Questions tagged [spacecraft]

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

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Does Crew Dragon have a quick-release hatch?

After today's Crew Dragon launch was scrubbed, it took the pad ninjas at least ten minutes to open the hatch. One of the major criticisms of the Apollo Block 1 hatch design after the Apollo 1 fire ...
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8 votes
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Why are cone shaped heat shields used for Mars entry?

Heat shields used for Earth reentry are usually curved but heat shields used for Mars’ entry are coned shaped. Why is this?
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6 votes
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What is the maximum velocity for feathered reentry systems?

I gather that the Virgin Galactic planes use feathered reentry systems with a maximum velocity of about 1.4 Mach, or about .5 km/s. I understand this won't work from full orbital speed, 7km/s, because ...
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5 votes
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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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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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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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5 votes
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Mars curiosity rover's Maxon drive motors

I am trying to get information on the maxon drive motors on the Curiosity Rover. Does anyone know know what model of DC brushless motors are used what kind of gear speed reducer is used. Is it a ...
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4 votes
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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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4 votes
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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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4 votes
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160 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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4 votes
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Help: Specific Quote for Interstellar Spaceship

I know that this quote exists, i just don't know who said it or the specific language. The quote goes something like this: If we ever decided to send a manned spaceship (generational ship) to ...
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4 votes
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523 views

Cable lacing in spaceflight, when was waxed cord forbidden?

During the sixties of last century traditional cable lacing was done using a thin cord, traditionally made of waxed linen. The wax should improve knot retention. From NASA-STD-8739-4. Using waxed ...
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4 votes
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Spacecraft Inertial Data

I am a developer of motion analytics algorithms. I have been using a 9 Dof strap-down IMU on human and land vehicles for these algorithms. I Would be interested to test my algorithms with IMU data ...
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How are electrical and other utilities interfaces added to an operating pressurised spacecraft?

How are extra utility lines and pipes, like data, electrical, ?or gasses and fluids, added to a manned, pressurised and operating vehicle or habitat, in space? A spacecraft may be launched with, ...
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3 votes
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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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Future trends in Earth Observation and Communications from VLEO; are there any?

Question: In order to better understand the wider market need and uses for Very Low Earth Orbit (VLEO)-enabling technologies, I'd like to ask about future trends in Earth observation imagery and ...
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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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3 votes
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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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3 votes
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143 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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3 votes
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71 views

How do deep-space spacecraft and space stations protect the crew and electronic equipment from radiation during long-duration missions?

Question: How would a deep-space spacecraft protect its crew and electronics from cosmic radiation, solar wind, and solar events? I'm trying to design a hypothetical space station and have been doing ...
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3 votes
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How do you calculate burns needed to land?

Assume I was landing a rocket and wanted to do calculations on how to correctly land. How do you determine at what time you fire the engine and at what power to successfully land on a predetermined ...
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3 votes
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What is the total mass of everything launched that are still in space?

Inspired by this question, total mass ever launched to orbit (this is a different question, as many of the things launched have decayed by now.) How much of it is still up there? Out of that again, ...
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2 votes
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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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2 votes
0 answers
39 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?
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2 votes
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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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2 votes
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130 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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2 votes
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614 views

What was the volume of the Space Shuttle orbiter, not just the crew cabin or cargo bay but the total volume of the entire craft?

For context, after an in-depth Google search, I asked the question "What was the volume of the Space Shuttle orbiter, not just the crew cabin or cargo bay but the total volume of the entire craft?" on ...
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2 votes
0 answers
157 views

Recalculate Orbital Elements after a ΔV

I would like to write a program able to simulate a keplerian orbite given an initial position and velocity (r0, v0) and able to manage accelerations in different directions. To simulate the orbit, I ...
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2 votes
0 answers
212 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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2 votes
0 answers
225 views

What will be the accuracy of an Atomic (Quantum) Inertial Sensor used in spaceflight?

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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2 votes
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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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1 vote
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16 views

How to access conjunction data message data?

I have a Space-Track account, however, the public CDM's only have an ID and basic information about the two spacecraft, but nothing about their covariances or orbital information. Is there any way to ...
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1 vote
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Ion propulsion system

Good evening. Is there a formulae to calculate how much lift an ion propulsion system would create on earth, given factors like voltage, load, etcetera? Just a mathematical formulae. That is all I ask ...
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1 vote
0 answers
56 views

Pressure and Leak Testing of Rockets

For any pressure vessel, hydrostatic/pneumatic pressure testing and helium leak testing are carried out as per UG-99/UG-100 and ASME, Section V, Article 10, respectively. For a rocket, what are the ...
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1 vote
0 answers
56 views

Oxygen Generation System

Is there any possible failure that OGS (oxygen generation system which ISS has) can overproduce oxygen in a spaceship? Just wondering the possibility how can spaceship explode by themselves without ...
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1 vote
0 answers
96 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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1 vote
0 answers
74 views

Have any satellites been decommissioned because of oxidization?

Comments on Are galvanised steel parts safe to use in space? mention that oxidation happens in the upper atmosphere because of the relatively high presence of oxygen ions. This is apparently to the ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Defining overshoot and undershoot boundary of entry corridor

I have been reading up on the mathematic of atmospheric entry. I have found different methods to theoretically calculate the corridor width but I don't understand how to define the overshoot and ...
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1 vote
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Major topic headings for lunar CubeSat mission design planning?

I am working on a project to design a complete mission for a lunar CubeSat. Assuming that the launch segment is already covered and I need to focus on the spacecraft design. I wanted to know what ...
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1 vote
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119 views

How many Starship launches would it take to build this simple centrifugal space station concept?

Every centrifugal space station design I have seen uses either a large curved material or an inflatable structure. There have been no large scale curved material construction in space and only one ...
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1 vote
0 answers
42 views

application of optimal control for spacecraft control on elliptical orbits

I want to start writting paper for spacecraft control on elliptical orbits, start with introduction of what is orbits and different object out of earth and on orbits(currently and till now) so I want ...
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1 vote
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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 ...
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1 vote
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If the ISS hull were ferromagnetic what kinds of problems would that cause?

The question ISS Electromagnetic anchoring asks if the hull of the ISS were ferromagnetic, which would allow astronauts on EVAs to use magnetic grapples to assist in moving around. The answer sadly, ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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How to compute angular velocity of fluid ring for passive control?

Excuse me, friends. In paper , for passive control with eq.4, how to compute beta? beta is angular velocity of fluid in fluid. the satellite has initial angular velocity, but with filled fluid ring we ...
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Alodine on Spacecraft External Surfaces?

What type of alodine is used for external coatings on satellites, if necessary? Is it type 1 (hex chromate) or type 2? Is there a disadvantage using type 1?
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Realistic cost of pulse units for nuclear pulse propulsion?

Nuclear pulse propulsion https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Orion_(nuclear_propulsion) was believed to be - by it proponents - far superior to chemical propulsion. Either because max. delta v you ...
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0 votes
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118 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 ...
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0 votes
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103 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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How is it possible to reduce the weight of a high-energy laser?

To provide some context.. I have designed an interstellar spacecraft called Solar One. It employs a combination of 3 propulsion methods: nuclear fusion, beam-powered propulsion , and photon propulsion....
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Would a Mars flyby be possible on a transfer orbit from Saturn's moon of Titan to Earth?

So, I am trying to calculate whether a transfer burn from Saturn's moon of Titan to Earth would involve a Mars flyby, assuming I have the burn start on 2 March, 2025 and arrival on 19 March, 2031. ...
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