Questions tagged [magnetic-field]

Questions regarding fields of magnetisms and their effects on Space Exploration, such as the Earth's magnetic field.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
35 votes
3 answers
39k views

How much power would a spacecraft's magnetic shield require?

I've read over the decades that a magnetic shield might protect a spacecraft from cosmic radiation. Its a fascinating idea that might only be theory or science fiction at the moment. In regards to ...
Maelish's user avatar
  • 879
18 votes
5 answers
27k views

Can magnets be used to launch spacecraft?

I assume there is some reason we don't use magnets to launch off Earth. Are they not strong enough? Isn't magnetic force technically stronger than gravity?? Would either of these work: A tube tunnel ...
Space Librarian's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
866 views

The Orbital Mass Accelerator Engine Theory

Can 2 satellites equal in weight traveling on the same orbital path in the opposite directions intersect and propel each other to gain altitude in orbit? Can orbital perturbation be negated during ...
Muze's user avatar
  • 1
17 votes
2 answers
11k views

What is the math behind Magnetorquers?

I'm trying to better understand the mathematics behind how torque rods work. I know that even if you have 3 axis of magnetic torquers, in effect there is only 2 axis of control, and I'm trying to ...
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
  • 121k
61 votes
4 answers
17k views

Would terraforming Mars be possible?

Mars is a planet commonly brought up when talking about terraforming. Even if we were to manage to get past all economic barriers, and somehow form a thick atmosphere, would the lack of a magnetic ...
Chris Loonam's user avatar
  • 1,105
51 votes
7 answers
83k views

How would it be possible to kick start Mars's magnetic field?

Jumping from this question about terraforming Mars, how would one mitigate the main obstacle, namely Mars's lack of a magnetic field? Are there any hypothetical processes that might restart Mars's ...
System Down's user avatar
  • 3,009
8 votes
1 answer
725 views

Could an articulated permanent magnet work as a low-power cubesat magnetotorquer? Problems?

Conventional magnetotorquers for cubesats are electromagnets that produce torque in the Earth's magnetic field, and nearly all of the power they use just heats the copper through $\text{I}^2 \text{R}$ ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
5 votes
1 answer
332 views

Where do ion propulsion's ions go? Do they remain in the solar system or shoot out into interstellar space?

Writing this answer has got me thinking. You can estimate the exhaust velocity of an ion engine using $$\frac{v}{c} = \sqrt{\frac{2E}{m_0 c^2}}. $$ Choose $E=$ 100 keV and $m_0 c^2=$ 931 MeV times ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
19 votes
3 answers
10k views

Place a satellite at Sun-Mars L1 to shield Mars from Sun radiation

Instead of placing many magnetic satellites close to Mars to artificially generate a magnetic field to protect Martian colonists from harming radiation, we could place a magnetic satellite at ...
Richard Beaudry's user avatar
19 votes
5 answers
4k views

Passive attitude stabilization with magnets - are there studies based on actual flight data?

Specifically with the small satellite and cubesat people, there is an rather 'old' idea around: Passive attitude stabilization based on permanent magnets. Schematic of the Earth magnetic field lines ...
s-m-e's user avatar
  • 6,571
14 votes
2 answers
3k views

Re-entry Heat Shield Alternative

Why is it that Controlled Re-entry Vehicles (like the most recent Orion & Dragon) do not use a strong magnetic field during re-entry to "shield" the blunt shaped end from plasma ? Reasoning: ...
Firas's user avatar
  • 141
11 votes
2 answers
1k views

How could an induced magnetosphere be created at Mars for terraforming?

In the long run Mars needs a magnetic field to keep a thick atmosphere and for radiation shielding, if humanity were to terraform it. Starting a dynamo in Mars' core seems forever impossible, but a ...
LocalFluff's user avatar
9 votes
4 answers
10k views

Are magnetic boots in space practical?

I can't count how many science fictions stories I have read where someone is strapping on magnetic boots to walk in or on a space ship without gravity. How realistic of a solution is this? Just for ...
James Jenkins's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
4k views

Could magnetic "boots" be used to simulate the effects of gravity for asteroid ships?

I have been to the Wikipedia pages on alternatives to gravity, and found the usual alternative forces, with the potential for magnets and the specious Russian claims, but I'm wondering why not just ...
Private Name's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
1k views

Could a powerful enough laser or maser heat the core of Mars?

I think that if we could build a powerful enough laser/maser to heat the core of Mars up and melt it, it could generate a magnetic field, which would allow for easier living on Mars. Could this be ...
ed edge's user avatar
  • 29
10 votes
1 answer
2k views

Would magnetic torquers placed in a polar satellite work?

