Questions tagged [space-station]

A space station (or orbital station) is a spacecraft capable of supporting a crew, which is designed to remain in space (most commonly in low Earth orbit) for an extended period of time. For questions about specific space stations (e.g. the ISS, MIR, Salyut 1-7, Tiangong or Skylab), please use corresponding tags.

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What programming language will the lunar gateway run on? How much of its code will be inherited from existing ISS components?

What programming language will be used for the main elements of the lunar gateway? Will programmatical components be inherited from the ISS? If so, to what extent?
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Have space station occupants always had a return vehicle ready?

Prompted by Scott Manley's recent video on escape vehicles I wondered: Has there ever been a moment where someone was on board a space station but without access to a vehicle that could return them ...
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Do two opposing centripetal forces still cancel each other out in space? [closed]

I've conducted a test with two fans connected to each other. The top fan was setup to spin counterclockwise and the larger fan spun clockwise. In my test, it showed that once the two fans reached the ...
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4 votes
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Optimal inclination for a long term LEO station serving as an intermediate stop to and from the Moon

Consider we want to build a long term LEO station which serves as an intermediate stop for flights to the Moon and back (possibly with aerobrake). Refueling, docking, crew transfers etc. Several ...
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Which space stations used Torque Equilibrium Attitude? [closed]

My recent question and the related ones made me wonder which space stations in history used Torque Equilibrium Attitude so that one side always faced the Earth and the other faced zenith, and which ...
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What orbit-raising propulsion system will Tiangong use, and how does it differ from that of the ISS in terms of performance and technology?

The new Wall Street Journal video China's Answer to the Aging International Space Station: The Tech Behind Tiangong | WSJ emphasizes after 03:26 that Tiangong's ...
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Following KRT-10 aboard Salyut-6, have there been any other radio astronomy observations from a space station or crewed capsule?

Space stations have certainly been equipped with infrared, visible, ultraviolet and X-ray telescopes for astronomical observation and optical and X-ray communications as well as particle telescopes ...
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Does extended microgravity increase the rate of kidney stones in astronauts? Do these lead to medical complains/discomfort while still in space?

This answer to What are the main impacts on the body of an astronaut exposed to long term zero gravity? mentions that the increase in bone loss due to extended periods of time in microgravity can not ...
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What is the origin of this space station design concept and animation?

In the beginning of the ABC News video STEM industries are growing, but face shortage of qualified workers an illustration of a space station is shown, first with two cross-trusses each with solar ...
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Are toggle- or rocker-type switches avoided in crewed areas of space stations to avoid getting accidentally bumped?

@OrganicMarble's answer to What's the small white gadget with two black buttons in this video of the International Space Station? includes the On/Off switch for cabin lighting aboard the ISS. There ...
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Did Tianzhou-2 have a TLE before docking with Tianhe 8 hours after launch? Which is the 2nd stage rocket body and roughly how soon will it reenter?

Clicking on https://celestrak.com/NORAD/elements/stations.txt I get ...
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What benefits or new activities could take specific advantage of variable and/or low but not microgravity environment?

Just curious really. Considering that at some point in the future there might be rotational-based habitats, this would mean there would be easy access to variable gravity and/or low gravity ...
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Use of Starship Fuel Tanks in a Space Station

In this question, as to whether Reuse of fuel tanks as habitats is possible, it's mentioned that there were plans to do this for Skylab and for the Shuttle tanks. However this is asking specifically ...
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What is or are the official English names for the eventual space station being built by China, and of the first module that's in orbit now?

China has launched the first module of a space station and plans to have astronauts inside it to start woking in about a month. In Astronomy SE they've already started calling it the "Chinese ...
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Why has no space station or near-future space station use centrifugal force? [duplicate]

Since centrifugal force can be used to replicate gravity using the equivalence principle, why has no space station actually utilised this? When space station staff have to endure long periods of free-...
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What are the longest current rocket payload fairings, capable of carrying long space station sections?

Space News' China launches Tianhe space station core module into orbit China successfully launched a 22-metric-ton module April 28, beginning an intense period of missions for constructing the nation’...
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Cyanobacteria as Life Support?

