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Questions tagged [thermal-control]

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3answers
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Is it bad if hydrazine freezes on a spacecraft? Is it always kept as liquid, or can it be safely allowed to freeze and then thawed when needed?

After having read this answer I wondered what happens if hydrazine freezes. It looks like it is "normal" and not like water, in the sense that it contracts when freezing, unlike water which expands ...
1
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0answers
48 views

What was NASA's “LUROVA” Operational Thermal Computer Model analog or digital? How were capacitors used?

@GremlinWrangler's answer links to Apollo Rover Lessons Learned Applying Experiences on the Apollo Lunar Rover Project to Rovers for Future Space Exploration by Ronald A. Creel, Space and ...
2
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0answers
52 views

Is it undesirable for LOx to splash on the walls of combustion chamber?

Typically, there are annular ports on the injector plate to introduce fuel to cool the combustion chamber. Why is LOx not used for cooling despite it being extremely cold? Given there will be a lot ...
2
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1answer
206 views

Can an air conditioner be made to work with 0 gravity?

In another question: How does the freon compressor work at 0 gravity? This seems overly complicated to get some cold air in space. Can an A/C compressor (we use in our house) be made to have gravity ...
1
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1answer
115 views

What is a “diode heat-pipe” and why is it considered passive?

I just saw the following block quote and table (Table 4.4-1) in this answer about temperature limits of spacecraft electronic systems. A source for the document appears to be http://vibrationdata.com/...
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0answers
42 views

Thermal control

I am interested in spacecraft thermal control. Is there any book on the subject with a good theoretical base that I could look into? Thanks in advance.
4
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0answers
39 views

What is a current/good Mass Estimating Equation/Heuristic for space radiators/heating systems?

Has anyone does any analysis for thermal control systems for manned space habitats? I know Gilmore has data for unmanned systems, but I was looking for data for unmanned systems, preferably to develop ...
3
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1answer
227 views

Why were early satellites produced with polished “mirror-like” surfaces?

Many/most early artificial satellites were spheres with mirror-like polished outer surfaces. I am guessing that for lower orbits the spherical shape minimized drag as well as simplified the analysis ...
7
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1answer
149 views

Are there any viable hot structure orbital spacecraft designs capable of re-entry?

The current design of all orbital spacecraft capable of re-entry is cold-structure, using ablative materials, insulating tiles other approaches to keep the structure of the spacecraft relatively low ...
1
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2answers
201 views

Why are deeper folds better for absorption?

The NASA News item NASA’s New Shape-Shifting Radiator Inspired by Origami describes a technique for spacecraft temperature regulation combining both a shape-changing surface and an emissivity-changing ...
2
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0answers
81 views

How does “temperature” work in vacuum? [duplicate]

To conduct heat, a medium is required (e.g. Atmosphere) But at higher altitudes atmosphere is too thin, yet Wikipedia states temperatures in the thermosphere can rise to 2,000$^{\circ}$C ...
1
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1answer
671 views

Does an astronaut sweat in a space suit?

How effective is the thermal control system and the liquid cooling garment of a space suit? Does it prevent sweating only for a small to medium workload? If an astronaut is sweating behind his ears ...
2
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1answer
509 views

Why does the side of the LEM look almost black in this photo? Did that cause problems?

After reading this answer about the RTGs used on the Lunar surface, I added some of the images from the Wikipdia article Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package into this answer, where I noted that ...
3
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1answer
306 views

What were the uses of the RTGs in the Apollo spacecrafts?

I was listening to the Plutonium episode of "the Elements" on the BBC, and between 07:00 and 08:30 they talked about uses of plutonium such as spacecraft power and heat. While the returning astronauts ...
8
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1answer
394 views

How cold is the Martian sky at night? Or the day for that matter?

If you take a simple infrared "thermometer" which is actually a lot like a bolometer and point it at a clear sky, it says "cold!" because in the wavelength range that it's using (roughly 5 to 15 ...
10
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1answer
885 views

How can the Parker Solar Probe survive passing within 4 million miles of the sun's surface?

There is a lot of information on the internet about NASA's Parker Solar Probe mission, including several multi-hundred page scientific reviews and in-depth studies - here's one. But could someone take ...
23
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2answers
3k views

Why did Salyut 7 freeze over, while ISS requires massive cooling system?

The cosmonauts from Soyuz T-13 mission "wore winter garb, including fur-lined hats, as they entered the station." "Frost covered the walls and apparatus. " Essentially, the heat balance of Salyut 7 ...
4
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2answers
216 views

Temperature of photovoltaic cells vs efficiency - is it ever actively controlled?

The efficiency of photovoltaic cells is surprisingly strong function of junction temperature. Hotter usually means lower efficiency. If one searches for example for images and sites tagged with "...
4
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2answers
504 views

Why do some spacecraft have heat radiators? Why not repurpose the energy?

I would have thought that you would want to conserve as much energy as possible - or is energy/electricity not a problem?
3
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2answers
178 views

How close are Zeeman slowers to being useful for general cooling in space?

Related to Are there any promising next-generation space station cooling technologies?, I'm wondering specifically about a technology that hasn't been mentioned there: Zeeman slowers. Since these are ...
19
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1answer
1k views

What cooling improvements did the Venera missions make?

I've been reading about Russia's (former Soviet Union) Venera missions, and one thing about them that has impressed me is the incremental improvements the landers made in their lifespans before ...
12
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1answer
209 views

What cryogenic selective surface materials have high Technology Readiness Level?

NIAC ("NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts") has approved the following research application for 2015 funding: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/cryogenic-selective-surfaces Cryogenic Selective Surfaces ...
5
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2answers
499 views

How can I make robust guesses about waste heat from satellites?

For a university project I'm making thermal assumptions and introductionary design of a small satellite. Satellite electronics use around 30W energy in total (inc. Camera, on board computer etc.) . ...
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2answers
4k views

How is heat in space dissipated?

This doesn't make sense to me. How is this radiation given off? Is it a natural phenomenon helped along by using certain materials, or an active system? How are "heat radiating fins" possible in deep ...
8
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1answer
291 views

Might thermal mass, reflective insulation, and limiting light penetration allow heat control on the Moon? (reboot)

Extensive Edit - I'm genuinely seeking a better understanding of this so I am putting up a new version of this question. I used an example design to make the matter easier to discuss, but it was ...
11
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1answer
364 views

How does the space station rotate, if at all?

I know the station's solar panels rotate to track the sun (and also rotate to be in-line with the station for lower drag on night passes), but how does the station itself rotate? I imagine it has to ...
12
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1answer
781 views

With one out of two Thermal Control Systems on ISS malfunctioning, how long can Loop B keep up with increased load?

International Space Station (ISS) is in trouble again. One of the two Thermal Control System (TCS) loops (Loop A) is malfunctioning due to a troublesome Flow Control Valve (FCV). This is nothing new ...
18
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2answers
13k views

How is heat dissipated from a satellite or any metal in space?

All the artificial satellites launched in space have a series of solar cells attached to them. When in use, these panels absorb a lot of radiation from the Sun and put it to use. So, do these panels ...