Would magnetic torquers placed in a polar satellite keep the satellite stable? If it would work, would it be very efficient?
Hash's user avatar
  • 18k
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Could Magnetorquers be used on the ISS?

The way that the ISS manages it's attitude now is to use a set of reaction wheels for primary control, and occasionally firing small thrusters to allow the wheels to despin themselves. This isn't ...
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
  • 121k
6 votes
1 answer
462 views

What is the nature of a "flux tube" between Saturn and Enceladus, and what does "L‐shell=4" mean?

The NASA JPL YouTube video Sounds of Saturn: Hear Radio Emissions of the Planet and Its Moon Enceladus (below, also here) provides and audio and spectral representation of plasma waves recored by ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
4 votes
2 answers
148 views

Ramscoop for a space station or lunar base?

From what I've read, the Bussard ramscoop has problems which make it impractical as a means of propulsion. However, would it be possible to use it for a different purpose? Could a space station or ...
Pitto's user avatar
  • 1,246
3 votes
1 answer
377 views

How could Earth's magnetic field be used to determine a cubesat's attitude in LEO?

After reading this answer I thought that I'd read about a smallsat that used magnetometers to measure the Earth's magnetic field direction and magnitude along with a model for Earth's field and some ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
3 votes
2 answers
753 views

Artificial Magnetosphere to Terra-form Mars?

I was reading a 2017 article on a potential that Mars could be terraformed using a magneto-tail; A Future Mars Environment for Science and Exploration. This would basically entail sticking a giant ...
Magic Octopus Urn's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
695 views

Can objects be deorbited by a satellite using a magnetic field?

Can a magnetic field be made around a satellite for a split second to gain or loose momentum from another satellite or debris with a few passes with a near-miss trajectories on larger debris? Could a ...
Muze's user avatar
  • 1
2 votes
1 answer
2k views

Do GPS satellites use the earth's magnetic field in any way?

There's a lot of speculation about how changes or flips in the Earth's magnetic field would affect us, our machines, and sea turtles. I'm curious about the GPS satellites themselves. In one way they ...
300D7309EF17's user avatar
23 votes
5 answers
7k views

Why doesn't the ISS orient itself to the Earth's magnetic field like a compass needle?

I was watching this video of a magnet aboard the ISS floating freely. When the person lets go of the magnet, it behaves like a compass needle and immediately orients itself to the magnetic field of ...
Wyck's user avatar
  • 1,584
20 votes
3 answers
6k views

Is a magnetic field really needed to terraform Mars?

I see so many discussions about how the main roadblock to terraforming Mars is its lack of a magnetic field. If Mars had an atmosphere as thick as Earth's but no magnetic field, wouldn't it still take ...
Tim51092's user avatar
  • 301
16 votes
1 answer
1k views

Preventing orbital decay and micro adjustments to orbits by "leaning" on Earth's magnetic field

Would it be possible, using current technology and renewable energy sources only (e.g. photovoltaics), to magnetically polarize external shields of orbiting satellites in such a way, to effectively ...
TildalWave's user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
3k views

How will Juno establish existence of solid core within Jupiter and determine its size?

One of the set goals for NASA's New Frontiers Juno mission is studying Jupiter's interior and determining if this gas giant has a solid core and if, how large it is. This is mentioned several times on ...
TildalWave's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why did the data "go wild" when Ulysses entered Hyakutake's tail?

The following statement is from @OrganicMarble's answer to this question "How hard is it to fly through the tail of a comet? Has it been done?": On May 1, 1996, while Ulysses was cruising ...
Nilay Ghosh's user avatar
  • 1,024
9 votes
1 answer
2k views

How strong a magnetic field does Mars need to contain Earth-like atmosphere?

A quick follow-up to How would it be possible to kick start Mars's magnetic field? For example, the Venerean atmosphere is contained by merely an induced magnetic field. How powerful would ...
Everyone's user avatar
  • 13.6k
9 votes
4 answers
1k views

Is the Paramagnetism of Liquid Oxygen Ever Considered in Engine or Tank Design?

NOTE: I'm asking if this material property is ever considered. I'm not asking "do you think it should be considered". I'm pretty sure someone has considered it, and I am hoping to track down some ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
7 votes
1 answer
412 views

Could a magnetorquer be used in orbit around Mars?

One way to align a spacecraft into a certain manner while in orbit around a body is the use a Magnetorquer. Does Mars have enough of a magnetic field to allow such a device to operate?
user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
285 views

Magnetic / Inductive braking against planetary magnetic fields?

I'm familiar with the concept of aerobraking. Consider an object like a star, or a planet with strong magnetic field (Earth, Jupiter, probably all of the gas/ice giants?) Could a probe use some kind ...
Charles Teague's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
308 views

Have Magnetorquers been used anywhere outside of the Earth?

