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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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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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?
2
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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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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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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 ...
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2answers
849 views

Spacecraft Maneuvers as Intellectual Property? Wow!

In the past I had encountered a few mentions of orbits being patented (or at least applications filed) but didn't take much notice. Then I did a simple search and was blown away by the sheer volume of ...
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? ...
23
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5answers
1k views

Gliding into the atmosphere

The recent question about Cessna reentering from ISS got the answers that all imply a rapid drop. But from what I know, air drag is proportional: to square of airspeed to air density to attack ...
5
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0answers
196 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 ...
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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
137 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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14answers
20k views

Why are there no spacecraft rotating for artificial gravity?

Spacecraft rotating to generate artificial gravity through "centrifugal force" are commonplace in science fiction but not in reality. Considering the problems in long missions (among others: bone loss,...
21
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4answers
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 ...
10
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2answers
2k 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 ...
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2answers
102 views
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1answer
5k views

How many successful Soyuz launches have there been?

From the first Soyuz to the launch vehicles used today, how many launches have been deemed successful?
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.
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.
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0answers
442 views

Can I become an astronaut by having bachelor's degree in computer science and engineering? [duplicate]

I have bachelor's degree in computer science and engineering. And thinking about learning masters degree in aerospace engineering. Will that help me in becoming an astronaut?
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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:
16
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3answers
3k views

Can we destroy an asteroid by spinning it?

In a YouTube video Colonizing the Solar System, part 2: the Outer Solar System, Isaac Arthur who is a YouTuber and also a physicist says something like "you don't spin an asteroid for artificial ...
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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
4k views

Repurposing a nuclear submarine for space travel

Although a nuclear submarine might not make a great spacecraft, would it be possible to repurpose it for space travel? Benchmark: USS Illinois (SSN-786), Virginia-class submarine (born in Virginia, ...
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, ...
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9answers
4k views

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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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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5answers
5k views

Is it possible to stand still in space?

I am wondering to know if it's possible to stand still (no movement at all with respect to the Sun) in space. Can it be possible? I am thinking that when we move upwards from Earth's surface an ...
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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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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 ...
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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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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 ...
8
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2answers
646 views

What is the procedure for naming spacecraft?

This is something I've wondered about quite frequently. Is there really any common naming procedure used to name spacecraft? It seems that some spacecraft are named after greek and roman gods, such as:...
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
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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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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2answers
170 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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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 ...
43
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4answers
10k views

Why was Venus rather than Mars targeted for the first interplanetary landings?

This is a question about early planetary missions. It looks like there was only one early (unsuccessful) landing mission to Mars and that subsequently Venus became the target for interplanetary ...
1
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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 ...
21
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6answers
6k views

Do windows in space stations, the space shuttle, other spacecraft have practical usage?

As we know, cars need a front window because drivers need to see the road to control the car, but how about the windows in space shuttles? As far as I know, the orbits of ISS or other space devices ...

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