Questions tagged [spacecraft]

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

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2
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4answers
306 views

Have space probe gone to unplanned destinations?

Reading this question about multiple gravity assists (Why is Voyager 1 faster than all other space probes?), it caused me to wonder if any probes have been redirected to additional (or alternate) ...
22
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2answers
4k views

Does anybody work on a “spacecraft linux”?

There are quite many industrial Linux adaptions around, like in your router's firmware or the Android OS. On long term, probably any spacecraft will need to run more or less standard profiles of ...
2
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2answers
123 views

Using heated water as propellant for a DT-He3 fusion thruster

Not sure if this would be best placed here or in World building SE, but I'll try here. Let's say I have a Dueterium-Helium 3 fusion pulse engine (similar to what is in the Expanse) that will use ...
6
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6answers
2k views

Is a spherical rocket design a plausible replacement for current designs today?

In Germany, there is a very well known sci-fi novel series in which some of the spaceships are spheres with a toroidal bulge around the equator in which the (downward pointing) engines are situated. ...
9
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5answers
12k views

What is the optimum shape for a spacecraft?

I understand that these days a spacecraft design is very much centred on what can be lifted into space by current rockets, hence the modular, cylindrical shape of the ISS. So, with current ...
19
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3answers
3k views

Is there any way that real stars would move like they do in the classic Windows 3.x screensaver if traveling through space at extreme speed?

In old versions of Windows, such as 3.1, there was this screensaver called "Starfield". It looked like this: However, in movies and TV series, it usually looks like ...
10
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2answers
613 views

Why space probes are so different from each other?

Everytime I look at a space probe I see a whole different design and this puzzles me. I do understand that each mission is different and requires different science instruments. I also do understand ...
8
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1answer
565 views

Autonomous Navigation for deep space missions

Autonomous navigation started in early phases of deep space exploration as a provision to achieve accuracy for planet/natural satellite targeting and approach, where radio tracking accuracies were low,...
18
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2answers
2k views

Which parts of a spacecraft are joined by adhesives?

Where in a spacecraft are adhesives most commonly or routinely used? Are there specific spacecraft components or assemblies that are regularly built by using adhesives rather than other methods of ...
7
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3answers
362 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 ...
2
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1answer
205 views

Can Li-ion batteries replace parts of the physical structure of a spacecraft, such as the hull of a crewed spaceship?

Batteries contain metals with some structural rigidity themselves, and need encapsulation anyway. Could the batteries a spacecraft needs be used to build part of the physical structure, such as the ...
11
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1answer
1k 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 ...
36
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4answers
6k views

Why wasn't the Mars Climate Orbiter's fatal error caught prior to launch?

The Mars Climate Orbiter failed in 1999 due to: ground-based computer software which produced output in non-SI units of pound (force)-seconds (lbf·s) instead of the SI units of newton-seconds (N·s) ...
5
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1answer
164 views

How does the Bias Momentum Wheel and the Reactive Momentum Wheel differ?

I have done a lot of searches on the types of momentum wheels, but I couldn't find too much answers. What are the differences between a Bias Momentum Wheel and Reactive Momentum Wheel, and what they ...
0
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4answers
67 views

Relating Rocket Propellant Selection to Specific Impulse

Is it possible to directly relate a fuel/oxidizer selection to specific impulse at vacuum? I have tried a few different methods, but cannot seem to directly relate the two.
5
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4answers
411 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 ...
6
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3answers
897 views

SAR image processing

Is it possible for conventional x86 based processor/High precision GPU to be used for image processing for space borne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) system? If not, are there alternatives using ...
2
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1answer
886 views

How are the velocity and range of a spacecraft measured from ground based stations?

How are the velocity and range of a spacecraft measured from ground based stations? For example we can go on NASA's website and look at the real time data for the mission status of their past ...
18
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3answers
4k views

If the Earth spun clockwise, how would that affect Space Exploration?

If viewed from the North Pole, the Earth spins counter-clockwise. Because of this, many satellites also orbit in the same direction as you can take advantage of the Earth's rotation and essentially ...
3
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1answer
114 views

Is it possible to create an overridable inflatable airlock seal?

If the information I obtained is correct, inflatable airlocks are sealed by the air pressure and cannot be unlocked unless the pressure is lowered(correct me if I'm wrong). Additionally, airlocks ...
5
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4answers
3k views

Could steam be used as a efficient power source for a space craft?

Could water (steam) be used as an effective power source for a manned spaceship headed to Mars? The basic idea is simple... Heat the water on the sunny side of the spacecraft, allow the steam to ...
2
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1answer
136 views

Could a carbon arc lamp help to propel a spacecraft through interstellar space?

I would like to know, on a theoretical basis, if the electron flow entering into the anode of a carbon arc lamp would impart enough kinetic energy to the anode, and thus to the spacecraft, to help ...
2
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1answer
107 views

How are satellite operating modes implemented?

It is pretty simple to find documentation about satellite operating modes behaviour when trying to develop satellite onboard software (example of safe mode behaviour on wikipedia, or on researchgate), ...
5
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1answer
150 views

Proposed spacecraft propulsion with particle accelerator

With the new particle acceleration technology of plasma accelerator, electrons or protons can be accelerated to relativistic speed in a device much smaller than current Linac (According to wikipedia, ...
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0answers
65 views

Aldrin cycler mission to Mars in MATLAB [closed]

I am planning to do a mission project on Aldrin Cycler (Earth to Mars) in MATLAB. Can you please suggest me where to start. I tried reading few research paper related to this topic, any other advice?
7
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2answers
7k views

How do the movable-neck space suit helmet works?

