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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18
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Why did the Venera missions land so close together?

I was reading about the Venera missions to Venus, and saw this map on Wikipedia: Venera 7 is missing from the map for some reason, but it landed at 5° S, 351° E, so it would have been very close to ...
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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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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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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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If we could send an orbiter to the Pluto-Charon system, could we put it in a stable orbit?

The barycenter of Pluto and Charon is in space between the two bodies, close to Pluto. It is the center point of the animation below. The image is roughly to scale. Note that the two bodies are ...
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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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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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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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How was the Giotto spacecraft reactivated from hibernation mode?

The Wikipedia article on Giotto states that: Giotto was the first spacecraft to be re-activated from hibernation mode. How was the reactivation accomplished? Does the statement mean the ...
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Where are Pioneer 10, 11 and the Voyagers ultimately headed?

Pioneer 10, Pioneer 11, and the two Voyagers are all headed out of the solar system. Has anybody extrapolated where they will all end up (if at all)? Is there a graphic that depicts the direction of ...
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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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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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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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Voyager 3: what would have been its mission, and why was it canceled?

In researching the answer to this recent question, I came across some information that was new to me. A third Voyager mission was planned, and then canceled. Apparently, Voyager 3 was cannibalized ...
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How many extraterrestrial bodies have hosted a “lander” which returned images?

For the purposes of this question, we will consider a "lander" any probe which was sent to the surface of an extraterrestrial body or entered the atmosphere to a point which exceeds an air pressure of ...
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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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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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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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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 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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Is there any reason to send space probes along the plane of our solar system instead of perpendicular to the plane of our solar system? [duplicate]

Is there any reason to send deep space probes (Pioneer and Voyager) along the plane of our solar system (maybe with a slight inclination) instead of perpendicular to the plane of our solar system? If ...
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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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How is the software for scientific space missions developed?

The flight control software for the Space Shuttle was developed to the most rigorous standards that exist today. They went to enormous lengths to prevent bugs from ever threatening the mission and/or ...
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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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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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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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Why space probes are so different from each other?

Everytime I look at a space probe I see a whole different design and this puzzles me. I do understand that each mission is different and requires different science instruments. I also do understand ...
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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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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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Long range laser communication beam divergence angle values?

NASA has been working on demonstrations of laser communication with satellites. The motivation is simple, in that lasers see less power loss because they spread over a smaller angle. That raises the ...
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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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