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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 ...

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What would the perihelion of Ulysses's orbit have been without a trajectory adjustment after its Jupiter swingby?

I'm wondering what the perihelion of the orbit of Ulysses spacecraft would have been had a trajectory adjustment after its Jupiter swingby not taken place? On Wikipedia it says "The size and shape of ...
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What is the rarest launch window?

What situation would make a launch window rare? What is the rarest known launch window?
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The details about space probes and everything thats on-board and what controls them/tells them what to do? [closed]

I just was really curious about all the different electronics and everything that has to do with space probes and I couldn't find just one site telling me everything I wanted to know so if someone ...
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How does a space probe maintain its trajectory while passing through the extreme gravitational field of the gas giants of our solar system?

Space probes like Voyager 1, 2, New Horizons, etc, traveled beyond those gas giants, how did they cope up with their extreme gravity? How was the trajectory of these probes unhindered by the immense ...
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How does a space probe differ from a satellite in terms of materials used and size?

Both of those space vehicles are meant to carry out different tasks. How are materials selected for both of them such that it benefits their task? And is size a debatable factor while building these ...
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How much more expensive are scientific instruments for space use?

The discussion on How cold is the Martian sky at night? Or the day for that matter? made me wonder. How much more expensive are scientific instruments on spacecraft or landers, compared to their ...
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Could space probe Voyager 1 or 2 reach Alpha Centauri?

Is it possible for Voyager 1 or 2 to reach any other star? If yes, which one is it and how much time does it take to do that? And in which direction are they now, and could we still communicate with ...
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Is Mid-Air Deployment of the Mars Helicopter Feasible?

According to a recent news announcement1, NASA is going to send a small helicopter to Mars for testing purposes. Future landers could carry more of these future rotorcraft [that might] act as ...
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Have there been any probes launched that were actually clusters of probes?

I was wondering if there were any space probe systems that were actually launched as part of a larger satellite bus. As in, one rocket launch from earth releases 6 different satellites on a singular ...
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What is the general shape and size of a space probe, and how are they launched?

I am totally blind, and I haven't felt any models of space probes, so I have no idea how big they are, what their general shapes are, or what kind of launch systems they use. I'm assuming space probes ...
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How much would the James Webb Telescope have cost of they made two or ten of them instead for example? [duplicate]

How much could you cut the price by "mass" producing (at least more than one sample) explorer spacecraft (Galileo, Cassini, New Horizon, Dawn...), space telescopes (Kepler, TESS...) and satellites? ...
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Radioisotope thermoelectric generator vs Solar? [duplicate]

What circumstance would a radioisotope thermoelectric generator is better to use than solar cells in space probes and rovers?
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Is data from Huygens still being analyzed in 2018?

The Huygens probe landed on Saturn's moon Titan about 13 years ago and provided unique "first-hand" data about Titan. I was unable to find how many papers have been published based on this data, but ...
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Has lithocapture ever been seriously considered as a method of entering orbit around a planet or moon that lacks any atmosphere?

What I mean by lithocapture is an orbital transfer maneuver used to reduce the velocity of a spacecraft from a hyperbolic trajectory to an elliptical orbit around the targeted celestial body where the ...
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A certain way to blow up Europa, what is wrong with this suggestion?

To explore the sea under the ice in Europa, a probe with a nucleo-thermal tip has been suggested. Now as this probe melts its way downward, imagine we are pumping out the melted water. This should ...
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Can we get different images of the Milky Way? Or solar system?

The orbits of the planets are coplanar. We send probes out along this plane to explore planets. Why can't we send a probe perpendicular to this plane (say due north from the earths perspective) and ...
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When will we send floating probes to Venus?

Recent plans on human missions to Mars have sparked many discussions, one of which is about if we should colonize Venusian upper atmosphere with Zeppelin like floating ships and cities first. NASA ...
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What is the preferred technology for bulk data storage on a modern space probe?

I was surprised to find that the Voyager spacecraft use tape to store data pending transmission to Earth. Amazing that they have enjoyed such a long operating life, given that they are mechanical ...
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Need help recreating Cassini trajectory description from SKYMAP trj file

In an application I have to analyse I found this trajectory description for the space probe cassini, unfortunately header and comments have been removed: 2004 6 01 00.0 16669287.46 -...
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Shortest time to place a probe further than Voyager 1?

Based on today's technology (requiring no new engineering hurdles to be solved), could a new interstellar space probe overtake Voyager 1's distance? It doesn't need to go in the same direction, but ...
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Voyager location [closed]

11/19/2017 Q:Is sun is in the middle of voyager(1&2)? I've recorded this data yesterday. According to Nasa.gov(VoyagerMissionStatus) Distance of Voyager From Earth In Miles 1575359 ...
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What were the Curiosity sky-crane’s descent engines?

I vaguely remember hearing the descent engines in the sky crane of curiosity were monopropellants and ran on hydrazine. Is this true and is there any other information on the engines available?
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Can we use drones in planetary exploration?

Can we use drones for planetary exploration. Rovers have the inherent problem of getting stuck in terrain. and have limited range. why have space agencies not considered the use of drones for ...
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Would we be able to detect an extraterrestrial “Voyager” if it came near us?

Attached to the Voyager probes are the golden records, which are essentially messages-in-a-bottle sent out into the vast sea of interstellar space, containing of course the "message of humanity". ...
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Is GR required to send a probe to Mercury?

I understand that Newton's Law of Gravitation is still used today to calculate the paths of probes, since it is such an accurate theory. However, the Law of Gravitation does not accurately describe ...
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What uncrewed interplanetary exploration probes have launched on heavy/superheavy-lift vehicles?