Looking at Gemini´s spacesuit G-4C I always wonder how did they make the neck joint able to swivel, allowing the user to look at both directions? Wouldnt be easier to make a slightly bigger helmet (i....
16
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9answers
12k views

If a spaceship ran out of fuel somewhere in space between Earth and Mars, does it slowly drift off to the Sun?

Pretty much what the title is saying. I feel like I am missing something fundamental here and this is driving me crazy. Does a spaceship which is out of Earth's gravity drift to the Sun eventually?
5
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2answers
217 views

Does knocking on walls produce a different sound when adjacent to a vaccum?

If I was to knock on a wall or door between a pressurised room and a vacuum, would that sound different from knocking on a wall or door of the same material between two pressurised rooms? If not, ...
3
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1answer
153 views

Were there any spacecraft with nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere, but without a system for nitrogen replenishment?

When watching the Vintage Space video Apollo’s Flammable Oxygen Atmosphere Explained, I started to think: was there ever any spacecraft proposed with nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere, but without a system ...
-5
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1answer
134 views

How to heat up the inside of a metal ball in space

Ok, they say third times the charm. Say you had a metal ball around 30 feet in diameter. At a distance of 143 million miles from the sun and you were trying to heat the air up inside the ball using ...
2
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1answer
197 views

How to become an astronaut?

I am a pure/applied mathematics student at Tehran University. About 2 or 3 years later I will get my bachelor's degree and start studying master's in applied math or theoretical physics. And maybe I ...
3
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1answer
77 views

Is there potential for Trident to visit a KBO like New Horizons did?

After its flyby of Pluto, New Horizons was also able to visit 486958 Arrokoth achieving secondary scientific goals and providing a picture of a KBO snowman. Could Trident potentially also be able to ...
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1answer
158 views

How can the download speed increase from space probes?

It always seems to be a genuine question that is How can we download data from far away probes in instant. When New Horizons reached Ultima Thule, it took us quite a few months to have a great picture ...
8
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1answer
2k views

Are there any photo(s) of International Space Station (ISS) captured from above its altitude? [duplicate]

Are there any attempts made to capture an image of the whole ISS in one take? Or is it not currently practically possible? If Soyuz, SpaceX Dragon, etc. have cameras installed on them, images can be ...
1
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1answer
78 views

Would a space rocket launching from Ceres in a path to Jupiter be faster relatively to the sun than one launching from Earth?

Suppose you have a space rocket which when launching from Earth its speed relatively to Earth it's 11 km/s. For what I've read in another topic in Space SE, the orbital velocity of the planet where a ...
1
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2answers
117 views

what exactly from our ecological system is monitored by satellites?

I know there are some satellites in space that monitor specific things in order for us to be able to forecast the weather. Next to this I would like to know what other elements (mostly related to ...
1
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0answers
97 views

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 ...
22
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1answer
2k views

Why did Apollo spacecraft use both AC and DC equipment? Still used in present and future designs?

Why did the Apollo spacecraft use both DC and AC power, requiring heavy inverters? Was it impractical to design everything to run on DC power only? Why? Are both AC and DC power still used in present ...
5
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0answers
287 views

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 ...
1
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2answers
193 views

Will there be torques on spacecraft due to interaction of magnetic torquer with the residual magnetic field of the spacecraft?

Assuming the magnetorquer and the field generating electronics are both rigidly fixed to the spacecraft cube. Reference to any supporting papers/articles would be great. Thanks. Would the residual ...
3
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0answers
57 views

What is the proper terminology for the process of a satellite entering a planet's shadow? [closed]

What is the proper terminology for when a satellite or spaceship passes into a planet's shadow or night side? Is it crossing the terminator? Passing into eclipse (or something better)? If there is a ...
2
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2answers
302 views

Two-body problem VS Three-body problem Applications

The two-body problem deals with two bodies under certain assumptions while the restricted three-body problem deals with three bodies where one has a negligible mass (i.e. spacecraft or comet) I was ...
32
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3answers
6k views

What is the total mass sent into orbit over all history?

I would like to find a good estimate of the sum total amount of payload that humans have put into space, that is, over all years, all space programs, and all types of payload that reached orbit. ...
2
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1answer
246 views

Can reaction wheels be used for detumbling?

During orbit insertion, the satellite can start with a high tip-off rate which requires detumbling. From what I have read, detumbling is usually done using magnetorquers. I was wondering if ...
7
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1answer
585 views

What about Orion ISS missions?

I remember that the Orion spacecraft was a thing when it had its maiden voyage in 2014. Nowadays, all I read about is the SpaceX Crew Dragon and Boeing Starliner, which are both running late. Soyuz ...
3
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2answers
573 views

Do they actually regularly send out people with space ships to spacewalk out and fix broken satellites?

I have an extremely limited understanding on how many people have been "in space" (at least in orbit around Earth) and how many people go there every year/month/week(?). It could be 1 per year or 100 ...
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0answers
39 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
429 views

Did the heat shield of the Vostok 1 capsule ablate during reentry?

This Wikipedia article (in german) has some information about the heat shield of Vostok 1. The heat shield was made from asbestos, its thickness was increased from 3 cm to up to 18 cm. The weight of ...
-1
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1answer
86 views

Artificial Gravity [closed]

Is it possible to make the artificial gravity for space station to work by using the Permanent Magnet (PM) technology to float/rotate and balance out the inner floor/living quarters to counter-rotate ...
2
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1answer
215 views

Can jet engines be used to launch a rocket?

Following up on my previous question Can a VASIMR Plasma engine be used to launch a rocket?, I was told that VASIMR plasma thrusters are inefficient in an atmosphere. I then had the idea of using jet ...

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