Questions tagged [spacecraft]

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

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0answers
443 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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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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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 ...
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2answers
132 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, ...
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1answer
160 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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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
56 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
6k 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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48 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
51 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
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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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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2answers
672 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:...
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1answer
376 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
125 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 ...
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1answer
939 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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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
75 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
135 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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2answers
171 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 ...
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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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4answers
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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 ...
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1answer
158 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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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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1answer
222 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 haven’t we landed probes on Neptune, Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury with onboard cameras?

Why haven’t we landed probes on Neptune, Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury with onboard cameras? Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 were sent out in the 70’s, with 70’s technology, is there technology available that ...
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0answers
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
124 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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10answers
8k views

Can you really use Arduino for a small spacecraft?

A group of Russian geeks intends to shoot a small vehicle to the moon, which is supposed to photograph the places of the Apollo landings. This will be the ultimate proof that people actually visited ...
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3answers
846 views

Strategies for combating ESD and ground plane potential shifts on spacecraft charging?

What are some common design guidelines/practices to combat the electrical effects of spacecraft charging(e.g. ESD, ground plane shift). Is it to focus on more resilient parts, and reduce resistance/...
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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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2answers
1k views

Are any of these Soyuz controls involved in separating the orbital module?

According to this Q & A, it's very likely that the Soyuz spacecraft's orbital module can be manually separated independent of other spacecraft operations. On this CollectSpace page, there's an ...
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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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4answers
5k views

Why is there a large wooden ball on Mariner 3's magnetometer?

Wood is good for certain niche space exploration applications, but the one below is not for spaceflight. According to the documentation for the archived photo: Several spacecraft were built for the ...
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1answer
55 views

How does JWSTs ISIM direct light into its detectors?

I came across this diagram in the JWST User documentation which explains how light is directed into the ISIM (Integrated Scientific Instrument Module): But the ISIM contains four detectors (MIRI, ...
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1answer
112 views

Did the Mars Science Laboratory do any science that wasn't done by Curiosity proper?

This answer to What is the equivalent of Curiosity's “MSL” in the context of Perseverance? What's the official name of the mission? Are the distinctions similar? got me thinking that answers to Where ...
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1answer
236 views

Why soviet didn't bring back “laika” to earth & how re-entry logic works?

Was technology not developed that time to do reentry ? When was the first attempt made to re-enter orbit ? How did Soviet successfully did re-entry for Gagarin but not earlier missions ?
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60 views

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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2answers
1k views

ISS Destiny Module inner wall: thickness set by internal atmospheric pressure or by mass density needed for meteor shielding?

In their 2006 paper Christiansen et al. describe the "stuffed Whipple shield" wall of the ISS's Destiny Module. The outer skin, the Whipple shield's "bumper" layer, is a thin layer of aluminum (alloy ...
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2answers
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Sending a camera to space?

I’m trying to get some interesting footage of the earth from space. I’m considering a weather balloon (preferably available online) with helium. I’d rather it be actually on the border of space, 100km ...
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2answers
673 views

Sources of Xenon or other noble gases in space?

Xenon is a common choice for ion thrusters, though other heavy noble gases could work due to their low ionization potentials. I got thinking about building or refilling future space travel ion ...
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1answer
115 views

Orbiting the earth

What is the minimum speed in Km/hour (tangential to earth's surface) required to orbit the earth, at an altitude of 111 Km (well beyond Karman line), where there is no atmospheric drag. Can we achieve ...
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2answers
729 views

How do space blankets (thermal blankets) work?

On earth, blankets serve to primarily buffer temperature changes / heat transfer that would occur via convection (e.g. a blanket traps air near you so that after your body warms it, it doesn't just ...
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1answer
102 views

How did the first astronauts/kosmonauts in the 1940s/1950s *know* that the sky isn't actually a dome with “little dots” (stars)?

This may sound ridiculous, like a joke question, but I'm for real. I've been thinking a lot about things like this, but I always return to this question: Those early "space explorers" who ...
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1answer
506 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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1answer
11k views

Difference between true anomaly and mean anomaly

What is the difference between true anomaly and mean anomaly in orbital mechanics? I want to understand the physical meaning of mean anomaly, for example true anomaly is the angular position of a ...

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