Questions tagged [spacecraft]

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

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Is it possible for an Orion drive-based spaceship to experience smooth artificial gravity?

One of the problems of using an Orion drive or any pulsed based drive, is that the occupants will feel a sudden jolt of force instead of a smooth constant acceleration for artificial gravity. Is there ...
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1 vote
0 answers
115 views

Ion propulsion system

Good evening. Is there a formulae to calculate how much lift an ion propulsion system would create on earth, given factors like voltage, load, etcetera? Just a mathematical formulae. That is all I ask ...
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2 votes
1 answer
145 views

Spacecraft Disaster [closed]

I have a memory of an overhead picture of short spacecraft surrounded by rockets that was involved in a disaster on the ground. It looks nothing like the Apollo One. I have searched US and Russian ...
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1 vote
0 answers
54 views

Pressure and Leak Testing of Rockets

For any pressure vessel, hydrostatic/pneumatic pressure testing and helium leak testing are carried out as per UG-99/UG-100 and ASME, Section V, Article 10, respectively. For a rocket, what are the ...
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7 votes
6 answers
5k views

Could a spacecraft theoretically fly a smooth, curved arc of a turn in space like an aircraft?

I understand there in no air is space which is what allows an aircraft to fly a curved flight path. This is strictly a theoretical question given today's technology. Here are the conditions: There ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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Alodine on Spacecraft External Surfaces?

What type of alodine is used for external coatings on satellites, if necessary? Is it type 1 (hex chromate) or type 2? Is there a disadvantage using type 1?
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1 vote
1 answer
77 views

cross parachute - drag coefficient

I would like to know whether there is a mathematical formula which gives the drag coefficient of a parachute. I suppose that the drag coefficient is a constant depending only on the geometry of the ...
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3 votes
2 answers
185 views

Soyuz thruster placement

I notice that the Soyuz uses two high-thrust thrusters to translate in one direction along an axis, however some of the thrusters are located at a slight angle on either side of this axis, rather than ...
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8 votes
1 answer
901 views

Can double deck spacecraft be designed and constructed for manned missions?

Double Deck Aeroplane Similar to double deck Aeroplane, can a double deck crewed mission spacecraft be designed and constructed? Benefits: More astronauts in the manned mission spacecraft viz Mars, ...
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0 votes
1 answer
87 views

How does a spacecraft know what communication network to use?

Spacecrafts use different networks like TDRSS, DSN, ... to accomplish uplink/downlink. But how does it know which one to use during the mission? At what point does it find TDRSS more suitable than DSN ...
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5 votes
2 answers
137 views

Spacecraft localization beyond Earth orbit

How does a spacecraft localize itself after leaving earth orbit? In robotics you can either use known broadcasting information or do real-time position tracking(some type of SLAM) but I suspect that ...
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11 votes
1 answer
2k views

Where can I download the Soyuz Crew Operations Manual?

Where can I download the Soyuz Crew Operations Manual?
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  • 113
1 vote
1 answer
65 views

Good solar absorptivity and infrared emissivity values for non-anodized machined aluminum

Existing sources that I'm looking at show a wide range of possible absorptivity/emissivity values for aluminum: http://www.solarmirror.com/fom/fom-serve/cache/43.html https://www.thermoworks.com/...
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  • 165
10 votes
1 answer
987 views

Mariner 9 computing equipment

I am guessing the word CPU can't be used in reference to computers in 1971. So I am wondering what type of electronic equipment were put in place of a regular CPU ...
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  • 203
3 votes
1 answer
494 views

What is the equation for fuel equals distance for a rocket? [closed]

Theoretically, I am trying to launch a rocket from space and trying to figure out how much fuel I would need to get to a certain distance.
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4 votes
1 answer
204 views

Is Ingenuity a "spacecraft?"

NASA calls its helicopter on Mars a spacecraft (status update, 2022 Jan 19). Why? Sure, Ingenuity is off Earth and it's mobile. But it can't toodle off to Phobos. It's in the same category as ...
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1 vote
2 answers
181 views

Could astronauts jump from a spaceship onto a spacestation and how would it be like if yes?

I saw it happen in the videogame Alien:Isolation but not sure how realistic it was. I need help understanding some orbital mechanics for a sci-fi story that I am trying to write. The scenario I ...
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1 vote
0 answers
55 views

Oxygen Generation System

Is there any possible failure that OGS (oxygen generation system which ISS has) can overproduce oxygen in a spaceship? Just wondering the possibility how can spaceship explode by themselves without ...
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14 votes
3 answers
1k views

A way to overcome fuel limits on JWST and its operational lifetime; "clip-on" propulsion systems in development that might work in the future?

