Questions tagged [manufacturing]

Related to the fabrication of products to be used in spaceflight, or the techniques and logistics of production of spaceflight-related items.

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What is "aerospace grade"?

I recently asked this question. There, I was also linked to this other question. Both, however, could benefit from the answer to one fundamental point. What is "aerospace grade"? If ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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What hardware does SLS actually share with STS?

I was thinking about it for a while and realized I really don't know. I'm guessing it's: The RS-25s The SRB segments SRB seals/joints SRB nosecone assemblies +(avionics/separation motors/housings)? ...
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How to estimate total CO2 emission per year due to rocket manufacture?

I'm working on a study on greenhouse gas emissions related to rockets. While I have the post-launch (atmospheric) emissions, I need data for emissions related to production. For example, according to ...
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23 votes
1 answer
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Why are there four RTGs in a row sitting in this room? What are they waiting for? Were they built together and stored for separate launches?

The extremely cool NASA JPL video Triumph at Saturn (Part I) is really worth a watch and/or listen. At about 17:40 it discusses Cassini's RTG and at ...
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Was there any overlap between United Space Alliance and United Launch Alliance?

United Space Alliance was a joint venture including Boeing and Lockheed-Martin, which provided services and operations for the Space Shuttle program. United Launch Alliance is a joint venture ...
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12 votes
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Recycling space debris for manufacturing in space

There are a few companies interested in manufacturing (mostly additive) in space. Let's say that by some miracle some company comes up with a space station that is capable of sending out service ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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COTS portable X-ray machines in crewed spaceflight; would they work without significant modification?

Are commercial, off-the shelf (COTS) portable X ray machines likely to work in manned spacecraft, or are there technical reasons why they would need to be significantly modified? Do you feel is it ...
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1 vote
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Apollo Cold Welding Mitigation

I am currently debating with someone on a different platform and he brought up the phenomenon "cold welding." I must admit that I had never heard of that before, so I have been reading about ...
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Was anything manufactured at the Michoud facility between Apollo and the Shuttle?

The Michoud Assembly Facility is a manufacturing complex in New Orleans owned by NASA. During the Apollo program, the first stages of the Saturn I, IB, and V rockets were built there. During the ...
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5 votes
2 answers
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Was this the only time that helium balloon was used to support deployed spacecraft appendages during testing on the ground in Earth gravity?

What is this balloon for in this clean room and what is the proper name for the "stand" that is holding the satellite? shows the image below, and a comment below @OrganicMarble's answer ...
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Why so many little pieces of "space tape" on this communications satellite?

Maxar's own blogpost Power and Propulsion Element: Five Questions with Maxar’s Tim Cole contains an image with the caption The ABS-2 spacecraft at Maxar’s Palo Alto, California factory before its ...
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What technologies enable or at least help satellite operation in Very Low Earth Orbit (VLEO)?

This answer to How low is VLEO? (FCC's newest approval for SpaceX) suggests VLEO begins (or ends I guess) at 350 km. The two bad things I know about in VLEO are an enhanced rate of altitude loss due ...
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8 votes
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Rad-Hard vs Space-Hard computing

Radiation hardened CPUs like RAD750 are radiation hardened for up to 1000 gray. Cool. But, as CPUs have advanced way ahead their mechanical counterparts in miniaturization and fragility, energy ...
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10 votes
1 answer
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What makes Insight's RAD750 processor so radiation resistant? (compared to 1998 iMac's PowerPC 750)

Gizmodo's A 1990s iMac Processor Powers NASA’s Perseverance Rover references NewScientist and says: However, there’s a major difference between the iMac’s CPU and the one inside the Perseverance ...
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2 votes
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Bronze material compatibility for mechanism exposed to LEO

I'm looking at using a worm gear for a latching mechanism on a spacecraft that's destined for a LEO trajectory. The mechanism is on the outside of the spacecraft, but the worm gear itself would be in ...
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1 answer
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How did they get away with sticking tiles with spit for so long?

The STS Orbiter was infamous for losing tiles. This occurred at a higher rate than expected. I understand the epoxy used to attach the tiles to the shuttle cured extremely quicky, so a fresh batch ...
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27 votes
2 answers
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How does one throw a boomerang in space? Does it return?

From today's BBC's Japan developing wooden satellites to cut space junk: "We are very concerned with the fact that all the satellites which re-enter the Earth's atmosphere burn and create tiny ...
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What skipped test on Genesis would have detected the backwards-inserted accelerometer which didn't deploy the parachute?

What precautions are planned to prevent samples returned from Mars crashing and releasing organisms on Earth? and this answer to Why would bringing samples from Mars back to Earth be a “civilization-...
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3 votes
1 answer
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What is the cost of production or sale of a Soyuz spacecraft?

Soyuz manned spacecraft have been operating for over fifty years and have made one hundred and forty five flights. There have been many upgrades and improvements and is still going strong. I imagine ...
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What coatings are used for printed circuit board protection in space?

Which coatings are better for printed circuit board (PCB) protection in space environment?
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7 votes
1 answer
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Why are the SpaceX Starship, "rings" the width that they are?

Why are the SpaceX Starship, "rings" the width that they are? Wouldn't creating the rings from SS that's twice as wide reduce the welding by half?
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4 votes
1 answer
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Semi-feasible alternates to silicon electronics for a Von Neumann Probe?

Disclaimer: this is a modified cross-post of my post on the Worldbuilding SE site, adapted to better fit the Space Exploration community. Some background A Von Neumann Probe (VNP) is a sci-fi probe ...
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39 votes
3 answers
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Why is the supply of RTGs running short?

