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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34
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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 ...
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1answer
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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-...
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1answer
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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 ...
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741 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 ...
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3answers
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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
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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 ...
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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
772 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...?
11
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1answer
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What do astronauts do with their trash on the ISS?

Astronauts often stay more than a year on the ISS, they produce trash like any other human. Is there like a limit that they may produce ever day or maybe some measures were put in place to reduce the ...
11
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1answer
786 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 ...
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2answers
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How did Conrad let Bean drive Apollo 12? Did anyone get in trouble?

In the NPR News item and podcast It's Been 50 Years Since Apollo 12 Landed On The Moon reporter Geoff Brumfiel says: The trip back went smoothly. Conrad let Bean drive the spaceship a little bit, ...
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Why were Solid Rockets chosen for the SLS

The SLS and the STS seem to be the only rockets utilizing SRBs... Why did they choose to go with them over LH/LOX or Kerosene/LOX? Wouldn't it also be easier to upgrade those rockets in the future?
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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 ...
9
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1answer
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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 ...
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668 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 ...
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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 ...
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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. ...
7
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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?
7
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1answer
243 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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406 views

How many US states receive large amounts of money due to SLS?

That NASA is spread out over so many locations across the US is history and discussed elsewhere in this site. Briefly, Congress approves funding and the funding ends up in many, many of congress' ...
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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 -...
6
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1answer
348 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 ...
6
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1answer
211 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
257 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 ...
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60 views

What did NASA Vehicle Assembly Building's “weather” look like? Did it really have clouds? Did it rain?

Comments below this answer to Would there be snow, rain, fog or clouds in a deep, sealed, subsurface cavern on the Moon if water were present? point out that the NASA Vehicle Assembly Building ...
6
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1answer
305 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 ...
5
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1answer
256 views

NASA's RS-25 Engines

I am developing a FSX-based space flight simulator FSX SpacePort. I've been trying to get the detailed specs on NASA's RS-25 engine, namely, what were the ramp-up times for this engine? As in, how ...
5
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1answer
4k views

LOPG/Deep Space Gateway - What is a cislunar orbit?

Formerly the Deep Space Gateway and now the Lunar Orbital Gateway or LOPG station, is planned for Expedition 1 aka the maiden launch of the SLS. After reading several specifications, to avoid the "...
5
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1answer
138 views

What kind of rocket will ESA(?) launch from Mars? Who will build it?

The NASA-credited images below are from the BBC News article Europe pushes ahead with 'dune buggy' Mars rover which explains that it will drive around quickly on it's big 70 cm wheels (see article for ...
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1answer
301 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
215 views

Is Curiosity allowed to investigate the subsurface of the “clay unit ” near Mount Sharp?

From the bottom image in this article from september 2016 it can be seen that there was a possible path for Curiosity in the direction of Mount Sharp (Aeolis Mons). At the end of januari 2018 however ...
5
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1answer
653 views

How will the SRBs used by the SLS differ from those used by the Shuttle?

The Space Launch System, which recently secured funding from Congress, uses many features that were developed from the Shuttle program, including the first-stage engines and boosters, and it's overall ...
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5answers
948 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-...
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2answers
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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?
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1answer
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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 ...
4
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1answer
338 views

Has the National Near Earth Object Preparedness Strategy and Action Plan seen any action?

This answer to Does NASA have an end-of-the-world policy? mentions the National Near Earth Object Preparedness Strategy and Action Plan. Has this plan resulted in any action?
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How far is Cape Canaveral from Kennedy Space Center, administratively and programmatically-wise?

Answers to a similar-sounding question What is the difference between Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center? deal mostly with history and geography. In the question Which has been the most ...
4
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2answers
196 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 ...
4
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1answer
200 views

Did InSight take a “mean left” turn on its way to Mars? Is it an out-of-plane maneuver?

In the NASA JPL video NASA Launches InSight to Mars (part 1) after about 14:30 (currently) NASA's new Chief Scientist Jim Green (better photo here) explains: ...
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Do space stations have standardized officer designations for crew?

I have some anecdotal information. The ISS has a commander, and I noticed here that it had a Flight Engineer, and in this article (found here) I see that Skylab had a Science Pilot. Do space stations ...
3
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1answer
106 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 ...
3
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1answer
109 views

For which “2 billion dollar spacecraft launched in 1999” did NASA “specially design” an Aronson Trolley Positioner?

This answer to What are those tilting/rotating platforms called that hold spacecraft during assembly, testing, and sometimes transport? quotes this Weld Plus website as follows: (The) Aronson ...
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Combined Mechanical Counterpressure and Gas-Pressurized suits

The "Mechanical Counterpressure" (or SAS) space suit is the holy grail when it comes to mobility, flexibility, and being lightweight however it also has it's share of problems. It's very difficult to ...
3
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1answer
127 views

Help identifying this archival NACA/NASA image of a wind tunnel test object

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 metal model of a launch vehicle with two very long ...
3
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1answer
206 views

Balancing Perseverance Mars Rover; couldn't they just “move stuff around a little” rather than add 6+ kg of dead weight?

The NASA News item NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover Gets Balanced says: Just as an auto mechanic places small weights on a car tire's rim to bring it into balance, the Perseverance team analyzed the ...
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2answers
391 views

What are the louver-like structures on the sides of the Mariner 4 probe?

The COSMOS Magazine article First mission to Mars: Mariner 4’s special place in history July 14, 1965, forever changed the way we see Mars. Tim Wallace looks back at one of NASA’s greatest triumphs ...
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Would it have been cheaper and/or faster to put a James Webb-like Space Telescope on a balloon instead of a rocket?

I've just noticed the following items: CNET: NASA to send stadium-size balloon skyward to study the cosmos JPL/NASA News: NASA Mission Will Study the Cosmos With a Stratospheric Balloon Even in 2020 ...
3
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1answer
170 views

Does NASA really report the power of rockets in horsepower?

On a recent episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson said: And to this day NASA will still report the power of rockets in horsepower, which is completely absurd, ...
3
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1answer
142 views

Where is the LC-19 launch console now?

Julia Bergeron's recent tweet from Florida shows an electronics console that looks to be mid-20th century. Above it is written LC-19 but there are other ...
3
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1answer
329 views

What is the meaning of this writing on the InSight lander, and why is some in Braille?

I spotted this image in this answer and a few things caught my eye. Both images are cropped from the much larger image PIA22540. First Braille in Space? On the left and right sides there is what ...