Questions tagged [spacecraft]

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

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4 answers
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Who navigates the ISS?

The ISS orbits around the world. Do astronauts fly the ISS on Earth's orbit like a plane pilot? If it wanted, could the ISS go to a specific part of the world apart from the the usual orbit? Does the ...
Beyhan Çıtak's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
65 views

How to do Preliminary Analysis of Spacecraft Primary Structure?

I'm looking for specifics as to how preliminary analysis on spacecraft primary structure is performed (prior to CLA). I understand LV providers include CG load factors in their user manuals, but how ...
Retsied's user avatar
  • 141
5 votes
0 answers
111 views

What materials are used for human spacecraft pressure vessels and why?

I'm looking for what specific aluminum alloys are used for human-rated spacecraft pressure vessels (habitable module) and why. I've been able to find the material for Orion is Al-2219 but nothing for ...
Retsied's user avatar
  • 141
2 votes
0 answers
81 views

How to Analyze and Size Spacecraft Structures: Loads Development & Structural Dynamics

Hello, I'm a mechanical/aerospace design engineer trying to expand into structural analysis. What I'm looking for: A guide or summary as to 1) how spacecraft design loads are determined, and 2) how ...
Retsied's user avatar
  • 141
3 votes
1 answer
196 views

connecting two satellites [closed]

How strong would my bond have to be if I wanted to closely connect (30cm - 1m link) two satellites on the same orbit in LEO? (I can move the satellites however I want to have them close to each other) ...
Leonie's user avatar
  • 31
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

How were Wikipedia's orbital simulations made?

Pretty simple question; what software is used on Wikipedia to make these simulations? Some examples below:
hi-bye125's user avatar
  • 370
0 votes
3 answers
172 views

In Zero G, can excess heat be used propel a spaceship forward?

In Zero G, can excess heat be used propel a spaceship forward? I was looking for a similar answers online, and have bounced around a few places, I found this question, and it's responses thread useful ...
TheDayitwasWritten's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
134 views

How to design a Blowdown or Pressure Regulated pressurization system for a spacecraft?

I am trying to develop a simple tool to size a pressurization system for a spacecraft using either a blowdown pressurization system (BD) or a pressure regulated (PR) pressurization system. Though I ...
Mario Pastore's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
107 views

How high will this rocket be, when MECO occurs?

Find the altitude of the rocket at the time of engine cut-off. Rocket Mass = 369208 kg, Rocket Area = 391 m2, Fuel = 170697 L, Fuel density = 21 kg/l, Exhaust Speed = 1338 m/s, Exhaust Area = 164 m2
Praveen Kumar's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
181 views

How are parachutes attached to capsule spacecraft?

Spacecraft capsules (Apollo, Orion, Dragon, Starliner, Soyuz, etc) use an arrangement of pilot, drogue, and main parachutes to land. I'm looking for details regarding how and where these parachutes (...
Retsied's user avatar
  • 141
0 votes
0 answers
105 views

I want to write a program to calculate optimal trajectories, where can I find info on the maths

I want to write a program to calculate the optimal way for a spacecraft with a given engine to reach some body astronomical body with the minimum fuel burn (possibly adding in constraints on time, ...
Pioneer_11's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
94 views

Is it more common for crewed spacecraft (and spacecraft that interact with them) to have navigation lights, or not?

While trying to find details on the proposed improved Space Shuttle heat shields, I stumbled across a fact I'd forgotten: the orbiters didn't have navigation lights (i.e. red left, green right, white ...
Erin Anne's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Space craft and interstellar objects

How do the Voyager Spacecrafts avoid crashing into objects in interstellar space?
Sterling Wulff's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
561 views

How do you design a spacecraft with a spinning section for "artificial gravity"?

Science fiction spacecraft sometimes have a section that spins to provide "artificial gravity" through centrifugal forces. I'm thinking in particular of the Discovery spacecraft from the ...
John McCarthy's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
224 views

Which 6 spacecraft had the biggest effect on pushing the “Final Frontier?”

I am planning a 6-lecture course on Space Exploration for our local Elder College. It is aimed at a motivated audience with general knowledge in science. The objective is to generate interest in Space ...
Woody's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
181 views

Escaping Earth - how could one attempt to find the best solution to this trajectory optimization problem in practice?

