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 are the major results of ISS experiments? [closed]

For about 15 years the astronauts are doing scientific research in the ISS for future space population and traveling.The wide variety of research fields include astrobiology, astronomy, human research ...
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What will happen to the Russian messages flash drive?

I saw a video today of a flash drive being thrown into space from the ISS (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-35487441). What will happen to this flash drive? Will it burn up in the ...
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Laundry on the ISS

How is the matter of fresh clothes managed on ISS? Is there a local washing machine or are fresh clothes delivered and dirty ones burned with trash on delivery craft reentry? How long do astronauts ...
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Why do they have a Snellen eye chart on the ISS?

During a recent NASA broadcast, I noticed something in the background: It looks like a Snellen chart to me, but why would they have that on board? If that's not it, what is it then?
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Why are the ISS' Sequential Shunt Units not on the inside?

Recently Tim Peake and Tim Kopra carried out an EVA to replace a failed Sequential Shunt Unit, some form of electrical regulator for the solar panels, on the outside of the ISS. Why aren't these ...
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How are hatches set up in the common berthing mechanism (CBM)?

I have read about the common berthing mechanism on ISS and how the attachment process works and how the pressure seal is established, and I think I have that part figured out. There is a passive CBM ...
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1answer
861 views

How is ISS commander chosen?

I've been looking at the ISS's List of International Space Station expeditions, and I'm curious about how the commanders are chosen. I can't really find anything that stands out. Sometimes the ...
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Is there a telescope on board the ISS?

I am wondering if there is a telescope in or outside the ISS that has been used for astronomical imaging? I have seen here that there is already a Celestron telescope on board but it is only used for ...
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425 views

What's the thick tube going into Soyuz?

In each footage from ISS I see this thick tube going through the hatches into Soyuz spacecraft, ending in the descent module. What is it for?
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What is the difference between docking and berthing on the ISS?

People often talk about docking and berthing. They both seem to be connecting a spacecraft to the ISS, yet seem to be very different. Why?
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564 views

If all people come home from the ISS for how long would it remain usable?

I assume that if everyone left the ISS, there is a method that can be used to put people back on it. For example to open the “door” from the outside. However how long could the ISS remain ...
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225 views

Will ISS grow further

Are there plans to keep building the ISS? In particular adding more modules and generally expanding it. If not, are there some fundamental limitations on its expansion? Like power, cooling, or ...
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Which operating systems is the International Space Station running?

I've seen some of the articles mention that ISS switched from Windows to Linux. But that's just considering the laptops. What OS are the other computers present on ISS running? I would think that e.g. ...
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ISS dock duration limit for SNC Dream Chaser

In a short video I just watched, it's stated that the SNC Dream Chaser can remain docked with the ISS for "up to 210 days". What determines this limit?
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588 views

Does ISS wobble north/south?

...or "How precisely does ISS face Earth with one side?" We know "ISS always faces Earth with one side" - "spins at 1 revolution per orbit" which accounts for staying quite precisely parallel to ...
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Does ISS stop rotation for docking?

A question from 3 years ago got an answer that would be a great answer to a different question (and concluded with a comment that more would be posted later.) Let me re-ask, making the question ...
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What are these enclosed regions on the Mission Control Center map?

Whilst watching NASA TV over the years, I've often seen the map on the wall of Mission Control:      "Main Screen in the ISS Mission Control Center", by AGeekMom, CC BY 2.0 In ...
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Has high intensity training been tested in space?

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has had a lot of attention over the past few years as an exercise method because studies show better improvement in various fitness parameters than traditional, ...
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794 views

Why a humanoid robot and not a dedicated drone style one?

Why does ISS have two humanoid robots (rather impractical for microgravity) instead of something not human shaped? A robot with "RCS" composed of a set of propellers could efficiently navigate the ...
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Would it be possible to get back to Earth from the ISS without any ground support?

In the TV show Last Man On Earth we follow a small group of immune survivors after an apocalyptic plague has essentially wiped out humanity. It is revealed that a single astronaut on the ISS has also ...
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Why is ISS spinning even though stabilized by gyroscopes?

I understand ISS is using gyroscopes (CMG) to maintain its attitude. At the same time, I understand that ISS maintains constant attitude relative to Earth, i.e. its Z axis always points toward the ...
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How long does it take to get from a spacewalk to being inside the ISS and out of your suit in an emergency?

I just saw a show that featured an incident in which an astronaut on a spacewalk to install the Canada 2 arm on the ISS was temporarily blinded by contaminated water inside his helmet. His colleague ...
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1answer
5k views

What's the average temperature on the surface of ISS (International Space Station)

The ISS is about 330-410 km above earth surface and within the thermosphere layer, in which according to Wikipedia the temperature can reach 1500 °C. However the gas inside this layer is highly ...
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410 views

Would Nikon VR work in Space?

So a question came up on our photography forum on facebook... Will Nikon's VR work in space? If you're not aware Nikon and most brands have an image stabilizer lens (generally at the rear of the lens ...
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636 views

What caused the ISS's sudden loss of altitude in January 2015?

