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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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62
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3answers
8k views

Is there no physical security in space, other than being in space?

I saw Gravity the other day and while visually and emotionally compelling, and besides the liberties taken with orbits, something else struck me as unrealistic, but I'm not sure if it is or isn't:...
27
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2answers
34k views

What thickness/depth of water would be required to provide radiation shielding in Earth orbit?

If using water or ice as a radiation shield how thick/deep would it need to be? Would it make a difference if the water was frozen (water ice being less dense then liquid)? Edit I would like to ...
19
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3answers
2k views

How does astronaut activity from within affect a spacecraft?

Can physical activity from within a space craft affect it somehow? For example if somebody on the ISS performs repairs involving a lot of hammering, would it perhaps affect the station's orientation a ...
43
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2answers
4k views

Why does the International Space Station produce so much methane?

According to NASA, roughly "1,000 pounds of methane are produced on International Space Station and dumped overboard as waste gas every year"[1]. It seems like an awful waste to just get rid of it. ...
20
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2answers
2k views

What is the largest naturally occurring body that could be hollowed and safely lived in?

Some proposals for living in space envision finding an asteroid that is a solid chunk of something (i.e. Nickel Iron), hollow it out, slap on an air lock, and you have a home. Add a drive and you ...
15
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5answers
3k views

What would the Δv cost of bringing the space shuttle external tank to orbit be?

There was an independent proposal that the space shuttle external tank could have been lifted all the way to orbit, and then used as a structural material in space stations. In terms of propellant ...
19
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5answers
3k views

How can you make a vacuum proof rotatable seal?

Many systems have been discussed where you have a rotating spacecraft for artificial gravity purposes, with a portion of the spacecraft that doesn't rotate, perhaps the engine for instance. I've been ...
8
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3answers
956 views

Is there an upper limit for the internal size of space stations?

I was reading about the various TransHab proposals (at http://www.astronautix.com/craft/traodule.htm, among others), and I started to think about pushing the idea to its limits. Assuming you had a ...
25
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2answers
3k views

Why did Salyut 7 freeze over, while ISS requires massive cooling system?

The cosmonauts from Soyuz T-13 mission "wore winter garb, including fur-lined hats, as they entered the station." "Frost covered the walls and apparatus. " Essentially, the heat balance of Salyut 7 ...
12
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3answers
2k views

What stability issues plague long artificial gravity cylinders?

The Kalpana One presents itself as a practical modern design for a space station with artificial gravity. One of the tweaks that it made was to limit the length to diameter ratio. This leaves it ...
6
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0answers
350 views

Which astronaut has experienced the largest relativistic shift in time (relative to the 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 ...
33
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1answer
6k views

Why does there appear to be a 180-degree stereo microphone array outside the ISS?

I was watching a feed on the latest footage of Hurricane Matthew as seen from the ISS just now, relayed from NASA TV. Suddenly, I spotted something poking out of the ISS hull in the footage that ...
15
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2answers
1k views

Are there any theoretical size limits of man-made space stations/structures?

The question speaks for itself. If the answer is "yes", what are the problems in creating a large-scale space structure, maybe even dozens of kilometres large? What about moving & repositioning, ...
6
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2answers
378 views

Scuba diving in free fall, do I need to worry about the Bends?

The Integral Trees is a 1984 science fiction novel by Larry Niven with an entire ecological system of oxygen breathing people and creatures, in free fall, in a gas torus. Water forms ponds, lakes, and ...
4
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2answers
466 views

Did Tiangong-1 turn the engines on?

The following graph shows the Tiangong-1 radius vector at the perigee, semi-major axis and apogee (scaled to 6371 km just to show an approximate altitude) and its orbit eccentricity: I used the SGP4 ...
4
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1answer
272 views

Why did Skylab have a thick blue flexible cord running down its central axis?

After watching the video below (found here and 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 ...
16
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2answers
1k views

Do we have any idea when Tiangong-1 will deorbit?

In March 2016 China's Manned Space Engineering Office announced that all Tiangong-1 telemetry had failed leaving no ability to safely control the space station's decent. With what we know about the ...
11
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1answer
1k views

Largest inhabitable volume in space

When you look at space ships, capsules and stations, one thing that is lacking in space is… space. As in: pressurized volume a human can freely move in. Most are tiny tin cans. So I was wondering, ...
9
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2answers
385 views

Would the life support systems on the ISS and STS work well also in 1g?

Changing gravity level can be a problem for flows of fluids, gasses, heat and for structural loads. Much equipment designed for Earth gravity fail in microgravity (even light bulbs and ballpoint pens)....
9
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1answer
282 views

Did Skylab have a fixed orientation?

I can not find any reference for this, but it seems to me that Skylab, unlike the International Space Station, had a fixed attitude instead of rotating to have the same side always facing the Earth. ...
4
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2answers
372 views

How many times has a spacecraft docked with two or more different space stations during a single mission?

According to this answer, Columbia is the only Space Shuttle not to have docked with more than one space station. For the other shuttles, I think at least most of the time they only docked with one ...
3
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1answer
184 views

Reuse of fuel tanks as habitats?

So, we've got this huge, hermetically sealed tube of metal nearly to orbit, just to push another huge hermetically sealed tube into orbit, and then we let the first tube fall and burn in the ...
2
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3answers
1k views

My height is 5 feet and weight is 55 kg. Can I be a NASA astronaut?

My dream is to be a NASA astronaut. I am a 16 year old girl from India, my height is currently 5 feet, and my weight is 55kg. Can my height and weight create problems in fulfilling my dream?
1
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1answer
348 views

Is this the only eclipse where Moon's shadow on the Earth (umbra) has been photographed by a person in space?

