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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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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 Space-X shows a statement made to the press yesterday. I've included a transcription based on the closed captions in the video, ...
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2answers
3k views

Would NASA be financially self-sufficient if it could keep all revenues from patents?

I am wondering if NASA could be financially self-sufficient if they kept all revenues from patents of technologies they have developed since the Apollo program. To answer this, I would like to ...
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1answer
110 views

The “live” 3D webpage showing LRO's activity is down, is this temporary?

In my answer to the question "Mapping the moon: how to use the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) image data?" I include a link to https://lrostk.gsfc.nasa.gov/preview.cgi which is a "real-time" ...
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1answer
119 views

Power requirements for NASA's Variable Power Laser Welding Torch

NASA uses a Variable-Power Handheld Laser Torch for their welding in space operations and fixing things in orbit. I've got several questions about this system. Is this system currently available/in ...
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0answers
54 views

Was Houston able to control to the Apollo spacecraft if needed? [duplicate]

Was every aspect of a flight, aside from liftoff, solely the responsibility of the crew? Or was Houston able to command parts of the spacecraft and its computers remotely in an emergency or if ...
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1answer
239 views

Disposal pool during RS-25 engine test?

Nasa recently did a test firing of an RS-25 rocket, and released a video of it. Here's a frame grab: Note that pool of water at the bottom right, with a pipe leading to it, and clouds of steam coming ...
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1answer
173 views

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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4answers
5k views

Were all the switches on the Command Module and LM control panels used during a mission?

Given there are so many switches on the control panels, and they each served a specific purpose, was every single switch used during a mission to the moon (with the exception of the abort switch ...
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2answers
7k views

Did the Saturn V rocket have any purely aesthetic features that didn't serve an actual function?

The rocket itself is magnificent, yes, but with so many ins and outs to it, curious if the entire design was solely purpose built, or if there were features specifically for aesthetic purposes.
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641 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 ...
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1k views

Did Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster actually launch to space? [closed]

I'm sorry I have to ask this question but I need evidence for a friend. My answer to her that I trust people who specialize in the field to know better than me is 'BS' to her. So to begin... My ...
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1answer
278 views

As they were all qualified, how/why were the Apollo Astronauts chosen for their individual missions? [duplicate]

Why did some fly multiple Apollo missions, while others flew only once?
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1answer
242 views

Segways on the Moon?

Looking through NASA Johnson's Flickr I saw this photo. The complete caption is shown below. What are these? How do they work? Are those tractor wheels at the bottom? Why are they orange and so ...
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3answers
3k views

Will the January 2018 government shutdown affect the Falcon Heavy launch?

The Falcon Heavy is currently undergoing testing at Kennedy Space Center's Pad 39A, which SpaceX is leasing from NASA. The hold-down test firing, according to the previously-linked article, may occur ...
7
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1answer
466 views

RS-25 Hot Fire Test

Yesterday, NASA Stennis successfully completed a hot fire test of Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-25 a.k.a SSME. It was noted in the webcast before the test started that they were testing the 'engine controller'...
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1answer
342 views

Are there rules and ethics to follow in space?

If someone were to go to the moon and set up their own camp. Would NASA and governments be okay with it? Or would they not care? Is there a rule that says I can't do anything to the moon or else ...
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1answer
973 views

Where can I find “Space policy directive 1”?

Today, as per the tabloids, President Donald Trump signed the "Space policy directive 1". Where can I find the original/raw document? (I get the gist from the tabloids, but wanted to read the raw ...
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1answer
580 views

What are the thrusters present on the side of the Mercury-Atlas launch vehicle?

I just watched a documentary about the Mercury program and was wondering what those "side rockets" (don't know how to call them properly) are for? Further stability or generating some extra thrust? ...
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1answer
557 views

Are these experimental stoichiometric NiTi wire mesh wheels made from “memory alloy”? Need to run at certain temperature?

I just looked at this NASA "specials" page; https://www.nasa.gov/specials/wheels/ and watched the two videos linked below. These experimental wheels use a special stoichiometric Nickel Titanium alloy ...
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1answer
131 views

Voyager location [closed]

11/19/2017 Q:Is sun is in the middle of voyager(1&2)? I've recorded this data yesterday. According to Nasa.gov(VoyagerMissionStatus) Distance of Voyager From Earth In Miles 1575359 ...
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1answer
619 views

Did Zuma “bump” NASA?

For this question, block-quoting all of the relevant information would be unwieldy (even for me) so I will just link four articles (plus one quoted section from the last item): NASA Spaceflight 16-...
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1answer
376 views

Is there a comprehensive list of NASA contractors with a list of projects that they are assigned to do?

