All Questions

11
votes
2answers
385 views

What is the optimal selection for a small self sustaining space farm?

There are a multitude of resources about growing food in space, NASA research indicates we have been growing foods in space for years. Colonies in Space by T. A. Heppenheimer seems to have some ...
20
votes
3answers
6k views

Is there any advantage in launching spacecraft from a high latitude, or why was Plesetsk built so far north?

For launching satellites or other spacecraft, there is a significant advantage in being close to the equator: angular momentum helps in gaining initial speed and one can launch into any inclination. ...
21
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the smallest number of humans required for colonization?

There is an estimate at Understanding Genetics that the minimum number of humans required for a colonization process is 160. It also mentions some animal populations that have rebounded from near ...
4
votes
2answers
91 views

Would a biological resource-system be feasible for long-term manned flights?

Supposing a long-term manned flight is planned would a biological resource-system be considered as an option? Would a biological resource-system work or is a technical solution superior? Currently ...
1
vote
0answers
33 views

Is it better to build a spaceship in total or in parts for orbital assembly? [duplicate]

Supposing a planned long-term manned-flight with a spaceship that has to be fairly large to accommodate many people and meet some requirements like decent shielding from radiation. Is it better to ...
12
votes
1answer
386 views

Is there research for the optimal small crew size for a long space voyage?

There are many factors in planning a long space voyage. The human interaction being one of them. Group dynamics have been studied in detail for naval and other military applications, the stations on ...
10
votes
4answers
938 views

How would manned interstellar travel become feasible? [closed]

What is the actual feasibility of interstellar travel? For instance, a manned journey to Proxima Centauri, given the distance, what technology would need to be developed/perfected for such a journey?...
7
votes
2answers
543 views

Can a projectile fall into a low Earth orbit?

One of the problems with space flight is the speed required to achieve orbit; 17,500 mph. One of the ways I've always thought to achieve this was to launch at a low speed to a very high altitude then ...
6
votes
5answers
5k views

How to simulate Earth's gravity in future colonies on other planets?

What would be a viable means to simulate and maintain Earth's gravitational acceleration in a future colony built on another planet? I am mainly focusing on terrestrial planets, where a colony could ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

In a cryogenic fuel rocket, at what pressure is the fuel injected into the engine?

The pressure in the Space Shuttle's main engines must be very high to get the vehicle off the ground (with the SRB assist, of course). With such high pressures inside the engine, how do you inject ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

How much fuel would one need to launch a 1kg object from 100,000 feet?

Back in the old days of the cold war the US and Russia were trying to develop a Nuclear powered aircraft. Problems with radiation shielding and "safety" held them back. Let's say that they got this ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

What portion of SpaceX's revenue comes from private sources?

SpaceX is often called a "commercial" company and participates in NASA's Commercial Crew Program. In SpaceX's early days, all of SpaceX's revenue came from non-government sources. But today, SpaceX ...
15
votes
3answers
950 views

The Russians recently tested a new launch trajectory that goes to the space station in about six hours. What allowed for the difference?

According to this article, Russia recently tested a new launch trajectory that shaved over 45 hours off their normal flight time. What allowed for this difference? Doesn't it seem like the shortest ...
14
votes
1answer
148 views

Are there any (free) online data archives for data from instruments on Soviet / Russian missions?

There are actually plenty of ftp-servers etc. in the U.S. and Europe, which host raw and pre-processed data of various instruments from old space exploration missions. Usually it is for free, although ...
12
votes
3answers
186 views

Would tethering to a large mass be an efficient way to change velocity?

Changing velocity rapidly in space is a bit of a problem requiring either the expense of propellant, or aiming past a planet for a gravitational slingshot. If you could fire out a strong tether and ...
17
votes
1answer
507 views

Mining in microgravity: are there sound studies?

I was wondering whether there are any sound studies on mining in microgravity. For example, smelting iron (out of ore) in weightlessness has been described and (in theory) solved. Also, there are ...
11
votes
1answer
140 views

Mission concepts for a tomography of an asteroid or other celestial body

Tomographies of various kinds are basically the only possibility right now to look deeper into asteroids or planets. On Earth, "signals" generated by earthquakes are for instance used for performing a ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

What are the “everyday” technologies that are a byproduct of the Apollo program?

