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Questions tagged [record]

Questions regarding extremes or records, such as the smallest, largest, first, last, heaviest, etc. of a thing or event.

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20 votes
6 answers
13k views

What artificial satellite has the farthest orbit around the Earth?

What is the furthest Earth orbiting satellite? What is its speed and purpose?
Muze's user avatar
  • 1
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

What is the current record for the farthest detection of a "dead" spacecraft?

In order to better defend my position that trying to track Juno from Earth once it can no longer transmit would be Quixotic, I'd like to ask what the current record is for the farthest detection from ...
uhoh's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
944 views

When was the last normal electron tube (valve) for electrical circuitry launched into space?

The answer to my question The first transistors in space: Germanium or Silicon? What about LEO? actually addressed both the first Germanium and Silicon transistor. So now I've gotta ask about ...
uhoh's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is this the longest that a spacecraft "went to sleep" and then woke up on schedule?

For various reasons, spacecraft are sometimes "put to sleep" for periods of time on long voyages. Many systems are shut down, and radio communications suspended. Tracking of spacecraft at very large ...
uhoh's user avatar
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15 votes
3 answers
2k views

Puzzler: Precisely what maximum distance from the Earth did the Apollo 13 astronauts achieve?

tl;dr: Both this answer to Which astronaut travelled farthest from Earth? this answer to How far have astronauts been in space? quote Wikipedia to state that the Apollo 13 astronauts reached 400,171 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
1k views

Which astronaut has experienced the largest relativistic shift in time (relative to Earth's surface)?

Following this answer and then this question (where I've linked to Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev; the World's Most Prolific Time Traveller) I've noticed that currently Krikalev does not hold the precisely ...
uhoh's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
2k views

What is the largest delta-v ever produced in space from mechanically stored energy?

The math behind this answer suggests that while the delta-v delivered from hand-throwing an object from the ISS would not produce prompt de-orbit and atmospheric reentry, it would still lower the ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
39 votes
7 answers
14k views

Has humanity launched a SSTO ... ever?

If you've been reading the news lately, you've probably been reading about Skylon and it being Single Stage To Orbit (SSTO). I've had a think back and to the best of my knowledge humanity has always ...
Coomie's user avatar
  • 2,907
30 votes
6 answers
4k views

What is the smallest operational artificial satellite?

Miniaturisation has many advantages, and in recent times, nanosatellites, picosatellites, and femosatellite concepts have emerged. The Wikipedia article on miniaturised satellite has some pointers. ...
gerrit's user avatar
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16 votes
11 answers
16k views

Highest number of satellites launched on a single rocket

What is the highest number of satellites that have been launched on a single rocket? What were the number of stages used in that launch? (It may be from the past or a future mission)
Hash's user avatar
  • 18k
8 votes
2 answers
820 views

What is the highest non-equatorial earth orbit used?

When looking at the operational altitude of satellites, it seems that the highest one is GEO (36000km), which is an equatorial orbit. Non-equatorial orbits are less high (from LEO to 20000km for GPS). ...
Manu H's user avatar
  • 3,790
3 votes
1 answer
352 views

Smallest orbital rockets by height?

Which orbital rocket is the smallest in height (or length) that ever launched? Would be nice to know the second and third place too. Similar questions: Smallest orbital rocket by diameter? Smallest ...
Joe Jobs's user avatar
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17 votes
2 answers
3k views

Was Alexander Gerst the first man to have bare skin exposed to the vacuum of space and live?

On August 30, 2018, a hole was found in the Soyuz Orbital Module on the ISS. Astronaut Alexander Gerst initially plugged it with his thumb, meaning a part of his bare skin touched space. I can't find ...
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
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13 votes
3 answers
2k views

What were the biggest and heaviest spacecrafts to safely return from orbit?

How big a thing was able to land or splash down? Was there ever anything bigger or heavier than the Space Shuttle? If no then whats next on the list? And secondary question: what is the maximal ...
jkavalik's user avatar
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12 votes
5 answers
3k views

Highest DC voltage ever intentionally produced in space?

Comments on the page Maximum grid voltage of ion thruster got me wondering; what is the highest DC voltage ever intentionally produced by a spacecraft in space? Photomultiplier tubes and micro-channel ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
8 votes
1 answer
502 views

How far from earth have atomic clocks (or ultra-stable oscillators) been placed and monitored?

The various flavors of GPS satellite constellations use atomic clocks on each satellite. As far as I know, all of the constellations are "shells" of circular MEO orbits in 3 to 6 planes, 20,000 to 25,...
uhoh's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
2k views

What spacecraft has had the greatest total propulsive delta-v?

