Questions tagged [water]

Questions about research and use of water in space environment

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138
votes
5answers
36k views

Nudism in space: Why wear clothes anyway?

Currently, doing laundry in microgravity is an unsolved engineering problem. The result is that clean clothes on the International Space Station have become a consumable resource. Clean clothes get ...
52
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2answers
44k views

What is the purpose of the jets of water often under rocket engines during launch?

I have watched several STS launches, and noticed that there were always huge jets of water that would begin right before the rocket engines lit. They were right under the rocket, mounted to the pad. ...
45
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6answers
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Can/should you swim in zero G?

Inspired by Are there types of animals that can't make the trip to space? (physiologically) and related to but not a duplicate of Can you swim in space?... Swimming on the moon / in low gravity ...
30
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2answers
43k views

What thickness/depth of water would be required to provide radiation shielding in Earth orbit?

If using water or ice as a radiation shield how thick/deep would it need to be? Would it make a difference if the water was frozen (water ice being less dense then liquid)? Edit I would like to ...
26
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2answers
804 views

How to explore subsurface oceans (cheaply)?

There are dozens of speculative proposals to explore Europa, Enceladus, and possibly other Solar System bodies (including Sedna and other Trans-Neptunians!) that may be endowed with liquid water under ...
23
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8answers
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Is there any economical way to move the water from the Martian poles to the people?

update: Water at the poles has some more recent news: Science: 03-August-2018 Radar evidence of subglacial liquid water on Mars EarthSky.org: 28-Sept-2018 Pink lagoon provides clues to possible Mars ...
22
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3answers
5k views

Is water on Mars the same as Earth water?

I would like to know how similar Mars water is to Earth water. Can we survive on Mars with Martian water without any major health issues etc?
21
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1answer
534 views

Would the blast clearing technique used in snorkeling work in an EVA situation?

Luca Parmitano wrote about his experience with water filling his helmet during EVA on the International Space Station. It's a harrowing account and he explains part of his thought process: I force ...
19
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4answers
1k views

Could any life from Earth survive in Enceladus' oceans?

Enceladus, the sixth-largest moon of Saturn, is probably unique in being the only body in our solar system besides Earth (and possibly Europa) to have significant amounts of liquid water. Most of this ...
19
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1answer
1k views

Is potable water in the American & Russian segments still stored separately?

This article writes to say An interesting fact is that the Russian and American segment water supplies can’t be mixed. The U.S. water uses iodine for bacteria control, while the Russian water uses ...
18
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6answers
3k views

What does space have to do with providing “fresh water … without the need for aquifers or pipes?” as Steven Kwast suggested?

In this speech, retired U.S. Air Force General Steven Kwast (ostensibly fired for promoting a U.S. Space Force over objections from the outgoing Secretary of the Air Force) suggests the U.S. space ...
18
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3answers
1k views

My space station is filling with water

This question may be a bit silly, but this video of Chris Hadfield wringing out a wet washcloth on the ISS got me thinking... In the video you can clearly see drops of water floating away from the ...
17
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4answers
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How would swimming on Mars feel, given the lower gravity?

The hypothetical swimming pool is inside a habitat at atmospheric pressure, and on Mars at 0.38g of Earth. What are the major differences regarding water properties (viscosity, surface tension, ...
16
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1answer
5k views

Can you take a bath on Mars?

A common picture of someone floating on the Dead Sea or Great Salt Lake, shows how high you float. l If you had that water in a bath tub, I don't think you would sink to the bottom, you would just ...
16
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2answers
2k views

What was the source of the fluid in Luca Parmitano's suit?

There has been a lot of press (example) and commentary about the near drowning in space of Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano on July 16, 2013. We have a question Would the blast clearing technique ...
15
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1answer
1k views

How do they conduct electrolysis in zero gravity?

I'm building an electrolysis cell myself, and got to wondering. On Earth, there is a significant force pushing bubbles of hydrogen and oxygen upward, so your electrodes still contact mainly water. ...
14
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4answers
3k views

What about gathering water ice from Saturn's rings?

