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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17
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2answers
3k views

Why did Cassini require so much more power than other probes?

Inspired by the comment by Nick S on this answer, what made Cassini require so much power? An excerpt from the aforementioned answer: ...
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1answer
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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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Where can I read about the other 17 telescope proposals that NASA’s Astrophysics Explorers Program didn't accept in 2019?

Scitech Daily's NASA Selects Gamma-Ray Telescope To Probe Origins of Galactic Positrons, Chart Milky Way Evolution says: NASA has selected a new space telescope proposal that will study the recent ...
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1answer
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What keeps the pressure stable inside the ISS?

I'm doing research on life support systems for the design of a Martian scientific base, and I'm having trouble finding information about the specifics racks that keep pressure stable inside the ISS. I ...
2
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1answer
141 views

Trying to run NASA GMAT on Ubuntu 20.04, I get the error "no main manifest attribute, in gmat.jar"

I downloaded GMAT from https://software.nasa.gov/software/GSC-17177-1 Then I extracted using ...
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2answers
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What is the range of frequencies of a deep space channel?

I've been trying to find the values of bandwidth of each Deep Space frequency channel: band S, X and Ka. In the official NASA's documents only appears the center frequency of each one, but it doesn't ...
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64 views

Does the beeping satellite shown at the end of NASA Goddard videos represent any spacecraft in particular?

Just as an example, the end of the NASA Goddard video NASA’s OSIRIS-REx: Mission to Bennu has a double-beeping satellite at the end, which performs a flyby of the camera. It's shiny and spherical and ...
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3answers
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Were Nixie tubes used by a space program?

I’ve been receiving this ad from a company selling Nixie tube clock kits online: The technology that was used in the first space shuttles and submarines can be in your home and moreover in a unique ...
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1answer
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How practical was the suggestion to cut the lanyards on the Gemini 9A mission?

The Gemini 9A mission was supposed to rendezvous with an Agena target vehicle, but due to lanyards not being removed before launch the conical nose shroud was still attached and docking was impossible....
2
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1answer
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Is there any significant difference between NASA and EU technology readiness levels?

The wikipedia article for technology readiness levels lists the NASA and European Union definitions. I've put these into a table: Level NASA EU 1 Basic principles observed and reported Basic ...
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Who's buried in Grant's Tomb? Size of 122 cm conductive spheres charge collection in the Shuttle's Space Experiments with Particle Accelerators?

Why were the three 122-cm diameter conductive spheres for charge collection in the Shuttle's Space Experiments with Particle Accelerators black? links to How did three 1.2 meter spheres and a Xe+ ...
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After nine years on Mars, has anything on Curiosity broken yet?

As per Wikipedia's Curiosity (rover), it landed nine years ago today at 6 August 2012, 05:17:57 UTC. This is yet another testament to NASA spacecraft reliability. Since landing, has anything actually ...
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Zebulon Scoville "looked up at the video monitors and saw all the ice and thruster firings." Exactly what ice did Scoville see? Why ice? Where?

Gizmodo's The ISS Backflipped Out of Control After Russian Module Misfired, New Details Reveal quotes Zebulon Scoville, the NASA flight director in charge at the time: “And so at first I was like, ‘...
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1answer
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How do I get an astronaut to do my science in space?

Astronauts spend nearly all of their time doing science experiments that take advantage of their environment, specifically microgravity, easy access to hard vacuum, radiation, etc. My question is, how ...
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DAWN CERES HAMO CYCLE1 PDS DATA ARCHIVE seems to be corrupted

I'm working on Ceres VIR_IR data from PDS3 Archive. The downloaded data seems to not be right as I'm getting lines of various colors and not the target area, when opened in ENVI. Is the QUB file ...
5
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1answer
482 views

Who decided that a <1 in 10,000 probability of contaminating the europan ocean by a viable Earth microorganism was legally and ethically sufficient?

In comments below Is there any demonstrated or even proposed technology that can sterilize a spacecraft with 100% certainty and yet leave it electronically functional? there is a link to Europa Lander ...
10
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1answer
564 views

Can I see Tranquility Base and other lunar landing sites on Google Map's moon charts?

