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Questions tagged [rescue-missions]

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6 votes
1 answer

Could Soyuz spacecraft have saved the Columbia crew?

For the sake of the question, let's assume the STS-107 crew realizes in orbit that the heat shield is too damaged for reentry, but they realize it too late for shuttle Atlantis to rescue them in time. ...
26 votes
4 answers

How quickly could a space agency get to the ISS in case of an emergency?

Here's the situation: The ISS suffered from some kind of catastrophic failure. The crew is unharmed, but the nature of the failure includes: The destruction of any present vehicles capable of ...
22 votes
2 answers

Space Shuttle Challenger bringing back Salyut-7

We know that on February 11 1985, right after the Soviets lost control of their Salyut-7 station. US Space tracking assets also started noticing that the station was starting to tumble. Kidnapping a ...
5 votes
1 answer

What military forces provided Space Shuttle search and rescue?

The Space Shuttle had various ways to abort a mission. These included shutting down on the launchpad before the SRBs ignited (RSLS), turning around to land at a runway near the launch site (RTLS), ...
19 votes
1 answer

How easy would opening an Apollo capsule following dry landing be?

To help frame the problem, I have written the following scenario: It's December 19, 1972 and the Apollo 17 has returned to Earth, but something went wrong and they landed in the middle of the Outback....
1 vote
0 answers

How many ships are ready to launch? [duplicate]

In the wake of the Russian launch failure to send more astronauts to the ISS, it got me thinking. How many "ready to fly" ships are there? And, if an accident were to happen and the current ISS crew ...
40 votes
5 answers

Is there enough man-made junk on the moon to help a stranded person get home?

I was looking at pictures of land rovers left on the moon (footage and what not). Then I visited this wiki page to see what derelict equipment is on the moon (just sitting around). Which then ...
5 votes
1 answer

How expensive is a prepared launch in reserve, compared to an actual launch?

If a human space mission or even a very valuable space telescope, gets into trouble, an extra launch from Earth might save the mission. But launchers today have to be prepared for months in advance. ...
4 votes
2 answers

Could a rescue spacecraft be in an orbit with rendezvous windows for ordinary LEO, GTO or deep space launches?

Sometimes orbital insertion fails which could be fixed by a space tug. I wonder if a tug could be placed in a long term orbit such that it sometimes matches the intended orbit of a launch from Earth. ...
2 votes
1 answer

Could the solid boosters of SLS be paired together to a rescue launcher?

The solid boosters of Shuttle/SLS fly in pairs. Could a pair of them fly without SLS, carrying a smaller second stage and payload to orbit? What capacity would it have? A rescue launcher needs to ...
1 vote
1 answer

If a flight crew becomes incapacitated some way, in space, can they still get home? [closed]

How would a crew of a spacecraft get home if 'everyone' on the spacecraft becomes incapacitated, immobilized or go unconscious? The crew is alive and stable but unable to operate equipment. Is ...
9 votes
3 answers

What country or flight team would be the most likely to rescue me from space?

The Situation: I have lost all functionality of my spaceship. I cannot thrust forward backwards, whatever....It is basically a floating metal container. I have power, communication abilities, I have ...