Questions tagged [spacecraft]

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

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2
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1answer
144 views

Have any deep-space spacecraft supported same-band turnaround of Earth-based doppler measurements?

Table 1 of DSN Telecommunications Link Design Handbook, 201, Rev. B, Frequency and Channel Assignments gives Spacecraft Transponder Turnaround Ratios that are supported by the Deep Space Network. ...
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1answer
205 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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1answer
43 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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2answers
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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2answers
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Why has ESA never flown a crewed spacecraft?

According to Wikipedia, ESA has never had a crewed spacecraft. While this is reasonable, it's striking that no ESA crewed spacecraft is in development right now. What's the rationale behind this ...
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2answers
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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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1answer
1k views

Which crewed spacecraft provides the gentlest decent and/or landing?

Landing with a Soyuz capsule is often compared to being in a car accident1, it's pretty violent on touch-down. On the other hand, I imagine the Space Shuttle's touch-down to be a little like a rough ...
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1answer
81 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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1answer
215 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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0answers
64 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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1answer
521 views

What were the first Soviet spacecraft to use an internal docking tunnel?

The first crew transfer between space vehicles was from Soyuz 5 to Soyuz 4. It was done outside the spacecraft by Aleksei Yeliseyev and Yevgeny Khrunov. The first U.S. crew transfer was during Apollo ...
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6answers
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Why aren't there any space tugs in use?

Ion thrusters are capable of providing the same amount of delta-V for far less fuel (e.g. Falcon 9 v1.1 second stage specific impulse is 340 seconds, while some ion-thrusters have a specific impulse ...
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0answers
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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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0answers
91 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 ...
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0answers
86 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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6answers
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What is the optimum shape for a spacecraft?

I understand that these days a spacecraft design is very much centred on what can be lifted into space by current rockets, hence the modular, cylindrical shape of the ISS. So, with current ...
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2answers
185 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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2answers
202 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 ...
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3answers
2k views

How much gravity is actually needed to avoid serious health consequences?

Most discussion I have read about using tethers and rotation in order to simulate gravity on spacecraft, talk about simulating Earth's gravity - 1g or 9.8 m/s2. Baked into the 1g figure is the ...
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2answers
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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4answers
322 views

Since the Mercury program have there been any manned, orbital spacecraft not configured for a spacewalk?

Since the first spacewalks were performed, have there been any spacecraft that didn't allow for a spacewalk?
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1answer
81 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 ...
8
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1answer
596 views

What are the benefits of using pyrotechnics on spacecraft?

NASA always appears to use pyrotechnic devices (NASA standard initiators for explosive bolts, frangible nuts, etc.) to release elements (spent stages, fairings, etc.) where SpaceX appears to be using ...
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3answers
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Could Von Neumann probes be forbidden by technological limitations?

The famous Fermi paradox asks an important question: if space-faring civilizations exist and are not extremely rare, why are they not already here? Von Neumann proposed a probe, that flies to nearest ...
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10answers
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Puzzler - which spacecraft(s) incorporated real wood structural elements?

Not a trick question, but a real puzzler - which spacecraft or spacecrafts incorporated real wood structural elements?
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2answers
126 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 ...
7
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1answer
129 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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0answers
92 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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0answers
35 views

Could magnets be used to protect spacecraft? [duplicate]

Could magnets or a magnetic wrap like material be used to shield sensitive electronic components (or any vulnerable part) of a spacecraft from cosmic rays? The earth's magnetic field has a strength of ...
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0answers
82 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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3answers
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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2answers
3k 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 ...
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2answers
189 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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2answers
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 ...
2
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1answer
40 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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0answers
103 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 ...
2
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1answer
257 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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2answers
1k views

Encryption in radio system

We know that radio waves are used in communication with rockets, space crafts and satellites. Now, radio system basically consists of transmitter and receiver. If there is frequency match between ...
2
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1answer
153 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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1answer
62 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. ...
4
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2answers
9k views

What is the maximum speed an ion engine can propel a spacecraft at?

I read that with our current ion propulsion technology it is possible we could send a craft moving the maximum of 100km per second, or around 62 miles. However we seem to be limited by how strong of a ...
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2answers
1k views

How are spacecraft engineered to prevent overheating?

Been reading about early space exploration again, especially Sputnik 2 (1957) and Venera 1 (1961). Both of these suffered from overheating. It strikes me that a metal object will easily "absorb" the ...
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2answers
462 views

How was the Giotto spacecraft reactivated from hibernation mode?

The Wikipedia article on Giotto states that: Giotto was the first spacecraft to be re-activated from hibernation mode. How was the reactivation accomplished? Does the statement mean the ...
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3answers
2k views

Why was the Delta Clipper cancelled?

The Delta Clipper (McDonnell Douglas DC-X) achieved vertical landing two decades before SpaceX's Falcon 9. And its cost was very low — only 60 million dollars. Why was such an awesome rocket cancelled?...
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1answer
607 views

Cassini's main engines' burns "can be blow-down or pressurized (with Helium)" - why?

I just read that when Cassini makes it's first close pass of Saturn's F-ring on December 4, it will be the 183rd time the engine fires. I googled Cassini's engine and found this site which has a cool ...
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1answer
2k views

How does tank pressurization work?

I know the basic premise of tank pressurization. A inert gas (usually Helium) is kept in small tanks in or around the large propellant tanks, and when propellant is burned the helium fills the empty ...
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2answers
176 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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1answer
148 views

Could BNNTs be used for Whipple Shield designs?

BNNTs are a upcoming and promising nano-tube for space exploration. Featuring a young's modulus similar to diamond [1] and offering extensive radiation protection [2], Could BNNTs be utilized in a ...
2
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2answers
121 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 ...
7
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1answer
122 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 ...

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