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Questions tagged [measurement]

Questions about the methodology and results of collecting data.

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How soon was the Garn scale of nausea established after the senator's spaceflight?

Then-Senator Jake Garn flew on Shuttle mission STS-51-D in April 1985. He developed the worst documented case of space adaptation syndrome, for which an informal unit of space sickness was named ...
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How would 2 spacecraft be launched to be in sync in opposite directions?

How would 1 spacecraft be launched to have a prograde orbit and the another be launched retrograde to have a mirrored orbital path around the sun or otherwise? Would the 2 spacecraft launch together ...
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Could an Igloo work on Mars?

Could ice make a good habitat like an igloo for colonists or as cold storage for fuel? Could the cavern be sealed and then carbon dioxide melted to create pressure inside the cavern to grow plants or ...
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How many people could the ISS support?

How many people can fit on the ISS? At what person would life support be overwhelmed?
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Fuel vs food on the trip to Mars?

How much food for each person is need and fuel per various engine to go to Mars on the current 9-month trip there then 3 months on Mars and the 9 months back? Can time be saved on the trip to and from ...
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Maximum size for a Ion thruster solar array

In other questions I have asked about using a solar sail to double as a reflective mirror to provide light to an ion engine. What would be the maximum size or surface area of a parabolic sail where ...
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How is atmospheric temperature measured from a satellite?

How does an Earth observing satellite measure the temperature of the atmosphere? Can they measure temperature at multiple altitudes, or measure the temperature of clouds?
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What is the order of magnitude forces due to Earth's magnetic field, sunlight, drag, oblateness and tidal forces compare?

What in order of magnitude does pressures vary in LEO due to diamagnetic repulsion of Earth's magnetic field, sunlight, drag, oblateness and tidal forces compare on an ideal satellite? Is there any ...
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How to measure the temperature inside a combustion chamber

This question is inspired by How do you determine what the temperature will be in the combustion chamber of a rocket engine? . I wonder how you would mesaure the temperature on the inner surface of ...
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What is VBB recentering (InSight lander's Very Broad Band seismic pendulums)?

From the Planetary Society Blogpost InSight Update, sols 25-42: Seismometer sensors working! Tricky setup and cable management on Mars This is an animated GIF: It's fairly subtle, you may not notice ...
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How could a sextant be used to help in a docking procedure, hypothetically?

If a spacecraft's standard radar and optical metrology were lost, could a sextant be used to determine range and relative position of another spacecraft in order to execute a docking maneuver? Let's ...
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199 views

How precise are spacecraft trajectory measurements?

Interplanetary mission trajectories are frequently likened in popular media to hitting a small target with a dart from vast distances, but in reality, spacecraft don't need absurdly high precision, ...
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Why do the LAGEOS' satellites have four germanium corner cube reflectors out of over 400?

When I was writing this answer about the LAGEOS satellites, I noticed that only four of the over four hundred corner reflectors are made of optical germanium rather than fused silica. Fused silica (...
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Why do most Measurements in Space use km?

I understand the use of metric, the real question is: with how vast space truly is, why do we not use other prefixes like we do for computer memory? 1kilometer = 1,000 meters (...
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Could daily variations of weight on Earth really be 0.003%?

I've been reading about accelerometers. On earth, in a lecture demonstration, in a table-top experiment, they will generate a signal equal to the sum of the acceleration you'd like to measure plus the ...
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Have LAGEOS' germanium corner cube reflectors ever been used?

When I was writing this answer about the LAGEOS satellites, I notices that four of the over four hundred corner reflectors are made of optical germanium rather than fused silica. Fused silica (FS) ...
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Could a Kuiper Belt object fly by probe measure star distances by parallax better than Gaia?

Could a New Horizons class probe aimed to fly by a Kuiper Belt object 100 AU from the Sun use its camera, built to image the Kuiper Belt object, to also measure distances to stars (and distant Solar ...
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What forms of water ice have been observed and verified in the solar system?

The cool plot in this answer (from here) got me thinking about the more than sixteen distinct forms of ice, and how many of them have been actually seen to occur naturally in the solar system. There ...
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How will OSIRIS-REx scan and characterise the near-earth asteroid Bennu?

The 34 day launch window for the OSIRIS-REx probe will open in about five weeks (early September 2016), and it's approach to the near earth asteroid 101955 Bennu (provisional designation 1999 RQ36) is ...
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What is the electromagnetic spectrum profile of rocket flame/exhaust?