There is an ongoing debate about the pros and cons of space exploration. One of the oft-cited pros is integrating the spin-off technologies developed for space into everyday life. Did the research ...
11
votes
1answer
703 views

The upcoming landing of Chang'e 3 on the Moon - Is there detailed information about it anywhere?

China is supposed to land a rover on the Moon soon (2013). This will be the first landing on the Moon from any nation in quiet a few decades - if none of the Google-Lunar-X-Price teams is faster, of ...
8
votes
3answers
494 views

Does NASA have a space tug project to bring a habitable module to the ISS?

The habitable modules of US sector of the ISS didn't have any propulsion systems to rendezvous the ISS by themselves. They were intended to be brought there by the Space Shuttle. Most of the Russian ...
7
votes
1answer
617 views

Techniques to reduce radio interference or noise

As a member of a pulsar search team that works through the Pulsar Search Collaboratory, I've noticed that many data plots (except the tests) are radio frequency interference (RFI) or noise. As a ...
19
votes
5answers
22k views

What materials provide the best protection from cosmic radiation?

For long-distance manned missions, such as a mission to Mars, we are inevitably going to have to shield astronauts from cosmic radiation, especially in the event of a solar flare or SEP. What ...
6
votes
1answer
486 views

Techniques for digital superluminal communication

Considering photons only travel at the speed of light (and cannot travel faster), our main technique of digital communication (at least I believe, but I could be wrong) is off the table. What ...
1
vote
0answers
81 views

What are the barriers to partial nonrocket spacelaunch? [closed]

What technological and financial barriers prevent proposals for partial nonrocket spacelaunch such as magnetic levitation trains from becoming a reality? These systems, if created, could ...
8
votes
3answers
573 views

What advances are being made to shield astronauts from peaks in radiation?

One potential issue that will be faced with long, manned, space exploration will be exposure to fluctuating radiation levels. The current method of safety seems to be launching at times when ...
15
votes
1answer
7k views

Why did the Russians never land on the Moon?

During space race, the Russians were leading the game until the Gemini program (Gemini 6/7 rendezvous was the overtaking moment in my opinion). I do not know of any Soviet claim similar to Kennedy's ...
44
votes
6answers
5k views

Can you tack against the sun using a solar sail?

Solar sails are a great, inexpensive way to move out from the sun, if you’re not in a hurry. Ocean going ships are able to tack against the wind, and to move up wind. Could a solar sail gain inbound (...
11
votes
1answer
237 views

How can I shield against micro-meteors?

It is well known that micro meteorites, space junk, and other small objects can put a dent (Or rip through) in a spacecraft quite effectively. How can I protect people, sensitive electronics, and ...
13
votes
3answers
179 views

Are there any existing technologies, or research, that investigate the sustainable production of food for manned exploration trips?

With NASA planning to eventually get people to Mars, and with privately funded attempts such as Mars-One planning to do the same, and relatively soon, there is the issue of having to feed anyone you ...
8
votes
1answer
591 views

Can multiple space telescopes be grouped together to explore the space

On Earth one can group multiple telescopes to observe a specific region. They can be moved around and focus different areas. Also they give a higher resolution of the area they observe. Would this be ...
11
votes
1answer
4k views

What are the most promising non chemical rocket space launch approaches?

I read this essay by Neal Stephenson recently, which makes the case that, had we not been locked-into chemical rocket technology through years of investments, other approaches might have been more ...
13
votes
4answers
867 views

How do spacecraft measure onboard gravity?

How do spacecraft measure onboard (micro)gravity at any given point in time (especially when subject to the gravitational fields of multiple bodies)? I'm guessing that rudimentary accelerometers won't ...
33
votes
3answers
18k views

When will we have the technology to directly observe an exoplanet with significant clarity?

