Questions tagged [spacecraft]

Questions regarding the craft that house humans or equipment during space exploration.

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5
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2answers
123 views

In situ Fuel in LEO / MEO

I have been thinking on controlled de-orbiting of Satellites. You can carry a supply of conventional chemical fuel, and use it to apply a delta-V that would de-orbit them. There are also methods of ...
7
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1answer
121 views

Does cosmic radiation have a predominant 'direction of origin'?

Considering some speculative designs, and am going through radiation-shielding options. It seems that, other than during solar flare activity, the main thing to protect against on a day-to-day basis ...
4
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0answers
86 views

How to find a vector's elevation angle with respect to a point on Earth?

tl;dr: Spacecraft's antenna should point to a ground station but there is a pointing error. I want to express the error as a vector rather than a simple angle that a dot product provides, so that I ...
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0answers
35 views

Could magnets be used to protect spacecraft? [duplicate]

Could magnets or a magnetic wrap like material be used to shield sensitive electronic components (or any vulnerable part) of a spacecraft from cosmic rays? The earth's magnetic field has a strength of ...
3
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0answers
81 views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of certain radial symmetries in spacecraft construction?

I'm mainly considering the merits and drawbacks of threefold versus fourfold (or higher, like sixfold and eightfold) radial symmetries when it comes to the construction of a fuselage for a spacecraft ...
11
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3answers
2k views

Is the life support system on ISS and other used manned spacecrafts fully redundant?

I just finished watching the Sci-Fi movie Stowaway where the crew of the spacecraft MTS-42 heading to Mars, gets in all kind of troubles after the failure of the single life support system. My ...
4
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2answers
174 views

Why don't we build an interstellar specific mission spacecraft?

Voyager 1 and 2 go at ~60k km/h, It took them approx. 40 years to leave the heliosphere and get into the interstellar space. The Parker Solar Probe is intend to reach 600k km/h. With this velocity, ...
2
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2answers
1k views

Minimum reentry velocity ideal for a spacecraft returning to Earth

During the return trip from Mars or Moon, SpaceX starship can refuel it's propellant tanks before reentry. It can use these propellants for reverse thrust to bring the spacecraft velocity to near idle ...
2
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1answer
37 views

spacecraft thermal dataset

For a high-school academic project, I would like to plot a graph of change in satellite's temperature over time. Thus, (I think), I'm looking for real-time temperature data of sort of any (preferably ...
0
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0answers
99 views

Is it possible to build a starship out of clay?

I know it may sound silly but my consideration is to reduce costs due to the amount of metal used in standard space ships. Wood/bamboo for framing and clay around it, that is it for the hull. I'm NOT ...
6
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2answers
3k views

Soyuz for Sale?

Reading through some stuff on the interwebs I came across some information saying that some old Soyuz Capsules are keep in a junkyard. Does anyone know if it's actually possible to purchase one of ...
1
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1answer
60 views

Could an orbital launcher look like a scaled up Nike Hercules?

We now have flyable, recoverable suborbital boosters, which would be the first stage. The second stage of the Saturn V rocket was able to hurl the 100 ton Skylab into an orbit over 250 miles high. ...
2
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1answer
149 views

How difficult to gravity assist brake on entry to Alpha Centauri system? [duplicate]

Say a generation ship arriving at Alpha Centauri A system wants to get into orbit (or land) on an exoplanet there. After decelerating for the 2nd half of the journey, their approach velocity is still ...
2
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1answer
237 views

When does a specific equipment at a certain temperature start to freeze in interstellar space?

This is my first post here. I'm working on a project which involves a number of problems and some parts of that are related to empty space and space exploration. I try to be focused and reflect one of ...
7
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3answers
643 views

Did the spacecrafts Galileo or Juno use the Galilean moons for a gravity assist before entering Jovian orbit?

Galileo and Juno are the only two spacecraft to have entered orbit around Jupiter. Did either of them use one of the Galilean moons for a gravity brake before in order to enter a stable orbit around ...
0
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1answer
181 views

Why are there no Mass Catchers?