I'm trying to find the location of the Apollo program landings on Google Map's Luna charts, but while I can find roughly the location of the Apollo 11 landing site, I don't appear to be able to see ...
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2answers
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Could the ascent stage of Apollo 11's Eagle still orbit the Moon?

This video: Is Apollo 11's Lunar Module Still In Orbit Around The Moon 52 Years Later? claims, based on orbital simulations, that there is a chanche that the lunar module of Apollo 11 might be still ...
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Did the Human Mission to Inner Space (HUMIS) experiment ever take place?

The final report of the 2003 Caves of Mars Project, formally ''Human Utilization Of Subsurface Extraterrestrial Environments'' (PDF), talks a lot about the "Human Mission to Inner Space" (...
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Does NASA need to get permission or pay royalties for music used in space?

Astronauts have often brought their own music to entertain themselves, or had music played to them to wake them up. Some of this music is audible on publicly-available mission recordings. In ...
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How to get the Voyager Golden Record music?

This link https://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/golden-record/whats-on-the-record/music From NASA lists the tracks in the Golden Record sent to outer space. Has anyone come across an easy way to actually ...
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1answer
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Is NASA's Deep Space Network possibly a backup link for China's Zhurong rover?

While the Tianwen-1 orbiter will dispense commands to the Zhurong rover, the Mars Express orbiter of the European Space Agency will serve as a backup. Wikipedia Since Mars Express normally ...
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1answer
113 views

Does NASA yet have an official history of the Shuttle?

NASA has official "histories" of many of their past programs. These are more about people and decisions, not technical details. This New Ocean: A History of Project Mercury On the ...
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1answer
151 views

Will there be a command moratorium for Mars spacecraft again in 2021?

About every two years, Earth and Mars are on opposite sides of the Sun (a Mars-solar conjunction). Plasma expelled from the Sun can interfere with radio transmissions between Mars spacecraft and the ...
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Do sounding rockets need a license to be launched?

I am just curious to know if any kind of license is needed to launch a sounding rocket? If yes, then what kind of licenses are there for sounding rocket launches.
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Why do we see performance drop in the aerospike engine in Mach 1 to Mach 3 speed?

While reading about aerospike engine here https://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/x-33/aero_faq.htm I read that (Question 11 in the FAQ) due to the slipstream turning into the nozzle region we ...
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2answers
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How can they be so sure that Dragonfly will "freeze to death" as opposed to simply (and eventually) running out of RTG power? (238Pu decay)

tl;dr: "...will probably freeze to death...before it runs out of power..." If power keeps it from freezing to death and it hasn't run out of power, why would it freeze to death? Space.com's ...
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1answer
96 views

What were the sizes of the roll-on cuffs called?

Early astronauts used roll-on cuffs to collect their urine. I remember hearing once that these cuffs were available in 3 sizes, but the NASA had to change the names of the sizes because astronauts ...
3
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1answer
124 views

In their first 100 sols which NASA Mars rover drove the furthest and which one the least?

It seems we've passed the 100 day/sol mark for Perseverance. Perseverance and Curiosity are comparable in designs but have had significantly different short term goals; Curiosity was the first of it's ...
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How much did NASA pay Roscosmos for the Soyuz to provide assured crew return services

The STS orbiter wasn't able to stay on orbit for very long, and the ISS had an SOP of having a return seat for each body on the station, so during the years of the Shuttle performing crew rotation ...
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1answer
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What DID NASA do with "the world's largest quantum computer"? (re question from 2013)

@TildalWave's 2013 question What does NASA plan to do with the world's largest quantum computer? has several answers, including one in a comment: Maintaining this computer is expected to bring ...
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1answer
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What qualifications and requirements do you need to go to the moon?

I've dreamed of shooting for the moon, but I'm not sure how, if any former NASA Recruitments or scientists see this, please tell me what I need to do. Question: What were the qualifications to be ...
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Could magnets be used to protect spacecraft? [duplicate]

Could magnets or a magnetic wrap like material be used to shield sensitive electronic components (or any vulnerable part) of a spacecraft from cosmic rays? The earth's magnetic field has a strength of ...
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1answer
174 views

Where is the uncropped version of this cool Ingenuity navigation camera GIF?

