauts on ISS deal with dental emergency?

Tooth ache is one of the more stupid and annoying disruptions to one's week. Dental hygiene can reduce the risk a lot, but only goes so far - for example, inflammation of roots of the tooth, with pus ...
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How long is the ISS out of reach of all ground stations?

This is a followup to a recent question and answer discussing ground-based monitoring of the International Space Station, specifically in the context of an astronaut crew that is all asleep. How ...
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1answer
2k views

What would the procedure be in the event of a collision warning on the ISS

In the event of something accidently being placed into the same orbital path as the ISS and on an imminent collision course, assuming it would be an object with the potential to cause some damage or ...
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1answer
7k views

Does the ISS have a watch system with at least one person monitoring at all times

Does the ISS keep a standing watch with one person always up and awake and monitoring while the others sleep, or do all the astronauts sleep and work and they all get alerted in case of issues beyond ...
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1answer
205 views

ROS is running on the Robonaut, but is the Robonaut running on the ISS (post 2015)?

I was reading about the Robot Operating System ROS, and in particular the 2014 ROS.org article ROS running on ISS and wondering if the Robonaut is being actively tested on the ISS. Do they take it ...
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346 views

ISS as a Mars safe house?

Would it be possible to move the ISS to an orbit of the sun, say 120 million miles away from the sun, putting it halfway between Earth and Mars? If it was purged of oxygen there would be little or no ...
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1answer
375 views

How are the silicon PV cells constructed in the ISS's solar panels? Are they as flexible as they appear here?

My understanding is that the ISS's solar panels are silicon and double sided to maximize bang-for-the-pound (average power per kilogram transported to orbit). See Are the ISS US Segment solar arrays ...
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What does the ISS Mission control center do?

This related question asks about Mission Control's responsibilities during a hurricane. But there's a more general question underneath: what do the people in Mission Control do, what are their ...
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Why are these astronauts green?

The Space.com article Space Station Crew Returns to Earth Tonight: Watch It Live leads with a photo of three astronauts on the ISS that are backlit with bright green light, which can also be seen ...
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103 views

What does “183 tonne” in this sentence refer to?

I would like to know the meaning of a sentence below: "While docked, the ATV will perform ISS attitude control, debris avoidance manoeuvres and raising of the 183 tonne station's orbit to overcome ...
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1answer
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What would happen to the ISS if we stopped maintaining it?

What would happen if the astronauts on the ISS stopped maintaining it, and no further vehicles or remote control commands were sent up from the ground? I'd like to know what systems would stop working,...
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2answers
373 views

Can we detect the projected ISS shadow on the earth surface

Looking at an ISS transit picture: I started wondering wether we could see the ISS shadow passing on the earth. My intuition tells me that it would be impossible with the naked eye, but do we have ...
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0answers
65 views

Why is the ISS pressurised to 1 atmosphere? [duplicate]

I had a thought about what the operating air pressure of the ISS would be. I was surprised to find it is 1 atmosphere or 14.7 psi. Given that airliners fly in the lower atmosphere but pressurise ...
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2answers
328 views

ISS impacts by space debris

Is there something that tracks the locations of space debris impacts, and how big the debris or damage is?
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263 views

Can satellites or the ISS be seen from Earth during a Total Solar Eclipse?

If there is a satellite or the ISS passing by over a point during a total solar eclipse in the darkest region, will the satellite be visible by naked eye or a pair of binoculars, since it will be dark ...
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65 views

What is this NASA Spaceflight article trying to explain?

The NASA Spaceflight article Extended Russian EVA complete – conducts satellite deployments contains a very long discussion about the timing of the CRS-12 launch. Had it missed the "single shot launch ...
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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 ...
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4answers
987 views

How many stations could one hear with an AM/FM radio in front of the ISS' cupola window?

Propagation of AM and FM radio signals up into the sky would behave differently than propagation along the surface of the Earth. As a Gedankenexperiment, if you were on the ISS and had an AM/FM radio ...
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1answer
464 views

What is the purpose of red / white lights in ISS / SpaceX Dragon docking?

I'm watching the live TV from NASA broadcasting the ISS / SpaceX Dragon docking and I've seen a red light and a white flashing light. See them at the bottom of this image . What are they for?
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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 ...
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1answer
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ISS Interim Control Module Specifications

Anybody have a copy of the specifications for the Interim Control Module? Particularly interested in mass, either dry or fully loaded...or both!
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1answer
504 views

Why do they believe that the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module has “taken a hit”?

In NPR's news item After A Year In Space, The Air Hasn't Gone Out Of NASA's Inflated Module there is a quote that's interesting: "We do believe we've taken at least one hit," says Crusan. "Very ...
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3answers
501 views

ISS Speed required for true geosynchronous orbit

How fast would ISS need to travel at the current altitude (LEO 250mi) to be geosynchronous with say 36 degree N lattitude?
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Is this ginormous porthole a permanent feature of the ISS or “just passing through”?

This tweet from Expedition 51/52 astronaut Jack Fischer admires the great view straight down from the ginormous Russian porthole of the Progress cargo vehicle on the ISS. I don't really understand ...
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1answer
189 views

How should the ISS telemetry for attitude be converted to roll, pitch, and yaw?

NASA, via Lightstreamer SRL, provides four "quaternion components" for the International Space Station's current attitude. These are labelled USLAB000018–21 and described as "US Current Local Vertical ...
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1answer
226 views

Observing ISS from the earth

Is this the ISS from Antalya, Elmali, 23.7.2017 morning around 03:00 hours? Photo 4 frames of 30 seconds each, with 1 second in between each frame, all images superimposed with star movement taken ...
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408 views

ISS achieving lift by using it's solar panels

Can the ISS achieve any lift by using it's solar panels as 'wings' against the sparse atmosphere? My understand is they started moving the solar panels into a 'low drag' orientation when on the ...
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2answers
5k views

How much does a cordless screwdriver for space cost?

I wonder how much a cordless space screwdriver costs and what its mass would be? I guess it would be a lithium-ion screwdriver, like on Earth, but would it have other specifications? Does anybody ...
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0answers
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Can you get a cold in space? [duplicate]

Awesome place! I wonder, can you get a cold in space that needs antibiotics? Specifically, after some time at the ISS and not carried from earth? If so,do the rest of the crew has to avoid you? ...
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1answer
147 views

Were there any STS missions that included maneuvers that might have photographed ISS's top side?

It looks like this answer is converging on a conclusive answer about a zenith-facing window on the ISS, and possibly also a window which might at least be able to offer a bit of a view of the zenith. ...
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2answers
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What is this tiny articulated dish antenna-like thing on Zvezda?

I spotted this tiny, articulated dish antenna-like thing on the Zvezda module of the ISS while looking around for images for here. It looks like it's associated with and/or pointing in the same ...
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Approximate sizes and relative positions of the ISS' cupola windows?

I have an idea for a cool Earth-pointing amateur experiment that could be done through the cupola windows of the ISS. All of them. It would be simple (and not look like the first photo below). Are ...