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Questions tagged [spacecraft]

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

57
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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 ...
0
votes
1answer
39 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
votes
1answer
154 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
votes
3answers
249 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
130 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
votes
1answer
151 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
vote
1answer
34 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
votes
1answer
938 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
votes
0answers
32 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
108 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
69 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 ...
-1
votes
3answers
232 views

Could a bottle rocket be up scaled to achieve orbit?

Could you construct an orbital stick stabilized rocket, by scaling up a firework?
1
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0answers
54 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
341 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
vote
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
36 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
votes
1answer
74 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, ...
5
votes
1answer
198 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
112 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
179 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
votes
1answer
63 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
118 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
votes
1answer
81 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
votes
1answer
292 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
815 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?
1
vote
3answers
118 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
998 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
226 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
votes
2answers
128 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
votes
1answer
84 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
290 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
votes
1answer
378 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
votes
1answer
75 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 ...
5
votes
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?
18
votes
7answers
8k views

What is the rarest launch window?

What situation would make a launch window rare? What is the rarest known launch window?
8
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1answer
364 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 ...
11
votes
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
175 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. ...
6
votes
3answers
165 views

Can you avoid the costs of cooling superconductors for magnetic shields by separating them from the spacecraft and using shades?

As the answer to this thread states, cooling superconductors in spacecraft is necessary because of waste heat from secondary systems and thermal radiation of the sun. The application in which ...
2
votes
3answers
201 views

Would it be better to build a Mars-fairing ship on land or in space?

This answer says: We do not have a human-rated rocket which can send a sizable payload to Mars. The Falcon Heavy is certainly capable of sending a payload there, but the rocket would need to be ...
3
votes
1answer
142 views

Largest delta-v from mechanically stored energy?

The math behind this answer suggests that while the delta-v delivered from hand-throwing an object from the ISS would not produce prompt de-orbit and atmospheric reentry, it would still lower the ...
2
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0answers
72 views

thrusters, force torque, distribution matrix , orbit maneuver

I have a few questions about computing torques and forces. I use the same configuration as in the thesis titled An Attitude Control Sysytem Design Based on the Turksat-1b Geostationary Satellite. ...
0
votes
2answers
395 views

Can you use magnets to travel through space?

My thought process is that there is very little friction in space minus gravitational pull. Which could be a good thing if you wanted to go faster or slow down. The question is, is it possible to ...
15
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2answers
5k views

How does a space probe maintain its trajectory while passing through the extreme gravitational field of the gas giants of our solar system?

Space probes like Voyager 1, 2, New Horizons, etc, traveled beyond those gas giants, how did they cope up with their extreme gravity? How was the trajectory of these probes unhindered by the immense ...
4
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1answer
120 views

Once a spacecraft is in space what factors determines its top speed?

Is there a limitation of speed of a spacecraft in space because of suns gravity? Is the speed purely dependent on the engineering? Or other factors comes into play?
37
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7answers
24k views

Why do we not fly to space with helicopters? What are the practical altitude limits?

People will tell that there is no air, and this is why we cannot. But if I read on the internet, there is air in space, much less, but still something. for example, 100 km - 0.0000006 times as much ...
4
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0answers
58 views

Are there any large satellite hardware suppliers for components or buses? (For CubeSats, SmallSats, Rovers, etc…)

I am looking for online catalogs of hardware either semi-COTS or full COTS (radios, antennas, thrusters, command and data handing boards, batteries, attitude control, etc...) that can be used in space ...