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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19
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3answers
18k 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 ...
14
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1answer
2k views

What NASA documents did SpaceX use to design their engines?

I've watched this (excellent) panel discussion titled 'Our Future in Space'. Bill Nye says at 22:48 that SpaceX got their engine design from work done by NASA, which they developed into a working ...
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2answers
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Do Russian and American spacecraft use the same docking mechanism?

Back in the days of the Apollo era, the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project had the two craft meeting each other in orbit and docking. The stated reason for this was so that if a spacecraft from one country was ...
10
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2answers
6k views

Why did NASA close the space shuttle program? [duplicate]

The era of the space shuttle program was one of the highlights in the history of space exploration. Why did NASA decide to retire the space shuttles, or why aren't they planning to start a new program ...
9
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2answers
509 views

How effective would the ARES aircraft be?

NASA has been working on a glider aircraft they wanted to send to Mars - this is the Aerial Regional-scale Environmental Survey. (ARES) How long would it be able to travel? What would be the possible ...
8
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1answer
284 views

Any regolith lunar samples tested for organics?

I looked over this NASA report and it seems to me they didn't analyze for traces of organics any of the deep core samples. Is my assumption correct and if yes why wasn't this test considered?
6
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2answers
6k views

Which are the chances of a programmer without engineering-related degrees to work in space industry?

If someone is a programmer, but without any kind of knowledge or know-how about engineering and would want to work in space industry, what would be his chances to find a job anywhere? (NASA or other ...
43
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3answers
8k views

Why did the Space Shuttle fly upside-down normally

After reading this answer I found out that the space shuttle normally spent its time upside-down. Why is that? I'd guess it has to do with shielding from the sun, but I can't back that up with ...
30
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5answers
7k views

Is there any evidence that NASA was worried about deep lunar dust?

It was once theorized that the moon might have deep oceans of dust, potentially a problem for any craft landing on its surface. I've heard that NASA was concerned about this possibility in the early ...
28
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4answers
3k views

What will be NASA's successor to the Saturn V rocket?

The Saturn V rockets were the "tallest, heaviest, and most powerful rocket ever brought to operational status and still holds the record for heaviest payload launched and heaviest payload capacity to ...
21
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2answers
2k views

Did the designers of Voyager neglect the angular momentum of the tape recorders?

I have heard many times that the designers of the Voyager spacecraft neglected to account for the angular momentum of the tape recorders (on which data was stored). To compensate for it after launch, ...
16
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1answer
3k views

Did Michael Collins ask for a fourth gimbal for Christmas? Is there a recording or transcript?

Did Apollo 11 Command Module Pilot Michael Collins ask for a fourth gimbal for Christmas, while looking for the lunar ascent module? If so, is a recording of this available for posterity? Or a ...
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1answer
5k views

Did NASA use metric units for the Mercury missions?

Did NASA use metric or English units for Project Mercury? For example, did they measure delta-v in meters/second or in feet/second?
9
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1answer
846 views

Why is InSight's nylon parachute a “soft good”?

NBC News' Mars InSight's landing team leader is all 'nerves and excitement' ahead of risky touchdown includes a conversation with Rob Grover, "who leads the team in charge of InSight's landing at NASA'...
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2answers
650 views

Can we talk to Pioneer 6?

My question is relatively simple in the essence that it takes few words to ask, but scientifically may be a nightmare. In 2000, the Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex sent a message to ...
8
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2answers
351 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. ...
6
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2answers
813 views

What role does the NASA deputy administrator play?

A new deputy NASA administrator, Dava Newman, has been appointed. What is the actual function of a deputy administrator in NASA? What kind of decisions will she be responsible for? And is a deputy ...
6
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3answers
1k views

Which orbital maneuver is currently regarded as the most viable for a human mission to mars?

I realize that there are different orbital maneuvers for different goals (e.g. optimizing time, efficiency, cost, etc.). However, which variables are currently considered as the most important to be ...
6
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3answers
339 views

Velocity of the Parker Probe when it will be given final boost by the rocket?

What is the current speed of the parker probe which is just launched today(After Final boost(detached by the rocket)). I was just guessing as it will attain max speed of ...
5
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2answers
222 views

Was the nutation problem of the Ulysses spacecraft successfully mitigated? If so, how?

I ran across this https://web.archive.org/web/20070812135755/http://ulysses-ops.jpl.esa.int:80/ulsfct/rgpCafe/NutGame/index.html which lead me to 1, 2 and 3, links connected to the Ulysses Nutation ...
5
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1answer
849 views

Does Star Trek's adherence to naval tradition have roots in NASA or earlier real organizations?

I know this sounds off topic, but bear with me. This is a question about real world space agencies. Is it well established that Star Trek follows naval tradition. For example its ranks come from ...
3
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1answer
146 views

Was the Orbit Pavilion triggered by real communications events?

The October 2016 NASA JPL news article Art Turns Public Eyes (and Ears) Toward Space describes an artistic interpretation of the communications between a number of NASA Earth satellites and ground ...
3
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1answer
149 views

Short EFT-1 missions launch window

I have been following the Orion flight test this morning hoping that the engineers could finally manage to launch the spacecraft on time and I was disappointed when the scrubbing was communicated. ...
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2answers
155 views

What can Halosat do that can't be done already?

The GIF included in the BGR article Watch the International Space Station poop out a tiny satellite that will search for (missing) matter which shows a 3U 6U cubesat ejected from the ISS. The article ...
0
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1answer
103 views

Why would different Shuttle orbits have different mission directors?

