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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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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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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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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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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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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Why don't we launch spacecraft from the Moon?

The Moon has less gravity than the Earth and its own orbital speed around the Earth removes some of the velocity required to leave the Earth-Moon space, right? We could send probes or spacecraft much ...
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Would it be possible to build a probe that could operate at about 480 °C (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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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How does an atmospheric probe measure temperature during descent?

I heard that the Galileo spacecraft sent Galileo Probe into Jupiter, and it reported temperatures reaching 153 degrees Celsius. The question is, when you send a probe crashing into a planet that has ...
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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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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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Could the crashed Mars Express lander be imaged by the MRO orbiter?

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has taken direct images of the MSL Curiosity rover, its parachute, heat shield and sky crane. Could it image, or has it even already, the failed Mars Express lander ...
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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 electricity be generated from solar storms

If a satellite covered with a thick layer of copper, were to go straight through a solar storm in the opposing direction, would the satellite produce electricity, provided the copper(or other suitable ...
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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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How will Enceladus' ice-burrowing probe communicate?

I've heard a lot of people talk about sending a probe to Enceladus (one of Saturn's natural satellites). It would drill (or melt ice) to burrow through the thick layer of ice and get to the water ...
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commercial launches - what is the growth rate of commercial space flight?

I've been trying to get a growth rate for commercial space flight, as it may be amenable to something like Moore's law. Wheras government funded things are prone to politics so can't really be rellied ...
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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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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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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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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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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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Would there be any benefit to sending a probe to a black hole?

It's perfectly safe to orbit a black hole - as long as you don't cross the event horizon, you're fine. My questions is this: is there anything we could learn by doing so? Since nothing can escape a ...
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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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How do Field Programmable Gate Arrays affect the capabilities of probes?

FPGAs are microprocessors that can be reconfigured on the fly, through programming, to do different things. They can essentially be rewired, to change what the chip does, in ways that once would have ...
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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 not leave interplanetary probes on standby after primary mission, activating them at will decades later?

Imagine a spacecraft which orbits or follows an object like Dawn, Rosetta and Cassini do today, not being decommissioned and deliberately crashed, but instead put in hibernation. With enough fuel and ...
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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 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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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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How are precision trajectory measurements made of trans-Neptunian spacecraft?

This question asks if Voyager suddenly encountered unexpected gravity from an unseen object, how would it be detected, and there are several answers. For the farthest probes - those now farther from ...
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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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How does NASA get information from space probes?

So I have briefly gone over answers to how things are stored as from this answer: https://space.stackexchange.com/a/2273/1247 but how is the information sent back? I'm thinking of probes like the ...