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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Have there ever been any incidents where something valuable was unintentionally throw out with the trash?

In "What do astronauts do with their trash on the ISS?", a commentor asked the title question and was encouraged to make it a new question, but apparently never did. The linked question is referring ...
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Which engine worked the hardest to keep the ISS in orbit?

The ISS has spent two decades fighting drag caused by its large size and huge solar panels pushing through the tail-end of Earth's atmosphere only a few hundred kilometers above its surface. Question:...
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When might we get fourteen people in space?

The record for the number of people in space at one time is thirteen, which has been set a few different times (as discussed in this question, this other question, and this article). In order: March ...
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Why are space tools shiny

I was watching one of the broadcasts of a space walk on the ISS. I noticed the Pistol Grip Tool (Thanks Courageous Potato) looks like its made of polished stainless steel. Why do these tools have ...
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What's the shiny triangular feature on this Progress vehicle?

Picture from here What's the shiny, slightly curved triangular plate with rails above it? A larger version, cropped from here, thanks to a comment by ohsin.
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Common Berthing Mechanism Dimensions

I've found detailed information on the International Docking Standard, enough to start work on a detailed CAD of the mechanism. (http://www.internationaldockingstandard.com/download/...
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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 ...
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Why is there no common “docking” interface for express rack payloads?

It seems strange to me that given all of the concerns about living space and color palette aboard ISS, the data/power/cooling ports for different mid-deck locker equivalent (MLE) express rack payloads ...
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Did NASA “publish”, then “delete” this and other photos of the ISS leak?

A tweet by @NASASpaceflight (Chris B - NSF, "Managing Editor of NASASpaceFlight.com" says: ISS Leak summary: First thought was MMOD strike. Then NASA released pics. Lots of people: "Hmmm,...
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Did CNSA astronaut Zhai Zhigang see the ISS during an EVA?

This answer to Has an astronaut ever seen another object in LEO pass by that wasn't mission-related? says: The encounter happened at longer distances ($\sim47\;km$) and the Shenzhou-7 is smaller ...
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ISS DMA vs C&DH?

The Early design of the ISS specified a global Data Management System (DMS) for operations and management of Station software-dependant systems. The DMS was based on ISO/OSI standards for ...
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Are all DC motors on the inside of the ISS brushless?

Considering the number of motors on the ISS used in pumps, fans, actuators and robots, are there rules against brushed motors, motors with electrical brushes which can make particulate matter? Based ...
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How many laptops onboard ISS?

About how many laptops are there on board the ISS? I saw the header image in this article: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/11/science/scott-mark-kelly-twins-space-nasa.html?partner=rss&emc=rss and ...
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How frequenty have space walkers been changed based on space suit configuration?

On Friday, March 29, two astronauts were supposed to conduct what would have become the first all female space walk, Christina Koch and Anne McClain. After her first space walk on March 22, Anne ...
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How are the payload limits of robot arms on the space station determined?

I have just been wondering how the payload limits for the arms on the ISS were determined. Any back of the napkin calculations to explain these? In that vein, I could not find any information on the ...
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How many leaks have been fixed on the ISS, roughly?

Leaks come in all sizes. Very small ones might be ignored or remain undetected, slightly faster ones might be identified and dispositioned; if they are slow and going to remain stable, they might not ...
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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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Why would the dual keel space station design have been more stable?

According to the space station Freedom wikipedia page and this reddit thread, a dual keel structure would have been more stable than the final ISS design. Can someone explain why? And if a gravity ...
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Has the psychological impact of social media exposure for astronauts aboard ISS been studied?

Given the "recent" (few years) exposure and access of astronauts/cosmonauts aboard ISS to social media in order to communicate with the general public, I was wondering if the decision to allow them to ...
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Do the ECLSS components aboard ISS deteriorate at the same rate as they would on Earth?

Just what the title states. Wikipedia writes to say about the ECLSS (Environment Control Life Support System) The highest priority for the ECLSS is the ISS atmosphere, but the system also ...
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ISS Life Support Consumable use rate

At what rate does the International Space Station, (ISS), consume life support resources and other consumables? I'm attempting to calculate long term life supoprt requirements for a system based on ...
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Potential catastrophic death on the ISS from mistakes

Other than from decompression and fire, what other ways has NASA or the Russian space program identified unique ways someone on the ISS could die suddenly, in particular from human error with the ...
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Will be there no ISS in 2030s according to current plans in 2019?

While it took about 10 years and 30 missions to assemble the ISS, and its end of life is about mid to end of 2020's, is there any plan to plan for a new ISS? Otherwise, the time window might become ...
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Which type of Power Plug do we use on the ISS?

The following map shows the different types of power plugs and sockets used by countries all over the world: The International Space Station (ISS) is a joint project between five participating space ...
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What are these two SPHERES doing?

In her tweet ISS expedition 59/60/61 astronaut Christina Koch shows two SPHERES doing something. What are they doing exactly? Why do they appear to be connected? Had a blast cheering on the ...
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Is the new RGB solid state LED lighting on the ISS ever set to colors other than white?

This answer to Why are these astronauts green? explains the new (now about 2 years old) solid state (LED) lighting modules being added to ISS interior lighting, replacing the fluorescent lights (see ...
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How does European jurisdiction in the ISS works?