I'm aware that cyanobacteria are responsible for the Great Oxidation Event and are very effective at turning CO2 into oxygen so it stands to reason that with the proper nutrients for the bacteria, you ...
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What can the ISS do that a SpaceX Starship could not?

The SpaceX Starship (lunar and/or crew-rated version, upper stage only) is expected to have more habitable volume than the International Space Station. On the other hand, the ISS is around 400 tons, ...
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What is the increase in drag by adding a space station module?

Imagine a cylindrical space station module, orbiting at an arbitrary height - the same as the ISS say. Another identity cylindrical module docks on the end. Real station cross section hasn't changed -...
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Did or do space station engineers need to worry about angular momentum stored in circulating fluids?

One of the ISS' main uses is to provide a long duration microgravity environment for a wide variety of experiments. For some experiments residual acceleration needs to be much smaller than average. ...
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Astronauts make a lot of CH₄ and some H₂ as well; do space capsules and space stations have systems to remove these?

While not as much as ruminants, humans emit methane, CH4, natural gas, etc. regularly. While it is less known, we can also emit hydrogen as H2. What are the sources of molecular hydrogen in human ...
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Did Skylab have several giant spirit levels? That's what these look like to me, except there's no bubble

The BBC's Skylab: The myth of the mutiny in space shows the image below of one big circular end bulkhead of the main Skylab main space, with an astronaut in the center hatch and giant air manifolds ...
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Garbage powered reboosting module for low Earth orbiting space stations

Instead of dumping massive garbage packs once in a while, using a robotic arm, could some sort of garbage canon eject the same mass in small pieces, at higher velocity, so that it contributes to ...
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Why have we not seen spin gravity testing in space? Artificial gravity created through centrifugal/centripetal force [duplicate]

Why have I not seen any spin gravity testing in space? Or, more accurately, artificial gravity created through centrifugal/centripetal force. I haven't heard of any tests in standalone spacecraft or ...
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Did NASA ethylene scrubbers "blast out submicron particles" which attack viruses and bacteria?

In this open letter addressed to the US president, Joseph Urso, CEO of ActivePure Technologies, Dallas, Texas Why Aren’t We Talking About Destroying COVID in Indoor Air? An Open Letter on How to Open ...
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Could "days" on the space Station be made shorter to accomodate sleep patterns?

I understand that astronauts on the Space Station only tend to get six hours of sleep per "night". That made me wonder, since the day is arbitrary in orbit, has anyone considered a day of 24*...
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Can ten (or more) rockets be used together to launch one massive object?

With computer flight controls where they are today, what would stop us from building a relatively large space station on earth, but then using 10 or 20 or even 100 falcon heavy or Starship or SLS ...
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What happens if you jump on a "spin ship"?

If you're on a spin ship, or rotating wheel space station, and you jump, then you're no longer being accelerated by the rotation. What would happen? First, I'll establish some terms to make discussing ...
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2 votes
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Largest variety of independent spacecraft types docked, clustered, or otherwise attached at the same time?

speculation and pondering in the Pod Bay has got me wondering; What has been the largest variety of independent spacecraft types simultaneously, docked, clustered or otherwise attached in space? These ...
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Is space habitation a technology problem or is it really just a mass (cost) problem?

There are a lot of challenges with space habitation. Gravity, radiation, fuel for reactions to maneuver, water, atmosphere, food, etc. etc. NASA and many others are working on all kinds of solutions ...
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8 answers
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What led NASA et al. to decide the ISS should be a zero-g station when the massive negative health and quality of life impacts of zero-g were known?

As the month of November 2020 has marked 2 decades of the ISS being operational as well as the first operational flight of a next-generation spacecraft to it, I felt it fit to ask this question today. ...
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6 votes
2 answers
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Are there active proposals for the next large space station (post-ISS) to use artificial gravity?

The ISS has supported a crewed presence in space for twenty years now and while parts have been added over time, key original components are 20+ years old. Crewed presence is usually limited to a half-...
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Just how much rope have different crewed missions been given?

