Questions tagged [nasa]

Questions pertaining to activities of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, a United States government agency that deals with space exploration and research.

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How was an emergency landing site at Diego Garcia used during the Apollo program?

On the current Starlink mission as the 2nd stage passed over the Indian Ocean I heard mention of contact with a ground station at Diego Garcia. Checking that article I found the subsection Space ...
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Why is the Orion spacecraft so big?

The Orion spacecraft which is to be used for the Artemis missions will be rated for 6 astronauts. Why so many? Given the "political" assignment is to put "a woman and another man to the ...
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Spacecrew member eligibility in future manned NASA space missions [duplicate]

What are the eligibility requirements to be part of future Spacecrew mission NASA programs? Age, Nationality, Medical Fitness, Educational qualifications, Work experience etc
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Why did it take so long to notice that the ozone layer had holes in it? Which satellite provided the data?

Wikipedia says: The discovery of the annual depletion of ozone above the Antarctic was first announced by Joe Farman, Brian Gardiner and Jonathan Shanklin, in a paper which appeared in Nature on May ...
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“NASA's Europa Clipper has been liberated from the Space Launch System” How would the “physics” of a Starship-based mission differ from SLS?

The Hill's NASA's Europa Clipper has been liberated from the Space Launch System is quite an illuminating read about the politics of space launch. However, I noticed that it also says: Both the ...
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How many cubesat U's is CAPSTONE really?

Wikipedia sez: The orbiter is a 12-unit CubeSat but looking at the images in the new NASA video NASA 2021: Let's Go to the Moon I see artwork that shows Capstone as a square-based prism with the ...
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Besides landing several folks on the Moon and returning them safely to the Earth what criteria did Human Landing System proposals to NASA meet?

The new NASA video NASA 2021: Let's Go to the Moon shows artwork for three very different spacecraft sitting on the lunar surface with the overlain caption Selecting A Human Landing System "...
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JAXA/NASA astronauts on a Shuttle mission; was it like dual citizenship/joint appointment or did one agency take precedent?

Professor and former astronaut Takao Doi does many things, including being a Space Shuttle mission specialist, an amateur astronomer and discoverer of two supernovae 2002gw IN NGC 922 and Supernova ...
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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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NASA design handbooks and specifications

Does anybody know the designations, publication names, etc. for the design standards which NASA uses for space flight hardware? I’d like to add these resources into my engineering library.
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Why doesn't NASA release all the aerospace technology into public domain?

NASA is a publicly funded US governmental agency, yet it does not seem to release all the technology it develops into public domain for people being able to study it and learn from it. For instance, ...
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How redundant are Orion's power and data units (PDUs)? Doubly? Quadruply? If so, why?

In the news today: NASA to skip repair of Orion electronics unit NASA will fly Orion deep-space crew capsule ‘as is,’ despite failed component; The agency claims there is enough redundancy in the ...
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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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Is there a publicly available inventory of things sent to the ISS?

I spent some time looking through NASA datasets and news articles, and couldn't find anything, so I'm hoping that someone in the community will know better than I do: I'm trying to understand what the ...
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How did the Kepler Telescope reach its orbit?

The Kepler Telescope was (is) in a heliocentric Earth trailing orbit, but I want to figure out how it was able to reach this orbit exactly. It was launched on a Delta II with 3 stages and I studied ...
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Did an astronaut on the Moon ever fall on his back?

I am curious to know if an astronaut on the Moon ever fell backwards and landed on his back. I have seen many photographs and videos of astronauts who accidentally tripped or lost their balance and ...
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What prompted NASA to establish a KSC SWAT Team?

Based on this question, it looks like KSC has not only its own police department (which is fairly common for large facilities, even things like universities) but also a SWAT team, which apparently was ...
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Did NASA have black doctors around 1960?

In the 2020 TV series "The Right Stuff" a lot of changes are made for dramatic effect. The show has a black doctor working at NASA during the Mercury programme, and he seems to be pretty ...
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What force do the armed guards guarding the Crew-1 crew belong to?

