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Questions tagged [orbital-assembly]

In-orbit assembly refers to the assembly of large structures in orbit around a body, usually but not limited to the Earth. Components are lifted into space in a series of launches, enabling the use of smaller rockets - or - the construction of structures beyond the capacity of existing rockets / launchers.

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Why might NASA need to “practice moving a spaceship in different orbits in deep space”?

The NASA.gov feature Q&A: NASA’s New Spaceship says Q: NASA’s really building a spaceship?! A: That’s right! NASA is working with its partners to design and develop a small spaceship ...
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Would it be better to build a Mars-fairing ship on land or in space?

This answer says: We do not have a human-rated rocket which can send a sizable payload to Mars. The Falcon Heavy is certainly capable of sending a payload there, but the rocket would need to be ...
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Silly concept: repurposing BFS into a spin-gravity habitat

The idea is the following: Launch four passanger carrying (but empty) BFS and a fifth, (satellite deploying version) which carries the central hub, outfitted with spin-up engines. Then manouver the ...
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Would space exploration benefit by sending small drones instead of huge rockets?

For e.g. if we want a telescope in space, can't we assemble it in space? Send the constituent assembly parts up there (unmanned). Have the individual units, assemble (unmanned) to constitute the ...
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Is it possible to build a collapsible fuel tank for in-orbit assembly?

In orbit propellant depots could be valuable in the near future. Assume they would be used for storing fuel harvested in situ from the moon and NEOs (So primarily H2, O2 and maybe CH4). Assume in ...
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Building space stations with the original, smaller shuttle

In an answer to a recent question we see a plan for many space stations as part of a space infrastructure, with a surface-to-low-Earth-orbit reusable shuttle as another part. This shuttle eventually ...
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What are the advantages and disadvantages of assembling a space station in LEO before sending it to its intended Lunar orbit?

Government space agencies and some of the largest space companies are talking about building a space station somewhere in cis-Lunar space, the so called "Gateway". As far as I've heard, the (still ...
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Has there been any program to develop tiny pod-like vehicles with manipulator arms for extra-vehicular activities?

Remember the pressurized repair / assembly pods from 2001 A Space Odyssey and so many other space visionary works? Has there been any programs to design & build tiny vehicles like that with ...
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How were the ISS compartments attached and pressurized?

There is lots of easily accessed information online detailing in what order different ISS modules were added, and who built them. However, what's more difficult to find, possibly buried under the ...
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Can the SpaceX Dragon leave the 'trunk' in orbit?

The Chinese have accomplished quite a bit with the service module left in space following the return of their latest lunar mission. I was wondering if something similar could be done using the 'trunk' ...
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Do we sufficiently understand mechanics of Lagrange point stationkeeping for EML2 rendezvous and assembly?

I've been watching some recorded videos from the April 22 - 24, 2014 Humans2Mars conference (videos and live streams, when available, are on the National Institute of Aerospace channel on Livestream), ...
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Why such a large gap between ISS construction and inhabitation?

I was studying this NASA infographic, and noticed something interesting on the timeline portion: It looks like the station was originally assembled in late '98, while the 'first crew' didn't arrive ...
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Can orbital debris be assembled into a module for space exploration?

Wikipedia writes to say Currently, about 19,000 pieces of debris larger than 5 cm (2.0 in) are tracked, with another 300,000 pieces smaller than 1 cm below 2000 km altitude. For comparison, the ...
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Is it better to build a spaceship in total or in parts for orbital assembly? [duplicate]

Supposing a planned long-term manned-flight with a spaceship that has to be fairly large to accommodate many people and meet some requirements like decent shielding from radiation. Is it better to ...
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Does NASA have a space tug project to bring a habitable module to the ISS?

The habitable modules of US sector of the ISS didn't have any propulsion systems to rendezvous the ISS by themselves. They were intended to be brought there by the Space Shuttle. Most of the Russian ...
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Is it more efficient to assemble spacecraft in orbit, or assemble on the ground and launch?

My friends and I were trying to figure this out a while ago. I was thinking that by transporting smaller pieces into space via a lighter re-entry spacecraft, there would be overall less fuel used ...