In this nice video musing about (among other things) the US Naval Observatory's $3,500 expedition to Baker City or at least Baker County Oregon to observe the June 18, 1918 solar eclipse, there is ...
20
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2answers
2k views

When Mir's attitude control computer failed, why did the station immediately start rotating?

Re-reading Linenger's Off the Planet and encountered a question from long ago that I never had found an answer to. During Mir's troubled old age, the attitude control computer would fail frequently. ...
15
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2answers
1k views

What would determine the interior temperature of a large space station?

If one calculates the black-body temperature of an object in space, it turns out that it would be at room temperature somewhere between the orbits of Earth and Venus. But due to the greenhouse effect, ...
13
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1answer
2k views

Artificial Gravity on board the ISS and its derivatives

Was the implementation of artificial gravity ever seriously considered for use on board the ISS and its derivatives? If not, why?
6
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3answers
549 views

Does any group have a serious proposal to build & maintain a station at L1?

To me, it's a no-brainer that the Earth-Moon L1 location is a strategic locale, sort of a forks of the Ohio in local space. I've seen some proposals to put some long-term station there, but has anyone ...
5
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2answers
738 views

docking options for a rotating space station

Given a cylindrically-shaped space station rotating at 1-2 rpm (Stanford Torus, as an example) what are the engineering considerations regarding docking? The central hub would be the logical docking ...
17
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1answer
512 views

Are there any promising next-generation space station cooling technologies?

The ISS had problems related to ammonia more than once. These problems happened in different calender years, and it seems like almost every "near miss" that makes the news about the ISS is connected ...
13
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2answers
2k views

Tiangong-1 reentry impact place probabilities

Following all the news concerning Tiangong-1, I have seen the following plot made by the Aerospace Corporation where Blue area: null probability of impact Yellow area: high probability of impact ...
12
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1answer
2k views

Could the space shuttle be permanently left in orbit as a space station?

Could the space shuttles have been left in space and used as temporarily visited space stations? One could put a modified spacehab in the cargo bay, with solar panels and with which the Soyuz/Dragon ...
8
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2answers
580 views

Why is Bigelow BA330 expandable instead of fitting fairings?

Bigelow Aerospace develops expandable (inflatable/foldable) space stations. Their flagship is their cylindrical BA330 which has the dimensions 13.7 by 6.7 meter when expanded. Current ISS modules seem ...
8
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1answer
436 views

Orbital station for Mars missions

While reading through the comments on a question on the difficulty of a manned mission to Mars, people brought up the issue that sending supplies in advance would lock in the landing site. It seems to ...
4
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1answer
320 views

How much radiation shielding would be required for a habitat at Mercury–Sun L5?

Given an O'Neill "Island Three" style cylindrical habitat located at Mercury–Sun L5 orbit, how much radiation shielding would be required to protect the occupants, and how would it need to be ...
2
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2answers
231 views

Are there any protocols the space station follows if there is an Earth-wide catastrophe?

Are there any protocols the space station (or any space explorer) follows if there is a massive catastrophe on Earth where the responsive parties on the ground would not be available for support/...
24
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0answers
8k views

Why is artificial gravity not included on space stations? [duplicate]

I'm wondering why artificial gravity is not included on the ISS, or on the currently planned OPSEK. There are long-term health effects of weightlessness, which would be avoided, using artificial ...
11
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0answers
150 views

How does increased environmental radiation affect medication potency, long and short term?

The issue of the effects of radiation on medication potency is not only important for long term stays in the ISS, but also very important for longer duration journeys and even for colonization. One ...
9
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1answer
628 views

Are space stations compatible?

I know that there are (at least) two space stations in operation: The ISS and the Chinese one (which I don’t remember the name now) Imagine, that China, EU, Russia and USA agree on cooperating in the ...
6
votes
2answers
295 views

What are the chances of getting hit by meteoroids or micrometeoroids in space?

For man made object like the ISS, what are the chance that may get hit , How often or how many times might it get hit?
5
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2answers
318 views

Can there be color blind astronauts?

This answer begins with: It appears to have actually been a pole, not a cord. Handrails and handholds, colored blue for quick identification, were located throughout Skylab. ...
5
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0answers
54 views

Are ferrofluidic seals used in spaceflight? Main applications? Human-rated?

Comments below this answer have inspired this quesiton. Wikipedia's Ferrofluidic seal sez: Ferrofluid-sealed feedthroughs routinely operate in environments including ultra-high vacuum (below 10⁻⁸ ...
3
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0answers
234 views

Could ice be used to create a habitat or space station?

Some discussion around the existing question What is the largest naturally occurring body that could be hollowed and safely lived in? has lead me to post this question. I think the solution revolves ...
2
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0answers
77 views

Are there any locked Airlocks in space? [duplicate]

An air lock in a space craft is a door used to move between the sealed environment of a space craft to the vacuum of space (or other craft) with minimal impact to the sealed environment. I always ...
1
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0answers
78 views

Do space stations have standardized officer designations for crew?

I have some anecdotal information. The ISS has a commander, and I noticed here that it had a Flight Engineer, and in this article (found here) I see that Skylab had a Science Pilot. Do space stations ...
1
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1answer
381 views

Why does N2YO list Tiangong 1 as an ISS satellite? Is it just a mistake? yes/no?

The page http://www.n2yo.com/satellites/?c=2 which lists "ISS SATELLITES" includes Tiangong 1. Since it looks to me like all of the other objects are associated with ISS, and Tiangong 1 is a different ...