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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11
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1answer
577 views

Did New Horizons capture enough of Pluto's surface to create its global map?

Given the short amount of time that New Horizons focused on Pluto, did it capture enough of its surface to create a global map of it?
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Why would TALISE be directed to the shore of Ligeia Mare?

TALISE (Titan Lake In-situ Sampling Propelled Explorer) is a proposed automated boat that would float in a lake called Ligeia Mare on Saturn's moon Titan. I saw an article that said once it touches ...
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Navigation within solar system

I know star trackers are used in most cases for attitude determination of space craft traveling within the solar system. But what methods are currently used for coordinate determination, i.e. the ...
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The practicalities of a rock sampling mission to Venus

The planet Venus has hostile conditions: a surface temperature of 462 °C, a corrosive atmosphere and a surface atmospheric pressure 92 times that of the Earth. During the Soviet era, the Russians ...
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1answer
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Why didn't New Horizons stay in Pluto's orbit? [duplicate]

As everyone knows, New Horizons, which was sent some decades ago, reached Pluto on July 14th, 2015 and it stayed there for only 24 hours and after that it is going into the Kuiper Belt and thereafter ...
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4answers
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Has any probe ever been launched into a highly elliptical orbit with say 20-30 year to orbit the sun?

Why has no one launched a probe that goes into a highly elliptical orbit around the sun ( on a path that goes beyond Pluto without escaping the sun's gravitational field) and capture images as it ...
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New Horizons - Orientation in space

How does the New Horizons probe know it's close to Pluto and turn its science instruments towards Pluto and other targets of its observations during the flyby?
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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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Would it have been possible to instead keep New Horizons with Pluto? [duplicate]

I understand that New Horizons has further objectives after Pluto, but they seem to be very iffy, whether they will produce anything valuable. This question is related, but I'm more interested in why....
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Can't we use laser transmitters instead of large radio dishes on deep space probes?

Isn't it possible to use a laser as an "antenna" that transmits data? This would save quite a lot of mass since you don't need a large dish. The only problem I can think of is how would you modulate ...
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How is a space probe's antenna directed toward Earth?

I wonder how is it possible to direct the probe's antenna from enormous distances (like Pluto) toward the Earth. Because if even an extremely small inclination in antenna direction emerge, it will ...
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The Doppler effect on light when space probes take pictures

When space probes like New Horizon's are traveling towards their target & they take photographs of their target en-route, does the incoming light need to be adjusted for the Doppler effect because ...
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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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How is real position of probes orbiting other planets measured?

I imagine that measuring real positions and orbital elements of satellites orbiting other planets after they perform braking maneuver to get to their final orbit must be rather difficult. Especially ...
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Should a Europa clipper use a retrograde orbit?

A "clipper", as I understand it, is orbiting a planet to repeatedly flyby one of its moons. Mariner 10 orbited the Sun to fly by Mercury 3 times. Should clippers in general use retrograde orbits in ...
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Could interplanetary orbiters and rovers be designed as reusable upgradeable platforms?

Cassini at Saturn has sampled geysers although it wasn't designed to do it. The orbiter NEAR Shoemaker was soft landed on its asteroid. Two examples of how interplanetary probes have been partly ...
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What is the highest practical data rate for a downlink from a spacecraft at a distance such as Pluto to Earth?

An answer to this question states that the expected downlink rate for New Horizons at Pluto encounter will be about 1,000 bits/sec. Understanding the issues of distant transmitters and data rates as ...
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Why does the Dawn spacecraft have three ion engines at different angles?

The Dawn spacecraft has three ion engines that are mounted such that their thrust vectors are at significant angles. You can see this in this image: In the image, one of the three engines is active. ...
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1answer
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Are there any missions planned to the “new” dwarf planets?

Are there any missions planned to take a better look at the dwarf planets discovered in recent years? Eris, bigger than Pluto and over twice as massive as Earth's Moon, Makemake, a large Kuiper belt ...
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Are there any private space probes presently active?

Are there any private space probes presently active? I'm asking about instruments which have left / are leaving the Earth-Moon system. I know there is a plan for a telescope in one of the Earth - ...
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What's stopping space probe communication from being jammed?

Space probes use radio waves to communicate back to Earth - I would imagine a probe sent many decades ago, using very little energy and from very far away would be sending an incredibly weak signal ...
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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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What is JAXA looking for on the Moon in the way of 'potential utilization'?

I was reading this article (terrible layout, sorry). This paragraph caught my eye: While Japan is hoping to send humans to the Moon sometime in the future, Keiji Tachikawa, president of the Japan ...
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How will the Voyager Golden Record last for 1 billion years?

In the Radiolab podcast Space episode (2004) Ann Druyan mentioned that the contents of the Voyager Golden Record will last for 1 billion years before the contents of the Record becomes unreadable. ...
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What could femto probes do?

A femto probe is a probe that weights less than 100 grams. I would expect that it's not much more than: Omnidirectional antenna (locating Earth would require relatively heavy equipment, right?) Power ...
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What time of events is given for probes a long way away from Earth?

