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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
23
votes
5answers
7k views

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?
21
votes
4answers
17k views

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 ...
6
votes
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 ...
9
votes
3answers
313 views

What causes the costs of operating an existing planetary mission?

I read on the Planetery Society blog that it costs USD 25 million this year to maintain the Opportunity rover on Mars and the LRO Lunar orbiter. I would like to see a break down of those budgets. I ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

What significance did Pioneer 10 & 11 have?

The images taken by Pioneer 10 and 11 were of much lower quality than those of later planetary probes. I wonder if this is representative also for their other instruments. For example, they don't seem ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Why did we send those golden records on Voyager crafts?

NASA site mentions following facts about Voyager. Did you know that the record is a 30-cm gold-plated copper disc? Together with a needle and playing instructions, it is mounted on the body ...
20
votes
3answers
3k views

Fortran and the Apollo 11 mission

I was just wondering, as a Fortran user. As far as I know, the simulations taken in order to carry the Apollo 11 mission was written in Fortran 2. I would like to confirm this from a reliable source. ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

What eventually killed the Augustine Commission Report Option 4B, Directly Shuttle-Derived Heavy-Lift Launch Vehicle, a.k.a. DIRECT?

Before the Space Shuttle retirement, there was a huge pressure on NASA, U.S. Administration, and everyone else directly involved in U.S. human space exploration using Heavy-Lift Launch Vehicle (HLLV) ...
3
votes
0answers
51 views

What's about Nasa agreement for waking up ICE/ISEE-3? [duplicate]

The ICE/ISEE-3 spacecraft is in space since 1978. It'll return near the Earth in august 2014. can we contact it to put it in L1 Lagrange point ? Is it too old ? The decision is in the hands of Nasa.
5
votes
1answer
262 views

What should a Discovery Program mission budget look like?

NASA recently released preliminary guidelines for proposals for the next Discovery Program mission. The Principal Investigator (PI) budget, which covers the cost of the spacecraft, its science payload,...
17
votes
1answer
959 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

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 ...
14
votes
2answers
3k views

How will Juno establish existence of solid core within Jupiter and determine its size?

One of the set goals for NASA's New Frontiers Juno mission is studying Jupiter's interior and determining if this gas giant has a solid core and if, how large it is. This is mentioned several times on ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the rationale behind the manned versions of SLS?

A recent answer included this graphic of projected SLS versions: So even the smaller version is capable of lifting 70 tons to orbit. Is there a reason other than politics to use a rocket that ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Do NASA currently (early 2014) have any development projects for a better space ship?

Is NASA developing a new generation os human transportation ship, or are they doing any kind of research and/or development which final aim is to invent a new space ship model? If I know well, NASA ...
10
votes
1answer
802 views

How will the NASA 2020 Mars rover's instrumentation differ from Curiosity?

The Wikipedia page on the plans for NASA's 2020 Mars rover says that it will be designed similarly to Curiosity but will differ in scientific instrumentation because of its goal: to investigate an ...
8
votes
3answers
682 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 ...
30
votes
2answers
4k views

Why don't 3-parachute descent systems collide and collapse?

The Orion reentry vehicle will have a parachute system. Like Apollo, they'll have 3:     Orion Parachute Drop Test on May 1, 2013 A model of NASA's Orion spacecraft glides ...
5
votes
1answer
599 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
626 views

How many minutes of Lunar Sim did Neil Armstrong get?

A quick follow-up to What were the differences between the LLRV and LLTV? These craft were provided with a zero-zero ejection seat. The above reverenced article on wikipedia mentions Neil Armstrong ...
10
votes
1answer
503 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
11k views

Who really coined the phrase “Light the Candle!” to commence with a rocket launch?

This NASA's image of a Mercury-Redstone rocket Freedom 7 carrying Alan Shepard, the first American in space, is titled Light the Candle:        Light the Candle (Image ...
54
votes
3answers
17k views

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
657 views

Why did NASA assess 3 separate and over 6 hours long EVAs are needed to replace a single failed Pump Module (S1 PM)?

I'm currently following US EVA-24 with Rick Mastracchio (EV1) and Mike Hopkins (EV2) tasked to replace a failed Pump Module (S1 PM), one of two external pump modules of the US section of the ...
8
votes
1answer
434 views

Does NASA have any documented procedures in the event of discovery of extraterrestrial life?

Say that one of NASA's probes discovers definite evidence of life outside of Earth. Does NASA have any procedures in place on how to deal with such a situation? For instance, do they have to inform ...
6
votes
1answer
244 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

What does NASA plan to do with the world's largest quantum computer?

NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) Division has apparently partnered with Google and acquired the world's largest quantum computer, D-Wave Two™: In a partnership with Google and independent, ...
6
votes
1answer
267 views

How does Curiosity find its own way to selected destination?

What kind of technique does the Curiosity rover employ to find the safest (probably not the fastest) way to its destination that was given to it by NASA from the Earth?
17
votes
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-...
9
votes
2answers
4k views

Text of John Houbolt's letter proposing Lunar Orbit Rendezvous for Apollo?

On 11/15/1961, John Houbolt, an engineer at the Langley Research Center, wrote a nine-page letter to Robert Seamans, associate administrator of NASA. (Referenced in this NASA retrospective.) This ...
10
votes
3answers
558 views

What's the public availability of data gathered by NASA probes?

The probes sent by NASA generate a lot of data for scientists to study, but how available is it to non-NASA affiliated scientists? For instance, would I (a layperson) be able to get the raw data ...
29
votes
5answers
17k views

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 ...
30
votes
1answer
2k views

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
232 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
20k views

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 ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

Do astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) actually use their legs?

The European Space Agency writes to say ◾The applicant must have the normal range of motion and functionality in all joints. Historically, IMHO, astronauts came from a flight/test-pilot background....
20
votes
2answers
2k views

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 ...
9
votes
2answers
507 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
840 views

Will NASA really make a big announcement on November 13th, 2013? [closed]

This site says that NASA will release "The Biggest Discovery That will shake the earth, It will never be the same again" Is it hoax? Is it true? Does anyone here know something about it? Warning: ...
19
votes
2answers
10k 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 & (...
15
votes
2answers
899 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 ...
26
votes
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 ...
185
votes
6answers
17k views

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 ...
13
votes
3answers
652 views

What's the advantage of using an SLS system rather than a number of small lift rockets?

I just read this article, in which former director Kraft is described as deriding NASA's current plan to use a single heavy-lift vehicle (Space Launch System, or SLS) as a primary launch platform. Why ...
9
votes
2answers
16k views

What is the success rate of NASA launches?

What is the success rate of NASA launches since it was founded in 1958? I'd appreciate a decade by decade statistic. By successful I mean a successful launch into space and release of payload (if any)....
6
votes
1answer
468 views

Post Space Shuttle, is NASA going from touchdown back to splashdown?

I have been reading a bit about the Orion spacecraft. I see they just did some sea recovery testing. It seems like in the post Space Shuttle era, NASA is going backwards. Is this a one off solution, ...
12
votes
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 ...
13
votes
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?
7
votes
1answer
143 views

What kind of science can be conducted with the crippled Kepler telescope?

Recently, NASA declared the Kepler telescope 'unfixable'. However, it doesn't seem to be the end of the telescope, as NASA appears to have asked the broader scientific community for suggestions on ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

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 ...