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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
16
votes
2answers
575 views

Was there any “practical” advantage to having different crews for each Apollo landing?

So, out of the 24 men that went to Moon orbit and back during the Apollo program, just three of them did the trip twice, but landings where always done by a different crew. From the politician's ...
30
votes
6answers
10k views

Why didn't NASA use the shuttle to make a profit?

My understanding is the shuttle was designed as cost-effective workhorse, a space-van to ferry cargo up to the ISS, conduct zero-G experiments and put satellites into orbit. So why didn't NASA take ...
38
votes
4answers
9k views

During the Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster of 2003, Why Did The Flight Director Say, “Lock the doors.”?

Why does the NASA Flight Director say, "Lock the doors.", when realizing that disaster had struck for Space Shuttle Columbia, back in 2003? Does he mean lock the doors on the space shuttle that's ...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

Were there any CAPCOMs who were not astronauts?

The capsule communicator (CAPCOM) is the person in mission control who speaks to the astronauts. The position was invented by NASA's first flight director, Chris Kraft, who believed it would be best ...
8
votes
1answer
290 views

What ever happened with that pressure suit design based on elastic tension in contact with skin?

I remember several years ago seeing a pressure suit design based on carefully engineered elastic material in contact with the skin. Instead of pressure on the skin produced by a pressurized gas, the ...
2
votes
1answer
169 views

Range safety - is the goal both autonomy and standardization - and would it include the “black box” in the rocket?

This and this answer have addressed various issues related to the new Autonomous Flight Safety System, and the second answer addresses one potential benefit being a reduction in turn-around time for ...
0
votes
2answers
233 views

NASA at sIxty years, will there be a new moonshot mandate?

NASA is sixty years old still going strong. There are few organizations that have made such an impact to man's quest for knowledge in such a short time span. The contributions are many, and its ...
14
votes
0answers
263 views

How did “the kid” (John Meisenheimer) calculate that there was a wave in the jet stream and Explorer 1 would be okay to launch?

The tough but timely question NASA at sIxty years, will there be a new moonshot mandate? links to the NASA YouTube video NASA 60th: How It All Began which shows a lot of really nice, historical file ...
17
votes
3answers
6k views

Does the Voyager team use a wrapper (Fortran(77?) to Python) to transmit current commands?

I assume that the vast majority of the people who created the software for these missions are now retired (the "space pensioners" of the Voyager mission). Here's a very good summary of the current ...
3
votes
2answers
129 views

Stanley Kubrick used a NASA-inspired lens to film by candlelight in Barry Lyndon, but what did NASA use it for?

At 07:35 in the CinemaTyler video How Kubrick Achieved the Beautiful Cinematography of Barry Lyndon he says: As far back as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Kubrick and ...
15
votes
2answers
889 views

How did the US government shutdown of 2013 affect NASA operations?

At midnight on October 1, 2013 the US government entered the state of government shutdown where all functions deemed non-essential are suspended. This shutdown lasted 16 days. How did this shutdown ...
-2
votes
2answers
174 views

Could NASA go back to the Moon? [closed]

Even after launching so many space missions, including the one which led Man to the Moon (Apollo 11, July 1969), NASA made several mistakes even in the space programs that followed. For e.g. Space ...
4
votes
1answer
247 views

Which Voyager spacecraft “mutinied”, and what really happened?

The August 2017 BBC News Science in Action podcast The Algae that Changed the Earth includes other topics, including the following: In August and September 1977, Nasa's probes Voyager 2 and ...
4
votes
1answer
159 views

Why did NASA sent people to the Moon more than once? [duplicate]

Often, especially now with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, the question is asked: Why did we stop sending people to the moon. The answer is usually: because the USA had proved they ...
22
votes
1answer
7k views

Why did NASA wet the road in front of the Space Shuttle crawler?

In this video, at the 6:25 mark, you can see a truck drive in front of the crawler, spraying water on the gravel ahead of the treads. Why did they do this?
19
votes
3answers
17k views

Apollo communication between the Earth and Moon

How was it possible for astronauts to send back tv/radio signals to earth from the moon? I have just been teaching my son about waves behavior and understand that radio waves are reflected back to ...
21
votes
4answers
16k views

Why did Armstrong pilot the LM, when Aldrin was tasked as Lunar Module Pilot?