Philae is to land on 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko today at 17:02 CET. The comet is currently 3.409AU away from Earth. That means signals from the lander take a little over 28 minutes to reach Earth. Does ...
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What difficulties would there be for a probe to attain a high retrograde solar orbit?

How would one go about sending a probe on an orbit that goes around the Sun in the opposite direction as most planets? Specifically, a rather high orbit - something like Pluto's. What happens to ...
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How can interplanetary probes be miniaturized (mass minimized)?

Compared with the interplanetary probes of the last decades, how can the next generation in the next decades be miniaturized? Not really meaning small in size, but low in mass. The purpose would be to ...
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Since Philae lost power, what would be the approximate time to recharge it

Recently read that power was lost in the Philae probe. Did the team under estimate how the probe would recharge or is it in a spot where it doesn't get enough sun. And since this was supposed to ...
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Can the Philae lander survive one orbit of 67P? [duplicate]

The Aphelion of Comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko is about 5.6829 AU. It has a orbital period of 6.44 years. If it stays on the comet for the entire period of its orbit, can it be usable when it is in the ...
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What data did Philae collect? [closed]

What did Philae find? I'm not asking for yet another summary of on-board instruments and a list which were activated. I'm asking for the actual results - either semi-raw data dumps with results of ...
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Energy use of Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM)?

In the ARRM feasibility Study Table 4, parameters of four different options (three different launchers and different trajectories) are gathered. What would be the total energy use of a mission like ...
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Cause of ISRO MOM's LAM shutdown during the 4th orbit raising manoeuvre

The 4th orbit raising manoeuvre of ISRO's Mars probe (MOM or Mars Orbiter Mission, informally called Mangalyaan) did not go as planned, as the LAM (Liquid Apogee Motor) shut down prematurely. ...
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Does cosmic dust pose a problem for long-term satellites, telescopes and probes?

We have many long-term satellite observatories and probes in outer space way above the Earth's magnetosphere, and some of them progressively cruising out of our Solar system. Off the top of my head, ...
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How do we measure the atmospheres of Solar system planets?

How much is it possible to measure from Earth and how accurately without sending probes to the planets? I am curious about how atmospheric boundary (altitude), atmospheric pressure, scale height were ...
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Does solar wind have any influence on probes?

I know that because of the Earth's magnetosphere, we are largely isolated from the influences of the solar winds. But what happens when a probe leaves the Earth's atmosphere and travels inward through ...
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Can a single-apparition comet be used to propel a deep space probe outside of our solar system?

It seems this would be an economical way to explore anything beyond the heliopause, given that the probe would carry limited fuel.
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How could a minimal sample return only from the plumes of an ice moon, Ceres or Io be designed?

Would it be feasible and would it make sense to minimalistically design a sample-return-only mission (or class of missions) along these lines: Light weight plume collecting aerogel (like the Stardust ...
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1answer
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Are multiple sub-probes feasible for fast flyby missions to outer Solar System objects?

The obvious drawback with a flyby mission compared with an orbiter is of course that an orbiter could make several flyby's. I wonder if the following ideas about mission design could help make flyby ...
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Equipment needed to contact ICE/ISEE3 Spaceraft

A few days ago, I was reading the wikipedia entry for the International Cometary Explorer (ICE) / International Sun-Earth Explorer 3 (ISEE-3) satellite, that was launched August 12, 1978. Down near ...
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Did Huygens probe carry any hint to help find its home planet?

Apollo XI mission carried a plaque to the Moon featuring a map of the Earth. So do the Pioneers with a plaque with symbolic indications that may help to find its origin. So, here comes the question: ...
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Theoretical: How might we land on a planet/moon that has an orbit going in the reverse direction of Earth?

Imagine that Mars was orbiting around the sun in the opposite direction that it is now. Assuming both Mars and Earth are now travelling in opposite directions, how might we land on Mars? More ...
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Why did NASA intentionally crash the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) on the moon?

The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) was intentionally crashed into the moon by NASA but why did they crash the craft instead of leaving it in orbit, or was it a part of some ...
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How would we sterilize a probe to look for life? [duplicate]

If we were to ever send a probe to check for life then it's of paramount importance that we do not contaminate the target site with Earth organisms. And if there's anything we've learned from ...
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What significance did Pioneer 10 & 11 have?

The images taken by Pioneer 10 and 11 were of much lower quality than those of later planetary probes. I wonder if this is representative also for their other instruments. For example, they don't seem ...
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Is Cassini equipped for detection of non-water-based exobiology?

Looking at one of the latest images of Titan's north pole as taken by Cassini probe made me curious how well equipped this NASA's probe actually is to detect non-water-based exobiology?   &...
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What's about Nasa agreement for waking up ICE/ISEE-3? [duplicate]

The ICE/ISEE-3 spacecraft is in space since 1978. It'll return near the Earth in august 2014. can we contact it to put it in L1 Lagrange point ? Is it too old ? The decision is in the hands of Nasa.
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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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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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Are there any gas giant probes planned that will return images or video?

The Galileo Probe did not include any imaging equipment to return images or video as it descended into Jupiter's atmosphere. Are there missions underway or planned that will include visual data ...