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Questions tagged [spacecraft]

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

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1answer
125 views

How would you eject an object from an airlock for maximum velocity? [on hold]

If a space explorer needed to eject an inert object from a cylindrical airlock that was roughly barrel shaped (length >> diameter) at maximum velocity, would they be better suited to position the ...
4
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1answer
99 views

How to calculate the kilowatt hours (kW-h) needed for a solar-electric engine to produce a given delta-v?

A spacecraft is in LEO and I would like to reach a certain point in space; let's say Mars. If I look at the diagram in this answer I see that the delta-v from low Earth orbit to low Mars orbit is ...
2
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1answer
76 views

Highest velocity impact between a spacecraft and a solar system body? What about for a dedicated impactor (spacecraft component)?

In this answer I mention the proposed impact of DART: Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) Mission Double Asteroid Redirection Test The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) Element of the ...
16
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1answer
3k views

How is sunlight simulated in spacecraft testing, given its brightness?

How could a light source like the sun be approximated on Earth for testing, given how much brighter it is in space than anything else?
3
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0answers
103 views

Is it possible to see a spacecraft orbiting the moon with a pair of binoculars? [migrated]

On this clear early morning over London, I was studying the moon with a pair of binoculars and noticed a tiny dot of light that appeared to trace a slow orbit around the moon. I reckon it moved ...
6
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1answer
285 views

The aerodynamic stability of the truncated cone shape

Can someone explicate the stability of the truncated cone shape of the reentry vehicle of a spaceship when moving in the atmosphere with its bottom facing forward? It seems counterintuitive that it ...
1
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1answer
76 views

Are there any photographs of the frozen waste water after a urine dump in space?

Astronaut Mike Massimino talks about watching the urine freeze outside of the spacecraft. He said they would all watch, it was something beautiful to see. Are there any photographs of this, or has ...
27
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1answer
4k views

What are the 'lights' inside Shuttle main engines at landing?

I have a night-landing photo of the Shuttle showing lights (I assume some type of glow-plug to burn off extraneous fuel). My understanding is that only the OMS engines burn to begin reentry. Can ...
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6answers
9k views

Why can't they just drop a solar winch down from a shuttle and have planes fly up and clip things on?

Why can't they just drop a solar winch down from a shuttle and have planes fly up and clip things on? I know of the idea to have a space lift but the cable necessary is too expensive. Why can't we ...
58
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1answer
8k views

How was New Horizons able to direct data so precisely back to Earth?

The New Horizons space probe is sending back images of Ultima Thule, 6.4 billion kilometres away. Barring having a very large power to send information back on a very large angle, it seems to me ...
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1answer
44 views

Effective range of a laser propelled solar sail

The ongoing Breakthrough Starshot program proposes the use of high powered lasers on Earth to be aimed at a solar sail with the intention of propelling it to the star Alpha Centauri. To be more ...
2
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1answer
162 views

What was the last US manned space program?

I needed some info for a project. I tried some Google search but couldn't find an answer. US decommissioned it's space shuttle in 2011. Columbia disaster was in Feb 1, 2003. We're there any manned ...
4
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3answers
266 views

Why doesn't New Horizons have a tracking function

Dr. John Spencer mentioned in the live feed for the Ultima Thule flyby they're taking a series of LORRI shots along a precomputed path hoping to capture the KBO. What were the obstacles to equip the ...
3
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1answer
141 views

What was the view from the Apollo spacecraft while travelling to the moon?

From what I read on the internet, I took around 3 days for Apollo 11 to get to the Moon. I'm curious what was the view from the windows of the spacecraft during the journey. What did the astronauts ...
2
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1answer
230 views

Liquid shield for spacecraft? [closed]

Initially this question was going to be on how to improve the Parker Solar Probe shield. While time passed I saw other possibilities for using this method for active shielding. Could a shield heated ...
1
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1answer
57 views

Physical characteristics of Explorer I whip antennas

What was the diameter of Explorer I's whip antennas, and what material were they made of? I am trying to write a simulation of the satellite's spin reorientation. The Smithsonian lists antenna ...
9
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1answer
1k views

Is the UK's Skylon Project still going forward?

