Questions tagged [plasma]

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Solar Reflective Plasma Drive

I understand that solar sails have just recently been progressing to be of use. Could the solar sails be positioned to create a hyperbolic mirror to super heat a substance to produce propulsion along ...
Justintimeforfun's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Has any vehicle prior to Starship's IFT3 "taken a selfie" during reentry?

I'm curious about images (or videos) that a) Include both a portion of the vehicle and its re-entry plasma wake, and b) That were taken at near-orbital (high-hypersonic) velocities or greater. I ...
phil1008's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
145 views

Do rocket exhausts produce an electromagnetic signature to allow remote sensing of said rocket?

Rocket exhaust contains ions, the composition of which varies depending on temperature and fuel. https://arc.aiaa.org/doi/10.2514/3.27825 and https://www.eucass.eu/doi/EUCASS2017-434.pdf Figure 12 : ...
Woody's user avatar
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22 votes
3 answers
4k views

Do we actually know what re-entry looks like?

So I was watching this video of a talk given by the creators of the game Kerbal Space Program. The video is more or less about game development, but this part (link should go right to the moment but ...
Mia's user avatar
  • 323
0 votes
1 answer
127 views

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)...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
2 votes
1 answer
250 views

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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
2 votes
1 answer
117 views

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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
5 votes
0 answers
86 views

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, ...
Ricardo Casimiro's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
207 views

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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
4 votes
0 answers
62 views

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 ...
Anders Sandberg's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
375 views

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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
0 votes
0 answers
80 views

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 ...
Valentino Zaffrani's user avatar
6 votes
0 answers
127 views

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 ...
Bob516's user avatar
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20 votes
1 answer
3k views

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 ...
ymb1's user avatar
  • 2,423
2 votes
1 answer
271 views

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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
2 votes
0 answers
185 views

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?
Bob516's user avatar
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5 votes
0 answers
178 views

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, ...
Bob516's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
41 views

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 ...
Colin Warn's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
462 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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
7 votes
2 answers
949 views

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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
2 votes
0 answers
131 views

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 ...
Bhavesh's user avatar
  • 121
5 votes
3 answers
588 views

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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
10 votes
1 answer
644 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. ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k