How fast is fuel escaping a rocket for it to reach the escape velocity 11 km/s? was an active and well-received discussion! It's always exciting when we first realize that a rocket can go much faster ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
5 votes
1 answer
441 views

How many (presumably friendly) lasers are being shot at us from space? (pew! pew!)

Example: at first they could not decide which of the green laser-shooting satellites was responsible! Too many to choose from? See Science Alert's February 9, 2023, Ominous Green Lasers Shot Over ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
4 votes
4 answers
2k views

What is the fastest we could travel in space, or have ever traveled in space?

What is the fastest vehicle currently in space? With our current technology, at what point does physics start to restrict our speed in space?
Muze's user avatar
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19 votes
1 answer
5k views

Which astronaut travelled farthest from Earth?

To-date who has flown farthest from the center of the Earth? Is he alive now?
Michele's user avatar
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18 votes
1 answer
8k views

Who has been the closest to/furthest from the Sun?

Google couldn't find the answer for me. Technically this is two very closely related questions. Since no person has yet been much further from the Earth than the far side of the Moon I was wondering ...
CJ Dennis's user avatar
  • 653
13 votes
3 answers
3k views

Longest continuous burning chemical rocket engine?

I'm curious as to what rocket engine in a launched rocket burned the longest in a continuous fashion. I'm not interested in testing burns or inter-planetary engines which are designed for low-thrust ...
Milwrdfan's user avatar
  • 2,798
9 votes
2 answers
843 views

Smallest launch vehicle by dry mass

What is the smallest launch vehicle, by dry mass, to have delivered a payload to orbit? I am guessing that this might be either a re-purposed sounding rocket or something from the high-end of the ...
Erik's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
1k views

What's the record for the fastest trip to the Moon?

The line "Therefore the USSR sent detailed instructions to Jodrell Bank how to find their second lunar probe, Luna 2, that was launched on 12 September 1959 and hit the moon the next day." from ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
9 votes
1 answer
291 views

When is the last time that a battery-powered spacecraft was launched without an RTG or solar-electric power?

Except for special sun-synchronous, Earth orbit eventually leads to eclipses, so spacecraft in Earth orbit generally have solar panels with electrical energy "buffered" by batteries. And ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
8 votes
1 answer
265 views

Why was ISEE-3 "the most cost-effective spacecraft we ever had"?

NPR's 2014 news article and audio podcast: Space Thief Or Hero? One Man's Quest To Reawaken An Old Friend quotes Robert Farquhar (NASA, Wikipedia) when discussing the ISEE-3 mission before the ISEE-3 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
6 votes
1 answer
582 views

What is the largest proper cubesat?

The sizes of Cubesats are measured in "U" units of volume. Each U is nominally a cube of something like 10 to 12 cm on a side, depending on the specific deploying mechanism it's approved for....
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
5 votes
2 answers
315 views

How much time did the longest maneuver last?

For this question, "maneuver" will designate any maneuver involving a change in $\Delta V$ (either direction, intensity, or both). The maneuver implying rotation only (such as the one the Hubble space ...
Manu H's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
296 views

Has a spacecraft ever actually sprayed a chemical (or anything) on to another spacecraft intentionally for any reason at all?

The question How many of these six military "orbital threat" techniques have been demonstrated in a (more or less) publicly recognized way? begins: If you are having a good day then under ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
4 votes
1 answer
341 views

What's the largest rocket that was carried to space inside a Space Shuttle?

Why did the Ulysses probe reach Jupiter much faster than Galileo? got me wondering about the largest rocket that was carried to space inside a Space Shuttle. Largest in terms of some performance ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
3 votes
0 answers
146 views

Smallest orbital rocket by diameter?

Which orbital rocket has the smallest diameter? Without fins. Related question: Smallest orbital rockets by height? Smallest orbital rocket by mass Smallest launch vehicle by dry mass
Joe Jobs's user avatar
  • 2,650
62 votes
4 answers
7k views

What is the closest distance a human being has come to Mars ever since the beginning of the space age?

Ever since we started space exploration, what is the closest a living human being has come to Mars?
user177107's user avatar
28 votes
4 answers
17k views

What's the largest single object payload ever lifted into space?

I am aware that the Saturn V is the largest rocket ever built and was capable of lifting more weight into space than anything that exists today. Modern rockets often carry several satellites up at ...
Octopus's user avatar
  • 1,142
26 votes
4 answers
8k views

What is the largest number of humans in space at the same time and what vessels were they on when it happened?

