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Questions tagged [power]

Questions regarding energy used to operate a mechanical or electrical device.

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Other than rockets, have internal combustion engines run in space?

According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Cryogenic_Evolved_Stage The Advanced Cryogenic Evolved Stage (ACES) .. proposed (using) a lightweight internal combustion engine to use hydrogen ...
Woody's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
391 views

How does the power output of the 33 Raptors on SpaceX's Superheavy compare to the power distributed on America's electrical grid?

I recall hearing somewhere that the Space Shuttle's power was similar to that of the US electrical grid at some point in the past - but that might have been a myth. If anyone thinks that they know how ...
phil1008's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
213 views

Solar Turbines on the moon

Related to other questions about power generation on the moon. URL's will be added shortly... Given that force is experienced by objects hit by sunlight, such as a solar sail, would a turbine of some ...
AnarchoEngineer's user avatar
-6 votes
1 answer
182 views

Windmills in Space [closed]

What if we put a windmill like we use now in space like on moon or a space station so its attached to the surface and since we have no wind we use air tanks in the blades to rotate, everytime it slows ...
Shubham Chaudhari's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
62 views

EPS sizing for lunar mission

As part of a university project, I am working on EPS sizing for a mission to the lunar environment. I have sized the SA and batteries, chosen the components and the PDCU; however, having never been in ...
andrescpa's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Lunar nuclear power system - how can hydrogen generated on the Moon be liquefied?

In September 2020, NASA asked for proposals for a lunar nuclear power system. The 10-kW water electrolysis system can create 5-10 tons of hydrogen in a week from the Moon’s surface ice. How would you ...
TheMatrix Equation-balance's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
214 views

How would we power probes or spaceships over hundered or thousands of years?

There are different optimal power sources for probes and spaceships for different kinds of missions. Solar Well suited for many missions in the inner solar system. Only limited degradation over time ...
TrySCE2AUX's user avatar
  • 3,255
2 votes
2 answers
193 views

best way to generate electricity on any planet's dark side

What options are available for generating electricity in a space colony if it is at the planet's darkest point all year around without help from nearby outposts?
Osm's user avatar
  • 121
8 votes
2 answers
212 views

Electric sails power consumption

According to Wikipedia, the E-sail consumes about 540 W (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_sail#Fast_missions_to_planet_Uranus) But this consumption is continuous, and considering an engineering ...
Ricardo Casimiro's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
613 views

Why the Space Shuttle electrical system is so complex?

This is me, having too much free time and deciding to learn how the electrical system of the Space Shuttle worked. So, because I couldn't find any "easy to read" diagram online, I built a ...
ocirocir's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
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What is the relationship (if any) between NASA's Kilopower project and its request for 40 kW reactor designs?

Gizmodo's NASA Wants to Put a Nuclear Reactor on the Moon begins NASA is teaming up with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory to develop a non-solar power source on the Moon by ...
uhoh's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
249 views

How many watts of electricity are available for systems during a Mars transit?

The 40+ year old Voyager probes have three Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) currently producing 249 watts, losing around 4 watts per year. They began with 470 Watts. The Curiosity Rover's ...
Dan Sorensen's user avatar
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12 votes
2 answers
430 views

Is lunar exploration going to need a whole heck of a lot of RTGs? If so, have they started firing up the RTG-making reactors yet?

The November 16, 2021 Northrop Grumman Press Release Highly specialized team to design vehicle for sustainable lunar surface mobility operations begins Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC), is ...
uhoh's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
558 views

How to compute each of these link budget terms?

The terms in Equation are all in decibels (dB), which is logarithmically scaled. In Equation, $P_{rx}$ is the received peak power, $P_{tx}$ is the transmitted peak power, $G_{tx}$ is the transmitter ...
Noel Miller's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
95 views

Maximum lift of a helicopter in Mars' atmosphere?

Maximum lift of a helicopter in Mars' atmosphere? Inginuity has been a success. It begs the question of full-scale helicopter transportation on Mars. However, low Martian atmospheric density means a ...
Woody's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
139 views

What transportation energy “currency” would be most suitable for mobile machinery on the Martian surface?

What transportation energy “currency” (methane, H2, electricity) would be most suitable for mobile machinery on the Martian surface? Photovoltaic (PV) cells or nuclear energy will likely be the only ...
Woody's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
83 views

What are the specifications for electrical connectors that can be used for repeated mating in space?

We’re working on an interface between satellites that when docked has to transmit power and data. The interface needs to have a port for transmitting power and data. Majority of the connectors ...
Asher's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
144 views

What will Lucy do for power during its first hour after launch?