Saturn's rings are almost pure water ice in nice manageable chunks from specks to boulders a few meters across. Assuming there is something truly useful to do with it - once again talking about ...
13
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5answers
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What is the difference between an astronaut in the ISS and a freediver in perfect neutral buoyancy?

For example, does the blood of the freediver accumulates in his/her head while being upside down, as it would on land, or not, as it would in microgravity environment ?
13
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3answers
537 views

Has water ever been confirmed on comets?

I am watching a documentary called "The Electric Comet," and the narrator claims that water has never been collected or detected from comets. This should be a surprising result as standard theory ...
13
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3answers
895 views

Does it snow in LEO?

How does water spray behave in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), from the side exposed to the Sun to the side in Earth's shadow? Could it be used as means of augmenting atmospheric drag and deorbiting defunct ...
12
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4answers
2k views

Boiling ponds and pools on Mars?

In the related questions Can you take a bath on Mars? & How would swimming on Mars feel, given the lower gravity? we learn that bathing and swimming on Mars is much like it is on Earth. Some ...
12
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3answers
5k views

Could a Soyuz land in water?

While watching Soyuz exp. 37/1 land, I was struck with a thought: that capsule looks an awful lot like a submarine. This seems to be a problem if the crew ever needed to make an emergency landing ...
12
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1answer
2k views

Is water on-board space-craft (such as ISS) rationed?

An NIH abstract writes to say A daily water intake of 3.7 L for adult men and 2.7 L for adult women meets the needs of the vast majority of persons. Is water on-board space-craft (such as ISS, ...
12
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1answer
487 views

Why did Apollo 13 need to ration water?

Drinking water in the lunar module originated from four water tanks: two in the ascent stage and two in the descent stage. (Unlike the CSM, there were no fuel cells to make more water.) Section 7.2....
12
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1answer
382 views

Are there any possible methods for keeping surface water on mars?

I've been reading this wikipedia article on terraforming mars. One of the major issues with terraforming mars is essential molecules and elements escaping the planet. There have been several ...
11
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3answers
1k views

Why aren't sea launches used more often?

I was reading yet another awesome Tildal answer, and this picture caught my eye:        Zenit-3SL carrying Atlantic Bird 7 lifts off from Odyssey platform (Source: The ...
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4answers
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What kind of engine uses water as a propellant?

I often read about future spacecraft gathering water ice to use as a propellant, yet this doesn't line up with any of the propulsion methods I know to exist today. What type of engine could use water ...
11
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3answers
774 views

Will uncovering the ice deposit in Utopia Planitia improve the climate on Mars?

In 2016 a large ice deposit has been found within the Utopia Planitia region on Mars by the SHARAD instrument on board of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The thickness of the deposit ranges from ...
11
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2answers
540 views

How does a water based acoustic suppression system work?

Now a days every rocket launch (except Russian or cliff hanging launch) happens using water acoustic suppression system. How does the water based acoustic suppression works? What is the water ...
11
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1answer
408 views

How did the Apollo survival kit desalter work?

According to the Apollo Experience Report: Crew Provisions and Equipment Subsystem, NASA Tech Note D-6737, p. 29, the survival kit in the Apollo command module had a means to remove the salt from ...
11
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1answer
302 views

Liquids Plumbing on board

When a cargo mission is flown toward the ISS, there are at least four different kinds of liquids that may need to be moved into/out of the station: Propellant for Zvezda's thrusters Water Wastewater ...
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4answers
2k views

If there is actual ice on the moon, why hasn't it sublimated?

The Ars Technica article NASA seeks industry help with lunar landings, potentially sample return discusses the potential value of ice on the moon as a source for fuel in future space missions. Ice ...
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2answers
2k views

What is the science behind the canals of Mars?

A recent BBC news article give a short history on the canals of Mars In the late 19th Century, the American astronomer Percival Lowell thought he saw canals on the surface of Mars. He suggested that ...
10
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2answers
217 views

Is the water ice in craters near the moon's poles likely to be accompanied by other volatiles?