When moving around in space you have to spend delta-v to accelerate and decelerate, which necessitates having an engine and control system. It would follow that a mass "catcher" would be a ...
3
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0answers
119 views

Future trends in Earth Observation and Communications from VLEO; are there any?

Question: In order to better understand the wider market need and uses for Very Low Earth Orbit (VLEO)-enabling technologies, I'd like to ask about future trends in Earth observation imagery and ...
2
votes
1answer
170 views

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 ...
2
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2answers
68 views

Oberth Effect in Solar Sails: Where does the extra energy comes from?

Suppose, the reflectors of Solar Sails are opened for same amount of time at both periapsis and apoapsis. How does Oberth effect work in this case? Will Delta-V be same and hence change in Kinetic ...
4
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3answers
142 views

How do spacecraft reach Lagrange points?

As I understand, to reach a Lagrange point the spacecraft would need to slow down. Also, can spacecraft passing nearby Lagrange points get captured within the point?
2
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0answers
37 views

Apollo LM explosive valves

Why were explosive valves used on the helium pressurization systems? Are explosive valves also used on systems pressurized with Nitrogen?
2
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0answers
38 views

Trim controls for Apollo RCS systems?

Did any of the Apollo-era spacecraft have any method of trimming the RCS jets? Due to variable mass placement (fuel tanks and sublimators emptying, astronauts moving, item stowage, location of moon ...
1
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2answers
170 views

Are bicomplex numbers including tessarines ever used in spaceflight (as an alternative to quaternions)?

The answer to What are quaternions and how are they used to represent spacecraft dynamics? gives us a thorough overview of the topic and is worth a good read. I saw the HNQ Why are quaternions more ...
19
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3answers
3k views

Do exploration spacecraft enter Mars atmosphere against Mars rotation, or on the same direction?

I can't find information on which side of mars do probes usually enter. I suppose that probes do not enter perpendicular to the surface. They are usually represented as entering somewhat tangentially ...
4
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3answers
1k views

How to move in space with just solar panels or without them?

What are the technologies known to humankind, to do propulsion in space, with a spacecraft having solar panels, when: It is under ample solar flux? It is interstellar under negligible solar flux? ...
5
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0answers
205 views

Open source hardware at NASA

Given NASA has its open source software repository, I can not really find its open source hardware counterpart so I suppose such a thing does not exist. Is that true? The 3D models site (GitHub mirror?...
2
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0answers
39 views

Hill approximation of the CRTBP (Circular Restricted Three-Body Problem) derivation

Dear fellow space enthusiasts, Let us first consider the classical CRTBP equations of motion by defining the position vector of the spacecraft \begin{equation} \boldsymbol{r}=[x,y,z]^{T}, \end{...
4
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0answers
144 views

Most open source spaceflight missions revealed unintentionally

As of 2021 there are few fully open source satellites (OSSI-1, UPSat, FossaSat-1, Oresat, some more?) and numerous student groups building and documenting rockets. These projects are intended to be ...
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0answers
60 views

Why are rocket engines shaped like a bell rather than a gun barrel? [duplicate]

When blasting matter out of a spacecraft engine for thrust, it seems like you'd want as much velocity in one direction as possible. Why do spacecraft engines (e.g., Apollo CSM) have big bell-shaped ...
0
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2answers
109 views

For deep space missions, how thick must the water filled layer within the ship's hull be to effectively shield against cosmic rays? [closed]

Initially i proposed a 27cm thick barrier. But im not really sure thatll be enough
2
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1answer
70 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
107 views

Rocket dashboard: separation/pyro indicators

I'm curious about rocket dashboards. Separation events are big things and they depend on pyro bolts detonating and linear charges or pneumatic pushers firing immediately afterward. There must be ...
3
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1answer
75 views

NASA design handbooks and specifications

Does anybody know the designations, publication names, etc. for the design standards which NASA uses for space flight hardware? I’d like to add these resources into my engineering library.
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0answers
59 views

Why do we travel on an elliptical path towards Mars? [duplicate]

A typical rocket path to Mars is shown below: Why can’t we just cut diagonally through instead of travelling over a long elliptical path? Sort of like this:
37
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3answers
11k views

Why do exploration spacecraft like Voyager 1 and 2 go through the asteroid belt, and not over or below it?

