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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
19
votes
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 ...
19
votes
1answer
15k views

Does the orbit of the ISS decay?

Does the orbit of the ISS decay? I don't know much about the ISS, but I heard some rumors. The rumor I heard was that there is a very, very tiny atmosphere at the ISS orbit.
19
votes
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 ...
19
votes
1answer
2k views

Air in International Space Station

How do astronauts/cosmonauts manage the atmosphere at the International Space Station as their missions are years long, versus shorter flights? Do they recycle? Import via cargo vessels? Electrolyze ...
18
votes
3answers
4k views

Why does the ISS need thermal blankets if the Sun is hot?

If space is cold at 2.7 Kelvin and heat can't escape in a vacuum then why is the ISS wrapped in space blankets if the sun is hot?
18
votes
1answer
554 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 ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

Why are three cosmonauts required to move a Soyuz?

The opening paragraph of this article caught my eye*: Three space station crew members put on spacesuits and boarded their Soyuz spacecraft Friday for a short trip to relocate the capsule to a new ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

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 ...
18
votes
1answer
5k views

How often does the ISS orbit align with the day/night terminator?

In the following image (coming from SAT-Flare) you can see the orbit of the ISS (in red) and the day/night terminator (in blue). The terminator separates night from day along the surface of the Earth. ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

Do astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) actually use their legs?

The European Space Agency writes to say ◾The applicant must have the normal range of motion and functionality in all joints. Historically, IMHO, astronauts came from a flight/test-pilot background....
18
votes
1answer
4k views

Why aren't the ISS's nor Space Shuttle's radiators black?

As we know, from a surprising corollary to Kirchhoff's law of thermal radiation, just as darker* objects absorb more light (and therefore energy), darker objects also radiate more light (at lower ...
18
votes
2answers
8k views

What language is most commonly spoken on the ISS?

It is clear from the answer to this question that all astro- or cosmonauts need to study English or Russian, whichever is not their native tongue. But as a practical matter, what language prevails for ...
18
votes
1answer
6k views

What materials are the windows on the US Segment of the ISS made out of?

Presumably the various windows on the different modules of the ISS are consistent on the different segments of the ISS. What are the windows on the US Segment made out of? Do they have special ...
18
votes
1answer
800 views

Does the ISS team plan cargo flights when at half crew on purpose?

A number of times now, the cargo vehicles (Dragon, Cygnus, or HTV) seem to have arrived while the station was between crew switchovers. With indirect crew handovers, three crew depart in a Soyuz, ...
17
votes
2answers
5k views

Why does the interior of the ISS appear so disorganized?

I have noticed that interior of the ISS appears to be very disorganized. Let me clarify what I mean by that. I grew up watching Star Trek, and the Enterprise was the reference of clean space-faring ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Are lithium batteries allowed in the International Space Station?

Lithium batteries have been restricted or forbidden on aircraft in some jurisdictions, after incidents of fires. Are lithium batteries allowed on the ISS? If so, why would the risk be considered ...
17
votes
1answer
3k views

Why is there a pregnancy test kit on the ISS?

A comment by Organic Marble on the question Is it possible to get pregnant through natural means in space? includes a link to PREGNANCY TEST (ISS MED/3A - ALL/FIN) which seems to indicate there is a ...
17
votes
3answers
969 views

Is there any money in space?

Currently everything used by astronauts in space gets there via a state/government sponsored lift. Astronauts can also bring a few personal supplies, but I imagine that most if not all financial ...
17
votes
4answers
5k views

Why is NASA planning to deorbit the ISS instead of reusing its newer modules, like the Russians will?

I was reading about Russia's plans to detach their modules from the ISS before its deorbit and use them to begin a new space station. The version I read said Zvezda (DOS-8) and Poisk (MRM-2) are ...
17
votes
3answers
5k views

How long can a 2 person crew survive on ISS totally cut from Earth?

Something goes bad on Earth, ISS is cut from any kind of supply and the escape pods can't be used. If there are 2 people on board at that time, how long can they survive there? Did someone write a ...
17
votes
2answers
634 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 ...
17
votes
1answer
2k views

Are there free insects in the ISS?

Are there free insects, living and breeding in the ISS, not part of an experiment? I am not asking about an occasional escaped single fruit fly, Nor am I asking about insects contained in a enclosure ...
17
votes
3answers
1k views

My space station is filling with water

This question may be a bit silly, but this video of Chris Hadfield wringing out a wet washcloth on the ISS got me thinking... In the video you can clearly see drops of water floating away from the ...
17
votes
1answer
965 views

Is potable water in the American & Russian segments still stored separately?

