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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Are the original ISS solar panels single or polycrystalline silicon? What about the new ROSA roll-out arrays?

Most silicon photovoltaic arrays on Earth are silicon (no layers of III-V material for added efficiency) and they are grown as polycrystalline silicon rather than sliced from single crystal silicon ...
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Exterior "running lights" on ISS?

In Scott Kelley's memoir "Endurance," he describes how challenging it is to navigate the exterior of ISS when in Earth's shadow, and he mentions that his Russian colleagues would just stay ...
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What keeps the pressure stable inside the ISS?

I'm doing research on life support systems for the design of a Martian scientific base, and I'm having trouble finding information about the specifics racks that keep pressure stable inside the ISS. I ...
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How is it possible that the windows on the ISS mostly face Earth only? [duplicate]

In this article astronaut Clayton C. Anderson states that on the ISS the windows "mosty face Earth, which means that it is only possible to see the stars at the very edges of the windows, and ...
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Are there chances to get a Hubble + ISS Moon transit picture?

I have seen these cool transit pictures where ISS is transiting the moon ISS is transiting the Sun Hubble is transiting the moon I even saw picture of ISS Sun transit during solar Eclipse Tiangong ...
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When docked, do Dragon solar panels contribute to ISS mains power?

What it says on the tin. Does a docked Dragon trunk section contribute to the ISS's batteries? I'm aware it would probably be minimal though due to orientation and occlusion of the panels, and when ...
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Will the International Space Station be able to see the Falcon 9 (Inspiration4 launch)

Will astronauts aboard the International Space Station be able to see any part of the Inspiration4 flight of the Falcon 9 during launch and/or during orbit?
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Was the Isp = 11,000 seconds Neumann Drive tested on the ISS? Did it work? How well did it perform?

In 2018 answers were posted to What is Australia's Bartolomeo platform? When does it arrive at the ISS; when and where will it be attached? Will the Neumann drive start testing aboard the ISS ...
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Which two spacecraft are being shown disconnecting here, and what was the connection for?

The new Wall Street Journal video China's Answer to the Aging International Space Station: The Tech Behind Tiangong | WSJ shows what looks like it might be a fuel transfer connection decoupling at <...
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What orbit-raising propulsion system will Tiangong use, and how does it differ from that of the ISS in terms of performance and technology?

The new Wall Street Journal video China's Answer to the Aging International Space Station: The Tech Behind Tiangong | WSJ emphasizes after 03:26 that Tiangong's ...
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Why would the US need it's ISS partners to agree to extend its mission? Is it strictly money, or is it also resources, or even more complicated?

Space News's Space agencies support ISS extension as NASA warns of space race with China says: COLORADO SPRINGS — NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said he remains confident that Russia will remain a ...
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What is this complicated experimental apparatus being pulled out of another complicated apparatus inside the ISS?

The new NASA video Science Launching on SpaceX's 23rd Cargo Resupply Mission to the Space Station a bit after 01:20 shows a large experimental apparatus which looks ...
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ISS Live Views of Earth on Nasa's EHDC Camera appear to be retrograde orbit

If the Orbit of the ISS is Prograde and Synchronized with the same orbit as the Earth, would not the Live EHDC views motion appear Stationary?
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What device did Oleg Novitsky insert into the hatch of the Nauka module before opening it? How does it work? When did it arrive to the ISS? [duplicate]

The Roscosmos Media video Первое видео из модуля «Наука» (google translates to: "The first video from the module "Science" (Nauka)) shows Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr ...
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Zebulon Scoville "looked up at the video monitors and saw all the ice and thruster firings." Exactly what ice did Scoville see? Why ice? Where?

Gizmodo's The ISS Backflipped Out of Control After Russian Module Misfired, New Details Reveal quotes Zebulon Scoville, the NASA flight director in charge at the time: “And so at first I was like, ‘...
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Does extended microgravity increase the rate of kidney stones in astronauts? Do these lead to medical complains/discomfort while still in space?

This answer to What are the main impacts on the body of an astronaut exposed to long term zero gravity? mentions that the increase in bone loss due to extended periods of time in microgravity can not ...
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What are the contingency plans for lost ISS attitude control?

Apparently the Russians had a mishap with their new ISS module. The module fired its thrusters after docking and caused attitude control loss The Russian "Nauka" module linked to the space ...
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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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