Buzz Aldrin is credited (or was tasked) with being the Apollo 11 Lunar Module pilot. However in fact it was Neil Armstrong who piloted the craft down when the LM guidance computer overflowed, with ...
41
votes
3answers
14k views

Why did NASA use U.S customary units?

NASA was using U.S customary units (inches, feet, nautical miles, pounds, tons, US gallons etc.) during the Mercury and Apollo programmes, and beyond. There are significant disadvantages to using U.S ...
6
votes
1answer
141 views

Which unit system was used by german rocket scientists at NASA for calculations?

There were numerous german rocket scientists at NASA, see wikipedia 1, 2. They were used to the metric system which they used when working for the V-2 at Penemünde. But what unit system did they use ...
4
votes
1answer
120 views

Where are these historical IBM + Apollo related locations within NASA? What do these computers do?

In the Fortune Magazine video IBM's Moonshot: Past and Future with the notes BM’s John Kelly reflects on Apollo 11’s historic mission and looks forward to what future technology will accomplish. ...
2
votes
0answers
99 views

What do these three historical IBM staff at NASA insignias designate?

The question Where are these historical IBM + Apollo related locations within NASA? What do these computers do? shows four images. Three of them show different IBM insignias on shirts of IBM staff. ...
19
votes
2answers
10k views

Size of Apollo era astronauts

I had read that the early astronauts were all 'short guys'. This made a lot of sense. A short man can have as much stamina and endurance as a large man, yet eat less, consume less oxygen & (...
19
votes
2answers
6k views

Why didn't NASA launch communications relay satellites for the Apollo missions?

The Apollo missions were in communications blackout when the spacecraft's orbit took it to the far side of the Moon. During the missions, the craft had to perform maneuvers such as the lunar orbit ...
8
votes
2answers
333 views

Why is there no video of the first steps of Apollo 16 and 17?

In doing research in to the first words said on the surface of the various Apollo astronauts, I found there was no video of Apollo 16 and 17, at least until they had been on the surface for a while. ...
7
votes
1answer
332 views

Did NASA muzzle Wernher von Braun during the moon landings?

Wernher von Braun was brought from Germany to the United States at the end of World War II, to develop missiles for the U.S. Army. In addition to working for the military, he helped to popularize the ...
13
votes
8answers
4k views

How much did all the space agencies spent on rockets launching and space exploration? What are the benefits for me and you? [closed]

I thought about how much does one rocket cost to build and launch and it came up with roughly $500 million including everything. That made me pause and wonder for myself what it is that's out there ...
5
votes
5answers
909 views

Were there significant instances of cooperation during the Space Race?

Earlier I asked about espionage during the Space Race. Were there any significant instances of cooperation during the Space Race? More specifically, I'm asking about cooperation: between the non-...
3
votes
1answer
78 views

What are “uncoupled attitude maneuvers” and why do them?

This answer to the question Apollo-11 delta-v “due to residual pressure in the docking tunnel pushing the spacecraft apart” detected as it happened? Was it corrected? quotes the following passage from ...
9
votes
2answers
352 views

Could InSight lift off and move somewhere else?

InSight used its built-in thrusters for the final stretch of the Entry, Descent and Landing, and the thrusters seem to still be attached. Would it have been at all possible for InSight to lift off ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

What missions could be done with Orion on Falcon Heavy?

Orion is being developed in tandem with the SLS. But Falcon Heavy is scheduled to fly earlier, early 2015, and be cheaper. So I wonder what kind of missions Orion could do with FH. Could it for ...
24
votes
1answer
3k views

In this iconic lunar orbit rendezvous photo of John Houbolt, why do arrows #5 and #6 point the “wrong” way?

The NPR.org news item Meet John Houbolt: He Figured Out How To Go To The Moon, But Few Were Listening shows the iconic photo of John Houbolt next to a black board showing a free return scenario. I ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

What was this capsule dropped from a truck?

I've been watching the PBS American Experience documentary, and they showed a brief clip of some accidents at NASA. One involved a capsule being carried on the back of a truck, on some kind of crane. ...
11
votes
1answer
258 views

What is NASA doing to improve the supersonic parachute for the third LDSD test?

Last month, on June 8, 2015, NASA ran the second Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) flight test off the island of Kauai, Hawaii. The inflatable decelerator portion of the test was successful, ...
8
votes
1answer
652 views

Astronaut distance from Earth?