Are there currently any projects underway to develop a telescope which will have the ability to directly observe an exoplanet with any clarity? I don't mean blurry (yet impressive) images like this ...
15
votes
2answers
605 views

What are the constraints for a successful robotic mission to Europa?

Of all the destinations within our solar system, the one that intrigues me the most is Europa. Every location has its own merits and beauty, but I'm most optimistic about finding life on Europa. It's ...
16
votes
2answers
4k views

How often must the ISS desaturate its control moment gyros?

I understand ISS uses control moment gyros as the primary attitude control system. As the article states, CMGs eventually get "saturated", a state in which they can no longer absorb momentum. This can ...
10
votes
1answer
436 views

Was quarantine continued after Apollo 11?

After returning from the Apollo 11 mission, astronauts were placed in quarantine for 18 days (July 24 - August 10, 1969).              &...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

What data compression algorithms have been successfully used in spacecraft?

Scientific spacecraft can generate very large amounts of data. However, both the storage available onboard the spacecraft and the bandwidth available to transmit the data to ground stations are ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Do spaceships carry plants? If not, why?

Has there ever been an experiment were a plant was brought on board? I would think that if a plant was able to go through normal cycles of photosynthesis, it would be helpful to bring a plant on board ...
27
votes
4answers
16k views

What time zone is used on ISS to define a day?

What time zone is used on ISS to define when a day starts? Is it the same as mission control? Do Russian cosmonauts use a different time zone respect to European and American astronauts?
17
votes
4answers
5k views

Decay of a corpse in space?

This is not nice perspective, but eventually it will happen. An astronaut falls out of spaceship because of damage caused by collision with other object, or because of suit decompression. The fluids ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

International regulations about littering in space?

Are there any international regulations about littering in space? What, except from general social norms, would prevent private operator from discarding waste into deep space? And, in case of damage ...
15
votes
2answers
515 views

Under what circumstances would an object falling out of spacecraft start orbiting that spacecraft?

In one of the short stories of Stanislaw Lem the main character, Ijon Tichy, accidentally drops off a piece of pork out of his spaceship, and this pork becomes a satellite of the spaceship, causing ...
9
votes
1answer
362 views

Are there any experiments in progress designed to explore the interiors of gas giants like Jupiter or Saturn?

I know that the high atmospheric pressure on these planets make a unique challenge to learn about the planets interiors. Are there any active projects designed to learn more about the interior of the ...
9
votes
2answers
4k views

What power source options provide reliable and sustainable power generation for a Martian Colony

In order to maintain a Colony on Mars, we will need to be able to provide consistent, safe, and sustainable power on the planet. The extremely cold temperature means that the need to maintain ...
17
votes
3answers
883 views

Is artificial gravity feasible in manned long-term space exploration?

We know that it is possible for humans to stay physically in shape during long term space missions (see for example Valeri Polyakov who stayed on Mir for more than 14 months for one trip). However, ...
13
votes
5answers
5k views

What maximum speeds can be expected from meteorites?

Yes, I know, c is the limit, but let's say we want to build a shelter that will be meterorite-impact-proof, on the Moon, or some asteroid or anywhere without the atmosphere. We can spot anything ...
30
votes
2answers
3k views

Why should the James Webb Space telescope stay in the unstable L2?

We all know that James Webb Space telescope is planned to be launched in 2018. It has been decided that the orbit of JWST will be elliptical around the Lagrange point L2, which has been declared as ...
30
votes
1answer
8k views

What would the size and rotation of a station need to be to produce 1g gravity from head to toe?

A structure with a radius of 224m rotating at 2 rotations per minute will generate 1g of force on the inside (spincalc). It will generate that force on the feet, but as you travel up the body the ...
15
votes
1answer
309 views

Why so few aerobot missions?

In 1996-1997, I became extremely enthusiastic about the space exploration prospects for aerobot technology. There seem to be at least 10 celestial bodies suitable for aerobot deployments: Venus, ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

What would the Δv cost of bringing the space shuttle external tank to orbit be?

There was an independent proposal that the space shuttle external tank could have been lifted all the way to orbit, and then used as a structural material in space stations. In terms of propellant ...

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