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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118
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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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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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When will New Horizons overtake Voyager 1 in distance from the Sun?

Basically, what the title asks. To my understanding, New Horizons is currently the fastest spacecraft that's moving away from the Sun, with arguably only Helios-A and Helios-B possibly faster still, ...
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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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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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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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Why is it hard to take a high quality image of far away objects (like Pluto) using a high-tech space telescope?

Why did NASA send a probe so close to Pluto instead of using a high-tech telescope to capture images of its surface? The Icy Mountains of Pluto. Image credit: New Horizons / Johns Hopkins Applied ...
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Is there any way to communicate with Pioneer 11 through Voyager 1 or 2?

The position of Pioneer 11 is between Voyager 1 and 2, that means Pioneer 11 is closer to Voyager 1 and 2 than to Earth. According to the Wikipedia article on Pioneer 11 we lost communication with it ...
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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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How do we know that Voyager's data is correct?

I was wondering for some time how we know that the scientific data received by the Voyager spacecrafts are correct? Specifically, I'm wondering about the recent "tsunami-wave" (frequency of ionized ...
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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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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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Requirements to orbit Pluto

I have seen this question posed often recently, without a satisfactory answer in my opinion: Why won’t New Horizons orbit Pluto? The answers I read are always along this line: too much fuel too ...
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Will Voyager 1 or 2 be able to take photos?

Will Voyager 1 or Voyager 2 be able to take a photo of their current view, using their cameras and send the photo to Earth? Do they have the power to do this?
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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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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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Is there any stable orbit around a black hole?

Is there any stable orbit around a black hole so that the spacecraft will remain in orbit without any disturbance over a long period of time ?
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Is there any way to find and track Pioneer 10, 11, and Voyager 1, 2?

The space probes Pioneer 10, Pioneer 11, Voyager 1, and Voyager 2 are the first man-made devices to have escaped from our solar system. The main problem they face is the lack of power source in them. ...
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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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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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Why do deep space probes have to be sterilized?

Correct me if I'm wrong but a probe to Mars will take months, during which time it's exposed to a vacuum and irradiated by the sun. It sounds to me like this would kill any micro-organisms on the ...
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What factors limit the lifetime of an unmanned spacecraft?

Other than fuel, what factors limit the lifetime of a spacecraft? For example, if someone wanted to send a spacecraft on a 100 year trip round the solar system and back to Earth, could it be done ...
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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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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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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 was magnetic tape decay prevented in Voyager 1?

I had recently learned that Voyager 1 uses magnetic tape to record data. Voyager 1 has been going on more or less strongly since 1977 (before I was even born!), and the wikipedia article states that ...
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Why does NASA intentionally spin space probes?

In several NASA animations of missions, I've noticed that the spacecraft is rotating while traveling in deep space. This was true of Curiosity when that video came out. Now the Juno mission ...
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Why have there been no new New Horizons images in the last few weeks?

As I write this, the latest image in the NASA's New Horizon's image gallery is this spectacular photo showing Pluto's atmosphere: The full web page for the image is here. That image was posted ...
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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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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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Dawn Spacecraft: Why are the orbits so high?

I understand Dawn has a mission to undertake geologic ("Cereologic"?) mapping of Ceres, but its final orbit will be at 22,000 km / 49% disk illumination. Surely, there would be some value for ...
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Are there any successors to Voyagers underway currently?

We've seen quite a few probes examining the Solar System in the recent years, but beyond Voyager delivering new measurements every couple months now, I haven't heard about any of the probes underway ...
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What powers New Horizons?

What does New Horizons use to keep itself traveling (so far), while keeping all of its monitoring and communication systems active? I did read that it leveraged force from a gravity sling shot from ...
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Why do space agencies invest more in flyby probes rather than orbiting satellites?

First of all, the title is just an assumption based on a very small sample size of the Voyager spacecrafts and New Horizons. We have orbiters around the moon and Mars because we had/have plans to land ...
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How can any probe be safe at one million degree Centigrade temperature?

Even after going straight inside the sun's corona, how can Solar Probe Plus be safe at the one million degree Centigrade temperature of the sun's corona ?
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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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Do the Voyager space probes perform time synchronization regularly?

According to JPL: http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/weekly-reports/ Voyager 1 travels at a velocity relative to the Sun of 19.03 km/s (or 0.000063478 c, or a time difference of ~ 0.0005 seconds per ...
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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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Why not use deep space hibernation in all missions?

If Deep Space Hibernation of a probe saves energy and power, then why isn't it implemented on long planetary missions and Interstellar missions like, New Horizons, Voyagers, Pioneers, Cassini, etc.......
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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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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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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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Are there plans for another mission to Titan?

I've always liked the idea of exploring the moon Titan, most likely because of the atmosphere, pressure, and the fact that it has stable bodies of liquids at the surface. Although it's very cold, ...
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What probe received the most gravitational assists?

Often when launching deep-space probes, scientists will "loop" them around planets, "stealing" some of the planet's momentum and transferring it to the probe - giving the probe a huge speed boost. I'...
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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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Will or could the Parker Solar Probe do science at Venus?

Solar Probe Plus will flyby Venus 7 times(!) during 6 years in order to enter its "low" Solar orbit. Will it carry any instrument useful for studying Venus, for example seasonal changes? Would its ...
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Resilience to data transmission errors of the Juno spacecraft

What techniques have been employed for the Juno spacecraft to successfully transmit data packets back to Earth once she's in a polar orbit around Jupiter? Jupiter is a strong source of radio ...
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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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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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Did we know the gas planets were truly gaseous before Pioneer 10?

I'm asking for historical scientific knowledge of our understanding of the outer planets, which seems hard to come by. Pioneer 10 was the first probe to an outer planet (Jupiter). Before then, did we ...

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