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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7
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1answer
804 views

Calculations Apollo astronauts were trained to do by hand if loss of guidance computer and/or data & coms link to Earth?

This answer to the question is it possible to navigate space travel with no computer? currently contains the line Yes, as long as you don't care where you end up but I am not so sure this is true. ...
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NASA Launch Control: was all of its capacity ever used?

The NASA Launch Control Center at Cape Canaveral has 4 Firing Rooms. Each can support the launch of a spacecraft. Similarly, the VAB was divided into four bays, each large enough to support assembly ...
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1answer
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What is the principle behind Mariner 4's “Solar Pressure Vanes”? In what case(s) would they be effective?

The image below, found in this answer shows four "Solar Pressure Vanes" on Mariner 4. I've never heard of such a thing. I can imagine that it might have been thought to help favor the spacecraft's ...
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1answer
834 views

What ever happened to the Asteroid Redirect Mission?

In Robert Zubrin's Moon Direct; A purpose-driven plan to open the lunar frontier (found in the Pod Bay) there is a paragraph that says: Essentially, the gateway is a vestigial form of the Obama ...
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2answers
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Has NASA “gone south”? Why are astronauts needed to explore the Moon's south pole?

Wired: Why America Wants to Send Astronauts to The Moon's South Pole “Before we put boots on the ground at the poles, we urgently need a robotic water ice prospecting mission to the lunar poles,” ...
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How can I, a high school student in Bucharest, go on to become an ISS astronaut?

I study at a High School in Bucharest, and I want to know what kind of education or subjects I need so that I can work in an International Space Station and stay there for 6 months. In the high ...
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5answers
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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 ...
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1answer
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Is potable water in the American & Russian segments still stored separately?

This article writes to say An interesting fact is that the Russian and American segment water supplies can’t be mixed. The U.S. water uses iodine for bacteria control, while the Russian water uses ...
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5answers
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Do we still have all the blueprints to go to the Moon? [duplicate]

The answer to Do we still have all the equipment to go back to the moon? is an unambiguous "no". Most of the equipment went to museums or got scrapped. But do we still have all the know-how? Say, a ...
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Was 39A built with a rocket much larger than the Saturn V in mind?

The interesting question What are the most difficult challenges SpaceX will face getting astronauts to Mars by about 2025? links to Elon Musk's position paper Making Humans a Multi-Planetary Species ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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3answers
955 views

How useful is placing an asteroid in Lunar orbit?

Quoting from NASA warned plan to send humans to Mars may fail news article: The Obama administration is opposed to another moon landing, saying such a mission would be too costly. It wants ...
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3answers
756 views

What would be the configuration and performance for Saturn V with all stages RP-1/LOX?

Saturn V had RP-1/LOX 1st stage with 5 F-1 rocket engines. The 2nd and 3rd stage used LH2/LOX J-2 rocket engines, 5 and 1 respectively. At that time NASA had an advantage to launch heavy payloads ...
9
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1answer
394 views

What's the current timeline for NASA's Mars orbiter laser communications?

Dr. Jim Green, Director, NASA Planetary Science Division, mentioned during his "The Martian": Science Fiction & Science Fact talk for the 18th Annual International Mars Society Convention (you can ...
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710 views

Why does NASA plan to put a meteoroid in Lunar orbit instead of Earth orbit?

NASA is working on an asteroid retrieval mission. A small asteroid will be moved into Lunar orbit where it will be visited by space walking astronauts. Since it will be only max seven meters in ...
6
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1answer
146 views

Hows does “Glenn Research Center's sapphire refractive secondary concentrator” work?

Clicking through NASA.spinoff.gov I came to the page for spinnoff 2001 Glenn Research Center and found this: Glenn Research Center's sapphire refractive secondary concentrator will be used with ...
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1answer
666 views

What does it mean when a software is called open-source for US-release only?

I saw this answer about MarsGRAM, and when I clicked on the NASA software link to read about it I saw at the bottom of the page a blurb for EarthGRAM 2010, an atmospheric model for Earth with likely ...
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418 views

How would the Apollo telescope have worked in the Apollo command module? Where would it be located and how would it be operated?

In the Vintage Space video episode Missions we Lost When Apollo was Cancelled, there is discussion of the Apollo Telescope and the Block 3 command module after about ...
4
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2answers
390 views

Understanding the information contained in the Deep Space Network XML data?

NASA's Deep Space Network activity can be viewed conveniently at https://eyes.nasa.gov/dsn/dsn.html but if you would like data in a more raw XML form, it can be accessed as described in this answer ...
3
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2answers
923 views

Why was MarCO-B CubeSats flying away after InSight landed?

Farewell to Mars November 26, 2018 MarCO-B, one of the experimental Mars Cube One (MarCO) CubeSats, took this image of Mars from about 4,700 miles (6,000 kilometers) away during its flyby of ...
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1answer
229 views

What cosmic ray sensor is attached to this Balloon?

This short BBC News item shows a very large high altitude balloon lifting a science payload to measure high energy cosmic rays for about 100 days, circling the Earth perhaps twice in the process. ...
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1answer
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How were the geodetic and geocentric latitudes of the Space Shuttle defined and calculated?

The image below is cropped from https://i.stack.imgur.com/4XFaJ.jpg as described in this answer. It shows a geographic state of a space shuttle at a given instant in time. There is only one value for ...
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How can Trident be so inexpensive? Will it orbit Triton or just do a (slow) flyby?

The recent NY Times article Neptune’s Moon Triton Is Destination of Proposed NASA Mission says (in part): HOUSTON — Is it time to go back to Neptune? Scientists representing NASA’s Jet ...
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What were the “pills” that were added to solid waste in Apollo 7?

