Questions tagged [probe]

A space probe is a scientific robotic spacecraft. It explores space and/or other planetary bodies (planets, satellites, asteroids, ..). It can flyby, orbit, enter atmosphere of, land on or submerge into its target, or approach interstellar space. Pioneer 10/11 and Voyager 1/2 are examples of space probe.

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What's the lowest and the highest ever recorded atmospheric pressure by a Mars lander?

What is the lowest and what's the highest ever recorded air pressure on Mars by an (either roving or stationary) Mars landing probe? As per the answer in this question of mine, it seems the highest ...
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11 votes
1 answer
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What are the moving particles that can be seen by the Parker Solar Probe?

There ate two images below from the Parker Probe, one of Venus and the second from the Sun. The second one is a screenshot from a recent video (Youtube of Parker imagery while in solar corona). In ...
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4 votes
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Why did BepiColombo use an Earth gravity assist?

Since BepiColombo didn't receive another gravity assist from a different orbiting body before reencountering Earth, wouldn't it reenter Earth's SOI with the same hyperbolic excess velocity as it ...
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Measuring properties of Van Allen radiation belts

How are the properties of the Van Allen radiation belts measured or monitored? Below is the link of my question, that leads me to asking this one. One method is mentioned there but there may be others....
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What other space vehicles were affected by cold welding?

The Wikipedia page on cold welding states that Mechanical problems in early satellites were sometimes attributed to cold welding. But only mentions Galileo as an example of spacecraft were cold ...
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What took it so long to plan a exploration mission for Trojan asteroids?

There are space probes that flew past asteroids, some came close to it, some orbited and some landed on it and took samples. Those asteroids belonged in the main belt. Now, Lucy will become one of the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Small probes to Alpha Centauri powered by light sails with a journey time of 20 years

This news item states that scientists have potentially devised a way to send a number of small probes to Alpha Centauri at quarter the speed of light. The journey would take 20 years and each small ...
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Is it possible to perform powered flight on the upper atmospheres of gas giants?

After reading about Ingenuity, whose main challenge I heard was dealing with the relatively thin atmosphere of Mars, I wondered if the thicker atmospheres of gas giants could allow for powered flight ...
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Which Mars probe went to the highest elevation and which one to the lowest on Mars so far?

Considering Mars' mean atmospheric pressure of 610 Pa (0.088 psi) its "sea level altitude", how high went the highest probe/rover that ever successfully landed on Mars so far (respectively, ...
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What secondary science payloads deployed from primary science payloads were strictly battery powered?

When is the last time that a battery-powered spacecraft was launched without an RTG or solar-electric power? had to be refined a few times because the use of battery-only power is much more widespread ...
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Looking for photos of spacecraft/probes while not in orbit around a planet

I'm on a hunt for photos of man-made objects taken when they are not in orbit around a planet and they seem to be few and far between. My guess is that most spacecraft can't take selfies and no-one ...
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What are those plastic hoses on Perseverance used for?

I've been trying to find out what this plastic tube is for that got cut during descent. It's a single tube so as far as l can tell not a loop. It ends in the lower right corner of the body (in the ...
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How long will the "Send Your Name to Mars" chips aboard the Mars Landers and Rovers last?

I'm talking about the Chips NASA has placed on Curiosity, InSight and Perseverance: You could enter you name on https://mars.nasa.gov/participate/send-your-name/future and NASA etched your name on ...
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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 ...
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Venus probe with refrigerated electronics powered by an RTG (more like the Mars rovers)

Because of the very high surface temperatures on Venus (~450 oC) conventional semiconductor electronics will not work. Discussion of surface probes to Venus talk about using vacuum electronics, ...
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Could a Mars surface rover/probe be made of plastic?

I wonder whether the structure of a Mars surface rover or probe could be 3D printed from plastics on Earth and then shipped to Mars for its mission. That is, 3D printed from the common materials used ...
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Do exploration spacecraft enter Mars atmosphere against Mars rotation, or on the same direction?

I can't find information on which side of mars do probes usually enter. I suppose that probes do not enter perpendicular to the surface. They are usually represented as entering somewhat tangentially ...
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How come there are so few TNOs the Voyager probes and New Horizons can visit?