Knowing that contracts come and go over time, where can I find a list of current companies who have contracts with NASA to either do research or build stuff for them? My goal is to get an overall ...
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2k views

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
177 views

Are there any updates / follow ups on the HAVOC Venus exploration concept?

The HAVOC concept for exploring Venus with airships has been made public almost three years ago now, but the scientific publication seems to never have been cited, neither am I aware of any official ...
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1answer
168 views

What is the nature and purpose of the treaty that US (NASA) has signed with Australia?

From Australia and the United States sign historic space treaty: In Washington this morning the Turnbull Government signed a treaty with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), ...
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1answer
291 views

How are the velocity and range of a spacecraft measured from ground based stations?

How are the velocity and range of a spacecraft measured from ground based stations? For example we can go on NASA's website and look at the real time data for the mission status of their past ...
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1answer
2k views

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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61 views

What NIAC investigations were implemented in real spaceflight? (NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts)

NIAC as in the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts wasn't founded until 1998, so such futuristic concepts might not have come to fruition much yet. But I'd like to hear of any, or of what the ...
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1answer
529 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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0answers
35 views

Where can I find the specs for the engines of the Curiosity rover? [duplicate]

I've been looking all over the internet and I cannot find the specific details on the engine of the Curiosity rover. I would need the specifics such as the type of engine, torque, force, rpm, and so ...
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1answer
158 views

Will they really be able to “see” OSIRIS-REx from Australia? With meteor cameras?

Thw news.com.au article NASA spacecraft to fly over Australia during Earth Gravity Assist manoeuvre has some interesting graphics (shown below). In the article is discussion of meteor cameras, and ...
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2answers
727 views

What is KSC's HURCON II?

HURCON II sounds like DEFCON 2, the 2nd highest level of five levels of The DEFense readiness CONdition (DEFCON); an alert state used by the United States Armed ...
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1answer
121 views

When was the idea behind the DESCANSO Book Series first conceived, by whom, and what is it's “mission”?

When was the idea behind the DESCANSO Book Series first conceived, by whom, and what is it's "mission"? When I'm looking for information on deep space issues including communications and orbital ...
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311 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 ...
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1answer
121 views

What responsibilities does the Hurricane Harvey OPS team have, and what challenges?

Here is a tweet from NASA flight director Royce Renfrew's personal twitter account. I believe at least some of the Hurricane Harvey OPS team is on-site at Johnson Space Center but the work might be ...
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1answer
154 views

NASA GMAT values

If I have the Altitude and the Azimuth of a given lat/long and I have to launch a satellite from that given point on Earth. What value do I put in GMAT NASA software to get a simulated orbit?
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1answer
250 views

Decision making for NASA missions

A few years ago I read about a decision methodology that NASA uses to reduce the number of options/variables for future missions. Essentially, they make decisions that will remove the largest number ...
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1answer
317 views

How will the Voyager 1 manage to generate electricity in the future or even now?

Voyager 1 has gone far enough probing the interstellar spaces outside the Solar System, after its Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators would completely decay the radioactive material inside, the ...
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1answer
109 views

Will the countries ever co-operate again for the next upcoming era of Martian exploration? [closed]

In the beginning of space exploration, there was sort of a Space Race between the United States and Soviets in order to achieve something bigger to dominate over one another. But after a matter of ...
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2answers
5k 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 ...
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2answers
393 views

How did the Apollo Moon rocks get away from NASA and into the public?

I've been reading of stories such as one where a woman was detained after trying to sell a moon rock. This made me wonder how do Moon rocks get away from NASA and eventually find there way into the ...
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2answers
8k views

Is it true that NASA is hiring a new 'planetary protection officer'?

NASA is hiring a new 'planetary protection officer' to defend Earth from alien matter, and the pay is a six-figure salary: as much as $187,000 a year. When we are not sure whether aliens exist, why ...
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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. ...
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3answers
615 views

Why does a spacecraft's attitude become stable when it rotates?

What is the logic behind spacecraft spinning to increase stability? How does angular momentum play a role in this?
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184 views

Ammonia synthesis on Mars — has there been any discussion or research?

Ammonia can be used in the production of fertilizer, as a source for nitrogen in soil for plants, in this case for food. Synthesis of ammonia from nitrogen can be done with the help of bacteria using ...
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236 views

Charges against NASA Administrator James Beggs? [closed]

James M Beggs was NASA administrator from 1981 to 1985. He was accused of and later completely exonerated of contract fraud. What were the details of the charges and why were they later completely ...
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1answer
178 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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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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2answers
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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?
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330 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 ...