This answer notes that participant nations have jurisdiction over their modules. So in a US module, you are in US jurisdiction, etc. Which means that in an European module, you are in European ...
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Just how record-setting was the launch-to-docking time of the April-4-2019 Progress resupply mission?

Digital Trend's article 3-plus-hour supply trip from Earth to International Space Station breaks record mentions that this was even faster than the typical "fast-track" Russian launch-to-docking time ...
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Is the ISS in danger of the outer radiation belt?

Is the ISS in danger of the outer radiation belt? I know that the ISS is in the low earth orbit and that it briefly passes through the base of the outer RB, but it is actually in danger? How does the ...
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Has the monthly average skin temp of the ISS increased during its years in orbit?

Is there a source of monthly average sun-side maximum temperatures during its (ISS) years in orbit?
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ISS mass gain or loss due to meteoroids, solar wind, and other particles?

A few questions about the mass of the ISS (1, 2, 3) have got me thinking about mass change of the ISS due to natural processes. The ISS has quite a large area exposed to space, and is subject to both ...
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What are the disturbing torques on the ISS?

What are the orders of magnitude of disturbing torques on the ISS itself, preferably split into the following categories, but any numbers (with source) will be useful: Gravity gradient Magnetic Solar ...
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How do ISS astronauts keep proficient on capsule procedures?

Before astronauts and cosmonauts go to the ISS they have months of simulator training on Soyuz spacecraft procedures for launch, rendezvous, docking and re-entry. Yet, once they are on the ISS they ...
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Do astronauts develop the ability to regularly place an object at rest inside the ISS after extended periods in microgravity?

This image from the ESA prompted the question why the fruits at the bottom left were not floating. An online response claimed after an extended time on the ISS astronauts get used to placing ...
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What happens between Payload deployment and the ISS docking

When SpaceX is livestreaming their CRS missions they usually end up by separating the payload from the second stage with an altitude at about 200 km. But I am wondering how the payload gets up to the ...
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Speculative assumptions about ISS end of life vs. physical limitations

Is it possible to modernize ISS, replace parts one by one and it will still work, or is there a set of components which can't be replaced and will therefore come to a non-extendible "hard" end of life ...
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When will ISS return to approximately the same projected location on Earth's surface?

The ISS sailed over my country, Sri Lanka on the eve of yesterday (14th October), and there was some news coverage on the event. While the reporting wasn't particularly scientific or even factual (I'm ...
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Does reflected sunlight from the ISS prevent astronauts from seeing the stars during an EVA?

I'm assuming during an EVA when an astronaut is facing the station reflected sunlight reduces an astronaut's dark adapted vision to the point they can no longer see the stars until either the station ...
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Is there dust on ISS and how do they do cleaning?

Where are humans there is normally dust. It likes any more or less electrostatic surface. Is there dust at ISS and do they clean it beyond using air filters in the air system?
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Do astronauts on the ISS have to consciously keep their arms down?

After seeing many images of astronauts on the ISS sleeping, with their arms floating, and Chris Hadfield describing arms floating up and head titling forward How Do You Sleep In Space? | Video I ...
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How many people could the ISS support?

How many people can fit on the ISS? At what person would life support be overwhelmed?
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Can I freshen my clothes on the ISS with a clothes line?

There are a number of questions about washing clothes on the ISS, the short answer is that they do NOT wash them. Nudism in space: Why wear clothes anyway? Washing clothes in space: are there any ...
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Data and information security aboard the ISS in terms of public photos?

I was looking through a couple posts that had on-board pictures of the ISS and noticed something almost immediately: They have information (which could be sensitive) shown on the laptops: While ...
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Has the ISS done any experiments on animals gestation such as mice? I particularly would like to know about embryo development in microgravity

Has the ISS done any experiments on animals gestation such as mice? I particularly would like to know about embryo development in microgravity
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How far/much time could an appendage extend outside of the ISS before succumbing to severe damage?

I was reading the question asked here in regards the Alexander Gerst's patching of a small (5mm) hole with his thumb temporarily. This got me wondering, if his thumb was only fine because the majority ...
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Why did the Chinese put the Tiangong-2 so high?

The most obvious answer is that they don’t want to deorbit the station shortly, but why? Some calculations with the TLEs and SGP4 show the following Tiangong-2 / ISS close encounters: ...
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What are the chances that the ISS transits the moon as seen from your house (or headquarters)?

In this answer I tried to do a simple probablistic estimate on the distribution of the ISS's ground track passes over Earth's equator. Recently there is a photo of the ISS passing over SpaceX ...
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What would be needed for ISS to function in lunar orbit?

Not only the Chinese are rather unimpressed by the concept of "Lunar Gateway", which is summed up as a much smaller ISS in the Moon orbit. It made me wonder - wouldn't it be better to move ISS into ...
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What level of radiation protection do electronics on the ISS or in LEO need?

The harsh radiation environment in space requires that electronics on spacecraft be "radiation hardened." However, the radiation environment in LEO is not as intense as say a spacecraft traveling ...
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How much payload could a manned Dragon return, if unmanned?

The first mission to the ISS by Dragonrider (and CST-100) is expected to be unmanned. That means when it returns, it will have ability to return a full cargo load. Of course, ISS payloads are often ...