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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23
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1answer
2k views

If I wanted to reconstruct an entire Apollo mission's crewed spacecraft trajectories, what are the key sources of historical data I'd look for?

The last few images in Robert A. Braeunig's Apollo 11's Translunar Trajectory; and how they avoided the heart of the radiation belts are fascinating and a bit perplexing as discussed in this answer ...
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1answer
402 views

Reentry without pressure suits in Apollo: was there a formal risk assesment?

In Apollo 11 Flight Journal the following is stated: The crew will make re-entry without suits or helmets on. Although this was a controversial decision on the first Apollo flight, Apollo 7, when the ...
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525 views

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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1answer
183 views

How often did Apollo astronauts wear red helmets?

Images of NAsA astronaut David R. Scott performing a spacewalk during Apollo 9 show a red helmet. When did NASA's use of red-colored helmets begin, and when did it end, and was there a special name ...
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1answer
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Are there any active or recent projects investigating skyhooks for orbital lift?

On the Wikipedia page for skyhooks, the most recent entry in "History" describes a 2001 effort by the Boeing Phantom Works to draft a proposal for a skyhook system for NASA under the name of HASTOL. ...
2
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1answer
131 views

Security during a NASA launch rehearsal test

Am I correct in assuming that security during a launch rehearsal test is very high? That all the people working in the service structure have been well vetted and it is highly improbable that someone ...
2
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1answer
149 views

What exactly has “changed” about the way that NASA will procure technology for the Artemis program?

A video in the Space.com article NASA Taps Maxar to Build Lunar Gateway Power Module for Artemis Moon Plan shows the NASA director explaining the series Artemis 1, 2, 3... and announcing that the ...
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104 views

Looking for help in drawing diagrams to explain graphically NASA Horizons output

I searched a lot for a javascript library or a REST API to access full functionalities of powerful NASA Horizons tool, but with no luck, so I am trying to write my own interface, to replace the very ...
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1answer
358 views

Why are space tools shiny

I was watching one of the broadcasts of a space walk on the ISS. I noticed the Pistol Grip Tool (Thanks Courageous Potato) looks like its made of polished stainless steel. Why do these tools have ...
6
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1answer
169 views

Why are Viking LR results not sufficient evidence of life on Mars?

Gil Levin, one of the scientists involved with the 1976 Viking mission to Mars, has claimed and continues to claim that there is life on Mars, based off the positive results of the Labeled Release (LR)...
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Risk to “NASA’S ICON satellite” if PG&E shut off UC Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory's power?

The San Jose Mercury News article How PG&E’s power shutdown threatened a NASA mission describes a last minute rush to obtain extension cords, generators, and access to backup fuel when it was ...
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1answer
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What does this NASA administrator's tweeted statement mean? What is the context? [closed]

Background: Teslarati's NASA head calls out SpaceX CEO Elon Musk over Starship event in bizarre statement might serve as a resource for answers if the question is successfully reopened. Question: ...
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1answer
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What is the name of the new NEO searching telescope “heavily based on” NEOCam?

Space.com's NASA Wants a New Space Telescope to Protect Us All from Dangerous Asteroids quotes "Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate" several times, ...
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285 views

Cable lacing in spaceflight, when was waxed cord forbidden?

During the sixties of last century traditional cable lacing was done using a thin cord, traditionally made of waxed linen. The wax should improve knot retention. From NASA-STD-8739-4. Using waxed ...
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1answer
118 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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2answers
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How often has NASA brought in people from outside to be responsible for making important decisions?

Spaceflight Now's NASA still looking for new human spaceflight chief says: In August, Bridenstine said NASA is “looking wide and far” for a new human spaceflight chief at NASA Headquarters. “We’re ...
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Did “lock the doors” for the Challenger incident also apply to KSC?

The answers to this question explain that "lock the doors" is part of the standard NASA procedure when an accident occurs. Securing the mission control center helps preserve evidence that will be ...
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1answer
138 views

What is the “interesting story” on the limitations of NASA's current near Earth object survey network"?

Axios' NASA emails reveal agency's surprise at asteroid's near-miss of Earth cites Buzzfeed's A “Sneaky” Asteroid Narrowly Missed Earth This Summer. Internal Emails Show How NASA Scientists Totally ...
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Why does NASA publish all the results/data it gets?

I was curious about why NASA publishes all the results/data from its operations. Does the USA have a law that mandates it or is it a voluntary contribution to the world?
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1answer
147 views

Why did Kennedy have four control rooms but Houston had only two?

Kennedy Space Center has four firing control rooms, one for each bay in the Vehicle Assembly Building. After launch, authority was transferred to the mission control center in Houston. For the ...
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1answer
153 views

How did NASA decide on its missions?

Does anyone know how NASA decided on what to do and what missions to follow? Was it something that was decided internally, or were missions ordered by the federal government?
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1answer
120 views

Is this a NASA building in the background?

The Washington Post video It's looking more and more likely there will be a Tropical Storm Humberto near Florida shows some footage with the caption "Titusville Fla." and I've included a screen shot ...
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4answers
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Are there any space probes or landers which regained communication after being lost?

Recently, ISRO Vikram lander of Chandrayaan 2 lost its communication just before 2.1 km from lunar surface. ISRO staff still trying to regain the signals. Are there any space probes/landers which ...
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1answer
132 views

What do all these vectors point to in this New Horizons trajectory/operations simulation?