Ingenuity's Shadow During Third Flight shows the GIF below which is made from cropped bits from several downward-looking images from Ingenuity's navigation camera, stretched so that the ground is ...
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2answers
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How does a command sent to a rocket or rover look like?

I think the answer is quite clear. Let's say when Mission Control decides to let Perseverence move forward for 3 seconds with a speed of 10 (whatever..) What syntax would this command have? Im ...
5
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1answer
115 views

New Horizons current mission

Last week, New Horizons crossed the 50 AU milestone,i.e. approximately 8 billion km (5 billion miles) from Earth. That implies that it must still be in the Kuiper belt, which is 30 AU- 50 AU from the ...
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Who said, "Take that, Jezero!" during the Perseverance landing?

During the Perseverance landing broadcast, many of us heard a voice call out, "Take that, Jezero!" Every article I can find simply identifies the speaker as "a controller" (or just ...
6
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1answer
168 views

What is the exposure time of the navigation camera on Ingenuity?

Today's first image from Ingenuity's navigation camera shows a remarkable lack of motion blur in the shadow of the rotors, despite them turning at 2600 RPM: The factsheet tells us: Navigation (NAV) ...
3
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1answer
79 views

How are operational procedures developed?

In anticipation of the upcoming Ingenuity flight, I have found myself wondering how procedures are developed by spacecraft operators. How is a go/no go procedure created? How does the team create a ...
9
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1answer
698 views

Why was Redstone Arsenal specifically chosen for post-war rocket development?

We have had questions on the origin of JSC, KSC, White Sands, and Wallops Island. Today is MSFC's turn. After World War II, many of the officials of the German rocket program -- including leader ...
5
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1answer
62 views

What became of Vista-III decision theoretic telemetry display system from the 1990s?

I'm reading a paper [1], dated 1995, which describes a telemetry display system named Vista-III which was in development at the time. "We will be validating the new functionalities and expect the ...
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1answer
124 views

Origin, artist, and original purpose of this unusual NASA image from 1996 or earlier? (possibly related to Clementine)

Two astronomy questions below relate to Clementine and poking around I found Ice on the Bone Dry Moon which was Written by Paul D. Spudis, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, TX, Deputy Leader of ...
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2answers
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Are there still no mission updates for Perseverance like there are for Curiosity?

Mission updates for the Mars Curiosity rover in the first months of the mission starting in August 2012 happened almost every day with detailed information about drive planning, the use of the ...
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1answer
132 views

Are the Perseverance rover's "drivers" working on Martian sols or Earth days right now?

Business Insider's What is it like to drive the Perseverance rover remotely? A NASA engineer explains the challenges of piloting the vehicle's journey across Mars. includes the following discussion of ...
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How much of NASA's annual budget goes to launch

I've been trying to figure out how much of NASA's budget goes to launch costs. I would also be interested in the same question for the global space market. What I've tried I started with a simple ...
5
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1answer
68 views

How does NASA build acclimatisation into mission plans for astronauts?

I was reading an article today where NASA admits some level of culpability contributing to a crew issue on SkyLab in 1973. Nasa accepts that mission planners had not given the crew the typical period ...
3
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1answer
106 views

Identify this Mars helicopter prototype and when and where it was built and tested?

The new NASA video Things are really looking up (on Mars) is a short set of vignettes in anticipation of the Ingenuity helicopter's first tests on Mars. Below is a screenshot of a historical file ...
2
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1answer
97 views

Why did NASA divide Expedition 13 into two parts?

Up until ISS Expedition 12, all are single parts, but why did NASA divide Expedition 13 into two parts?
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2answers
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How can NASA be prevented from becoming too dependent on one rocket company or vice versa?

Wouldn't it be an unhealthy situation if NASA were to become too dependent on one company, for instance the only one that could launch heavy rockets ? And also, if a private rocket company's existence ...
2
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1answer
60 views

What typically happens to the Acting NASA Administrator when a full Administrator is approved by the Senate?

The NASA Administrator is the agency's leader, and (along with the Deputy Administrator) is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. It has been common for each President to choose a ...

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