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Questions tagged [robotic-missions]

missions conducted by autonomous or remotely-operated equipment

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What propulsion system would not pollute the surface when landing on a pristine celestial body?

A robotic lander on a science mission, especially to an airless body, would like to avoid disturbing the surface it is landing on with rocket exhausts. MSL Curiosity used a Sky Crane to somewhat ...
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121 views

Why doesn't InSight (seem to) have a wrist?

Source Cropped slightly from PIA22956-16.jpg
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1answer
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What are the advantages to sending a person vs robotics to Mars?

Why is it needed to send a person to Mars one day when we have Rovers? What not obvious advantages do humans have in space exploration over Robotics and vise versa?
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1answer
248 views

How do the Mars rovers sleep through the night on Mars?

With reference to Mark Adler's response regarding to Curiosity rover (MSL) on this great & interesting question, this statement strongly caught my attention: The rovers are designed to be ...
2
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1answer
135 views

What are robot arm singularities in the context of the Space Shuttle and/or ISS?

This comment on this answer has got me baffled. What are robot arm singularities, in the context of the Space Shuttle's or ISS's large robotic Canadian arms? Are these singularities related to ...
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2answers
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Are there any planned non-lunar, non-Mars rovers?

I've recently noticed that all the robotic missions to other planets except for Mars were either short-lived landers, orbiters or fly-by missions. Are there any planned rovers which would actively ...
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2answers
387 views

Harpooning satellites? Is this really the best way to get them under control?

above: GIF from Polular Mechanics which has been kindly modified here to be under 2 MiB. Harpoons are effective when the target is out of reach, or moving too quickly to catch. Neither is generally ...
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1answer
128 views

Microscopes in space?

There are a lot of telescopes in space (optical, radio, X-ray and Gamma-ray), but how about microscopes? Does the ISS have a general-purpose microscope? It could come in handy for failure analysis or ...
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2answers
347 views

Why would humans travel to Mars before machines have built a colony?

Why is there a push to get humans on Mars in the next few decades? Wouldn't it be wiser to send only robots first to set up an entire colony; do research; try to establish self-sustainability, etc. ...
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1answer
228 views

How many robots have been at, in, or on the ISS?

Part of the problem is that the definition of robot can be a bit of a slippery slope. Can a spacecraft which has autonomous docking capability be considered a potential robot for example? If you are ...
3
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1answer
148 views

Is satellite retrieval still relevant given the progress of in-orbit service?

The downmass capability was one of the US Air Force's requirements in the Space Shuttle design. It was planned that the shuttle would retrieve spy satellites from orbit for refurbishing. This ability ...
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183 views

What are the future prospects for spacecraft autonomy

edit: Possibly helpful information in Gizmodo and YouTube. In general spacecraft are supplied with propulsion systems often with substantial redundancy in the plumbing and engines or thrusters so ...
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3answers
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How much can the Mars rover Curiosity do autonomously, after four years of operation?

I was under the impression (when asking this question) that over the past four years that experience by ground operators and programmers had lead to a configuration where the Mars rover Curiosity ...
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2answers
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Besides HST, JWST and stations, are there any examples of satellites designed for service in space?

update: I've just read these intriguing first sentence in the recently published (and paywalled) Aviation Weekly article No Second Chances On Webb Telescope Deployment: NASA has no plans to service ...
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1answer
241 views

Is Landsat-7's propellant resupply port “robot-ready”? (Restore-L mission)

I've just read here that: Also this week, the agency announced that it is moving ahead with plans to create a robotic spacecraft designed to service satellites. Dubbed Restore-L, the mission has ...
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4answers
841 views

What typically ends a satellite's life?

It has been my opinion that running out of station keeping propellent is what usually ends a satellite's useful life. Is this true? How much do different factors play in a satellite's lifespan? Some ...
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1answer
92 views

What problems exploration robot needs to overcome?

Morphex is a hexapod robot which can walk, transform into a ball, roll in a controlled manner... To see it on another world like Mars several issues need to be solved. First it needs a power source, ...
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5answers
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What's salvageable from a dead satellite?

DARPA has proposed orbital maintenance and salvage robots. I had gathered a list of links that was lost when DARPA rearranged their website. But I was able to find this page: Phoenix Makes Strides in ...
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1answer
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The types of motors used on the Martian rovers?

I have a question regarding the types of motors that were used on the Martian rovers, specifically the Mars Exploration Rovers and Curiosity. I am wondering about the main 6 motors that turn the ...
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3answers
242 views

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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0answers
145 views

Why isn't the Europa mission more ambitious given the capacity of SLS?

SLS Block I will have about three and Block II five times more capacity in terms of payload mass to LEO, than any launcher which has been used for an interplanetary mission to date. But the mission ...
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1answer
829 views

How much do we know about minerals and raw materials that are in our solar system?

Based on satellite and robots research, is there an overview/inventory of mineral resources that has been discovered till now on the planets, moons, asteroids and comets of our solar system (e.g. list,...
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1answer
885 views

How realistic are robot races on the moon this decade (circa 2015)?

My local paper has an article suggesting a possible event with several robotic rovers leaving the same lander on the moon and trying to drive off for 500 meters (about a 1/3 of a mile) as fast as they ...
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1answer
403 views

Advances in AI and Avionics needed for deep space exploration?

We have come a long way since the first space missions, and now we have state of the art avionics systems on board our spacecrafts. The more deep we go into space, the more autonomy our robotic ...
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1answer
220 views

Could an ARM Option B type of mission be used to deflect a hazardous asteroid?

NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission ARM Option B would have a robotic probe pick up a boulder from the surface of a much larger asteroid, and put that boulder in lunar orbit. Boulders considered could ...
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1answer
506 views

What could the X-37 be useful for?

While U.S. Air Force doesn't disclose the tasks and roles for the X-37 Orbital Test Vehicle class spacecrafts, there are many things known about the vessel, such as its delta-v budget, its cargo bay ...
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1answer
185 views

Could the Philae comet lander “hop”?

"Lander" is maybe not a good job description for the Rosetta sub probe Philae. I understand that there is no practically useful gravity there. Philae will try to hook itself onto the comet surface in ...
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1answer
682 views

Extending Use of ISS Beyond End of Mission

Given that the ISS will eventually come to the end of its mission (currently extended to 2020 (source)), would it be possible to re-purpose it for non-human space flight? To clarify: does the ...
4
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1answer
852 views

Did the StarFury die on the drawing board?

Years ago, J. Michael Straczynski of Babylon 5 reported that NASA had shown keen interest in using the show's Starfury design as a forklift for work in zero-g. I think he told them it was a great idea ...
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1answer
976 views

Are there any humanoid robots on board the ISS?

Are there any humanoid robots on board the International Space Station to help out its astronaut occupants? If not, are there any plans to send humanoid robots to the ISS?
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2answers
617 views

What are the constraints for a successful robotic mission to Europa?

Of all the destinations within our solar system, the one that intrigues me the most is Europa. Every location has its own merits and beauty, but I'm most optimistic about finding life on Europa. It's ...
13
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3answers
5k views

What advantages do manned missions have over robot missions? [closed]

With robots that can run for years on nuclear batteries, and in some cases even perform basic repairs to themselves, they seem like pretty capable instruments for space exploration. Aside from the ...