Based on When will Lucy deploy its solar panels?, I learned that Lucy will unfold its solar arrays 1 hour after launch. How will it be powered during this hour? Does it have batteries that are charged ...
usernumber's user avatar
  • 5,048
5 votes
0 answers
128 views

When docked, do Dragon solar panels contribute to ISS mains power?

What it says on the tin. Does a docked Dragon trunk section contribute to the ISS's batteries? I'm aware it would probably be minimal though due to orientation and occlusion of the panels, and when ...
Dragongeek's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
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Could a satellite use a Miniature Atomic Clock (MAC) to provide GPS services?

I've been investigating GPS satellites and I got curious about onboard atomic clocks. I found this following paper on the concept of a CubeSat GPS constellation using Chip-Scale Atomic Clocks, and ...
Bensas's user avatar
  • 193
3 votes
1 answer
989 views

How would I determine the power usage for a X-Band High Gain Antenna?

Currently I have that for a X-Band High Gain Antenna functioning at 8 Ghz, diameter of 3 meters, and a power transmission of 13.1dBW (20 watts) at a distance of about 8.5 AU has a Gain of 52.44 dBi, ...
Jose De La Pena's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why are RTGs so inefficient?

I recently learned about how an n-type and p-type "sandwich" with different thermal properties can create a potential difference in the presence of a temperature gradient. The subsequent ...
Vikrant Sharma's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
673 views

What are the Basics of CubeSat Power Supplies and Systems?

I am going to go ahead and apologize for my ignorance surrounding this topic, as my background is Aerodynamics, and not Electrical Engineering. From what I understand, CubeSats typically generate ...
Spaceman87's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
188 views

Are power nuclear reactors (including advanced designs) really vastly less "aggressive" in design than NTR cores?

It is my understanding that solid-core nuclear thermal rocket reactors are extremely aggressive designs that operate at the limits of materials and have an incredibly high specific thermal power. Do ...
ikrase's user avatar
  • 8,874
1 vote
1 answer
233 views

Which fuel cell fuels have been demonstrated in space?

Combination of fuel cells and electric motors - whether it has been used as part of an electric pump-fed cycles? gives a short summary of fuel cells and lists the following energy-containing fuels ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
18 votes
3 answers
5k views

Why exactly does Curiosity's RTG make more electricity on cold days?

There is a fascinating factoid in this answer to MMRTG- thermal and electrical output: The electric power of the thermocouples depends on cooling influenced by the environment. On a cold day on Mars ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
5 votes
0 answers
121 views

Electrical power requirements for Starship or Falcon 9

Anybody know where one could dig up electrical requirements for Starship? In other words, if Starship were sitting on the launch pad drawing power prior to launch, what would the load be? I imagine ...
ijnabe47's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
112 views

At what inclined grade would Curiosity or Perseverance require twice the electrical power to drive compared to driving on flat terrain?

Motors have losses and friction, and compaction of soil by a rovers wheels are lossy as well. Driving over bumps/topography requires extra work going up that isn't recovered when going back down. The ...
uhoh's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
474 views

How are the Curiosity rover's batteries doing after all these years (and all these cycles)? Have they degraded significantly?

Curiosity has spent 2820 sols on Mars and this answer to About how long will Curiosity last on its nuclear power? points out that its batteries may wear out faster than its RTG. Question: How are ...
uhoh's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
68 views

HDEV Goodbye Video- similar projects planned?

I just found that nice "Goodbye HDEV" video on the Columbus-Eye-Projekt-Webpage. (http://columbuseye.rub.de/) Seems like the HDEV-housing is already burned during re-entry. Does anyone know ...
Spacecrafticus's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
521 views

ULA's ACES upper stage with IVF - Why are they using internal combustion engines?

I recently read out about ULA's ACES (Advanced Cryogenic Evolved Stage) upper stage with IVF (Integrated Vehicle Fluids), which crazy as it sounds, has two six-cylinder engines developed by Roush that ...
masospaghetti's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
191 views

What are the power specifications for Curiosity's 6 driving motors and the voltages of the two batteries, and what are the sources?

To calculate the maximum travel time for Curiosity without recharging its batteries, I would like to know the power specifications for its driving motors. And we need to know how much energy can be ...
Cornelis's user avatar
  • 7,535
9 votes
2 answers
613 views

Could a thermal nuclear propulsion double as a nuclear reactor?

