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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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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Why is Rosetta not going to hover or descend multiple times before crashing into 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko?

Currently Rosetta is on a free fall collision course with 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. If I understand correctly the probe will send back data and pictures during the descent, and once it has crashed ...
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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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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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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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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 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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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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A probe floating in Sun's surface

Is it possible to construct a probe that would float in the Sun's surface? The temperature of Sun is 5,800 K and I heared there are alloys that can remain solid at 4500 K. I wonder if it is ...
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Has Juno now gone faster than - and braked harder than - any other human-made object ever?

Juno just passed its closest approach to Jupiter, going 58 km/s because it was so deep in Jupiter's gravity well. Ironically, it did this while retrofiring its engines, to slow down. That sounds ...
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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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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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How close to a planet can a flyby manoeuvre realistically take place before air resistance becomes a problem?

How close could a probe fly past a planet before forces such as air resistance make it impossible for the probe to escape the pull of its gravity? Obviously there will be different answers for ...
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Why not use Halley's Comet as a probe?

Halley's Comet comes around every 75 years. From what I can gather on Wikipedia the comet is not spinning that fast, has a large elliptical orbit, and has been recorded since 240 BC returning on a ...
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Would it make sense to design a standard stage for deep space missions?

There are standard launchers and standard upper stages used for many different missions within cis-lunar space. Deep space missions are so rare maybe it makes no sense to try and come up with ...
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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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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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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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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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Why do we always only launch one probe? [duplicate]

Juno got me thinking again about scaling and maximizing the output of space exploration missions. It seems weird that (with the notable exception of Mars rovers) we (as in humanity) always only start ...
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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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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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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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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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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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Are there plans for a space probe to land on the crater of Olympus Mons?

I am curious as to what does the crater of Olympus Mons contain? Does NASA have any mission to send a space probe to land on it? If not, what about other parts in Olympus Mons?
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Next lander/rover mission

Beyond Mars and 67P, what is the next most viable mission for probe landing? How far are we from sending one to the Jupiter or Saturn system?
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What other space vehicles were affected by cold welding?

The Wikipedia page on cold welding states that Mechanical problems in early satellites were sometimes attributed to cold welding. But only mentions Galileo as an example of spacecraft were cold ...
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What took it so long to plan a exploration mission for Trojan asteroids?

There are space probes that flew past asteroids, some came close to it, some orbited and some landed on it and took samples. Those asteroids belonged in the main belt. Now, Lucy will become one of the ...
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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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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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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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Why aren't deep-space probes launched from space?

This (amateur) question has always been on my mind. We send probes to leave the solar system, but when we reach there, their battery is almost empty, so when finally after ~30 years we reach there, we ...
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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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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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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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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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Calendar of deep space arrivals?

There are some calendars for upcoming launches, like the Reddit one. Is there some corresponding calendar for arrivals and other planned events of all ongoing deep space missions? So that events like ...
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Smallest lunar probe that can be made using today's technology

Suppose we want to do a lunar sample return mission. We can then launch a small rocket from the ISS that carries a small probe to the Moon. It will collect a sample and then return to the ISS. ...
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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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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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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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Measuring properties of Van Allen radiation belts

How are the properties of the Van Allen radiation belts measured or monitored? Below is the link of my question, that leads me to asking this one. One method is mentioned there but there may be others....
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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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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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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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Spot size of interplanetary communications [duplicate]

From what I know, to communicate with Earth, a space probe locates signals sent from Earth and then sends data (in that direction). For probes that are several light hours away (Voyagers, New Horizons)...
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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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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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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?