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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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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Why does the SEIS require a bellows type wind cover?

The Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure probe onboard the Insight lander is meant to measure subtle seismic events on Martian surface. In order to reduce the noise induced by wind, a protective ...
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Is the payload HP3, onboard the InSight a single use instrument?

InSight's HP3 probe is meant to drill deep into Martian soil. And the depth of reach is determined by whether there is a rocky layer underneath or not. If it's loose soil all the way down, merrier it ...
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How do Mars spacecraft control attitude on final descent and landing?

When I watch videos of probes landing on Mars after cutting the parachutes off, they show the lander doing final orientation adjustments before touching down. The engines don't seem to have a ...
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Why didn't the Pioneer probes maintain communications with Earth as long as the Voyagers have? [duplicate]

The Pioneer Missions. March 26, 2007 PIONEER 10 SPACECRAFT SENDS LAST SIGNAL - After more than 30 years, it appears the venerable Pioneer 10 spacecraft has sent its last signal to Earth. ...
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Radio Telemetry from Parker Probe?

Given that the Sun emits wide band RF noise at high levels, how is the Parker probe going to transmit its data collection to Earth (Terrestrial) when it reaches its closest proximity to the Sun in ...
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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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5answers
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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 ...