Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [thermal-control]

The tag has no usage guidance.

10
votes
1answer
938 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
242 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 "...
19
votes
2answers
15k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
418 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
812 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
271 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
393 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
217 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 ...
23
votes
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 ...
14
votes
3answers
4k views

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 ...
19
votes
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
222 views

Why do the ISS' Thermal Rotary Radiators need to tilt?

This answer shows the first image below of a vintage view of the ISS. Only one of each triplet of thermal radiators is extended from each TRRJ. The ISS' solar panels articulate to modulate the ...
3
votes
2answers
182 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
147 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/...