On Earth, small satellites often include Magnetorquers. A magnetorquer allows the satellite to re-orient itself without using fuel in a way more permanent than magnets. While not every planet has a ...
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
  • 121k
6 votes
1 answer
6k views

Launching sounding rockets from the magnetic equator (ISRO's Thumba)

The Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station is operated by ISRO for launching sounding rockets because magnetic equator passes through it. Equator gives additional velocity, But what advantage ...
Gauti 's user avatar
  • 163
6 votes
1 answer
772 views

Can Earth magnetic field be used for attitude determination in LEO?

…or, how well is the Earth magnetic field mapped? Three hallotrons (simple, cheap, robust, tiny, low-power devices) aligned in three axis can be used to determine the direction of local vector of ...
SF.'s user avatar
  • 55k
6 votes
1 answer
423 views

How long would a magnetic shield placed at the Mars L1 point take to replenish Mars's atmosphere?

This conference paper proposes placing a magnetic shield at the Mars L1 point to protect it's atmosphere. The paper reports the results of modeling the martian atmosphere at a variety of pressures (10,...
UEFI's user avatar
  • 331
5 votes
5 answers
2k views

Would it be possible to deploy a man-made magnetic field in Mars orbit for terraforming? [closed]

I know terraforming Mars has been a topic of discussion for a long time. One of the larger obstacles is the planet's weak magnetic field, which if I understand correctly is integral to containing an ...
Justin Willis's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

Using Earth's magnetic field for an electric propulsion system

If you were to use a spacecraft built of copper in Earth's magnetic field, could you produce enough energy to propel yourself?
trey's user avatar
  • 69
5 votes
0 answers
126 views

HPE's demo HPC system; why choose optical and not copper interconnects because of magnetic fields and radiation?

An article in The Next Platform, One Small Step Toward Supercomputers in Space describes a small High Performance Computing system (HPC) built by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), to be brought to the ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
4 votes
1 answer
235 views

Could artificial magnets orbiting the sun be used to accelerate spacecraft, like a magnetic "gravity" assist?

Say there's a powerful magnet in an orbit between those of Earth and Mars. Could a spacecraft traveling between those planets save propellant by performing a slingshot maneuver using its magnetic ...
Wesley Botham's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
39 views

How many solar system bodies have had their magnetic fields directly measured?

Discussion below this post lead me to wonder: Question: How many solar system bodies have had their magnetic fields directly measured? Inferences from radio or spectroscopic observations don't count ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
4 votes
1 answer
130 views

Possible explanations to Mars' exceptionally strong magnetic anomalies

Some of the magnetic anomalies spotted in the southern hemisphere of Mars from orbit are exceptionally high in magnitude and they are an order of magnitude greater than what we would expect ...
Ahmed Abdulla's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
750 views

How strong is Sun magnetic field on Moon surface? And on Mars?

I wan to calculate the voltage difference generated by sun EM Field on a wire placed on Moon or Mars surface, but I can't find consistent data about solar EM Field. I found different values: The ...
jumpjack's user avatar
  • 3,033
2 votes
0 answers
115 views

What was Steve? Is it called something else now?

"Steve" was a temporary name for a space phenomenon above the Earth. Since then it's likely much work as been done and a more permanent name chosen. So I'd like to ask what Steve really was/is, and if ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
1 vote
1 answer
281 views

How were Venera's variometers able to measure extremely weak, nano-Tesla magnetic fields?

The image below is from the really interesting page Inventing The Interplanetary Probe (linked by @A.Rumlin here). Above the fluxgate magnetometer there is a pair of short tubes labeled "...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
1 vote
2 answers
5k views

Can you use magnets to travel through space?

My thought process is that there is very little friction in space minus gravitational pull. Which could be a good thing if you wanted to go faster or slow down. The question is, is it possible to ...
S. Medina's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
552 views

Can it be realistic to build a artificial magnetic field around Mars? [duplicate]

I was wondering how realistic it is to build an artificial magnetic field around Mars using electromagnetism. So my question is; what kind of current would be needed in a loop around Mars' equator to ...
朱軒德's user avatar
  • 113
1 vote
0 answers
134 views

If the ISS hull were ferromagnetic what kinds of problems would that cause?

The question ISS Electromagnetic anchoring asks if the hull of the ISS were ferromagnetic, which would allow astronauts on EVAs to use magnetic grapples to assist in moving around. The answer sadly, ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
0 votes
1 answer
345 views

Could a spacecraft be propelled by the deflection of a very high number of charged particles?

I am wondering if a spacecraft could be propelled through interplanetary space via the deflection and/or displacement of a very high number of charged particles contained within the Sun's solar wind. ...
user avatar