...from common observation, I can easily conclude there is a lot of infrared (from burning, superheated fuel), ending somewhere near yellow of visible spectrum; there should be next to none of UV and ...
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Earliest gravitational map of a planet/moon?

When was the first gravitational map of a planet or moon made by measurements from space? I'm guessing it was a map of Earth, since that's the closest planet to us,[citation needed] but for all I've ...
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What are these structures on the Lunar Ranging Retro Reflector (LRRR) arrays for?

In this question I used images of the retro-reflector arrays that were left on the moon by Apollo 11, 14, and 15. The Lunar Ranging Retro Reflectors (LRRRs) are there for Lunar Laser Ranging. The ...
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How are precision trajectory measurements made of trans-Neptunian spacecraft?

This question asks if Voyager suddenly encountered unexpected gravity from an unseen object, how would it be detected, and there are several answers. For the farthest probes - those now farther from ...
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How can a sounding rocket accurately take the temperature of the atmosphere while flying through it at high speed?

A sounding rocket is a rocket that ascends into the high atmosphere in order to take all sorts of measurements so we can learn more about the upper atmosphere. They don't go into orbit, so they can be ...
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How can an orbiting spacecraft's motions yield the orbitee's deep structure?

I've always been a fan of satellites like GRACE and GRAIL, where two satellites orbit a body, precisely measuring the changing distance between them in order to sense gravitational anomalies caused by ...
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What instruments are necessary to measure/determine the process that generates Saturn's internal heat?

I am writing a paper about a possible mission to Saturn but I am a business and Spanish student and am quite ignorant when it comes to the engineering and science behind probes and their instruments; ...
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How are IMU positions decided for rockets and spacecraft?

I imagine that engineers have to decide where an inertial measurement unit (or just an accelerometer, gyro, etc.) is placed in a rocket or spacecraft. I'd like to know how are these positions decided? ...
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Measuring the pressure and temperature of Pluto's atmosphere using stellar occultations

Is this primarily done analyzing the Voigt profiles absorption bands on background of stellar spectra or on re-emission bands of atmospheric compounds? Assuming Pluto's atmosphere behaves like an ...
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How is real position of probes orbiting other planets measured?

I imagine that measuring real positions and orbital elements of satellites orbiting other planets after they perform braking maneuver to get to their final orbit must be rather difficult. Especially ...
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How does an atmospheric probe measure temperature during descent?

I heard that the Galileo spacecraft sent Galileo Probe into Jupiter, and it reported temperatures reaching 153 degrees Celsius. The question is, when you send a probe crashing into a planet that has ...
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Accelerometer in space

If my understanding of the General Theory of Relativity is correct, according to the Equivalence Principle, forces due to gravity and acceleration are indistinguishable. If that's the case, then an ...
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Rocket Propulsion Elements: Total Impulse Problem

I figured this is probably an okay place to post this question. I managed to get (a), (c) and (d) (quite simply), but I have absolutely no idea why I can't work out (b). I used $$ I_{sp}=\frac{I_t}{...
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Has an interplanetary date/time system been established yet?

Obviously, with no humans living permanently off-planet yet, Earth-style dates and times are the most common system is use, and reasonably so. And it helps that Mars's day is almost the same length ...
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Sensitivity of Space Telescopes and Instruments

I have been doing a bit of light reading on space telescopes and have been amazed by the reported sensitivity of some of the instruments. In particular, the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) ...
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Could we send lots of cheap measurement devices in random directions into the space?

As a layman, I like to read about space exploration and come up with ideas. One of them that I couldn't refute was a sort of firework that would scatter thousands or even millions of self-locating ...
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How are base temperature units found on other planets?

On Earth, our temperature scales are calibrated based on some universal (on Earth) values. For example, 212°F and 100°C are defined as the temperature water boils at sea level. How are these ...
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How do we measure height on celestial bodies with no significant atmospheric pressure, no seas, or no surface to speak of?

On the Earth, measuring elevation above sea level is relatively easy. Throughout the years of evolving these measurements to not rely on different reference points of the Mean Sea Level (MSL) of ...
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How do you weigh things in a micro-gravity environment?

Obviously a balance scale is not going to add value to the task in free-fall. Weight in space is more accurately described as mass, but the need to define it still exists. Regardless of if you're ...