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Questions tagged [long-duration]

Questions about long-duration spaceflight.

3
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0answers
49 views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
97 views

Ion thrusters trip time

Suppose we had a fully equipped nuclear powered ion thruster starship. If it had a constant rate of acceleration of 1g, taking into account the fact that at the half way point you would have to turn ...
114
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4answers
28k views

Nudism in space: Why wear clothes anyway?

Currently, doing laundry in microgravity is an unsolved engineering problem. The result is that clean clothes on the International Space Station have become a consumable resource. Clean clothes get ...
16
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1answer
420 views

What will J002E3 be like on its return?

J002E3 is believed to be the S-IVB third stage of the Apollo 12 rocket. It is expected to return to temporary Earth orbit in the 2040's. If some enterprising soul decided to build a rocket capable ...
7
votes
2answers
474 views

How long could the shuttle remain docked to ISS and still capable of landing?

Soyuz remains docked to ISS for months at a time, then returns the crew to Earth. The longest the shuttle has stayed in orbit on any single mission is 17.5 days on mission STS-80 in November 1996 ...
1
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1answer
46 views

Muscle loss in space

Since loss of muscle is such a big problem in extended space travel I wondered (and practicalty is a different issue) if astronauts could maintain muscle mass by donning oxygen masks and playing a ...
1
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1answer
320 views

Which is the longest distance traveled by a space craft?

Which is the longest distance traveled by a space craft? Manned or unmanned? I believe it's Voyager, but I am not sure about the distance it traveled or is still traveling. I believe the mission ...
5
votes
3answers
231 views

Why not leave interplanetary probes on standby after primary mission, activating them at will decades later?

Imagine a spacecraft which orbits or follows an object like Dawn, Rosetta and Cassini do today, not being decommissioned and deliberately crashed, but instead put in hibernation. With enough fuel and ...
8
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2answers
2k views

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 ...
12
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1answer
193 views

What psychological therapy is available to space travelers

Is there an 'on-call' person dedicated for psychological therapy of people traveling in space? Flights are getting longer and longer, and while isolation has been studied for space and certainly ...
4
votes
1answer
604 views

Water needs for a manned journey to Mars

Will we be able to take the amount of water that will be needed for this 18 month trip, or will they have to recycle the water that they take with them? I imagine that this will be quite a challenge ...
7
votes
2answers
169 views

What would be the ideal hydroponic crops for long duration travels?

By "ideal" I mean most nutritious, less maintenance as possible, less space consuming, etc. I guess this could be for any long-duration flights, as a means of self sustenance in addition to supplies, ...
2
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0answers
132 views

Could electrodynamic tethers power long-term unmanned satellites around the Sun, Jupiter, or Saturn?

Assuming you have the budget to research electrodynamic tether powered unmanned satellites, and you had a cheap way of getting them in to earth low earth orbit, would they be able to use electricity ...
10
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1answer
3k views

How long can probes function, e.g. New Horizons? Can and should we build “century probes”?

36 years after launch we still communicate with Voyager and ISEE. And contact with the Voyagers could continue for another 10 years or so. I doubt that it was designed with this in mind (but who knows ...
22
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8answers
3k views

What factors limit the lifetime of an unmanned spacecraft?

Other than fuel, what factors limit the lifetime of a spacecraft? For example, if someone wanted to send a spacecraft on a 100 year trip round the solar system and back to Earth, could it be done ...
10
votes
1answer
608 views

Durability of solar sails. How big of a problem is high-energy proton flux?

When we think of solar sails, I guess we mostly think of using radiation pressure of our closest star to achieve thrust, gracefully leaning on it with a large area sail of incredibly light and thin ...
10
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3answers
1k views

What's our limit in sending probes to distant bodies?

Currently, we're able to aim probes at various bodies in the solar system pretty well. Do we have the technology to send a probe to Alpha Centauri? If we're aiming at a star, approximately how far ...
10
votes
1answer
519 views

Back to Earth's gravity, what astronauts do?

After a long period in space and once back to earth, what do astronauts to get again used to the Earth's gravity?
55
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3answers
4k 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, ...
11
votes
2answers
377 views

What is the optimal selection for a small self sustaining space farm?

There are a multitude of resources about growing food in space, NASA research indicates we have been growing foods in space for years. Colonies in Space by T. A. Heppenheimer seems to have some ...
4
votes
2answers
88 views

Would a biological resource-system be feasible for long-term manned flights?

Supposing a long-term manned flight is planned would a biological resource-system be considered as an option? Would a biological resource-system work or is a technical solution superior? Currently ...
17
votes
3answers
869 views

Is artificial gravity feasible in manned long-term space exploration?

We know that it is possible for humans to stay physically in shape during long term space missions (see for example Valeri Polyakov who stayed on Mir for more than 14 months for one trip). However, ...
21
votes
3answers
731 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
647 views

What are the health risks facing humans on long-term space flights?

There are lots of engineering challenges associated with long-term space flight. Many of these are driven by the humans on board the vehicles -- specifically the mitigations required to control ...
8
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1answer
487 views

What spaceship materials could naturally experience radioactive decay and transmute on a million year interstellar journey? [closed]

For extremely long journeys, deterioration of spaceship materials becomes a concern beyond mere rust or corrosion. Assuming a ship is sufficiently protected against radiation and other colliding ...