Answer(s) to What was Apollo "Moon rope" made out of? Was it ever used? are not completely definitive at the moment, but a comment on an answer caught my eye: Rope is such a multipurpose ...
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6 votes
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The Russian space module named Spektr

Watching Away I learn about a Russian “ghost story”, which is about an air leak within a space station's module named Spektr leading to a distinct hissing noise (air leaking into space). How can this ...
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Have people in orbit ever been bothered by the difference between their orbit and the station's?

When floating inside a large space station, while away from its center of mass and without touching the structure of the station, the person floating and the station will have slightly different ...
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What happens to astronaut sweat on the ISS?

Does perspiration from the astronauts aboard the ISS stick to the skin, evaporate or somehow float away from the skin? Is the part of the sweat that sticks to an astronaut's skin kept there until they ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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What happens to the ISS waste? [duplicate]

How is the waste managed on ISS? I guess there are three main waste types: two human waste (liquid and solid) and various packaging for food and substances for experiments. Are they recycled or sent ...
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Why Mars instead of a space station?

Elon Musk has made very clear that his goal is a colony on Mars. That doesn't seem ideal to me at all. Certainly some people will be happy to live on Mars for the rest of their lives, but they will ...
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8 votes
1 answer
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On the ISS what is that frame with a criss-cross of rubber bands?

You can see below a picture of Steven Swanson doing a detailed tour of the ISS. I was wondering what is that frame with rubber bands on the right? It just seems to block access to the racks behind. ...
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14 votes
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When did astronauts/cosmonauts start cleaning and vacuuming space stations?

Astronauts and cosmonauts on the ISS vacuum the station every week, making sure not to miss any spot. When was this practice put in place? What other cleaning practices were used before that? The ...
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At what wavelengths and for what particle types have astronomical objects been imaged or at least directionally resolved from Tiangong stations?

The ISS has an X-ray telescope called NICER and this answer in Astronomy SE (and links therein) explain that it was able to show that there are hot spots clustered near one pole of the pulsar PSR ...
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Are there any photo(s) of International Space Station (ISS) captured from above its altitude? [duplicate]

Are there any attempts made to capture an image of the whole ISS in one take? Or is it not currently practically possible? If Soyuz, SpaceX Dragon, etc. have cameras installed on them, images can be ...
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Have there been any studies of designs beyond the basic elevator in a rotating wheel space station?

In the 1977 NASA publication, "Space Settlements, A Design Study," exploring the feasibility of the Stanford Torus it says "Elevators could also be used to travel through the spokes to the far side ...
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Does the speed of ISS slow down at the time of a spacewalk or does it become stationary?

The International Space Station (ISS) is orbiting at nearly 7.66 km/s. At such high speeds, how do astronauts perform tasks outside the ISS? Or is it all relative like astronauts are having same speed ...
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7 votes
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Whats the origin, purpose or idea behind Axiom's space station's 3D shape and solar "tower"?

Along with Spaceflight Now's article Axiom wins NASA approval to attach commercial habitat to space station there's a file image of a hypothetical space station from Axiom. The bottom is reminiscent ...
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Would it be possible to make a bubbleworld in an asteroid? [duplicate]

Would it be possible to drill a bore hole into an asteroid, fill it with water tanks and use sunlight to blow a hole large enough to fit a rotating space station inside, seal it off and fill it with ...
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20 votes
5 answers
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Is a midspace space station between Earth and Mars practical?

A recent answer included the following: For example if you were to start a colony on mars, in this order for supplies and other necessities to be delivered there would need to be a network of space ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Optimal shape for a spinning ship/station - downsides of spheres? (Radiation shielding)

What is the optimum shape for a spacecraft? So I've already read this link, and a few other similar ones, and the main issues I am already aware of... but yet it still seems like a large majority of ...
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What would be the cost of a thorium reactors at the core of a large starship? [closed]

Thorium is a high power substance that can contains large amounts of energy in a small space. How much would it cost to install and maintain one on a large starship? As well as using solar panels, ...
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What happens after a crew finishes putting out a fire?

I was reading the question How do we use Fire Extinguishers to Control Fire in the Space Station? This got me thinking about how the crew would clean-up after a fire. How do they decide if the ...
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