Sir Brian May's New Horizons music video (below) shows an animation of the spacecraft and its launch vehicle from countdown to MU69 Ultima Thule. Part way through the video at about ...
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Why does this photo of the Hubble Space Telescope look so weird?

Question: Can someone identify this photograph of the Hubble Space Telescope seen as a still in the Los Angeles Times YouTube video Scientists witness huge cosmic crash, find origins of gold, figure ...
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What are these two SPHERES doing?

In her tweet ISS expedition 59/60/61 astronaut Christina Koch shows two SPHERES doing something. What are they doing exactly? Why do they appear to be connected? Had a blast cheering on the ...
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540 views

How has NASA's mission operations software architecture evolved?

As many of us know, the mission operations software of NASA has changed significantly over time. Needs have changed with the space program and mission operations software has adapted to keep up with ...
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1answer
83 views

Why isn't NASA having a ground-based solar panel to charge the Li-ion batteries on board the JPL Mars Helicopter? [duplicate]

Why isn't NASA having a ground-based solar panel to charge the Li-ion batteries on board the JPL Mars Helicopter? They say that it is going to take a day for the current on-board Solar Panels to ...
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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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During the Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster of 2003, Why Did The Flight Director Say, “Lock the doors.”?

Why does the NASA Flight Director say, "Lock the doors.", when realizing that disaster had struck for Space Shuttle Columbia, back in 2003? Does he mean lock the doors on the space shuttle that's ...
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3answers
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Does the Voyager team use a wrapper (Fortran(77?) to Python) to transmit current commands?

I assume that the vast majority of the people who created the software for these missions are now retired (the "space pensioners" of the Voyager mission). Here's a very good summary of the current ...
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Stanley Kubrick used a NASA-inspired lens to film by candlelight in Barry Lyndon, but what did NASA use it for?

At 07:35 in the CinemaTyler video How Kubrick Achieved the Beautiful Cinematography of Barry Lyndon he says: As far back as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Kubrick and ...
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Could NASA go back to the Moon? [closed]

Even after launching so many space missions, including the one which led Man to the Moon (Apollo 11, July 1969), NASA made several mistakes even in the space programs that followed. For e.g. Space ...
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1answer
890 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 Voyager ...
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1answer
201 views

Why did NASA sent people to the Moon more than once? [duplicate]

Often, especially now with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, the question is asked: Why did we stop sending people to the moon. The answer is usually: because the USA had proved they ...
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1answer
419 views

Which unit system was used by german rocket scientists at NASA for calculations?

There were numerous german rocket scientists at NASA, see wikipedia 1, 2. They were used to the metric system which they used when working for the V-2 at Penemünde. But what unit system did they use ...
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0answers
171 views

What do these three historical IBM staff at NASA insignias designate?

The question Where are these historical IBM + Apollo related locations within NASA? What do these computers do? shows four images. Three of them show different IBM insignias on shirts of IBM staff. ...
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1answer
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Where are these historical IBM + Apollo related locations within NASA? What do these computers do?

In the Fortune Magazine video IBM's Moonshot: Past and Future with the notes BM’s John Kelly reflects on Apollo 11’s historic mission and looks forward to what future technology will accomplish. ...
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3answers
15k views

Why did NASA use U.S customary units?

NASA was using U.S customary units (inches, feet, nautical miles, pounds, tons, US gallons etc.) during the Mercury and Apollo programmes, and beyond. There are significant disadvantages to using U.S ...
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2answers
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Why didn't NASA launch communications relay satellites for the Apollo missions?

The Apollo missions were in communications blackout when the spacecraft's orbit took it to the far side of the Moon. During the missions, the craft had to perform maneuvers such as the lunar orbit ...
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2answers
413 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. ...
4
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1answer
117 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 ...
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7answers
4k views

How much did all the space agencies spent on rockets launching and space exploration? What are the benefits for me and you? [closed]

I thought about how much does one rocket cost to build and launch and it came up with roughly $500 million including everything. That made me pause and wonder for myself what it is that's out there ...
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1answer
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In this iconic lunar orbit rendezvous photo of John Houbolt, why do arrows #5 and #6 point the “wrong” way?

The NPR.org news item Meet John Houbolt: He Figured Out How To Go To The Moon, But Few Were Listening shows the iconic photo of John Houbolt next to a black board showing a free return scenario. I ...
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2answers
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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. ...
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2answers
783 views

Did NASA muzzle Wernher von Braun during the moon landings?

Wernher von Braun was brought from Germany to the United States at the end of World War II, to develop missiles for the U.S. Army. In addition to working for the military, he helped to popularize the ...
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1answer
237 views

What exactly are Tindallgrams? (spaceflight related)

The word "Tindallgram" appears in three posts: this answer to How complex was the math and physics necessary to place Apollo 11 on the moon? What is a “Lear Processor” and how did it work? this ...
8
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1answer
740 views

Astronaut distance from Earth?

After the Apollo Missions, what is the farthest that any country has sent astronauts into space (distance from Earth)?
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1answer
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Is this really the Saturn V computer only, or are there other systems here as well?

The BBC News article Apollo in 50 Numbers; The Technology shows an image of the Saturn V's computer along with the caption: The Saturn V's computer was probably the largest computer ever blasted ...
2
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1answer
237 views

How exactly does this Apollo astronaut's tool work? What was it called?

The BBC News article Apollo in 50 numbers: Weights and Measures shows the following photo with the caption: The astronauts brought back more than 360kg (790lb) of Moon rocks for study on Earth (...

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