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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Can I borrow a lunar rover?

According to Wikipedia there are 3 LRVs sitting on the moon, in very well defined locations. Would China, or whomever gets to the moon with a person next, be able to get in and drive around in an LRV ...
42
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2answers
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What's the baseball bat for? (seen in CRS-8 berthing NASA TV broadcast)

Watching the CRS-8 Berthing live broadcast on NASA TV I noticed a baseball bat resting on top of a console in the front left part of the room, so I took some screenshots. Looking closer, it seems to ...
29
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5answers
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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 ...
6
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1answer
309 views

Did NASA tell the Skylab astronauts to “Stop running around!”?

This answer to the question starts with: This video may help to answer your question. Starting at about 00:24, you can see an astronaut running around the "exercise wheel" of Skylab (an early NASA ...
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3answers
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How much RF transmit power does DSN need to send commands to Voyager?

I recently looked up how weak the Voyager signals are when they get to Earth from the 22 W transmitters (as of September 2013, it was roughly -245 dBm). But that got me wondering how many watts of ...
19
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3answers
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How much of an advantage do equator-proximal launch sites provide?

Comparing ESA's Kourou (5° off) with NASA's Cape Canaveral (28°) and JAXA's Tanegashima (30°) launch sites, how advantageous is proximity to the equator? Considering the fact that the ESA and all of ...
20
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2answers
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How did NASA determine the distance and velocity of voyager 1?

According to Wikipedia At a distance of about 125.97 AU (1.884 × 10$^{10}$ km) from the Sun as of September 9, 2012, it is the farthest manmade object from Earth As of 2013, the probe was ...
10
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How does NASA get information from space probes?

So I have briefly gone over answers to how things are stored as from this answer: https://space.stackexchange.com/a/2273/1247 but how is the information sent back? I'm thinking of probes like the ...
6
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1answer
918 views

How were Frenet frames and Gram–Schmidt orthonormalization used in spacecraft orbit calculations?

I haven't seen the film Hidden Figures yet, but I have read and listened to some dialogue clips in this NPR Review. In it they mention a Frenet frame and the Gram–Schmidt process for ...
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0answers
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How will the Lunar Gateway go to L2 and L1; how much delta-v is needed?

In a talk to the press which can be heard in the YouTube video NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine Explains the Lunar Gateway, NASA director Jim Bridenstine says after about ...
51
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3answers
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Curiosity: Why did they “reinvent the wheel” instead of using pressure tires?

Curiosity rover's wheels seem a bit tired and show signs of wear and tear, as reported for example in this Discovery News article from May 22, 2013. This damage only increased since then and wheels ...
36
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What made NASA shut down the Shuttle program?

Recently NASA shut down its Space Shuttle program. Between the first launch on April 12, 1981, and the final landing on July 21, 2011, NASA's space shuttle fleet --Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, ...
15
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2answers
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Does the Dawn spacecraft have the potential for an extended mission?

The Dawn spacecraft is scheduled to arrive in initial orbit around Ceres in February 2015 with a final planned orbital change in December to reduce its orbit to a 700km altitude. At present I can't ...
30
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1answer
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Why do the Shuttle's external tanks appear to be rusted?

Wikipedia article states as STS-1 at liftoff. The External Tank was painted white for the first two Space Shuttle launches. From STS-3 on, it was left unpainted. I wonder why the ...
9
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2answers
331 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 ...
7
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1answer
354 views

What is the function of this array of what looks like mirrors on TESS?

The Mashable.com article TESS is about to become your new favorite NASA mission shows a beautiful photo of the TESS spacecraft in a state that looks like it is nearly ready to launch. There is a ...
48
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2answers
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Why don't the Space Shuttle's tires explode in the vacuum of space?

According to this NASA article the tires are inflated to 340 psi (main gear) and 300 psi (nose gear). At landing, there is significant strain, but what about in space? Are the tires exposed to vacuum ...
26
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2answers
2k views

What's the coin on the Curiosity rover?

The image above was taken from the Curiosity rover (I hope). There appears to be a coin in the image. Is that really a coin or some kind of button? Is it really present on the rover? If it is ...
12
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1answer
1k views

How were vibrations supposed to be handled in an Ares I?

The basic concept of an Ares 1 consisted of a five-segment SRB and some liquid-fuelled upper stage. The SRB was derived from the four-segment Space Shuttle SRBs. A similar concept was later promoted ...
29
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5answers
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Why does a rocket engine provide more thrust in a vacuum than in atmosphere?

According to NASA Each Space Shuttle Main Engine operates at a liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen mixture ratio of 6 to 1 to produce a sea level thrust of 179,097 kilograms (375,000 pounds) and ...
26
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1answer
3k views

Why were there beeps punctuating the voice communications during missions such as Apollo?

Voice communication between ground and spacecraft during missions such as Apollo seemed to be always punctuated by beeps. What was the origin of these beeps? Were they some sort of unavoidable ...
16
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3answers
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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 ...
13
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2answers
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Does NASA hire foreign nationals as astronauts?

I've dreamed about it ever since I was six, and where I live people laugh at me when I tell them about this because for one, no one's ever been an astronaut in my country and two, I'm a girl. But I'll ...
17
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1answer
1k views

Why have a 10 minute pause at T-4 minutes?

I was watching the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas 5 rocket launching NASA's MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) to Mars today, and the countdown contained a planned 10 minute pause at T-...
8
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1answer
232 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 ...
0
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2answers
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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 ...
23
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5answers
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Why hasn't NASA planted a stationary lab on Mars yet?

Why does NASA send rovers such as Curiosity instead of remotely building a small building on the surface of Mars?
12
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2answers
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How are New Horizons images sent back to Earth?

I'd like to understand how does New Horizons space craft send its data back to Earth, billions miles away from it. I read in a Time article: "Also, at the distance of Pluto, we can only send data ...
6
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1answer
375 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. ...
33
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3answers
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What would NASA have done if they knew Columbia was catastrophically damaged?

When the Columbia Shuttle broke apart in 2003, it was known after the launch that a piece of foam had fallen and hit the Shuttle. NASA apparently chose not to investigate it as well as they could have....
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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 ...
9
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1answer
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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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8answers
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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 ...
17
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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 ...
16
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1answer
919 views

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 ...
15
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2answers
839 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 ...
14
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3answers
907 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 ...
9
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1answer
370 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 ...
8
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3answers
663 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 ...
2
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2answers
221 views

What event determined the transfer of control from Kennedy Space Center to Houston?

Launches at Kennedy Space Center in Florida were managed by the on-site launch control center. At some point in the mission, authority was transferred to the mission control center in Houston, Texas. ...
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1answer
81 views

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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2answers
424 views

Has (theoretically) metastable metallic hydrogen been considered for use as a propellant?

I'll just point to the following two questions and their associated answers for background: For the recently reported production (January 2017) of metallic hydrogen in the laboratory - what is the ...
17
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2answers
8k 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 & (...
14
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1answer
524 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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1answer
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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 ...
10
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643 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 ...
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3answers
1k views

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 ...
10
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2answers
786 views

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", "...
6
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2answers
255 views

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,” ...
6
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1answer
332 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 ...