In the comments to the question Why were the SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts backed up by guards with automatic weapons?, the question was raised what force the guards in the photo belong to. In particular, ...
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Why is NASA sending wavy grousers to Mars?

In this answer to What are the lines on the wheels of the Perseverance rover called? Are they different than Curiosity's? and in sources linked therein we've learned that the lines across the business ...
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Did NASA director Jim Bridenstine really make sure that Artemis gets done in a way different than how the US “House of Representatives put forward”?

update: Aviation Week November 8, 2020: NASA Chief Plans To Step Aside Under Biden In the "Angry Astronaut" video NASA'S Lunar Gateway Announcement - This REALLY matters to Artemis, SpaceX ...
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Why it's news that SOFIA found water when it's already been found?

Back in 2008, India proved water on moon. India's ISRO spacecraft Chandrayaan-1 released the Moon Impact Probe (MIP) that impacted Shackleton Crater, of the lunar south pole, at 20:31 on 14 November ...
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Why does the Sagan-Drake pulsar map have a circle (negative/blank) near the center?

(click to enlarge, source: WikiMedia) If you look carefully near the center, each of the pulsar line segments have a gap at a specific radius. I can't find any mention of the meaning of this. Any ...
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How do US citizens vote in space?

Astronaut Kate Rubins tweeted that she has voted while being on the ISS: How does that work? Did she have some paperwork with her that she can send down to earth with a spacecraft soon? The ...
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NASA SIM (Space Interferometry Mission) - how mature technically it was at the moment of cancellation?

NASA's SIM mission was canceled in 2010. It was planned as first optical interferometer in space. I couldn't find answer - how technically mature the mission was when it was canceled? How far it was ...
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Is the acoustic horn at Stennis Space Center still there? Is it used?

Stennis Space Center had a giant horn installed in the times when they were testing the Saturn program engines. The purpose was to see what the acoustic conditions were like before testing and thus ...
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What is a “fee area” exactly and why is it named that way?

On the map of Stennis Space Center, from the early 1960s when it was still named "Mississippi Test Facility"/"Mississippi Test Operations", part of the area is labeled "Fee ...
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Demonstrative examples of NASA “programs that go too long, that cost too much… end up getting cast out later”?

Spaceflight Now's NASA lays out $28 billion plan to return astronauts to the moon in 2024 quotes NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, and includes the following: Bridenstine acknowledged the challenge ...
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Why aren't there any trajectories for the Viking missions in JPL Horizons' database?

Horizons has calculated trajectories for deep space spacecraft, including six objects related to Apollo 8 through 12. See an (old) list in the currently unanswered question What was Chang'e-2'...
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Is there any live classes for learning about Mars and Universe by professionals?

I have 10 year old son and he is crazy about Mars, Space, Blackholes, Universe , Rockets, and Satellites. Right now he goes to youtube and tries to learn. But we don't know which video is good and ...
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Has Same Beam Interference (SBI) been used or at least tested at Mars? Are there plans to use it in the next few years?

Section 5.4 of Descanso I, Radiometric Tracking Techniques for Deep-Space Navigation by Catherine L. Thornton and James S. Border titled Future directions in Radiometric Tracking; Same Beam ...
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Can you help me identify this vehicle outside the VAB?

I found this photo of a house being transported off of Kennedy Space Center property sometime in the 1960s/early 1970s. We managed to track down where the house was moved from/to, but one thing that ...
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Do space suit designers exist?

I was just having a closer look at the new space-suits by SpaceX, that were worn by NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley (image below this question). The design made me wonder about who may ...
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What novel technologies did DARE ditch in order to get NASA support?

Business Insider's NASA patented a faster, cheaper route to the moon. The first spacecraft to use it could make Nobel Prize-winning discoveries about the universe. includes a section titled 2 Nobel ...
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When will STP-3 launch with the new optical space coms test and why is it late?

