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Questions tagged [spacecraft]

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

3
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2answers
125 views

Were there any spacecraft not configured for a spacewalk?

Since the first spacewalks were preformed, have there been any spacecraft that didn't allow for a spacewalk?
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1answer
125 views

How would molten or liquid metal be transported in open space? [closed]

How to transport a ball of liquid, molten metal nearest to the Sun possible? It must be close to the Sun for the metal to stay molten. However, to stay safely cool enough, the spacecraft must always ...
13
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2answers
606 views

Can the Right Ascension and Argument of Perigee of a spacecraft's orbit keep varying by themselves with time?

I came across the orbital data for a low Earth orbit spacecraft and one thing which I am not able to understand is why does its Right Ascension of ascending node and Argument of Perigee keep changing ...
4
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1answer
72 views

Why do GEO satellites need different types of antenna?

Why do GEO satellites like the one shown in the picture below need different types of antenna? Is there a reference library or website where we can get more information on different antenna types, ...
24
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9answers
6k views

Would a grinding machine be a simple and workable propulsion system for an interplanetary spacecraft?

I am wondering if any space agency has ever considered using a grinding machine as a propulsion system for an interplanetary spacecraft. This system would not be used to lift the spacecraft off of a ...
1
vote
3answers
157 views

Does it make sense to invest money on space investigation? [closed]

I recently saw this picture - drawn by the excellent Spanish cartoonist 'El roto' Translated (please, don't hesitate to edit the question if you find a better translation) They looked for signals ...
1
vote
1answer
114 views

Astrophysics on “The Martian”

In the movie the martian what was the purpose of the hermes crew in blasting a part of the ship? Was that explosion on the front or back of the ship? After the explosion what happened to the speed ...
0
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2answers
82 views

What is a safe speed in space for spacecraft?

Does traveling fast as possible shortening the duration of the mission lessen chances of collision or mechanical failure, or does traveling slower in space in some way safer?
1
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1answer
118 views

If a MarCO-type CubeSat were in orbit around Bennu, what kind of power would it need to communicate with the Deep Space Network?

This is a follow-up question to: What is the lowest power signal that the DSN can detect? Essentially, I have determined that the asteroid Bennu (ranging from 25 to 350 million kilometers from Earth) ...
2
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1answer
98 views

What is the lowest power signal that the DSN can detect?

It is said that the Deep Space Network can detect low-power signals sent from Voyager in the range of 10^-16 W. I can't seem to find any sources that indicate what the minimum power requirement of a ...
3
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2answers
133 views

Sources of Xenon or other noble gases in space?

Xenon is a common choice for ion thrusters, though other heavy noble gases could work due to their low ionization potentials. I got thinking about building or refilling future space travel ion ...
4
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3answers
358 views

Walking in a rotating spacecraft and Newton's 3rd Law of Motion

I am wondering how Newton's 3rd Law of Motion would apply in the case of a man walking the length of a rotating spacecraft. Please reference the drawing below. Say that there was a spacecraft ...
1
vote
1answer
85 views

Would it be possible to reach Mars using the same fuel-saving method SpaceIL's Beresheet is using?

A few minutes before SpaceIL's Beresheet spacecraft was launched into space, Israeli prime minister Netanyahu congratulated SpaceIL and all those involved and said: "We are already waiting for you to ...
0
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1answer
134 views

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

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
votes
1answer
107 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
votes
1answer
116 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 ...
17
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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?
6
votes
1answer
349 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 ...
0
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1answer
98 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 ...
28
votes
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 ...
18
votes
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
votes
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 ...
1
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1answer
50 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
168 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
282 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
votes
1answer
158 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
282 views

Liquid shield for spacecraft? [closed]

Could an alloy of hot or cold liquid metal be made magnetic by adding electricity to the molten ball to give it magnetic properties to wirelessly attach it to a space craft to use as a shield shown in ...
1
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1answer
60 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
votes
1answer
135 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
83 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
247 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
57 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 ...
25
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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
votes
1answer
350 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
84 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
76 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
283 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
votes
1answer
122 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: ...
0
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0answers
319 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? ...
3
votes
1answer
76 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
votes
1answer
136 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 ...
0
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1answer
85 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
334 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
818 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
125 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
votes
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 ...