Questions tagged [united-states]

Questions regarding spacecraft, projects, or agencies of or relating to the United States of America.

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18
votes
6answers
7k views

Why does the government still fund SLS while SpaceX is cheaper and has the same capabilities if not better?

Due to SpaceX's recent advancements in now proven rocket tech, why does the government still fund (what some would argue to be bloated) cost-plus contracts with Boeing and Lockheed? Am I missing ...
14
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1answer
336 views

How does the US's 2008 debris cloud compare to India's 2019 and China's 2007 contributions?

The NPR News article NASA: Debris From India's Anti-Satellite Test Raised Threat To Space Station discusses last week's antisatellite test by India described further in answers to India just shot down ...
13
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1answer
1k views

Russian "kerosene" versus American "RP-1"

RP-1 rocket fuel is a "highly refined form of kerosene". Most of the literature I have seen refers to Russian rockets using kerosene, versus American rockets using RP-1 (*1). Is there really such a ...
1
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1answer
255 views

How will the Gateway-before-boots sequence benefit US business, economic and technological development?

Update: Several people were kind enough to make helpful suggestions about this question. I'm looking strictly for well-reasoned, fact-based answer only. Thanks! In the question More complete source ...
7
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1answer
691 views

Does the US Navy guard SpaceX drone ships and make sure bad actors don't abscond with critical technology on the high seas?

SpaceX loses the center core of its Falcon Heavy rocket due to choppy seas While I thought my question How vulnerable could space launch vehicles be to a “lone gunman”? was just my tangential ...
7
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1answer
914 views

What Soviet signals (if any) attempted to scramble communication and sabotage Apollo missions?

The NPR.org news item and audio podcast JoAnn Morgan: The Only Woman In The Firing Room During Apollo 11 features an excellent interview with JoAnn Morgan and other KSC personal. It's a short but ...
3
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0answers
197 views

More complete source for Lunar Gateway is “a stupid architecture” comments? (National Space Council Users' Advisory Group)

The Ars Technica article Former NASA administrator says Lunar Gateway is “a stupid architecture” disusses a meeting of the National Space Council Users' Advisory Group. Apparently there was not around-...
3
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1answer
282 views

Does the US government plan to issue "Astronaut Wings" for anyone passing 80 km forever?

Related and potentially helpful here: What kind of badge will tourists who performed a sub-orbital spaceflight receive? but here I'm asking specifically about the US government's future plans. The BBC'...
1
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1answer
197 views

If the Earth spun clockwise, would Florida have still satisfied the requirements for the US launch center in the 1960's?

In a comment under the question If the Earth spun clockwise, how would that affect Space Exploration? I wrote: Kennedy Space Center would be a lot closer to JPL; not sure what all happens with the ...
1
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1answer
112 views

What were the two circa 1965 semi-polar missions launched from Cape Canaveral?

Teslarati's SpaceX sets date for first Florida launch of its kind in more than half a century says That November 1960 launch thus shut down East Coast polar launches to avoid overflying Cuba and ...
13
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3answers
411 views

Can I make a completely ITAR-free spaceship?

Edit: I need to completely rewrite this question. Is it possible (either theoretically possible, or realistically possible) for a suffciently well-funded USA-based organization to make a complete ...
11
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1answer
979 views

How close was the U.S. DoD to getting their own space shuttle?

This answer explains that the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) had plans for their own space shuttle. The so-called "blue shuttle" would be operated by the U.S. Air Force out of Vandenberg Air Force ...
8
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2answers
313 views

Does the U.S. still manufacture technologies for its space program that would otherwise be obsolete?

Are there technologies (materials, components, systems, or software) that continue to be manufactured in the United States for space applications, even though they would otherwise be considered ...
8
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1answer
522 views

How many US states receive large amounts of money due to SLS?

That NASA is spread out over so many locations across the US is history and discussed elsewhere in this site. Briefly, Congress approves funding and the funding ends up in many, many of congress' ...
5
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1answer
477 views

Who decided that a <1 in 10,000 probability of contaminating the europan ocean by a viable Earth microorganism was legally and ethically sufficient?

In comments below Is there any demonstrated or even proposed technology that can sterilize a spacecraft with 100% certainty and yet leave it electronically functional? there is a link to Europa Lander ...
4
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0answers
111 views

Do SpaceX and other US-based launch companies get "ITAR waivers" for live-broadcasting processed telemetry data?

The 17-Feb-2016 answer to Is the Falcon 9 launch/landing telemetry data available for visualisation purposes? explains that access to telemetry data is controlled by ITAR and/or other regulations, but ...
4
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1answer
343 views

Has the National Near Earth Object Preparedness Strategy and Action Plan seen any action?

This answer to Does NASA have an end-of-the-world policy? mentions the National Near Earth Object Preparedness Strategy and Action Plan. Has this plan resulted in any action?
4
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0answers
136 views

Why does this "Midas missile early warning satellite" have a tilting cone with such a complex black-and-white checkerboard pattern?

Clicking on images of historic satellites led me to the airvectors.net page Foundations Of Automated Space Technology which includes this image and passage: A number of Samos satellites were also ...
3
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2answers
118 views

Can satellites really be launched within hours with RocketLab?

Watching the Rocket Lab - In Focus Launch 10/28/2020 video linked below, there is a section at 12:50: The ability to deploy new satellites to precise orbits in a ...
2
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1answer
158 views

What was the first successful demonstration of a fuel cell in space?

Hydrogen fuel cells (together with batteries) were used for electrical power in the Apollo program, where it was recombined with oxygen on board to produce electricity. Doing chemistry in practical ...
1
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1answer
67 views

Is 18 Space Control Squadron (18 SPCS) which "detects, tracks, and identifies all artificial objects in Earth orbit" a part of Space Force?

According to their twitter account: 18 Space Control Squadron (18 SPCS) detects, tracks, and identifies all artificial objects in Earth orbit. Is 18 SPCS a US military squadron? Is it a part of ...