Wikipedia's Space Test Program; Upcoming activities; STP-3 says: The STP-3 mission is scheduled to be launched on a ULA Atlas V 551 rocket in 2020.[23][24][needs update] It includes the STPSat-6 ...
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MMRTG- thermal and electrical output

I haven’t been able to find a definitive number for the thermal output (in watts) of the MMRTG used aboard the Perseverance rover. The numbers I’ve seen range from 1950 watts to over 2000. I also ...
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Does NASA's Deep Space Network sometimes listen to other space agencies' spacecraft “just for the heck of it” or other non-mission related reasons?

This answer mentions: It's well known that other countries routinely spy on each other (i.e. the NSA tapping of Angela Merkel's phone). NASA's Deep Space Network's space-related activities (like ...
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Has NASA ever included a ground controller or astronaut becoming insane/irrational/belligerent in a training simulation?

NASA training simulations have included a wide variety of problems thrown at the pilots and ground controllers -- not only the typical technical failures, but also some unusual outside-world stuff ...
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Why was the SpaceX Demo 2 spashdown livestream so devoid of visuals?

Today's successful splashdown was tremendously boring compared to what we are used to from SpaceX launches. The mission statistics, the timeline, inner cockpit, etc was not shown during the telecast. ...
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What's the purpose of space exploration to humans? [closed]

I don't understand why NASA, European Space Agency, ISRO etc. spend enormous amount of money/time on space exploration. Why can't they spend it on the medical side and invent vaccines to incurable ...
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Is Perseverance still in Safe Mode?

Messages in The Pod Bay and Space.com's NASA: Mars rover Perseverance in 'safe mode' after launch, but should recover both said that Perseverance was in "Safe Mode". Is it still?
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Could supplies have been launched to Columbia?

I've seen the discussions of whether NASA could imaginably have saved the crew of Columbia if they'd known about the damage to the wing in time. A lot comes down to the maximum time the crew could ...
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Will surface samples from Mars orbit it in a spherical capsule until captured?

The abstract of the interesting 2001 NASA JPL paper Covering a Sphere with Retroreflectors says: Abstract- One of the future missions for Mars involves returning a soil sample from the Martian ...
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Would it have been cheaper and/or faster to put a James Webb-like Space Telescope on a balloon instead of a rocket?

I've just noticed the following items: CNET: NASA to send stadium-size balloon skyward to study the cosmos JPL/NASA News: NASA Mission Will Study the Cosmos With a Stratospheric Balloon Even in 2020 ...
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What is the equivalent of Curiosity's “MSL” in the context of Perseverance? What's the official name of the mission? Are the distinctions similar?

Answers to Where does MSL end and Curiosity begin? explain the difference. There was much fanfare for the naming contest for the Perseverance rover, but I don't know what the mission is called. ...
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What was the nature of the communication problems during Apollo 11's Eagle's descent? How were other antennas selected?

In the video of Los Angeles station KTLA's Frank Buckley interviewing astronaut & Apollo 11 CAPCOM Charlie Duke a communication problem and antenna selection is described: BUCKLEY: Many of us who ...
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How many US states receive large amounts of money due to SLS?

That NASA is spread out over so many locations across the US is history and discussed elsewhere in this site. Briefly, Congress approves funding and the funding ends up in many, many of congress' ...
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Was solar newbie Solar Orbiter able to get “closer” to the Sun than Parker Solar Probe so quickly?

The NASA News headline ESA/NASA's Solar Orbiter Returns First Data, Snaps Closest Pictures of the Sun caught my eye because Solar Orbiter (2020-010A) was launched just five months ago whereas Parker ...
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Why is the supply of RTG's 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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Was the ISS closer to Baja California or California when this ISS press event started? When exactly did it start?

The NASA video Expedition 63 Inflight with New York Times, Fox News, and USA Today - July 7, 2020 begins with NASA astronaut and Expedition 63 commander Christopher Cassidy discussing with an ...

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