The Wikipedia page for NASA Flight director Holly Ridings contains a portrait with two other STS-117 mission flight directors. The caption there says: Flight directors for the STS-117 mission in ...
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1answer
202 views

How will the Gateway-before-boots sequence benefit US business, economic and technological development?

Update: Several people were kind enough to make helpful suggestions about this question. I'm looking strictly for well-reasoned, fact-based answer only. Thanks! In the question More complete source ...
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3answers
6k views

Could the museum Saturn V's be refitted for one more flight?

Even though we will not build new Saturn Vs, there currently exist three Saturn Vs in museums. Could any of these rockets be refitted for flight? If not, what specific component would prevent the ...
17
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1answer
3k views

If the space shuttle computers all output contradictory commands, how is it chosen?

The space shuttle computers use triple-redundancy, and if one computer contradicted the other two, it would be ignored. I read that if all three gave contradictory output, one computer would be ...
15
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2answers
733 views

Is NASA launching fewer interplanetary missions?

We were discussing this in the chat room yesterday, and I thought it might make an interesting question. While missions are lasting longer today than they perhaps ever have, it seems like there are ...
14
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3answers
2k views

What happens to Insight's parachute on Mars?

All of the animations I see show the heat shield detaching and falling to the ground, then Insight detaching and landing. There is no information about what happens with the upper part of the heat ...
13
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3answers
1k views

The Moon's shadow could not possibly look like this — could it?

The NASA Goddard video Tracing the 2017 Solar Eclipse is a visualization of the calculated shape of the umbra during the upcoming August 2017 total solar eclipse, as it moves across North America. ...
13
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0answers
281 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 ...
11
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1answer
656 views

Why does NASA use the position title “Pilot”' for crew members who are not in charge of piloting the spacecraft?

Why does NASA use the position title "Pilot"' for crew members who are not in charge of piloting the spacecraft? For example famously Buzz Aldrin's position was Lunar Module Pilot but his spacecraft ...
11
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1answer
758 views

Growing food in space

I can't find info on NASA site, but saw a picture of romaine on ISS and am wondering how it maintains its shape in zero-gravity- why doesn't it spread out, what makes it grow up...?
10
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1answer
528 views

What were the differences between the LLRV and LLTV?

The LLRV (Lunar Landing Research Vehicle) was used to develop the LLTV (Lunar Landing Training Vehicle), but were there design differences between the two? Were any major lessons learned from the LLRV ...
9
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1answer
4k views

Did Wernher von Braun really have the “Saturn V painted as the V2”?

A comment below the question Did von Braun have “a thing” for fins? Why did Saturn I block 2 get fins because it's a “von Braun” rocket? suggests that Wernher von Braun had the "Saturn V painted as ...
9
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3answers
657 views

Is there any active collision avoidance aboard the spacecraft in Mars' orbit?

Wikipedia writes to say As of 2009, about 19,000 pieces of debris larger than 5 cm (2.0 in) are tracked,[1] with another 300,000 pieces smaller than 1 cm below 200 km altitude Control collision ...
8
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2answers
857 views

Why does NASA still use film cameras?

According to this video, NASA still operates some cameras for tracking rocket launches that use film: According to NASA, they even have some film cameras placed around their launch site loaded ...
7
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1answer
235 views

What is the exercise regimen under the SPRINT program?

NASA says (emphasis mine) Current exercise countermeasures on the International Space Station (ISS) are insufficient to prevent muscle atrophy, cardiovascular deconditioning and bone loss ...
7
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3answers
945 views

How far in advance are launch dates set?

We are going to visit Florida in early-mid February and were wondering if we could watch a launch. The schedule, however, does not seem to include February yet. For the purposes of planning our trip -...
7
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2answers
2k views

Do we still have all the equipment to go back to the moon?

That is, does NASA still have all the training equipment, computers and so forth that would be required for a new moon program, or would all of that have to be rebuilt as well as building new rockets?
7
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2answers
834 views

Why was Houston selected as the location for the Manned Spacecraft Center?

NASA's Manned Spacecraft Center in located in Houston, Texas. What were the site selection criteria, and what contenders were there other than Houston? The center is named for Lyndon B. Johnson. He ...
7
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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. ...
6
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1answer
292 views

What is this strange, liquid-cooled tube hanging in a wind tunnel?

Near the end of the NASA video Rocket Engine Testing the NASA Way! there is an image that appears to be archival an possibly quite old. It's a long cylinder densely wrapped with what I assume is ...
6
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1answer
246 views

Did VentureStar technology lead anywhere?

VentureStar seemed to make a bit of progress before being cancelled in 2001. Did any of the technology developed for this program lead anywhere? For example, its aerospike engines or high-tech fuel ...
6
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1answer
144 views

Where and when did the traditional “wave across the ditch” take place?

I’ve heard that before a launch American astronauts had one last chance to see their family by waving across a ditch (which apparently wasn’t really a ditch?). I’m curious, where and exactly when (day ...
6
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1answer
331 views

What is the Trump-era path to deep space?

Starting with George W. Bush, the presidents of the United States have presented an ambitious plan to the public to attain human travel of deep space. Bush's Vision for Space Exploration, announced in ...
5
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1answer
207 views

Does America's Birthright Citizenship law apply to the American side of the International Space Station?

In a scenario in which a pregnant Russian woman were to give birth while visiting the International Space Station, and if she were to give birth while on the American side of the ISS, would that baby ...
5
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1answer
522 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 ...
5
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2answers
996 views

How do we track the exact location of the spacecraft which is millions or billions of miles away from us?

How do we track the exact location of the spacecraft which is millions or billions of miles away from us? What things do we study for tracking purpose? How exactly do we predict?