The region beyond Neptune is full of dozens, if not hundreds, of dwarf planets and possible dwarf planets. Why can't the interstellar probes visit some of them anyway, along their path? The only TNOs ...
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How likely is it for Chang'e 5 to wake up after lunar night?

I have been wondering how likely it would be for the Chang'e 5 Probe to wake up. I mean the surveyors did this a few times, but were all relatively simpler in design. Also what gets damaged in the ...
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Vacuum tube microchips for Venus probe; feasibility and challenges?

Venus surface temperature is around 460 °C which makes conventional semiconductors useless. So nasa proposed a clockwork rover, drawing power from wind and using springs and gears to navigate the ...
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11 votes
6 answers
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Has any space probe changed course (in a large way) over time?

I encountered the following text from here: Generally, a spacecraft is launched with huge rockets into a certain trajectory, or path, and it continues on that that path. Often the smaller rockets ...
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3 votes
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How to determine heat transfer for survival on Venus?

I'm trying to determine how long a probe could survive on Venus' surface. Assuming its just a sphere of titanium with room temperature air inside, what would be the best method for determining the ...
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What does the discovery of phosphine mean for the future of venusian exploration? [closed]

There have been proposals (1, 2, 3, 4,...) to send probes into the atmosphere of Venus, but these proposals haven't been selected by space agencies to fly. Some balloons were sent in the 80's, but ...
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A balloon in the Venus atmosphere?

Was there any proposal or study for a balloon in the Venus atmosphere? A spacecraft can enter in the atmosphere and inflate a balloon to fly for a few days or weeks. That can help collecting a lot of ...
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7 answers
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Why don't we build standardized space probes?

Why is each space probe is so different? This increase costs. Wouldn't it be beneficial to design one probe that can be sent in many different directions? Or maybe a set of probes, or maybe design a ...
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4 votes
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Has a probe ever been lost due to folding its antenna, making it unable to communicate?

I remember hearing the story of a probe on the surface of a planet (maybe Venus) that was lost due to an incredible design flaw, and I'm looking for more details. The probe had a dish antenna, and ...
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29 votes
4 answers
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Could one of the interstellar probes discover Planet IX by accident?

Could one or some of the spacecraft sent beyond the Kuiper belt discover (or even disprove) the hypothetical Planet IX? That doesn't necessarily mean coming so close you'd recognize the planet in ...
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How is the space probe powered to travel a huge distance in a deep space mission?

As of March 2019, the New Horizons space probe was about 4.1 billion miles (6.6 billion kilometers) from our planet (Earth) and traveling deeper into the Kuiper Belt at nearly 33,000 miles (53,000 ...
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2 votes
3 answers
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Why haven’t we landed probes on Neptune, Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury with onboard cameras?

Why haven’t we landed probes on Neptune, Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury with onboard cameras? Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 were sent out in the 70’s, with 70’s technology, is there technology available that ...
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What are the teeth on the edge of Venera 13 and 14?

From top to bottom, Venera 9, 10, 13A, 13B, 14A and 14B. Venera 13 and 14 have some kind of teeth on the edge of the lander. What purpose do these serve? Why didn't Venera 9 and 10 have them?
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Have space probe gone to unplanned destinations?

Reading this question about multiple gravity assists (Why is Voyager 1 faster than all other space probes?), it caused me to wonder if any probes have been redirected to additional (or alternate) ...
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What do the shaded vertical lines in the animation of Gravity assists of space probes, mean?

Example Animations from Wikipedia — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravity_assist#/media/File:Animation_of_Voyager_1_trajectory.gif https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:...
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Outer planet trajectory design versus the asteroid belt

Several space probes have been launched to destinations beyond the asteroid belt: Pioneers 10 and 11, Voyagers 1 and 2, Ulysses, Galileo, Cassini, New Horizons, and Juno, at least. While the odds of ...
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-4 votes
1 answer
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What does it take to send a probe into a primordial black hole near the Oort cloud?