If there is a satellite in low Earth orbit, with a limited delta-v budget (but high enough to escape Earth) and limited delta-v-rate (thrust), how could one find an acceleration schedule and ...
2080's user avatar
  • 171
2 votes
1 answer
199 views

How does JUICE navigate autonomously

Introduction To kick things off, I'd like to introduce myself as a 23-year-old novice learner when it comes to space exploration but I've been listening to astronomy-specific podcasts since 2022 and I'...
Navid's user avatar
  • 23
-7 votes
1 answer
166 views

Wouldn't it be easier to send human heads instead entire human bodies for space exploration? [closed]

A major part of what makes human space exploration extremely difficult is the infrastructure required to support the human body outside earth. It requires resources just to launch into space due to ...
ATL_DEV's user avatar
  • 87
5 votes
1 answer
5k views

Are the things I'm seeing satellites?

I have seen objects that look like satellites, but there are many of them, and they move in one direction in a straight line. Can someone help me to understand what they are?
War Thunder's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
171 views

What is the cheapest/simplest way to deliver a camera to the moon? [closed]

The primary objective is this: to deliver a camera to the moon that live streams to Earth throughout the journey AND once it arrives on the moon. A bonus is if it can then move around on the Moon. An ...
M. Guillaume's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
242 views

Why is a cartoon character visible in the artist's rendition of the McDonnell Douglas X-33 proposal?

I think I have figured out the what, it’s just the who, when, where and why that I don’t have the answer to. In 1995 during Phase I of the X-33 program NASA received proposals from Rockwell, McDonnell ...
Steve Pemberton's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
141 views

Energy Needed for Lunar Lander to Ascend?

Is it possible to calculate how much energy was expended when the Apollo 11 lunar lander ascended from the Moon's surface to join the Command Module in lunar orbit? Many relevant parameters for the ...
David_B's user avatar
  • 31
0 votes
1 answer
206 views

Unknown Kistler Spacecraft

I've just watched the Hazegrayart "Kistler reusable spacecraft - a spacex competitor", and I have... a few questions. Like: What was the spacecraft called? How far did the project get? Did ...
AnarchoEngineer's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
134 views

What are the safe structural elements of spacecraft that could be used for on-orbit capture?

I know this depends on the general configuration of a spacecraft, but I am hoping to gain some insights. Assuming you have a servicer spacecraft with an abstracted capture mechanism (i.e., end ...
Ibrahima's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
289 views

Geofence - satellite contact time

I need to find the access/contact times for a satellite passing through a random geofence (polygon). Is there a python library or any code to integrate the geofence to the orbit of the satellite to ...
v_space's user avatar
  • 101
1 vote
0 answers
91 views

Moving target during rendezvous

I am currently studying rendezvous and docking. I noticed the elliptic Hill equations only consider the acceleration of the target satellite due to its elliptic orbit (and fictitious forces in LVLH ...
Sato Yusei's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
600 views

Spacecraft attitude: rotation between ECI, LVLH, and Body frames

I'm starting to study spacecraft attitude control and I'm quite confused about the attitude representation in different frames. By reading a bunch of textbooks and papers, I understood that I can ...
Chicca's user avatar
  • 101
6 votes
2 answers
253 views

If a spacecraft's double hull filled with water is hit by a micrometeorite, could the water freezing or surface tension stop the leak?

I'm thinking about the possibilities of water storage also serving radiation shielding for long space journeys (months to years). Assume within the solar system but outside of upper earth orbit. ...
Koon W's user avatar
  • 263
2 votes
1 answer
206 views

Why are some satellite solar arrays arranged in a zig-zag pattern

Some of the solar panel arrays I've seen on satellites are arranged in this weird zig-zag pattern. Even when they're fully deployed they still have this arrangement. Why? What's the benefit from doing ...
NuclearTaco's user avatar
18 votes
1 answer
3k views

How did NASA avoid a repeat of the Mars Polar Lander failure?

One of the most likely causes of the MPL (Mars Polar Lander) crash landing on Mars was the deployment of the legs being mistaken by the onboard computer as touchdown. Phoenix (and later InSight) ...
Andykins 's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
400 views

Given the current state of technology, what would make bullet-sized interplanetary spacecraft technically impossible?

[Image: original source https://www.quora.com/How-many-types-of-bullets-do-we-have] For example, if a spacecraft does not need a control module, propulsion or means of communication. All it is tasked ...
TheMatrix Equation-balance's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
349 views

How many printed novels have been in space to date?

I am talking about actual novels brought for recreational purposes. As in manuals don't count. Also, I would like to know who and on what mission these were brought.
Starship - On Strike's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
202 views

Papers/studies about shedding aerodynamic lifting surfaces with booster

(This post has been updated to fulfil community guidelines on specificity) Here's my relevant scenario: A lifting-body Orbital Vehicle, and a turboramjet booster that (the most important part) ...
AnarchoEngineer's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
235 views

Why is insulation used in spacecraft thermal control?