I was wondering: Although it has been widely publicised that the JWST has a lifetime limit. Is it not it possible given current technology regarding drones and the JWST itself as proof of concept to ...
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4 votes
2 answers
166 views

How do spacecraft guide themself in space

I have read that sometimes spacecraft needs to correct its orbit but my question is how do they know thier orientation and position in the empty space?
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2 votes
2 answers
231 views

Why aren’t vacuum engines turned on after Mach 1?

In rockets, smaller nozzles are used at lower altitudes because atmospheric pressure would cause problems by pushing air into nozzles with higher expansion ratios. However, it seems to me that once ...
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0 votes
0 answers
120 views

Realistic cost of pulse units for nuclear pulse propulsion?

Nuclear pulse propulsion https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Orion_(nuclear_propulsion) was believed to be - by it proponents - far superior to chemical propulsion. Either because max. delta v you ...
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4 votes
1 answer
61 views

Exoplanet orbitable in permanent umbra?

Does any planet, or Kuiper Belt Object, or exoplanet measured or surmised, orbit its star either fast enough, or slow enough and thus distantly enough to cast a long enough shadow, for a spacecraft to ...
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10 votes
2 answers
2k views

Are any Earth orbits in continual shadow of the Earth?

Do any orbits around Earth leave the spacecraft in permanent shadow? If not, what is the minimum amount of time that a spacecraft must be exposed to sunlight on average?
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  • 5,911
5 votes
1 answer
286 views

Would GRAIL be possible on more distant airless bodies such as Mercury and Callisto?

I was thinking for quite a while about sending this question to Maria Zuber's e-mail address (she was the principal investigator of the GRAIL mission to map the Moon's gravity field), but then I ...
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  • 459
0 votes
1 answer
97 views

How do Spaceship navigate in space?

In Space there is no air to put thrust on any other thing to expect any action-reaction forces. Then how do spacecraft go left or right or are the ineligible to take sharp moves?
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1 vote
0 answers
69 views

Space transport systems [closed]

For a space school space project, I was assigned of tinkering around space transport systems, which can also include mass drivers, space guns, space rail guns, space tugs with spacecraft systems. The ...
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4 votes
0 answers
74 views

Coatings on spacecraft structures

Traditionally, aluminium spacecraft structures have been alodine-coated to protect the surface from corrosion and resistance to scratches. However, the last few years I've noticed that more and more ...
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  • 308
2 votes
0 answers
96 views

how to soft-kill or soft-deny a target satellite?

Thanks to the rapid growth of commercial space technologies, the use of space by new players is increasing. To prevent outlaw or problematic new spacecraft let's suppose there is a "space police&...
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4 votes
2 answers
188 views

Smallest free memory space in early space crafts equipped with a computer?

Early space crafts used magnetic memory, semiconductor memory was not available. Memory size was very small, the program was written in assembler language. Programmers worked hard to fit all necessary ...
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2 votes
1 answer
83 views

Navigating to moon from orbit [closed]

In short: My goal is to get knowledge about general travel in space and navigating to a certain object - with literally "low cost" tech. My primary interest is how to control and move a ...
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  • 21
31 votes
2 answers
6k views

What are the chances that a spacecraft is hit by space junk?

If a rocket flies into space there is a possibility that it will encounter a piece of space garbage; even a small screw can be fatal. What are the chances that such a collision really takes place? ...
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5 votes
2 answers
133 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 ...
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  • 213
7 votes
1 answer
155 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 ...
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  • 461
4 votes
0 answers
107 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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  • 51
3 votes
0 answers
89 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 ...
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  • 193
11 votes
3 answers
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 ...
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  • 2,173
5 votes
2 answers
198 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, ...
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  • 175
2 votes
2 answers
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 ...
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  • 1,029
2 votes
1 answer
48 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 ...
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0 votes
0 answers
116 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 ...
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9 votes
2 answers
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 ...
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1 vote
1 answer
64 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. ...
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3 votes
1 answer
182 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 ...
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  • 191
2 votes
1 answer
271 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 ...
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8 votes
3 answers
708 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 ...
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0 votes
1 answer
236 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 ...
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3 votes
0 answers
190 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 ...
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  • 76
2 votes
1 answer
303 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 ...
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  • 191
2 votes
2 answers
181 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 ...
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