What is the largest number of human beings in space at the same time, and what vessels were they on when it happened?
Major Stackings's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
3k views

What is the farthest that a "human satellite" has been from their spacecraft?

There are several news items about the recent passing of astronaut Bruce McCandless II, and they generally refer to his work developing, and then using the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU). BBC: Bruce ...
uhoh's user avatar
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12 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is there a record for unbroken series of "successful launches" by some objective criteria? Who has it now? What has to happen for it to change hands?

From the (I'd say) historic and pivotal hearing Wednesday, March 5, 2014 Defense Subcommittee (Chairman Durbin) Time and Location: 10:00 a.m., in Room SD-192 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
10 votes
1 answer
477 views

What's the record for the longest time a deep space craft has functioned without a reboot?

The question How is Voyager 1 still operating? and the interesting comparison to the record times that Earthbound servers have run without reboot got me thinking about deep space spacecraft. I'm ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

How many satellites were orbited from Australia in total?

WRESAT; The first Australian Satellite Launched Wednesday November 29, 1967 on Colin Mackellar's Honeysuckle Creek website links to several other pages with various details and photos of the mission. ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
7 votes
2 answers
493 views

Which explode in spaceflight more often, nuts or bolts?

The history of spaceflight is littered with exists because of exploded nuts and bolts (and upon further reflection, a whole lot of other items!) "Exploding bolts" is really a generic term. ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
7 votes
1 answer
530 views

What is the highest velocity a spacecraft has left Earth?

The comment below @TomSpilker's answer I'd love to see anything in LEO that can impart 20.89km/s of delta V to anything. got me wondering what the highest velocity a spacecraft has left the Earth,...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
5 votes
1 answer
537 views

What's the largest optical telescope mirror ever put in space?

As a follow-on question to What's the largest optical lens put in space? I'd like to ask about mirrors this time. Question: What's the largest optical telescope mirror ever put in space? Optical ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
5 votes
1 answer
528 views

What's the largest optical lens put in space?

While star cameras and wide angle cameras in space are built from glass lenses, large aperture optical systems generally use reflective optics. For some large ones see answers to What's the largest ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
5 votes
1 answer
284 views

Has Hubble ever focused on something close enough that it had to move away from being focused at infinity?

Hubble wouldn't have to change focus for Pranksat to work because Pranksat is cleverly designed to present a virtual image with a focus at infinity. But if the diffraction-limited Hubble wanted to ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
5 votes
0 answers
169 views

What are the largest distances between two spacecraft that have been determined to a meter or so accuracy? How were these done?

This answer to Radio Telescope / DSN Node in L4 and/or L5 presents the challenge of implementing "very long" VLBI using the ~1 AU distance between Earth and a Sun-Earth triangular libration ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
4 votes
1 answer
829 views

What were/are the stingiest and most generous vacuum nozzle? (records for the smallest and largest expansion ratios)

Vacuum nozzles are huge compared to their sea-level or atmospheric counterparts, as can be seen by comparing the first stage engines on an Electron or Falcon-9 to their second stages, where a big ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
3 votes
1 answer
275 views

What's the longest time that an astronaut remained in free fall?

After watching the video below (found here and here) I am reminded of the series of possibly less than 100% serious questions here about being weightless in the middle of a large volume and ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
3 votes
1 answer
102 views

What's the highest heliocentric inclination achieved by a deep space probe, without using the outer planets?

Wikipedia and this answer explain that it will take several flyby's of Venus for ESA's Solar Orbiter to reach 34° of inclination. Question: Currently, what's the highest heliocentric inclination ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
3 votes
1 answer
202 views

In their first 100 sols which NASA Mars rover drove the furthest and which one the least?

It seems we've passed the 100 day/sol mark for Perseverance. Perseverance and Curiosity are comparable in designs but have had significantly different short term goals; Curiosity was the first of it's ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
3 votes
1 answer
239 views

Did Zuma complete at least one orbit? [duplicate]

Question: Did Zuma complete at least one orbit? CLOSE VOTERS, PLEASE NOTE: answers to What was the outcome of the launch of ZUMA by SpaceX, to the best of the public's knowledge? do not answer my ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
3 votes
2 answers
291 views

What Earth satellite remained in orbit the longest before reentering?

@BillGray's excellent answer in September 2018 mentions that the Soviet magnetospheric research satellite 1977-093A (NORAD 10370) was expected to reenter the atmosphere in 2019 due to effects ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k