After the Apollo Missions, what is the farthest that any country has sent astronauts into space (distance from Earth)?
3
votes
1answer
113 views

What exactly are Tindallgrams? (spaceflight related)

The word "Tindallgram" appears in three posts: this answer to How complex was the math and physics necessary to place Apollo 11 on the moon? What is a “Lear Processor” and how did it work? this ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

What exactly were the controller roles in the Apollo go/no-go calls?

In the Apollo era, whenever there was a significant event about to occur, the flight director (I can recall the voice of Gene Kranz) would do a sort of go/no-go "roll call". He would call off names ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Is this really the Saturn V computer only, or are there other systems here as well?

The BBC News article Apollo in 50 Numbers; The Technology shows an image of the Saturn V's computer along with the caption: The Saturn V's computer was probably the largest computer ever blasted ...
2
votes
1answer
131 views

How exactly does this Apollo astronaut's tool work? What was it called?

The BBC News article Apollo in 50 numbers: Weights and Measures shows the following photo with the caption: The astronauts brought back more than 360kg (790lb) of Moon rocks for study on Earth (...
4
votes
2answers
109 views

Why are images from DSCOVR EPIC unavailable for certain dates?

I am in love with the images available at https://epic.gsfc.nasa.gov/ taken from the DSCOVR satellite. I am curious though as to why some dates are unavailable to select. The calendar date picker ...
3
votes
1answer
124 views

Are NASA's chase planes ever flown by non-astronauts?

NASA maintains a fleet of T-38 aircraft for training and as a chase plane for spacecraft. When used for that latter role, were the T-38s ever flown by non-astronauts?
5
votes
2answers
208 views

Apollo Mission Control Room 2, how do these decimal number displays work?

In a recent question there was a link to this arsTECHNICA page. One of the pictures of digital clock displays: How do these decimal number displays work? I guess there are assembleys of a mask with ...
3
votes
2answers
186 views

Will NASA put astronauts into a polar lunar orbit? If so, how?

The NASA news item New Space Policy Directive Calls for Human Expansion Across Solar System says: New Space Policy Directive Calls for Human Expansion Across Solar System and the administration is ...
1
vote
1answer
252 views

What will the US send to Mars as mentioned in this statement to the press?

The video U.S. planning to send 'something beautiful' to Mars, praises SpaceX shows a statement made to the press yesterday. I've included a transcription based on the closed captions in the video, ...
6
votes
1answer
236 views

Did NASA distinguish between the space shuttle cockpit and flight deck?

NASA used both terms on their website, Cockpit and Flight Deck. One answer on Aviation SE Cockpit vs Flight Deck?says there is a difference between the two. Did NASA use the terms interchangeably, ...
9
votes
2answers
749 views

Apollo Mission Operations Control Room 2 display, what do these numbers indicate?

There are some really beautiful photos in Ars Technica's NASA’s restored Apollo Mission Control is a slice of ’60s life, frozen in amber See also NYTimes' NASA Reopens Apollo Mission Control Room ...
5
votes
2answers
303 views

Why does only SpaceX release every stage of rocket launch for the public viewing?

What I mean is SpaceX telecast every stage of rocket launch. But in NASA and ISRO, they just telecast rocket ignition launch. ISRO and NASA never does this thing why so?
3
votes
1answer
653 views

Are there any atheist or agnostic American astronauts, past or present?

Are there any atheist or agnostic American astronauts, past or present? If no was this policy? (If no how did that happen and is there a policy going forward?) Yes these are three questions but they ...
0
votes
0answers
115 views

CAPCOM Console at Mercury Control Center; what does “Desired Retrofire Setting” time display mean?

Wikipedia's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station page links to the image Alan Shepard in Mercury Control Center (shown below). The console has two large digital time displays. One is dedicated GMT but ...
8
votes
0answers
65 views

Why did GRACE mission have launch window?

GRACE mission which was launched on March 17th, 2002 had a 10 minutes launch window. The mission was to launch a couple of earth observation satellites. And interestingly, NASA's GRACE Launch Press ...
1
vote
1answer
126 views

What “flight-ready version” of the Lunar Module is in a museum on Long Island, NY?

Ars Technica's Via the BBC, find out how Apollo 11’s Eagle actually landed says: I've also learned things about the Lunar Module itself, including that it was made nearby on Long Island, where a ...