This image from Heavens Above that @PearsonArtPhoto links to in this answer shows the orbital altitude of the International Space Station: In general, the ISS altitude decreases gradually with time ...
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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 ...
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What are the regulations governing (against) beards in space?

The ISS and currently used spacecraft have toxic stuff (ammonia, propellants) that makes donning gas masks a life-saver in emergency. Beards may interfere with the seal. Photo: Wikimedia Commons, ...
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1answer
262 views

Is it practical to propel oneself in space with canned air?

Is it possible to move yourself at a practical, helpful speed (leaving that definition up to mathematician's discretion) using a can of air on the ISS? Let's say the astronaut is in a large room, ...
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4k views

ISS nuts and bolts; Metric, SAE or both?

The International Space Station (ISS) is a joint construction of many countries around the world. Most of whom use the metric system for measuring including sizing of bolts, nuts and fasteners. ...
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314 views

Why all the loose wires in the ISS? [duplicate]

I took the virtual tour of the ISS - and my first impression was "What a mess!" Okay, I understand any elements should be easy to move; any "decorative" elements like locker doors add unnecessary ...
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Why does the ISS viewing times go through repetitive patterns of being always morning or always evening?

In examining the upcoming schedule for viewing the ISS, why does it seem like the AM/PM is repetitive. It will appear in the AM several days in a row, then it will switch to the PM several days in a ...
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1answer
4k views

Why does the ISS rotate exactly once per orbit?

Looking at the HDEV experiment, one can see that the orientation of the ISS is always the same with respect to the Earth. This means that the ISS must rotate exactly once per orbit (like the Moon ...
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1answer
3k views

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 "...
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217 views

Solutions to Ongoing Problems on the Solar Panel rotary joints

What are the causes of the damaged SARJ on the ISS? This occurred back in 2007, and endangers the lives of astronauts. Also, what are the solutions to this problem. Does anyone know what types of ...
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288 views

Parachute on the ISS [closed]

If a large parachute were attached to the ISS, how long would it last? I know that there is very little atmosphere where the ISS orbits, but also that the atmosphere is thick enough that it needs a ...
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598 views

What is the composition of breathable air on the International Space Station? [duplicate]

On the ISS, the breathable air has to include oxygen, but it can't be pure oxygen for safety reasons. So what is the composition of breathable air on the station?
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Why only 2 male astronauts for the Year In Space ISS Mission?

I wonder why the space agencies chose only 2 males for the Year In Space ISS Mission? I think it would have made more sense to have at least 1 male and 1 female astronaut, or more preferably 3 male ...
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How is the ISS helpful for launching cubesats and minisats?

The ISS space station orbits at an inclination of about 50 degrees. That's in between polar orbit, which would be useful for Earth observations, and the ecliptic which would be useful for synchronous ...
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How quickly could a space agency get to the ISS in case of an emergency?

Here's the situation: The ISS suffered from some kind of catastrophic failure. The crew is unharmed, but the nature of the failure includes: The destruction of any present vehicles capable of ...
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1answer
585 views

How is time split on different activities on ISS?

I'd be very interested to hear what exactly do ISS crew members spend their time on — the split between different major activities. Yesterday I saw someone on this site mention that close to 30% of ...
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560 views

What are the ISS moments of inertia around design axes?

I'm wondering where one can find more or less up-to-date data on the inertia matrix of the ISS. A full historical dataset would be great, of course. A discussion of error margins is desirable.
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When was the last time 9 people were on the ISS?

Currently (September 4, 2015) there is a complement of 9 people aboard the ISS. This will change a week from now, when 3 of those people return to Earth. When was the last time the ISS had 9 people ...
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309 views

Could the ISS be spun to simulate Phobos' gravity?

Before a human crew goes to Mars' moon Phobos or to even lower mass asteroids, could a long stay at such an object be simulated gravitationally in the space station? I've heard that the ISS people don'...
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Soyuz TMA-18M ISS rendezvous: expedited 4-orbit vs regular 34-orbit - How does fuel usage compare?

Follow up to this question: Why will Soyuz TMA-18M take two days to reach the ISS?. Clearly the expedited rendezvous is cheaper in terms of time. However I was wondering how fuel usage compares. Is ...
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When the ISS accelerates, do the astronauts feel it?

The ISS has thrusters to avoid debris and to combat orbital decay. Do the astronauts feel the station accelerating? Do they have to hold onto something and is it the same when they rotate the station ...
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What is/was the point of Robonaut 2? Has it accomplished anything?

I remember being really interested in the Robonaut project when it was first announced, and thinking how cool it was when it was finally launched to the ISS. Since then, I've heard little about the ...
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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?
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How do astronauts take pictures from outside the ISS?

I've seen multiple images taken from outside the Space Station like this one or this one and even timelapses from far outside showing the solar panels moving over time. Is there a satellite ...
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Why is artificial gravity not included on space stations? [duplicate]

I'm wondering why artificial gravity is not included on the ISS, or on the currently planned OPSEK. There are long-term health effects of weightlessness, which would be avoided, using artificial ...
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848 views

How would civilians send snacks to the ISS crew?

Today I saw a video in which ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti teaches us how to make pitas in space, and invites us to try to make them at home. I understand that much of the food on the ISS is ...