Nuclear thermal propulsion takes hydrogen and introduces it to enriched uranium that then heats up the gas and expels it to create thrust. Could you use also use the uranium to heat up water instead ...
Brooks Nelson's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
235 views

Using recent technology, how much electrical power could a nuclear reactor launchable by a low-level heavy-lift vehicle be developed to produce?

The main purpose behind asking this question is to ascertain the potential power-to-weight ratio of reactors built using modern-derivative technology (i.e. either Generation III derivatives or ...
Grant Hartlage's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
61 views

Antenna required to reach titan

There are two 12U cubesats, one in Earth orbit and one in orbit around Titan. They have a transmit power of 700 W (for short periods) and have identical antennas. What diameter and what type of ...
Valentino Zaffrani's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
245 views

Exchange diameter for power in parabolic antenna

If I want to reduce the diameter of a satellite dish, how much power should I add to the transmitter? how is this formula? As I have already been informed a little in this other question I asked: X-...
Valentino Zaffrani's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
770 views

Does NASA really report the power of rockets in horsepower?

On a recent episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson said: And to this day NASA will still report the power of rockets in horsepower, which is completely absurd, ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
3 votes
1 answer
378 views

How many "main" batteries does the ISS have? How many are still nickel-hydrogen?

CBS News's Third all-female spacewalk completes job of swapping out batteries says: NASA is in the process of replacing 48 older-generation nickel-hydrogen batteries in the station's solar power ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
2 votes
0 answers
100 views

Mass of a circumlunar power transmission line?

The most easily available power source on the Moon is solar power. This has the obvious drawback that the night is two weeks long, during which you would probably still need power for a base to ...
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
35 views

Is there a tool for modeling what power requirements different satellite modules have?

Reading about FADsat made me think of this because it does exactly that. Maybe a better question is does anyone know of a tool like FADsat?
Olivaw's user avatar
  • 147
4 votes
1 answer
3k views

What was the transmitting power of the Apollo astronauts' PLSS VHF radio transmitters?

I'm assuming many of you are familiar with Larry Baysinger. A radio amateur who independently detected and recorded the transmissions from the Apollo 11 EVA using a homemade antenna. Larry Baysinger ...
Star Man's user avatar
  • 5,928
6 votes
2 answers
531 views

How hot was the surface of RTG radiator which powered ALSEP on Apollo-12?

The last 5 Apollo missions that landed on the moon (starting from Apollo-12) deployed Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package (ALSEP) which was powered by radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG) ...
Sergiy Lenzion's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
316 views

Ion Drives specific impulse somewhat of a false economy?

I've been working through a thought experiment with a friend of mine, with some of my previous questions already being (very helpfully) answered on here :) Here's the current issue I have though - ...
nirurin's user avatar
  • 459
4 votes
1 answer
573 views

Are there fuel cells for methane + oxygen? Could there be?

Hydrogen + oxygen fuel cells powered the week-long Apollo missions to the Moon and Shuttle missions to orbit, and there is a industry trying to build itself around hydrogen-fed fuel cell-based road ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
5 votes
1 answer
402 views

Power supply for StarShip?

Early renderings of the Mars Colonial Transport showed 2 fan shaped solar arrays deployed while in space. I haven seen any depictions of the StarShip with a solar array either in orbit or standing on ...
Johnny Robinson's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
1k views

What form of Electric Current Powers Spacecrafts - Alternating Current (AC) or Direct Current (DC)?

Almost all spacecrafts launched by humanity consist of electrical components which require electricity to run. Usually, spacecrafts are either powered by a Solar Panel or using Radioisotope ...
Vishnu's user avatar
  • 3,286
2 votes
0 answers
128 views

How strong would a magnetic field have to be to protect interplanetary craft?

The following suggests that this is a possible idea to protect crew on interstellar space flight: Is NASA doing research on "mini-magnetospheres" to protect crew from radiation in space? ...
Chthonic One's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
202 views

Has any mission to Titan tested the idea of producing electricity from Saturn's magnetic field?

From an answer to Astronomy SE question How does Titan maintain the atmosphere And we know the idea of generating electricity with a coil orbiting through a planet's magnetic field is sound in ...
Pelinore's user avatar
  • 712
2 votes
2 answers
140 views

What is the ideal propulsion for an inner solar system spacecraft?

I've seen the X3 ion thruster named as the future for traveling between planets. Would the ideal spacecraft have only one propulsion? Or would it have multiple sources such as hydrazine and solar ...
Sydonius's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
39 views

Have nuclear reactors been used in space [duplicate]

Have nuclear reactors ever been used in space as a way for power, instead of solar panels? If not, have any plans for one ever been made?
RoylatGnail's user avatar