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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3
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1answer
109 views

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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2answers
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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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10answers
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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 ...
3
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2answers
76 views

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 ...
7
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1answer
175 views

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. ...
13
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1answer
501 views

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 when used before that? The ...
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32 views

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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At what wavelengths and for what particle types have astronomical objects been imaged or at least directionally resolved from the ISS?

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 ...
3
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0answers
113 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 ...
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Can the International Space Station be maneuvered towards the Moon? [duplicate]

Is it possible to maneuver ISS towards the Moon or Mars (rare case in future)?
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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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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 ...
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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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2answers
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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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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 ...
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Whats the 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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1answer
103 views

Examples of space research applied to Earthly manufacturing

I remember reading utopian predictions about space manufacturing. It's clear that factories in space delivering consumer goods for your local retailer is not going to happen in the near future. But I'...
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3answers
1k 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 ...
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4answers
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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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0answers
105 views

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 ...
6
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1answer
514 views

Does the ISS still “need” to be at around 400 km?

The video Why is the International Space Station 400 km above the Earth? first mentions that there are fairly hard limits at 300 km (due to imminence of reentry) and 700 km (loss of protection from ...
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1answer
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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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1answer
85 views

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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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 ...
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1answer
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Would air circulate in a rotating station on its own?

I know air circulation was a tricky problem on the ISS . I think that in a rotating station the air would be moving with the station, but the air against the “floor” would be moving faster or have ...
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3answers
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Is there anything on the ISS that would be destroyed if that object were returned safetly to Earth?

Is/was there anything (device, animal, plant, etc.) on the International Space Station that will be destroyed/dead if that object returns to Earth? (Assume that thing/animal is brought in, for example,...
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1answer
92 views

Where should ion drives be placed on a rotating space station of the lop-sided dumbbell variety?

I have been working on a model of a proposed artificial gravity facility by Joe Carroll, based on this paper. It is an initial concept paper and it doesn't spell everything out, so I am trying to ...
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1answer
62 views

Does deploying an artificial planet help us study and collect more detailed data about the solar system and the universe?

If we have a space station that can orbit like a planet, wouldn't it give us an advantage in terms of positioning for astronomical experiments? This may also enhance the network transmission ...
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3answers
209 views

Is it possible to identify the main systems that would be present in a generalized space station?

What are the main parts of any space station? I have been making a 3D model of a hypothetical space station, and I'd like to ask if it is possible to identify some main components and/or subsystems ...
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2answers
216 views

Could NASA go back to the Moon? [closed]

Even after launching so many space missions, including the one which led Man to the Moon (Apollo 11, July 1969), NASA made several mistakes even in the space programs that followed. For e.g. Space ...
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2answers
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What orbit would a space station need to stay in orbit for $N$ years?

(posted before on physics stackexchange but was told to come here) I'm reading this book which has a post-apocalyptic setting. At one point you look at the earth from the view of a 1000-year-old ...
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2answers
954 views

Are the mirrors on O'Neill cylinders really feasible?

The classic O'Neill design for a cylindrical space colony has a cylinder four miles in diameter and 20 miles long, with three mirrors reflecting sunlight into the colony. To illuminate the whole ...
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3answers
351 views

Do spinning space stations slow down without energy input?

One thing I always wondered was if a giant spinning space station that was providing artificial gravity would slow down without any energy input. I would assume that energy is being lost to heat as ...
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3answers
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Why was the ISS so much more expensive than Mir?

The Wikipedia article on Mir places its total cost at a little over four billion dollars. The ISS on the other hand, is at 150 billion and that figure will surely increase more over the coming years. ...
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2answers
281 views

Energy solutions for space [closed]

One of the primary methods of creating power in space is by solar panels. However upon reading more about silicon based solar panels I got to know how even small dust particles can ruin the whole ...
5
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2answers
1k 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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1answer
395 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 ...
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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 ...
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0answers
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Orbital Strap-on Boosters?

Have there been any proposals to launch a "space station" type of assembly into LEO, then send up some engines to get it to be able to move again? Take for instance something akin to the ISS, but much ...
11
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1answer
2k 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, ...
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0answers
188 views

Would a space station be able to watch a world wide cataclysm and how long would the crew be able to survive for? [closed]

I know there is other questions with similar concerns about there being any protocols in pace if the crew of space station were to witness a world wide cataclysm and the survivability of the crew if ...
8
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2answers
626 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 ...
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0answers
105 views

Would Bigelow space stations work if rotated to achieve 1G simulated gravity?

Would Bigelow's proposed space stations work if two of them are connected by a tether and rotated to simulate gravity of 1G (or how much)? Would they hold up structurally? Would there be other ...
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3answers
3k views

Why is tethered artificial gravity hardly ever considered?

When you ask about rotating artificial gravity (yes, yes, technically radial acceleration), most answers boil down to "you'd need a 200m diameter spacecraft, and we can't build that yet" But, of ...
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3answers
4k views

How best to maneuver inside a large room within a space station using only arm and leg motion?

Imagine the following thought experiment: An astronaut is inside an extremely large room within a space station. Suppose that she, for whatever reason, is initially at a zero velocity with respect ...
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1answer
61 views

Was that the space station I saw last night? [duplicate]

I was out on my front porch last night around 9pm looking up at the sky and noticed what I first thought was a star in the Eastern sky. It twinkled just a little too much for a star so I thought maybe ...
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0answers
82 views

How many tons of water is needed to surround ISS's living modules, so the rate of radiation exposure will be the same as on the surface of Earth?

If I understand correctly, it wasn't done because it's very expensive ($ per lbs) and there are no launch systems powerful enough for that? Also, could you please provide formulas and calculations? I ...
8
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1answer
366 views

Practicalities of docking with a large spinning space station

We've all seen countless examples of spinning habitats in fiction. However there are certain practicalities with these space stations that I can't get my head around, namely around how you'd dock with ...
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0answers
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What is the response to the criticism of LOP-G project by Zubrin and others?

Many people have aired criticism of the project (see here for some). Was there any response from the project's team or NASA regarding these criticisms?