Questions tagged [plasma]

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Why were the three 122-cm diameter conductive spheres for charge collection in the Shuttle's Space Experiments with Particle Accelerators black?

From this answer to How did three 1.2 meter spheres and a Xe+ plasma contactor keep the Shuttle “grounded”? What did they look like?: STS-45 view of payload bay with this description (emphasis my own)...
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What are, and what has been learned from making plasma crystals in space? Is a tl;dr-like answer possible?

The two articles below describe a set of plasma crystal experiments scheduled for 2019 aboard the ISS in cooperation with German and Russian scientists on the ground. These were not the first but ...
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Help understanding vectors in diagram from "Magnetohydrodynamic flow control during reentry" and the actual goal of this research

A link to the ESA Advanced Concepts Team page Magnetohydrodynamic flow control during reentry was recently shared under Re-entry Heat Shield Alternative. It says: During the reentry phase, spacecraft ...
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How to calculate sheath area

Suppose we have a cubesat in LEO, if the metallic surface of the satellite is at a positive potential it will attract electrons from the ionosphere plasma, the current collected will be I = J * A, ...
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How long did the plasma blackouts of Perseverance's signals to MRO and direct-to-Earth last during its seven minutes of terror?

Congratulations to NASA JPL and the Perseverance Team and everyone else who participated and contributed in some way! Watching the live feed of the EDL seven minutes of terror I heard there was a ...
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What is the required laser intensity to ionize interstellar gas in front of a Bussard ramjet?

In a Bussard ramjet interstellar gas is collected using a large magnetic field to be fused and used as reaction mass. While a number of papers have explored the constraints on the magnetic field, what ...
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2 answers
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How did three 1.2 meter spheres and a Xe+ plasma contactor keep the Shuttle "grounded"? What did they look like?

Statement of relevance This answer to Highest DC voltage ever intentionally produced in space? mentions particle beam experiments done from the Space Shuttle while it flew through Earth's atmosphere ...
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VASIMR thruster at scale

I am working on making one, the truth is that the principles are not so difficult, but does anyone have any plans? or reference "with numbers"? because the truth is that it is quite difficult to scale ...
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How long would a plasma trail last during a lander's Mars atmospheric entry?

In this video of the Orion reenty, ᴴᴰ Full Onboard Re-entry into Earth’s Atmosphere ● New NASA Spacecraft, the plasma trail appears to last about 90 seconds. Screenshot from video Considering how ...
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Is there such thing as plasma (from reentry) creating lift?

The following was claimed on the aviation site: In 1981, after years of development and testing, Columbia made its maiden voyage into orbit. Unexpectedly, on re-entry, the nose pitched up much higher ...
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Saint Elmo's fire on the ISS? What are these green glowing balls of plasma on a solar panel? Dangerous?

This tweet says: Almost the entire population of Egypt lives within a few miles of the Nile. But my eye is on the green glowing balls on what looks like it might be a solar panel. Question: What ...
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What was the nature of the visible part of the viscous wake trailing the Apollo CM during reentry?

This diagram suggests a helix in the wake, was it a single-helix, a multiple helix, or a superhelix? Is there any other part of the wake that would be visible?
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5 votes
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Orion reentry plasma

Below are two screen shots from the video of the Orion reentry, Astronaut’s-Eye View of NASA’s Orion Spacecraft Re-entry, and a diagram. Is the plasma contained, or primarily within the viscous wake, ...
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1 vote
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Converting Discharge Voltage to Temperature? Hall Effect Thruster Calculation

Trying to follow a Hall Effect Thruster design process given in this video: Hall Effect Thruster Design Video In 25:59, there's a calculation in which the presenter takes discharge voltage and ...
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6 votes
1 answer
409 views

What is the nature of a "flux tube" between Saturn and Enceladus, and what does "L‐shell=4" mean?

The NASA JPL YouTube video Sounds of Saturn: Hear Radio Emissions of the Planet and Its Moon Enceladus (below, also here) provides and audio and spectral representation of plasma waves recored by ...
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7 votes
2 answers
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Is this description of the "dipole drive" and how it would work physically correct?

Comments in chat have noted the recent post in the Centauri Dreams blog titled The Dipole Drive: A New Concept for Space Propulsion. In contrast to the single positively charged screen employed by ...
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2 votes
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How much electricity is needed to run a magnetoplasmadynamic thruster?

I am making a small Magnetoplasmadynamic thruster (MPT) which uses compressed air as propellant. I want to know how many volts of electricity would be needed such that the exhaust plasma velocity is ...
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3 answers
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If Steve is at 300 km, and SWARM is >440km, how did SWARM measure Steve's temperature?

How did ESA measure Steve's temperature using the SWARM spacecraft? Please explain how the measurement is really done, don't just mention an instrument's acronym. I did a quick dump of TLEs for ...
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10 votes
1 answer
591 views

Could Steve have hurt the ISS?

The BBC News article Aurora photographers find new night sky lights and call them Steve says: A group of aurora enthusiasts have found a new type of light in the night sky and named it Steve. ...
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