I always hear that NASA has only a limited amount of radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) remaining. I did some superficial research on how they work and what is needed to produce them and ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Compact ISRU for manufactured goods?

Most studies of ISRU focus on propellants, life support supplies, concrete, or other "bulk" materials (liquids, gases, granules). This makes sense, given that the majority of a typical ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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Is there a list of private companies with products on NASA Mars landers?

I'm trying to create a list of all private companies which have their products on the Mars surface. To make it easier, I'm limiting my search to NASA landers. Is there a comprehensive list of NASA ...
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List of supply chain partners in oneweb satellite production line at Florida? [closed]

I have listed couple of partners for onewebsatellites supply chain. 1) Sol Aero- Solar panels 2) Sodern - Star Trackers 3) ALTIUS - Grappling fixture for deoribiting 4) New Space systems - ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Has the space industry ever had more manufacturing jobs than the aviation industry?

Was there ever any time when more persons were employed in the United States in the space industry (spacecraft), than the aviation industry (aircraft)? Please include manufacturing and support, but ...
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6 votes
2 answers
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How are coatings like Vantablack and Aeroglaze Z306 used on spacecraft components? Exactly what functionalities do they provide?

Business Insider's SpaceX is launching 'dark satellites' to stop its Starlink project from wreaking havoc with astronomical research. Astronomers are skeptical. includes the following passage: "...
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0 votes
1 answer
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What are those tilting/rotating platforms called that hold spacecraft during assembly, testing, and sometimes transport? [duplicate]

The first image from the BBC's Euclid space telescope to study 'dark Universe' makes progress reminded me of the second two, which are taken from What are these air-vent-like structures on this ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Which solar system objects could a space elevator be built on with modern tech?

Which solar system objects have the right combination of low gravity and fast spinning rate, that an object tall enough to be a space elevator could be built on with modern construction tech? By "...
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3 votes
0 answers
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Has one satellite's outgassing ever affected another satellite in the same fairing? Documented examples?

At about 01:31 in Scott Manley's new video RocketLab & Reusable Rockets - Plasma Knifes, Ballutes, Helicopters and... Elephants he says: This occurs during a ...
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7 votes
2 answers
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Why do these satellite antennas look so weird? (strangely shaped with little white dots...)

The NASA Spaceflight article Arianespace press onward with dual-passenger Ariane 5 launch shows a photo of Intelsat 39 during testing. The dish reflectors are strangely shaped: rather than being ...
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11 votes
1 answer
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Examples of space research applied to Earthly manufacturing

I remember reading utopian predictions about space manufacturing. It's clear that factories in space delivering consumer goods for your local retailer is not going to happen in the near future. But I'...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Were Soviet spacecraft production facilities as widely dispersed as American production facilites?

The geographic location of facilities to produce components of American spacecraft has long been influenced by politics. High-ranking members of Congress would often pressure NASA officials to award ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Which Apollo-era contractors are still building aerospace components today?

This list of major Apollo manufacturers is from Chariots for Apollo. Which of them still make aerospace (spacecraft or aircraft) components today? AC Delco: inertial measuring unit, gyroscopes ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Who were the major manufacturers of the Apollo 11 rocket?

Organizing an exhibition around photographs from the 1969 launch and wanted to invite manufacturers.
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is OSIRIS-REx's high gain antenna nearly the same as TESS'? If so, why?

These two high gain antennas look very similar superficially, but are not identical. Is this a case of convergent design (a fancy kind of coincidence) or have they evolved from the same source, or ...
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4 votes
2 answers
327 views

Mass manufacturing of satellites

Airbus has announced a mass-manufacturing unit for OneWeb constellation of satellites. See for example Space News' With a new satellite factory in the U.S., Airbus eyes opportunities in military space ...
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6 votes
3 answers
493 views

Satellite manufacture and cleanliness

This picture caused a lot of laughter and mocking, when it happened. I've since noticed this sign in many pictures of flight hardware. It has been my understanding, that satellites are built in ...
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6 votes
2 answers
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Was CNC milling used in the 1960's for making the Apollo/Saturn rocket engines?

As far as I know, CNC machining was being used in the aerospace industry in the 1960s. Were such machines use for the F1 engines?
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7 votes
3 answers
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Why is the cubesat structure so expensive?

The 1U cubesat structure is a 10*10*10 cm metal cube with frames. But it costs around 2000-3000€, which is really expensive. I've found it for example on these sites: https://www.isispace.nl/product/...
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15 votes
4 answers
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What makes a payload fairing so expensive?

According to this question, a payload fairing costs 'several million' dollars. From the outside, the fairing seems like a simple structure: aluminium honeycomb sandwiched between 2 sheets of carbon ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Technical reasons for Delta 4 medium phase out

This news item quotes Elon Musk as saying it would make sense for the government to rely on ULA's Delta 4 and the SpaceX Falcon 9, phasing out the venerable Atlas 5. "You don't need both of ...
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11 votes
1 answer
510 views

How much of SpaceX's Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon capsule are 3D printed?

I know some of the components at SpaceX are manufactured using metal additive manufacturing (3D printing), but how much of the entire Falcon 9 launch vehicle or Dragon capsule is made up of printed ...
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9 votes
4 answers
318 views

What engineering processes (satellite/space vehicle related) require an atmosphere

So we all know that there are lots of engineering processes that are made 100 times better by negligible gravity, and that certain engineering process need to be performed in a vacuum (electron beam ...
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37 votes
1 answer
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How is unwanted cold welding prevented in space?

Metallic surfaces touching in the vacuum can stick to each other and fuse. This is known as the "cold welding" and it seems to be a possible issue in space if it happens where it should not. ...
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