The temperature of spaceships can range from -126° C to 149° C. Wouldn't it be better for the spaceship envelope to have as high a thermal conductivity as possible to even out the temperatures (the ...
Saturn V's user avatar
  • 1,303
0 votes
1 answer
110 views

Calculation of the total energy of a spaceplane

I am trying to calculate the total energy change of a spaceplane during its flight time. From the data I have and the calculations I made, I created an excel table in which I included: flight time : ...
Giovanni Curiazio's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
405 views

What are these on the Gemini Spacecraft?

What are these (circled in red) protruding from the retrograde section of the Gemini spacecraft?
Tom's user avatar
  • 101
1 vote
1 answer
69 views

Can the location of gas bubbles in a tank in a spacecraft in zero gravity be influenced? [duplicate]

Can the location of gas bubbles in a tank in a spacecraft in zero gravity be influenced? They for sure cannot be determined, then I guess they also cannot be influenced?
FalconHeavy321's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
101 views

Using orbital construction around another body to build probes

It's what it sounds like: I want to know whether sending a probe builder to orbit a moon or a planet (for this question I'm thinking of Titan or another smallish body in the outer system.), to build ...
AnarchoEngineer's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
3k views

What changes to Voyager could have been made? [closed]

If during the planning and construction of the Voyager missions they knew what we know now, what changes to the missions would have been most helpful in augmenting the science obtained?
user277093's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
3k views

With increased space exploration missions, are we affecting earth's mass?

This questions may seem naive, but, worth pondering: As humans keep sending more and more missions to space (outside earth's system), the earth is being affected in the following ways: Earth is ...
anurag's user avatar
  • 219
7 votes
1 answer
969 views

What happened to ArgoMoon?

The primary objective of the Italian ArgoMoon cubesat was to image the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS) after being jettisoned from it. Argotec engineers noticed the inability of the Interim ...
Andykins 's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
129 views

How to get the reduction in Heat Flux due to Barbecue Roll on Spacecraft?

As we know, to keep the surface of the spacecraft relatively cool, we spin the spacecraft so that not just one side of the spacecraft is heated. Due to this what is the effective Heat Flux encountered ...
Taha Merchant's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
106 views

What do they call “all the provisions provided during the launch campaign or atmospheric re-entry of a spacecraft“ in the context of astronautics?

I am reading an entry in a French dictionary and translating it into English. This entry is “sauvegarde.” In a general context, this term is translated as “safeguard,” “protection,” or even “...
Micheal Gignac's user avatar
20 votes
2 answers
3k views

How much does it cost to return 1 kg from the ISS to the Earth? What are the parameters influencing this price?

I heard in a few places downmass is a limiting factor in the ISS national lab capacity. Is that true? According to NASA's pricing plan, it actually costs more to get downmass than upmass. Why is that?
nadav zilberman's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
2k views

During spacecraft reentry why is heatshield side down the most stable orientation?

During reentry, why is the orientation of the spacecraft where the heat shield side leads the vehicle the most stable? I'm not sure how accurate KSP is, but when I reenter the atmosphere headshield ...
learningmath12345's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
221 views

Does a capsule rotate naturally during atmospheric re-entry?

If during atmospheric re-entry a capsule (with a shifted center of mass to produce lift) does not produce any rcs thrust, will the capsule naturally roll? and why?
Sebastyen Laroche's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
503 views

What is the most promising fusion technology for rocket propulsion?

Given current fusion technology (barely above q=1 as of the 12/12/22), is a fusion plasma torch rocket engine viable? I'm asking in terms of basic science, not engineering, as I know this would ...
AnarchoEngineer's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
334 views

What is the minimum number of thrusters required to control attitude, propulsion and spin?

What is the minimum number of thrusters required to control attitude, propulsion and spin? The first part of this problem (attitude) was asked in What is the minimum number of RCS thrusters capable of ...
Woody's user avatar
  • 21.4k
1 vote
1 answer
184 views

What makes a spacecraft maintain its trajectory?

I have searched a lot about this topic and also got similar questions but not the answers that I wanted. All answers talk about the engines that the spacecraft uses but how is that done? I came to ...
Ayush's user avatar
  • 121
9 votes
6 answers
4k views

Orbital Supercomputer for Martian and Outer Planet Computing

As we know, computing will (and really has) been important to research missions for space science and exploration. I read about the Spacebourne Computer program HPE and NASA used for the ISS as proof ...
wonderinghuh's user avatar

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