What uncrewed interplanetary probes have launched on heavy/superheavy-lift rockets? I'm using NASA's definitions of heavy and super-heavy vehicles; heavy-lift is 20-50 metric tons to LEO, super-heavy ...
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What is the maximum speed an ion engine can propel a spacecraft at?

I read that with our current ion propulsion technology it is possible we could send a craft moving the maximum of 100km per second, or around 62 miles. However we seem to be limited by how strong of a ...
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What's the marginal cost of a second interplanetary space probe copy, like Voyager 2 or Viking 2?

During the old space race days, launching double or multiple scientific probe copies seems to have been the standard. It should have the advantage of sharing the one time fixed development costs while ...
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What are the risks of using cheap industrial components for commercial space appliances esp. solution platforms for them?

This might be a stupid newbie question, but I really wonder reading that folks use cheap "commodity" hardware for satellites like mentioned here, like boards MSP430F5529 or STM32F407 but for sure ...
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Is a space probe communication relay possible?

Is it possible to maintain a connection with space probes that are far away by sending other space probes behind it. For example - [earth] ------1---- 2-------3--------4------5....and so on if ...
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Did IKAROS wake up from its 5th hibernation in Winter 2015?

The IKAROS solar sail entered its fifth hibernation in spring 2015, with a planned wake up in winter 2015 (Northern Hemisphere). However, there seems to be no news since then regarding the mission ...
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Why do we worry about contaminating some solar bodies but not others?

On 15th September 2017, the Cassini probe will be destroyed by crashing it into Saturn. This will be done in order to eliminate the unlikely risk of it crashing into and forward contaminating one of ...
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Why we always build only one spacecraft?

For some purposes it's understandable - we send the probe, get the science it's designed to collect, and we're done. And even in those cases if the mission fails we do not attempt again - we collect ...
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Magnetic / Inductive braking against planetary magnetic fields?

I'm familiar with the concept of aerobraking. Consider an object like a star, or a planet with strong magnetic field (Earth, Jupiter, probably all of the gas/ice giants?) Could a probe use some kind ...
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Can we talk to Pioneer 6?

My question is relatively simple in the essence that it takes few words to ask, but scientifically may be a nightmare. In 2000, the Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex sent a message to ...
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What science could be performed by an extra-solar probe?

An earlier question asked whether there were any planned missions outside the solar system, which made me think of this question. What would the scientific benefits be in sending a probe outside the ...
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How to go about calculating the size and energy requirements for a space-based linear accelerator or railgun to accelerate small probes?

Apologies for the long question. With all the speculation surrounding the newly-discovered Earth-sized planets a "mere" 40 ly distant, I'm revisiting earlier musings on ways to send interstellar ...
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Why are meteors, asteroids and comets not used as propulsion for spacecrafts? [duplicate]

I know it would take a lengthy amount of time to reach the asteroids and meteors. After hearing of the Europeans landing a probe on a comet, the first thing I could think of was: "Could this be used ...
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How many asteroids could a retrograde probe in the Asteroid Belt flyby?

Cassini makes frequent flyby's of moons at Saturn. If one similarly put a probe in retrograde heliocentric orbit in the Asteroid Belt, how frequent could one expect to make a near flyby, given the ...
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What do scientists see when they track space probes?

First, I already understand the basics of radio communication at this point, as that is all I've found searching elsewhere on the web for my question. (For example, How does NASA get information from ...
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Probes on a Solar System Escape Trajectory

Not one probe that has or will leave the Solar System (Pioneer 10, Pioneer 11, Voyager 1, Voyager 2, and New Horizons) has a Solar Power System. This leads to the question, is there a reason behind ...
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Have we attempted to experimentally confirm gravitational time dilation?

Mark Adler wrote in an answer to a different question that We would expect that Voyager 1's local time is faster than Earth time by about one part in one hundred million. I don't think that ...
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Why Mariner 10 was instructed to turn off [transmitter]?

Ran out of fuel it too shallow answer. There should be something else like uncontrolled spinning and making waste radio noise. But this could be good experiment how long probe would survive so close ...
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Why did Sputnik 1 have four antennas?

Sputnik was only launched a few hundred kilometers above Earth, and transmitted only a simple beeping signal. What was the purpose of having four antennas? Wouldn't one be powerful enough?
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Why is Rosetta not going to hover or descend multiple times before crashing into 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko?

Currently Rosetta is on a free fall collision course with 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. If I understand correctly the probe will send back data and pictures during the descent, and once it has crashed ...
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Why are space probes and satellites not destroyed by meteor showers such as the Perseid?

What are the mechanisms used to avoid destruction of space probes and satellites during meteor showers? Are they affected by them?
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“Stationary” Space Probe

Could we place a satellite in the wake of the Earth's orbit so that when the Earth completes its orbit of the sun it would effectively meet back up with said satellite?
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Would it be possible to build a probe that could operate at 900F degrees without insulation?

I read a question about cooling a Venus lander, and got to thinking that the problem was in building a probe that has no problem with Earthlike temperatures and pressures, then trying to insulate it ...
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What types of activities are performed when managing a probe in transit?

This question got me thinking - what types of activities are routinely performed when a probe is in a long transit (like Juno, for example)? What does the staffing typically look like? Does one (or a ...
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Why do we always only launch one probe? [duplicate]

Juno got me thinking again about scaling and maximizing the output of space exploration missions. It seems weird that (with the notable exception of Mars rovers) we (as in humanity) always only start ...