Questions tagged [spacecraft]

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

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3
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3answers
130 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?
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0answers
32 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?
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0answers
35 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 ...
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1answer
151 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 ...
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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
198 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?...
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0answers
16 views

What are the best books to learn about space exploration? [migrated]

I would like to learn more about space exploration; what technology we have, how specific satellite technologies work, rocket design etc. What books would you advise to read? Where would you advise to ...
2
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0answers
31 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{...
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0answers
138 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
58 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 ...
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2answers
102 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
68 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
104 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
69 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
123 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
150 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
666 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
52 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?
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0answers
40 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
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1answer
55 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 ...
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0answers
45 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
139 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?
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4answers
185 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
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1answer
368 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
71 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
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1answer
933 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 ...
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0answers
74 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?
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2answers
126 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 ...
4
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4answers
1k views

Quantum technology for starship communications and landing on Mars

Based on practically proven Quantum-Entanglement principle, any entangled quantum switch in this universe can be flipped instantaneously from elsewhere. Can it be used to send information from far off ...
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1answer
144 views

Could pressurized ionized oxygen be used as a fuel source for an ion thruster?

I am wondering if a canister of pressurized oxygen could be used as a fuel source for an ion thruster. To show how this could work on a conceptual basis, please reference the following drawing: I ...
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0answers
69 views

Have any satellites been decommissioned because of oxidization?

Comments on Are galvanised steel parts safe to use in space? mention that oxidation happens in the upper atmosphere because of the relatively high presence of oxygen ions. This is apparently to the ...
5
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1answer
118 views

Is GNU Radio being used for any Deep Space Missions in development?

GNU Radio is an open source collection of code and tools to build various radio elements for a "Software Defined Radio" or a radio implemented with the help of an FPGA that is programmed to ...
2
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0answers
65 views

How do deep-space spacecraft and space stations protect the crew and electronic equipment from radiation during long-duration missions?

Question: How would a deep-space spacecraft protect its crew and electronics from cosmic radiation, solar wind, and solar events? I'm trying to design a hypothetical space station and have been doing ...
9
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1answer
198 views

Is there an equivalent of the Dragon 'claw' and Apollo umbilical fairing between the Soyuz crew and service modules?

The Apollo service module provided power etc. to the command module through umbilical connections covered by a fairing. When the two modules were separated, a 'guillotine' cut through the cables and ...
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1answer
87 views

Can Virgin Galactic's Orbital ship reach ISS

We have all come across theories, concepts proposed missions of orbit tour as a part of space tourism. One such company is Virgin Galactic. I have had read that the SpaceShip2 will have merely 6 mins ...
2
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1answer
128 views

Wont any space battle fill up the system with supersonic lethal shrapnel, making space very dangerous?

Any explosion in space might produce very fast moving projectiles, that after getting slingshotted by planets may pick up way more speed. Same might happen with every bullet that misses. They are ...
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1answer
54 views

How does JWSTs ISIM direct light into its detectors?

I came across this diagram in the JWST User documentation which explains how light is directed into the ISIM (Integrated Scientific Instrument Module): But the ISIM contains four detectors (MIRI, ...
2
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3answers
2k views

Why haven’t we landed probes on Neptune, Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury with onboard cameras?

Why haven’t we landed probes on Neptune, Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury with onboard cameras? Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 were sent out in the 70’s, with 70’s technology, is there technology available that ...
2
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1answer
88 views

Did the Mars Science Laboratory do any science that wasn't done by Curiosity proper?

This answer to What is the equivalent of Curiosity's “MSL” in the context of Perseverance? What's the official name of the mission? Are the distinctions similar? got me thinking that answers to Where ...
2
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1answer
123 views

How to design heatshield bluntness?

How is the bluntness or curvature of a heat shield of a reentry spacecraft designed? If the answer depends on size and mass, consider a deep space sample return "mini capsule" 50 cm in ...
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1answer
216 views

Why soviet didn't bring back “laika” to earth & how re-entry logic works?

Was technology not developed that time to do reentry ? When was the first attempt made to re-enter orbit ? How did Soviet successfully did re-entry for Gagarin but not earlier missions ?
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0answers
60 views

How is it possible to reduce the weight of a high-energy laser?

To provide some context.. I have designed an interstellar spacecraft called Solar One. It employs a combination of 3 propulsion methods: nuclear fusion, beam-powered propulsion , and photon propulsion....
7
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2answers
1k views

Sending a camera to space?

I’m trying to get some interesting footage of the earth from space. I’m considering a weather balloon (preferably available online) with helium. I’d rather it be actually on the border of space, 100km ...
-2
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1answer
113 views

Orbiting the earth

What is the minimum speed in Km/hour (tangential to earth's surface) required to orbit the earth, at an altitude of 111 Km (well beyond Karman line), where there is no atmospheric drag. Can we achieve ...
9
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2answers
672 views

How do space blankets (thermal blankets) work?

On earth, blankets serve to primarily buffer temperature changes / heat transfer that would occur via convection (e.g. a blanket traps air near you so that after your body warms it, it doesn't just ...
-7
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1answer
93 views

How did the first astronauts/kosmonauts in the 1940s/1950s *know* that the sky isn't actually a dome with “little dots” (stars)?

This may sound ridiculous, like a joke question, but I'm for real. I've been thinking a lot about things like this, but I always return to this question: Those early "space explorers" who ...

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