Questions tagged [spacecraft]

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

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83 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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2answers
2k views

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
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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. ...
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1answer
133 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
192 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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633 views

Did the spacecrafts Galileo or Juno use the Galilean moons for a gravity assist before entering Jovian orbit?

Galileo and Juno are the only two spacecraft to have entered orbit around Jupiter. Did either of them use one of the Galilean moons for a gravity brake before in order to enter a stable orbit around ...
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1answer
173 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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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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1answer
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Why have we not seen spin gravity testing in space? Artificial gravity created through centrifugal/centripetal force [duplicate]

Why have I not seen any spin gravity testing in space? Or, more accurately, artificial gravity created through centrifugal/centripetal force. I haven't heard of any tests in standalone spacecraft or ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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136 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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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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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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2answers
163 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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3answers
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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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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? ...
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202 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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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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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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59 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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2answers
104 views

For deep space missions, how thick must the water filled layer within the ship's hull be to effectively shield against cosmic rays? [closed]

Initially i proposed a 27cm thick barrier. But im not really sure thatll be enough
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1answer
69 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 ...
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1answer
106 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 ...
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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.
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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:
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3answers
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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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2answers
125 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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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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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 ...
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1answer
667 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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54 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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45 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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1answer
56 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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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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140 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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4answers
186 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 ...
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1answer
370 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 ...
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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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1answer
937 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 ...
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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
131 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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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 ...
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1answer
152 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 ...
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70 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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1answer
123 views

Is GNU Radio being used for any Deep Space Missions in development?

GNU Radio is an open source collection of code and tools to build various radio elements for a "Software Defined Radio" or a radio implemented with the help of an FPGA that is programmed to ...
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0answers
65 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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1answer
203 views

Is there an equivalent of the Dragon 'claw' and Apollo umbilical fairing between the Soyuz crew and service modules?

The Apollo service module provided power etc. to the command module through umbilical connections covered by a fairing. When the two modules were separated, a 'guillotine' cut through the cables and ...
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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
88 views

Can Virgin Galactic's Orbital ship reach ISS

We have all come across theories, concepts proposed missions of orbit tour as a part of space tourism. One such company is Virgin Galactic. I have had read that the SpaceShip2 will have merely 6 mins ...
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1answer
130 views

Wont any space battle fill up the system with supersonic lethal shrapnel, making space very dangerous?

Any explosion in space might produce very fast moving projectiles, that after getting slingshotted by planets may pick up way more speed. Same might happen with every bullet that misses. They are ...

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