I have read a lot about Skylon which is a single stage to orbit concept space plane with a SABRE engine designed by the UK think tank Reaction Engines limited. However, in recent months it seems like ...
3
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0answers
35 views

How composite materials used in space tech? [closed]

guys, my name is Muhamed-Kanapiya. Now I am studying at Eurasian National University in Astana, and my specialization is Space vehicles and technologies. My master`s work about using composite ...
3
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1answer
113 views

ISS Destiny Module inner wall: thickness set by internal atmospheric pressure or by mass density needed for meteor shielding?

In their 2006 paper Christiansen et al. describe the "stuffed Whipple shield" wall of the ISS's Destiny Module. The outer skin, the Whipple shield's "bumper" layer, is a thin layer of aluminum (alloy ...
2
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1answer
71 views

How does Accion System's TILE propulsion module compare to an equivalently sized Hall effect or an Ion thruster?

Accion systems claims that it's TILE propulsion module can be scaled up to match the performance of a Hall effect or Ion thruster minus the clunky tanks and propulsion management systems. This would ...
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3answers
240 views

Could a bottle rocket be up scaled to achieve orbit?

Could you construct an orbital stick stabilized rocket, by scaling up a firework?
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0answers
55 views

How many ships are ready to launch? [duplicate]

In the wake of the Russian launch failure to send more astronauts to the ISS, it got me thinking. How many "ready to fly" ships are there? And, if an accident were to happen and the current ISS crew ...
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9answers
11k views

Assuming a spacecraft is traveling in a constant rate and our Astronaut will exit it to a space walk, will he be “left behind” by the spacecraft?

Lets say our Spacecraft is traveling to a remote Galaxy at a constant speed of 1/X of the speed of light. A brave Astronaut is leaving the spacecraft to a space walk, while not being attached to the ...
2
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1answer
343 views

What was the cause of the cooling system issue in Sputnik 2?

I've heard that there was a problem in the cooling system on sputnik 2. But, was it an engineering error? Obviously a dog cannot survive such harsh conditions. Did the engineering team overlook this ...
1
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1answer
73 views

How can I know if NASA Horizons output is measured, calculated, estimated or what-else?

This link allows downloading from NASA Horizons server data about the distance of a body (OSIRIS-REX spacecraft ) from the Sun (see link here): How can I know how the distance is obtained? Is it ...
4
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0answers
37 views

What is a four-orbit rendezvous? [duplicate]

In a book I'm reading, there is a sentence like this: However, such a long rendezvous is cramped, uncomfortable and not the most efficient use of time for astronauts or Mission Control, and so ...
0
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1answer
75 views

What were the different tests that were conducted pre-launch of Apollo 11?

I’ve done some research about the Apollo 11, and I don’t really understand what happens with different kinds of pre launch tests. For example, what are first-stage propellant tanking tests? And also, ...
6
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1answer
261 views

Radial variation of atmospheric pressure in rotating O'Neill cylinder-like ship? (Rendezvous with Rama)

Sir Arthur C. Clarke was a science writer as well as a prolific writer of science fiction (including hard SF*), and his stories usually had a substantial footing in science. His book Rendezvous with ...
4
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1answer
116 views

At what point when travelling faster and faster around the earth are you not gonna be falling back again (7km/s? 8km/s?)

My dad and I thought about a problem we had when discussing Earth's gravitational field. This wasnt the original question but I still would like to know the answer. So essentially my question is: ...
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0answers
243 views

How to calculate azimuth and elevation angles from satellite point of view of a ground station?

How to find azimuth and elevation from satellite of a ground station when yaw, pitch, roll, lat, long position of satellite and lat, long position on ground are given? ...
2
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1answer
67 views

Nadir sensor for a spacecraft attempting to land

Is it possible theoretically for a sensor to detect Nadir? This could actually be of extreme value as generally spacecraft attempting to land need to maintain certain heading w.r.t Nadir as a function ...
2
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1answer
123 views

Do astronauts have to use sunscreen?