This article writes to say An interesting fact is that the Russian and American segment water supplies can’t be mixed. The U.S. water uses iodine for bacteria control, while the Russian water uses ...
17
votes
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 (...
17
votes
1answer
3k views

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,...
16
votes
5answers
3k views

Can I text on my cell phone from the ISS to Earth?

We know from Can we detect the cell phone, satellite phone, or walkie talkie of someone walking on Mars from Earth? that cell phone signals on Mars are potentially observable on Earth. I am not an ...
16
votes
4answers
7k views

Why does the ISS track appear to be sinusoidal?

Okay, time for a stupid question, but it keeps me up at night trying to figure it out. The ISS 'route' appears on paper as such: I am imagining it has to do with a combination of its orbit and the ...
16
votes
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 ...
16
votes
3answers
3k views

Can you make out the shape of the ISS with the unaided eye as it passes overhead?

Someone claimed to me that they could see the actual shape of the ISS as it passed overhead without use of any optical device. I would think this isn't possible since it is only about 100 meters wide ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

Does the ISS have zenith-facing windows?

I was looking at the NASA image of the day today, and it made me wonder about the windows on the ISS. I often see pictures of Earth taken from the ISS, but I was wondering if they had any windows that ...
16
votes
1answer
2k views

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 ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

What (if any) replacement parts have been 3D printed on the ISS and then installed?

The Phys.org article Six degrees of nuclear separation contains the following sentence in the introduction paragraph for background Astronauts now print their own parts in space to repair the ...
16
votes
1answer
2k views

How many and/or what kind of animals have ever been on the ISS?

I am doing a science project for school and i was wondering if anybody could help me out. I need to know how many and what kinds of animals have been on the iss.
16
votes
1answer
1k views

Is the difference in orbital velocity of different parts measurable on board the ISS?

When two objects are in different orbits of the same body, no matter how close they are, the inner object will always be faster - it will move farther away from the outer one (until it gets closer ...
16
votes
1answer
2k views

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 ...
16
votes
2answers
967 views

Was Alexander Gerst the first man to have bare skin exposed to the vacuum of space and live?

On August 30, 2018, a hole was found in the Soyuz Orbital Module on the ISS. Astronaut Alexander Gerst initially plugged it with his thumb, meaning a part of his bare skin touched space. I can't find ...
16
votes
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 ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

How are dead animals disposed of on the ISS?

After reading the question Have any animals that have been studied onboard the ISS come back alive?, my first thought was this: what about the ones that don't live? It would seem that this wouldn't ...
16
votes
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 ...
16
votes
1answer
768 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
7k views

How do astronauts keep their devices dry?

In these videos astronauts are drinking and playing with water. We can see water droplets floating away to the surroundings. Do these droplets affect the machines in any way? What do astronauts do to ...
15
votes
6answers
18k views

Is there a realistic looking ISS scale model available somewhere?

I'm looking for a serious, realistic looking scale model of the International Space Station to build at home. Even better, if it would include some electronics. I'm open to free or commercial ...
15
votes
2answers
7k views

Do astronauts get Netflix on ISS?

I've been wondering about the internet connection on the ISS, and how it's used. We were talking in chat about astronauts personal belongings and free time, and it made me wonder about how they use ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Can X-37B dock with the ISS

X-37 can fly in the same orbit as ISS but can they dock?
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Are the EVA suits used in the ISS and in the NBL same or different?

Are the space suits used in the International Space Station (ISS) and in the Neutral Buoyancy Lab (NBL) same or different? They look similar, but they are used in two different media - one in a vacuum ...
15
votes
3answers
6k views

Why do ISS astronauts use lower quality microphones for official radio communication than for PR events?

In the first seconds of this video you can see/hear ISS astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti prepare for a PR event: During the preparation she uses two different ...
15
votes
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 ...
15
votes
1answer
47k views

How long does it take to get to ISS?

The ISS is in orbit about 250 miles high, the students in this related question get 62 miles in less than a minute. This NASA Press release indicates the The Soyuz TMA-13M launch on May 2014 has a 6 ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the “ISS's Keep Out Sphere” and what is its radius?

The comment: In a similar vein, it would be interesting to know if going around the moon rather than to the ISS removes any legal hurdles. Do we have any questions covering the legal ramifications (...