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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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19
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2answers
2k views

Do astronauts on board the ISS have a backup spacesuit?

Do astronauts on the International Space Station have a backup spacesuit with them so that they could use it in case of any malfunction with one of the spacesuits? If so, how many spacesuits does ...
12
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1answer
1k 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?
24
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1answer
27k views

What kind of laptops do ISS astronauts use?

In many videos of the ISS, you can see tethered laptops all over the place. Presumably these are heavily customised for space. What kinds of customisation do they need? Are they off-the-shelf laptops ...
11
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3answers
2k views

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 ...
13
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1answer
1k views

Decoding Russian ISS telemetry

While the American segment of the ISS has data published on-line (http://spacestationlive.nasa.gov), the same cannot be said about the Russian segment. It is known that telemetry is transmitted to ...
19
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1answer
7k views

Do ISS astronauts have to be conversant in both English and Russian?

I've noticed that some of the American astronauts on the ISS can speak (at least a smattering of) Russian and similarly, some of the Russian cosmonauts are fluent in English. Is such bilinguality a ...
9
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1answer
591 views

What is the biggest number of astronauts in EVA at the same time ever reached in space history?

At present days, it's common to have two astronauts/cosmonauts in EVA at the same time during ISS maintenance (or experiments or when expanding the station). But there was a time when three or more ...
23
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3answers
2k views

How often are ISS computers (MDMs) replaced?

The electronic "heart" of the International Space Station are the Multiplexers-Demultiplexers (MDMs) located within & outside the pressurized modules. How often are they replaced? (An ideal ...
9
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2answers
2k views

How does the ISS adjust its solar panels?

Solar panels must be always exposed in the direction of sun to produce maximum power. Since the ISS orbits the Earth, if the panels are fixed they will not produce maximum power (often fluctuating). ...
8
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2answers
457 views

Could waste methane be recycled as propellant on the ISS?

Under standard condition methane burns with oxygen in stoichiometric ratio of 1:2 to liberate 891 kJ/mol of energy. Why is the ISS not making use of the methane, which is expelled as waste instead? ...
10
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1answer
502 views

Plumbing work of ISS?

On Earth (under the influence of gravity) a horizontal tube in which water is flowing may form a layer of air at the top of the tube (since less denser than water). But on the ISS (which experiences ...
16
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3answers
367 views

Is there a pre-published time that astronauts on the ISS will be available on Ham Radio?

The International Space Station has a Ham Radio station, and I've heard that the station frequently makes contact with people on the ground. I've seen the crew timelines, but they only publish what ...
15
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1answer
18k views

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 ...
21
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1answer
4k views

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 ...
9
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1answer
402 views

How does ground control monitor the docking of ships to the ISS?

What kind of instruments are currently used, when ground control is monitoring a docking of new ship (or) segment to the ISS. Do they monitor it at all?
17
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1answer
7k views

What coordinate system is used in space for navigation?

On Earth is possible to define the position of something using WGS, and the same system is used for navigation. What is used in space instead? Are different systems used for Earth-orbiting objects (...
9
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1answer
1k views

What happens to waste on the ISS?

I was thinking, and those little plastic bags that hold the astronauts' food have to go somewhere. Where do they go? Are they compacted into a big cube like on WALL-E, and sent out into space, or are ...
38
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4answers
4k views

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 ...
22
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3answers
1k views

Is any space station planned to be put in orbit in decade 2014-2024?

ISS will be closed by 2020. Are there any other space stations planned to be put in orbit in decade 2014-2024 that have really chances to be built?
16
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1answer
762 views

Did the ISS have to adjust its course when the SpaceX Dragon capsule was detached?

We had this question which discussed if space craft had to be corrected in their orbits from the movements from the people inside. (No as their net movement cancels each force out) Following on from ...
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 ...
59
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3answers
5k views

Washing clothes in space: are there any technical challenges?

Currently, the ISS is resupplied with fresh clothes from the Earth. I remember reading a report on NTRS stating that the requirements for fresh clothes proved to be much higher than expected. Thus, ...
16
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3answers
1k views

The Russians recently tested a new launch trajectory that goes to the space station in about six hours. What allowed for the difference?

According to this article, Russia recently tested a new launch trajectory that shaved over 45 hours off their normal flight time. What allowed for this difference? Doesn't it seem like the shortest ...
8
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3answers
508 views

Does NASA have a space tug project to bring a habitable module to the ISS?

The habitable modules of US sector of the ISS didn't have any propulsion systems to rendezvous the ISS by themselves. They were intended to be brought there by the Space Shuttle. Most of the Russian ...
16
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2answers
4k views

How often must the ISS desaturate its control moment gyros?

I understand ISS uses control moment gyros as the primary attitude control system. As the article states, CMGs eventually get "saturated", a state in which they can no longer absorb momentum. This can ...
27
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4answers
17k views

What time zone is used on ISS to define a day?

What time zone is used on ISS to define when a day starts? Is it the same as mission control? Do Russian cosmonauts use a different time zone respect to European and American astronauts?
10
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1answer
716 views

Does ISS perform any commercial operations?

Other than accepting space tourists, that is. I mean, does the ISS perform any commissioned experiments for private-owned entities, manufacture products that require space conditions, produce ...
37
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3answers
13k views

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 ...
21
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3answers
786 views

Does long-term residence on the ISS affect eyesight?

Life on a space station is very confined. For months on end, astronauts are kept in a structure that's about the size of a football field on the outside and much smaller on the inside. The nearest ...
20
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2answers
2k views

Is there an ISS replacement planned?

Are there plans for another space station when the ISS is deorbited or de-manned? What are the details of these plans, if any? Bonus: How would a space station be built without the Space Shuttle?
9
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1answer
728 views

Is the Nudelman-Rikhter gun installed on Zvezda module?

By having a gun on board, one can conduct military kinds of experiments. Exploring armoring approaches for spacecraft, warning systems for the personnel, orbital ballistic studies for the multi-body ...
15
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2answers
290 views

To what extent are the US modules of ISS based on the Spacelab design?

Various sources, for example the Spacelab wikipedia page, report that several modules used in American sector of the ISS are based on the Spacelab legacy. To what extent has its legacy been used? ...
43
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2answers
4k views

Why does the International Space Station produce so much methane?

According to NASA, roughly "1,000 pounds of methane are produced on International Space Station and dumped overboard as waste gas every year"[1]. It seems like an awful waste to just get rid of it. ...