Of course the space suits can block most part of the radiation, but do the astronauts need to use sunscreen to protect their faces from the radiation passing thought the helmet or passing through the ...
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1answer
83 views

How large would a alien spaceship have to be to affect the earths gravitational orbit? [duplicate]

Would a large enough ship generate enough gravity to affect earths course?
2
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1answer
301 views

What is the terminal velocity on Mars?

How would I calculate the terminal velocity of Mars? What is the terminal velocity of a balloon entering Mars' atmosphere? Would a balloon pop if dropped from space?
4
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2answers
816 views

Have there been any spacecraft with internal SRM other than CONTOUR?

I read about the CONTOUR mission which used an internal solid rocket motor to change the trajectory. Have there been other spacecraft using a solid rocket motor which is not jettisoned after usage?
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3answers
121 views

Feasible way to detect masses without natural light in deep space?

While I was perusing the entries here on energy sources for interstellar travel, it occurred to me that a problem accompanying a low energy density in space distant from stars is darkness. Is there a ...
12
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2answers
1k views

Are any of these Soyuz controls involved in separating the orbital module?

According to this Q & A, it's very likely that the Soyuz spacecraft's orbital module can be manually separated independent of other spacecraft operations. On this CollectSpace page, there's an ...
19
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5answers
3k views

What would be necessary in order for us to achieve a single stage to orbit, reusable rocket?

I have read articles and seen videos explaining why an SSTO (Single Stage To Orbit) rocket* is not possible. But I was wondering... What would be required to achieve this? Answers can be literally ...
5
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2answers
228 views

What is the timespan for a block of Phobos to reach a low orbit around Mars with a solar sail?

Edit: Although this question has been marked as a duplicate of this one about solar sail thrust calculation, they are different because I ask about a solar sail that has an orbital trajectory and ...
2
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2answers
131 views

G - forces imparted by launchers

How can one know the G forces imparted from the technical data presented on the websites of launch vehicles? I am interested in finding a way to theorise the max G-forces imparted by researching ...
5
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1answer
85 views

Synchronizing spacecraft communication

When NASA is giving commands to a distant spacecraft like Juno, how is that done in terms of timing and protocol? For example do they: give a command to burn for 15 seconds upon receiving the ...
6
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1answer
362 views

What are these Space Shuttle cockpit elements and what are they for?

In a book I'm reading, there is a figure showing the inside of a cockpit of a Space Shuttle.The labels point out various pets including an aluminum plate, an avionics bay, and an open grid panel, as ...
10
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1answer
408 views

Why aren't magnetic bearings used more frequently in reaction wheels?

This answer implies that it's due to budgetary constraints, but given that Kepler, Dawn and Hayabusa all had reaction wheel problems with lubrication before the end of the planned lifetime, it sounds ...
5
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2answers
2k views

Can we survive Van Allen belt radiation?

Is it true that it is impossible to survive Van Allen Belt radiation? I mean do human die on the spot or latter in their life with cancer?
3
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1answer
77 views

Would we be able to see a Space craft transit in Lunar orbit?

If a Apollo type Moon mission happened today would we be able to see it transit in Lunar orbit? I know we can't see the Landing sites of the Apollo but could we see the Command Module and its shadow ...
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4answers
1k views

What is the fastest can we or have ever traveled in space?

What is the fastest vehicle currently in space? At what speed with our technology currently does physics restrict our speed limits in space?
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7answers
8k views

What is the rarest launch window?

What situation would make a launch window rare? What is the rarest known launch window?
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1answer
420 views

Machine Learning and Classical Navigation, Guidance and Control in Space Exploration

Due to the increasing availability of large quantities of data and computational power, machine learning (ML) is providing increasingly better results in various fields. Much research has been done on ...
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3answers
3k views

Could a Boring Company Excavation Tool be used to create a large circular chamber inside an asteroid?

I saw an awesome post by a user about 1g off-Earth habitats. Radiation protection is provided to humans when habitats have a lot of mass between habitation areas and sources of radiation. Long-term ...
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1answer
178 views

Could a spacecraft be propelled by the deflection of a very high number of charged particles?

I am wondering if a spacecraft could be propelled through interplanetary space via the deflection and/or displacement of a very high number of charged particles contained within the Sun's solar wind. ...