Is there enough information to conclude whether or not the water ice in the permanently shaded craters around the poles likely also contains carbon and nitrogen chemicals? (Or any other potentially ...
10
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1answer
679 views

Will the Mars Transit Vehicle need to include a water recycling system?

An NIH abstract writes to say A daily water intake of 3.7 L for adult men and 2.7 L for adult women meets the needs of the vast majority of persons. Mars One touts a crew-size of four with a ...
10
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1answer
179 views

Feasibility of Liquid Water at Bottom of Valles Marieneris

Last night I was looking at NASA's equations for pressure and temperature of the atmosphere of Mars. P (in kiloPascals) = $0.699 \exp^{-0.00009 h}$ The Valles Marineris is 11 kilometers deep at it's ...
9
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4answers
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Why can't plants grow on Mars?

Mars has a lot of carbon dioxide in its atmosphere. It also gets a lot of sunlight. On Earth, plants use carbon dioxide and sunlight for photosynthesis. So, why can't plants live on Mars?
9
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3answers
890 views

What does flying in Enceladus's plume accomplish?

I've been having a hard time understanding what flying through Enceladus's plume accomplishes. Cassini is an orbiter. It seems odd that it would have instruments that could even analyze the plume at ...
9
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1answer
7k views

How much oxygen and hydrogen are in the soil of Mars?

Current knowledge suggests there is plentiful water ice at the Martian poles. The same knowledge says it gets cold enough at the poles for carbon dioxide to freeze out of the air. If creating a ...
9
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1answer
248 views

Are the surfaces in permanent shadow in Moon craters 'fluffy'?

I was talking to someone who anticipated digging for water ice and other volatiles would be easy in these areas because Pete Schultz of the LCROSS science team described them as 'fluffy'. In this ...
9
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0answers
161 views

Why is the water pumped out of the holding tank a minute before Falcon 9 liftoff?

SpaceX Falcon 9 - starlink mission on October 5. Video : Why is the water discharged at T- 01m:30s from the holding tank far away from the launch pad? This was also ...
8
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6answers
961 views

Will suits worn on Mars lose kilograms of “expendable water” each time they are used?

In this excellent answer I learned that space suits from the Apollo missions and even when used in space walks from the ISS today use water sublimation to remove both body heat and other heat ...
8
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3answers
1k views

How to find underground resources (water? caves?) on Mars?

On earth, there exists large amounts of water underground in aquifers. Curiosity has proven that water used to exist on the surface. If this is true, Mars still may have underground reservoirs of ...
8
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1answer
3k views

How do space capsules float on water?

I understand that there are flotation devices on the space capsule but I don't see them visibly deployed in this image . There are other images where they are deployed and clearly visible above the ...
8
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3answers
227 views

How might water floating in space be 'mined'?

I feel like this is a bit of a dumb question, but I've been reading some articles about the giant body of water scientists have found floating in space (e.g. Enormous water reservoir found in space is ...
8
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1answer
402 views

Why are Martian rovers still looking for water?

It seems obvious that water has been on Mars at some point, be it long ago or recent. My question, then, is this: Why are we still looking for evidence of water on Mars? Shouldn't we be focusing on ...
7
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5answers
956 views

Earth Launch System with Water Propellant

Water based thrusters have been proposed (and possibly tested by now) for use in satellites and other in-space vehicles - see this NASA article. The idea is to perform electrolysis on the water to ...
7
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2answers
627 views

What forms of water ice have been observed and verified in the solar system?

The cool plot in this answer (from here) got me thinking about the more than sixteen distinct forms of ice, and how many of them have been actually seen to occur naturally in the solar system. There ...
7
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3answers
233 views

Why is Enceladus the “most interesting place for astrobiology” in the Solar System other than Earth?

In season 1 episode 1 of Space's Deepest Secrets (IMDB), Dr. Chris McKay, a planetary scientist for NASA, says around 1h:40m into the show, "This is the single most important and interesting place for ...
7
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2answers
1k views

Why doesn't this SpaceX rocket test fire use water sprays?

I know that rocket launches always have water towers spray water all around when the rocket is launching to suppress the extreme sounds and shockwaves generated by the launch and ensure the rocket ...