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Questions tagged [spacecraft]

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

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2answers
231 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
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2answers
137 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 ...
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1answer
87 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 ...
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1answer
500 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 ...
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1answer
462 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 ...
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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
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1answer
77 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 ...
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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?
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7answers
8k views

What is the rarest launch window?

What situation would make a launch window rare? What is the rarest known launch window?
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1answer
528 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
195 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. ...
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3answers
192 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 ...
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3answers
206 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 ...
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3answers
288 views

What is the largest delta-v ever produced in space 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 ...
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0answers
88 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. ...
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2answers
659 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
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 ...
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1answer
129 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?
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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 ...
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0answers
59 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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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, ...
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5answers
2k views

What is the general shape and size of a space probe, and how are they launched?

I am totally blind, and I haven't felt any models of space probes, so I have no idea how big they are, what their general shapes are, or what kind of launch systems they use. I'm assuming space probes ...
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0answers
47 views

Spacecraft Inertial Data

I am a developer of motion analytics algorithm. Having been using a 9 Dof IMU strap-down onto human and land vehicles for this algorithm. Would be interested to run my algorithm of a spacecraft IMU ...
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0answers
50 views

American Railgun and rocket [duplicate]

So I've seen the railgun before, and it suddenly come up in my mind: can we accelerate a space shuttle/rocket to a high speed,before turning on the engines?Will it save fuel of destroy electronics?
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2answers
122 views

Remaining fuel estimation/measuring Strategy in a spacecraft

During descent of a spacecraft to any planetary body the spacecraft uses retro engine with variable throttle to reduce the vehicle velocity to zero at touchdown. Inorder to compute for the amount of ...
5
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1answer
687 views

TLE SGP4 Coordinate Transformations

I am working on developing a user friendly SGP4 orbit propagator in C on a PIC24. I have extensively read Revisiting Spacetrack Report #3 and celestrak - there are a few outstanding questions I have....
2
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1answer
63 views

Energy needed to open/close entry points in a rocket

In general, how often are air locks opened on a rocket? How much energy is needed to open and close the entry point?
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2answers
242 views

Would space ship/station rotation for artificial gravity cause the “axis” to also rotate?

Would space ship/station rotation for artificial gravity cause the "axis" to also rotate similar to that of a helicopter with out a tail rotor? Additionally would a second rotating section going in ...
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2answers
221 views

Help computing solid angle subtended by the Earth as seen from LEO

I would need to compute the solid angle of the Earth from a spacecraft when close to the Earth, where no small angles approximation can be made. I thought it wouldn't be that hard but I feel actually ...
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0answers
88 views

Atomic (Quantum) Inertial Sensor

In relation to the question I was looking for the perfect sensor that would help me achieve perfect non rotating spacecraft. My search made me look for exotic phenomenon that can be utilized for such ...
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4answers
323 views

Using what technology one can keep a spacecraft truly non rotating

Inspired by the question I thought maybe a photon thruster can be used for precisely giving thrust to maintain spacecraft attitude. But soon I realized that for high precision attitude control, one ...
4
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1answer
110 views

Is there a way to reproduce Earth-like gravity on a spacecraft close to a more massive body such as the sun?

My gut impression is that an orbit would negate the feeling of gravity, and that if gravity were to be felt, it would indicate the orbit is decaying; an orbit, in effect, is the speed (or is it ...
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1answer
94 views

How are meteoroids, asteroids and debris in space tracked?

How far, small, and fast can meteors be detected?
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0answers
45 views

Attitude and orbit thrusters catalog

Typically, when trying to adjust simulation parameters (of orbit control, attitude control...) to real world values in order to validate algorithms with comparisons with past and current mission ...
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2answers
337 views

Could a satellite levitate above the magenetic fields of Earth?

Like the toy the base of the levitation could the Earth be the base and the space station the levitron? https://earthscience.stackexchange.com/questions/13854/where-on-earth-is-the-magnetic-field-...
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0answers
138 views

Small-bodies landing strategies

Looking at past landing missions on small bodies such as Eros, Itokawa and 67P I found different landing strategies Eros: NEAR Shoemaker probe performed 4 impulsive pre-planned open-loop maneuvers to ...
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1answer
187 views

Would a rotating wheel spacecraft “flip”?

I am looking over some proposed rotating spacecraft such as the Nautilus-X and the Ares from the movie The Martian as well as much more fictional ones such as from the Jovian Chronicles and even Halo. ...
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4answers
649 views

Missions at or soon-to-be at Mars and their DSN “codenames”?

I'm "mining" old DSN data and would like to see all communications with spacecraft around Mars. A quick snapshot in their data shows the following codes. I can guess that ...
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2answers
215 views

Insight mission broken-plane maneuver needed?

Will the Insight cruise stage do a broken-plane maneuver at TCM-2 (or 3), or does the Centaur upper stage have plenty of performance (as I suspect) to directly insert this small s/c into the necessary ...
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1answer
187 views

How spacecrafts are built e.g. Dragon, Orion, etc?

What materials are using to build nowadays spacecraft? What kind of joints of main structure is used - is it a welding, riveting or something else? Where can I find such informations? Any books, ...
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3answers
3k views

Are spacecraft single-use?

Are today's spacecraft and carrier rockets really for one use only (launch and landing)? And then they can't be used anymore?
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1answer
320 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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1answer
721 views

How does the Thrust-to-weight ratio of a rocket affect its efficiency and performance in atmosphere and vacuum?

Is there an optimal thrust to weight ratio or does it not matter at all?
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1answer
385 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
303 views

Why aren't there many audio soundscapes recorded within the spacecraft?

First of all, let me explain that I am totally blind, and audio is my primary source of information. Through soundscapes, I can hear how big or small a room is, and make pictorial and spatial images ...
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1answer
47 views

Change a Spacecraft's attitude from 3 - axis stabilised to spin stabilised?

I am essentially trying to "spin up" a s/c, so it spins about 1 axis at a known spin - rate. I then need to figure out how much time it will take to do that, and how much force required (which I ...
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2answers
246 views

Would Elon Musk's roadster be able to rotate itself using its wheels as reaction control?

If so, couldn't it also rotate itself sideways somewhat by turning its front wheels? (assuming it has 4wd and electricity.)
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1answer
165 views

What is the basic mechanics behind the way the orbits of the twelve Vela spacecraft evolved over decades?

After reading the question Where is Vela 1A? Is there any information what its orbit would be like now? and the answer there, it looks like they were deployed in roughly 5 day, 100,000 km circular ...
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0answers
54 views

Standards of “clean” for artifacts launched into space

When the Viking landers, and the Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity rovers were built and prepared for launch, they would have had to be made as free of Earth microbes (living or not) as ...