In the BBC News Worldservice podcast 10, 9, 8, 7: The dramatic missions that made the Moon landing possible told by retired astronaut Nicole Stott (Expeditions 20, 21, STS-128 and STS-133) after ...
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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 & (...
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Is there any reason why American spacesuits color changed over years?

From Mercury silver suits to orange Space Shuttle ones, color of space suits have changed over years. Is there any reason for it?
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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 ...
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605 views

How did NASA's Deep Space Network encode and broadcast music to Opportunity?

@Ingolifs's answer to the question What was the last message to Opportunity today (13 Feb '19)? quotes ArsTechnica's Opportunity did not answer NASA’s final call, and it’s now lost to us: Late ...
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This BBC photo does not show a replica of Vanguard-1, what might it be?

The BBC news article The World's Oldest Scientific Satellite is Still in Orbit talks about the Vanguard program and that Vanguard-1 is still in orbit around the Earth, and near the end shows a photo ...
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Origin of term “Block I”, “Block II”, etc

In NASA spacecraft development, subsequent versions of a design are referred to as "Block 1", "Block 2", etc. What is the origin of this naming convention? Why not just call them "Version 1", "...
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Won't the heat sensor probe interfere with the seismometer?

I've read that the Mars InSight Seismometer will be deployed before the HP3 probe. Won't the digging interfere with the seismometer? Or the shock produced will be small enough to be dissipated by the ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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2answers
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Why did the Apollo program become a MULTIPLE human landing program?

How did JFK's promise of landing one man on the Moon grow into a whole series of landings of 12 men on 7 missions, with even more planned? Given the motivation of the program, shouldn't Apollo have ...
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382 views

How well could the ISS attitude control system detect periods of astronaut activity?

The question Why doesn't ISS start to spin if people walk inside? is a good one partly because it has attracted several good, informative answers. One of them is particularly intriguing because it ...
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0answers
809 views

Did NASA “publish”, then “delete” this and other photos of the ISS leak?

A tweet by @NASASpaceflight (Chris B - NSF, "Managing Editor of NASASpaceFlight.com" says: ISS Leak summary: First thought was MMOD strike. Then NASA released pics. Lots of people: "Hmmm,...
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1answer
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What's next for New Horizons?

Five years ago What's after Pluto for New Horizons? was asked, and the answer turned out to be at first 'something in the Kuiper belt if we can find a good candidate' and finally 2014 MU69. But now ...
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1answer
249 views

Has a NASA administrator ever explained US military initiatives in Space to the press before this?

A search of the site will show that from time to time the political aspects of NASA (a US government agency) or the Space Exploration aspects of politicians have been considered on-topic in this site. ...
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1answer
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Where would one deploy deep space atomic clocks?

Space.com: NASA IS LAUNCHING A GPS SYSTEM FOR SPACE NASA/JPL news: Five Things to Know about NASA's Deep Space Atomic Clock NASA mission pages clock NASA Deep Space Atomic Clock Fact Sheet The first ...
2
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1answer
198 views

How to understand this complicated plot for Mariner 4's mid-course correction (to Mars)?

The 2015 DrewExMachina blog post Mariner 4 to Mars has an interesting looking plot! Below is the associated text, and the image caption. But I still do not understand all of the lines and labels in ...
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1answer
265 views

Power and frequency units used in Deep Space Network XML data?

NASA's Deep Space Network activity can be viewed conveniently at https://eyes.nasa.gov/dsn/dsn.html but if you would like data in a more raw XML form, it can be accessed as described in this answer ...
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1answer
58 views

How will “InSight's onboard communications gear perform a radio-science experiment to shed further light on Mars' innards?” (Space.com)

The Space.com article How NASA Mars Lander's 'Steampunk' Claw Will Work (Video) says: InSight's mission aims to provide a detailed look at Mars' interior structure and composition. The lander ...
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Before their disastrous demise, how many missions did Challenger and Columbia fly?

I always grew up thinking that both of those shuttles only flew in one mission and never made it back home. Now, I found evidence that that's not the case.
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1answer
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Why is there no exosphere demonstrating moon dust and particles in the Apollo footage?

I have read dust levitates on the moon's surface extending to 100 miles in the sky (horizon) creating an exosphere. Dust levitates because the surface of the moon and dust particles have become ...
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How did NASA prevent third parties from spoofing Apollo communications?

The Apollo crews transmitted footage to Earth using SSTV, a ham radio technique that amateurs and pirates can use to send similar messages around the world. Did NASA have any technical ...
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2answers
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How did NASA remotely fix the code on the Mars Pathfinder?

In 1997, NASA remotely fixed a bug that caused priority inversion on their Mars Pathfinder. How did they go about doing this? What kind of communication protocols are used? How do they update the ...
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Is the SLS irrelevant if the Falcon Heavy launch is successful this year?

My take is that, like so many bad, and good, NASA ideas, the SLS will get the axe after spending billions on the NASA subcontractor(s). Regardless if the SLS comes to full life cycle, NASA will not ...
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2answers
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Did NASA's Borg Collective-designed antennas work? Have similar designs ever been used in spacecraft beyond testing?

This interesting answer to the question Do antenna farms on spacecraft make any sense or are they purely aesthetic? in Worldbuilding SE links to the NASA Ames page 'Borg' Computer Collective Designs ...
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Why don't we put an EmDrive in space?

Once again the impossible drive is in the forefront of public news. But thus far, I am still unimpressed. NASA seems to have thrown a lot of resources, to test the viability of the EmDrive. But I am ...
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How would one go about proving humans have really been to outer space?

Background: I am 40 years old, and in my entire life the only face to face eyewitness event that I can remember where humans actually observed an attempt to fly into outer space, the craft exploded ...