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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Vacuum tube microchips for Venus probe; feasibility and challenges?

Venus surface temperature is around 460C 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Why tantalum 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 tantalum? That’s a pretty obscure element and I would assume rather rare. What ...
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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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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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Is the cause of the Phobos-2 probe failure definitively known?

In 1987 the ambitious Soviet probe Phobos (Fobos)-2 made it to Martian orbit and started transmitting data. The Planetary Society Phobos-2 page shows all 38 images received over a period of about a ...
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Listing objects and space probes beyond Earth orbit in Space Track?

Can anyone tell me how to query Space Track to list objects that are beyond Earth orbit. I am thinking of things such as the Voyagers, the Tesla Roadster and Pioneer, as examples? While there is a ...
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What is the shielding capability of liquid metal compaired to solid metal?

For simplicity, consider a spherical metal shape for shielding cargo/people behind. (The liquid ball is supposed to be between the Sun and the cargo. Not people inside it.) A problem I see is that it ...
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Can an Ion engine in tow assist in launch? [closed]

This question asks: How large a body could a probe with ion engines land on and launch from? and made me think could an ion engine that is the payload be mounted in a way to assist in the launch?
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Probing gas giant planets by descending through a cyclones's “eye”?

On Earth cyclones have regions of calm weather commonly known as eyes. They appear to create tunnels spreading from the top of the atmosphere down to the sea level. Wikipedia article mentions their ...
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Traveling through the asteriod belt?

The question What's the (particle) density of the asteroid belt? is about the density of objects in the asteroid belt. As a follow up related question and what I am interested in: When we send ...
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Could Breakthrough Starshot proposed propulsion system be used in a regular size probe to accelerate it faster than any probe has been before?

Supposedly Breakthrough Starshot project wants to accelerate a capsule of the size of a mobile phone - according to one source - and of the size of the chip of a mobile phone - according to another ...
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Rainbow Space Probe?

Can a probe be sent out to shine a white laser through the atmosphere of a planet to measure a rainbow spectrum to determine composition, temperature, density etc.? Water drops refracts about at a ...
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Why are planetary probe RTGs tilted at a jaunty angle?

This image from here: Does the Dragonfly project (quadcopters on Titan) envision attached RTG's or would they be static and revisited for charging? and this image show that the RTGs on these two ...
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Why do most space probes survive for far longer than they were designed for?

Looking back to Opportunity (Rest In Peace, little friend), it was apparently designed to operate for 90 days but it ended up going for 16 years which is approximately 64 times longer than the ...
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How to manage landing on unlandable asteroids?

If asteroid's rotation period provides greater centrifugal force than gravity, having tangential surface velocity greater than escape velocity, and/or if due to an oddly enough shape, it has no fixed ...
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What is the date for a Mars file?

When a robot on Mars does something like take a picture, how does it date that file? I imagine that the responsible laboratory is a possible referential, correct? Is it possible / does it make sense ...
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Effective range of a laser propelled solar sail

The ongoing Breakthrough Starshot program proposes the use of high powered lasers on Earth to be aimed at a solar sail with the intention of propelling it to the star Alpha Centauri. To be more ...
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How do long range space probes adjust trajectory?

More specifically, after the main launch adjustments have been made using the primary boosters and temporary adjusting propellants how might even the slightest trajectory and orientation corrections ...
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Why are probes that tend to explore outer system always launched to go outwards instead of straight upwards or downwards?

Let's take a look at the trajectory of variety probe missions. New Horizons and Ultima Thule will be 4.1 billion miles away when it visits the Kuiper Belt object. This chart shows the path of New ...
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Space Travel Advanced Recon [closed]

Could a network of probes be sent ahead of a mother ship to form a grid to lay a path for travel inside the solar system? After what certain speed anything larger then a stationary pebble could be ...
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Having deep space probes use AI to decide where to point their cameras?

With New Horizons on final approach to Ultima Thule (2014 MU69) it has been stated that some or all of the images returned may end up being blank due to the camera being pointed incorrectly because of ...
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What angular resolution is expected during New Horizon's flyby of Ultima Thule?

Ultima Thule is thought to be about 20 miles (30 km) across. However, I can't seem to find any information about approach distance or typical image resolution of New Horizons in regards to this second ...
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Has NASA thought about a hub on Mars, where rovers could branch out of?

When watching the insight landing I saw this map: Now all these missions had to have their own power supply(and more). Why did NASA not send up a kind of energy hub that is fixed where multiple ...

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