Since Sept 2019 there's been some speculation1 whether the hypothetical planet far beyond the Kuiper belt is actually a primordial black hole. It would be the closest black hole to the Earth (500 au ...
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34 votes
8 answers
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Is it possible to create a relativistic space probe going at least 0.1c with present day technology?

That's pretty much it: Is it possible to create a relativistic space probe going at least 0.1c with present day technology? Present day meaning as of April 2020. If it is actually possible, how ...
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Is a graviational slingshot around Mercury a feasible solution for space probes?

Our spacecraft have rarely visited Mercury, for reasons obvious to those who know orbital mechanics. The Mariner 10 visit to Mercury was revolutionary by using Venus for the novel slingshot maneuver, ...
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Why didn't the Galileo spacecraft take an image in Jupiter's upper atmosphere?

When the Galileo probe was crashed into Jupiter it could have made an image from what is considered the "surface" (level of Earth-like atmospheric pressure) of Jupiter or the atmosphere more below or ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Could we use the atmospheres of planets like Mars or Jupiter to separate xenon from them to replenish the engines?

Could we use the atmospheres of planets like Mars or Jupiter to separate xenon from them to replenish the engines? I mean, touch the atmosphere of Mars and separate Argon and Xenon for ionic engines, ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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How is flyby distance estimated?

The New Horizons spacecraft performed flybys of 134340 Pluto and 486958 Arrokoth in 2015 and 2019, respectively. The orbits of these satellites was not known to the kilometer (or maybe even thousand-...
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Where is BepiColombo?

BepiColombo is a probe that was sent towards Mercury in October 2018. It will flyby Earth in April 2020, but I would like to know where it is in the meantime. Is there a website that shows where in ...
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6 votes
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What would the Voyager probes look like today?

In the 40+ years since their launching, after traveling through the solar system and now beyond, what would the Voyager probes look like today if we could see them up close? Would they look noticeably ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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How could we hear back from Breakthrough Starshot? [duplicate]

The Breakthrough Starshot concept is to send a swarm of tiny spacecraft on a flyby mission to Proxima Centauri b. These are tiny spacecraft (on the scale of centimeters). Given how miniscule the ...
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Has any object launched from Earth gone into the Sun?

I've seen a lot of questions about the $\Delta V$ required to reach the Sun from the Earth (~22-30 km/s if I remember correctly), firing a bullet into the sun, etc. But has this ever happened? Has ...
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Given that JunoCam is mainly for outreach, how bad is it as a scientific instrument?

According to Wikipedia's article on JunoCam (and I have seen other corroborating sources): JunoCam is not one of the probe's core scientific instruments; it was put on board primarily for public ...
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4 votes
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Are there planned sungrazing probes?

Reading about sungrazing comets, that can reach speed of +600km/s at perihelion, and about sungrazing comets being used as probes. Are there any planned mission involving a sungrazing probe, able to ...
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Were there any identified launch windows and gravity-assist trajectories that could put a probe on a "Grand Tour" trajectory around 1981?

For context, I am developing an alternate history that features a far more ambitious Voyager program than the one undertaken in real life. However, despite the increase in NASA funding provided in the ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Why were some early interplanetary probes pressurized?

Mariners 2 through 9, and the Soviet spacecraft of that era, sometimes suffered from leaks that impaired or disabled parts of their scientific payloads. What kinds of sensors couldn't work in vacuum? ...
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29 votes
2 answers
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Why is tantalum being used for the Hayabusa bullets?

The Hayabusa 2 probe is firing tantalum bullets at the asteroid Ryugu to knock off material that can be sampled. Why was tantalum chosen? That’s a pretty obscure element and I would assume rather rare....
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2 votes
1 answer
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What probe has the shortest/longest operational surface time (non-Earth)?

I was reading fastest trip to the moon and that question got me in the mood for asking "what's the record for X" style questions. I thought of 5-10 but I'll limit myself to one because they're not ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Is aerobraking used for orbit insertion for each planet with an atmosphere?

Probes designed to orbit planets can use aerobraking to help orbit insertion (as it has already been done for Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter or Mars Global Surveyor). Such techniques could be used for ...
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