I understand the risk of hitting an asteroid is small, but I'm wondering if there's a reason spacecraft usually stay on the main Solar System orbital plane.
2
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2answers
136 views

What's the fastest orbital period for a spacecraft?

I'm not asking about velocity, I'm talking about overall speed. Shortest time from perigee to perigee. This orbit would be a low, circular orbit, but I can't really find any specifics on any world ...
3
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0answers
29 views

Effect of delaying electron ion recombination in ion engine plumes; is a tiny additional thrust component available?

I have a follow-up question in response to this answer by @uhoh, basically asking about higher order effects alluded to in their answer. If the ion exhaust plume coming off an ion engine remain ...
2
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1answer
161 views

What would happen if the crew launched to dock with the ISS were incapacitated?

Suppose a spacecraft lifted off from the space center and within few minutes after reaching the 200 kilometers altitude on its way to the ISS, and for some reason the crew were incapacitated. Will ...
9
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1answer
669 views

Thrust of ion thruster when spacecraft is charged

I read in many articles and books that the thrust of an ion thruster is equal to $$T = \sqrt{\frac{2M}{e}} I_b \sqrt{V_b} \ \ \text{[newtons]}$$ screenshot where $V_b$ is the acceleration potential, ...
2
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0answers
61 views

Spacecraft altitude measurement

While in atmosphere, altitude is measured by using pressure gauges - higher the altitude, lower the pressure. How is the altitude measured once we cross the atmosphere?
0
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0answers
50 views

Using the Clohessy-Wiltshire equation, what would be the expression for ' r '?

I'm looking for an expression for r. The difficulty I'm facing is simplifying the C-W equation
0
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1answer
57 views

When B is directly below A, as shown, what's B’s velocity (in vector notation) relative to A?

Spacecraft A and B are in coplanar circular orbits around the Earth. The orbital radii are as shown in the figure. (Not looking to use C-W equation. Just the equation describing relative velocity ...
1
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0answers
55 views

How does china (CASC or CAST) solve Groundsegment?

I was studying Queqiao space mission and I found a lot about how is Tracking, Telemetry and Command or TT&C solved for space component, but not how is secured Space-Ground connectivity - what type ...
3
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0answers
140 views

If the ISS went to the moon, what would fail first

If the ISS was propelled into an orbit (any orbit) around the moon, what would fail first?
1
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4answers
190 views

Are crewed spacecraft missions that appear stationary from the ground possible?

I've looked at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spacecraft and the following question arose. For crewed spacecraft missions, can a spacecraft remain stationary in the sky i.e. not moving once launched ...
5
votes
1answer
379 views

When will Voyager 2 overtake Pioneer 10 as the 2nd most distant spacecraft from the Sun?

As of November 2020, Pioneer 10 is the 2nd most distant spacecraft from the Sun and Voyager 2 is the 3rd. However Voyager 2's heliocentric velocity is significantly higher than Pioneer 10 and it seems ...
2
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1answer
73 views

How can we express velocity of the Apollo mission relative to a moon-centered reference frame instead of an inertial reference frame?

I am really interested in the Apollo mission and I was wondering how fast did the astronaut pass by relative to the moon. I wanted to compare it with the speed of the car. I have been able to ...
8
votes
1answer
942 views

Are there any accurate velocity plots of all spacecraft that achieved escape velocity from the solar system? (Pioneers, Voyagers, & New Horizons)

The answer to this question provides a seemingly accurate plot of the velocity of Voyager 2 over distance along with the heliocentric escape velocity. Are there similar graphs for the other 4 ...
1
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0answers
75 views

Does the door of spaceships such as ISS have locks? [duplicate]

Locks in the sense of keys and locks, not airlocks. Is there any international standards for such locks?
1
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2answers
141 views

Soyuz/spacecraft deceleration speed for reentry

I recently saw a program by Prof. Brian Cox (Human Universe Ep.1) where he mentioned that just by using two equations - f=ma and the universal law of gravitation, you could calculate how much a ...

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