All Questions

2
votes
1answer
67 views

What card or board game was first played in space?

Was it chess, blackjack or some other game that was first played in space?
5
votes
1answer
228 views

What is a secondary thwack arm, and what gets thwacked?

@Hobbes's answer calls attention to Emily Lakdawalla's book The Design and Engineering of Curiosity : How the Mars Rover Performs Its Job which led me to reading excerpts in several Planetary Society ...
4
votes
1answer
142 views

How exactly does Curiosity's floating bus work, and how does it continue to operate when voltage drops from 11 to only 4 volts?

@Hobbes's answer calls attention to Emily Lakdawalla's book The Design and Engineering of Curiosity : How the Mars Rover Performs Its Job which led me to reading excerpts in several Planetary Society ...
-3
votes
0answers
66 views

Can the centrifugal force still be ignored as the lift force is a small fraction of the gravitational force at the Kármán line altitude? [duplicate]

The lift force for an airplane is: $$ F_L = 0.5 \rho v^2 S C_L $$ According to this talk page the lift coefficient for a supersonic airplane is: $$ C_L = \frac{4\alpha}{\sqrt{M^2-1}} $$ where $\...
0
votes
2answers
69 views

What is the date for a Mars file?

When a robot on Mars does something like take a picture, how does it date that file? I imagine that the responsible laboratory is a possible referential, correct? Is it possible / does it make sense ...
59
votes
9answers
11k views

Which country borders are visible from space?

You can see the borders of North Korea with China and South Korea at night from the ISS since unlike their neighbours, they have almost no light. That got me thinking, which other country borders (of ...
4
votes
2answers
99 views

How to communicate with a lunar polar mission?

We can easily communicate with a spacecraft on the Moon on the near side. The Far Side allows for a L2 halo communication relay satellite easily enough. How would a polar mission communicate with ...
3
votes
2answers
61 views

Do moon rovers on near side need a relay communication satellite?

Wikipedia says direct communication is not possible from the far side of the moon. So I'm guessing it should be possible for the satellite to communicate directly without relay satellite from the near ...
3
votes
1answer
123 views

Testing a parachute for a Mars landing using a wind tunnel at hypersonic speed and Martian pressure?

The parachute for the Mars Science Laboratory (with the Curiosity rover) was tested in the NASA Ames Research Center 80 by 120 Foot Wind Tunnel. The wind tunnel is currently capable of air speeds up ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

What's going on with NASA's Solar System Dynamics?

JPL's Horizons web interface generates the following orange announcement: IMPORTANT: The SSD Announcement email list is now available. Major changes are coming in the near future, including ...
5
votes
1answer
81 views

How fast do they spin astronauts these days? Maximum routine g-training for astronauts in the 21st century?

Comments got me thinking about NASA's 20 g centrifuge. Gemini astronauts pushed to 7 or perhaps 8 g's as discussed in this answer but these days with nicely throttleable engines astronauts going to ...
33
votes
5answers
6k views

Has any spacecraft ever been flown manually to orbit?

Has anyone ever manually flown a spacecraft to orbit, Kerbal Space Program-style?
1
vote
1answer
35 views

Using weather patterns as a primary criteria, would South America be an ideal place to launch rockets?

I was looking at a map of historic hurricane travel the other day and noticed that South America doesn't really get them. Florida gets a lot of hurricanes. Texas gets them too. It also occurred to me ...
2
votes
0answers
17 views

Help needed with obtaining position vector of Spacecraft in Heliocentric-Ecliptic frame

I have been now using the ephemeris table attached as an image. It gives the orbital elements of all planets on Jan 1 2000 calculated from Heliocentric-Ecliptic frame. The current planetary orbital ...
5
votes
1answer
105 views

How many Lunar Surface Hasselblad cameras were left on the Moon?

There were six Apollo missions that landed on the Moon. Each mission was equipped with at least two Lunar Surface Hasselblad cameras left on the lunar surface before ascent. But the total number of ...
6
votes
1answer
78 views

How was the Moon's first telescope used? (Apollo 16)

From Gizmodo's There's Poop on the Moon list of things left on the moon: This gold-plated telescope that was the first tool used to make astronomical observations from the surface of another ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it ethical for Chang'e-4 to bring an entire ecosystem to the moon? [closed]

As far as I know, it isn't ethical to contaminate outer space with life from Earth, because then we will never be sure if life can actually grow there. However, I just read reports that the latest ...
1
vote
0answers
41 views

How to lease a transponder on a GEO satellite?

I have an interesting question. I was thinking about it a year ago when the es'Hailsat 2 was not launched. There was an organization called "Outernet" that promissed to broadcast files (including ham ...
1
vote
1answer
105 views

How did Chang'e-4 hover, rotate, and then descend so gracefully? (Video)

In this incredible video we can see Chang'e-4 in it's final approach and landing on the moon from the point of view of the spacecraft. The view is horizontal as the spacecraft seems to stop and hover ...
2
votes
1answer
61 views

Hypergolic Propellant Combination

Is Rocket Grade Hydrogen Peroxide and Liquid Hydrogen a hypergolic propellant combination? I recall, seeing the combination somewhere on the www, however I couldn't retrace the source where I saw it.
2
votes
0answers
29 views

How to estimate the pose of a dynamic cooperative and known object in space e.g in case of space debris? [closed]

I would like to know some novel approach, method or algorithm. The main purpose of pose estimation is to deal with the robotic capture in space
2
votes
1answer
137 views

What is a satellite trap?

I keep hearing about satellite traps, which have something to do with receiving and transmitting satellite communications, but I can't seem to find a definition. The securityaffairs.co blogpost Hack ...
21
votes
2answers
6k views

Why did China land a rover on the moon?

Why did China land the Chang’e-4 rover on the moon? What was it supposed to accomplish or explore?
3
votes
1answer
81 views

How will JWST maintain its elliptical orbit around L2?

I understand that JWST will have a vertical elliptical orbit around L2, but what I don't understand is how the telescope will actually maintain an orbit if there is no body in L2 to actually orbit ...
5
votes
3answers
164 views

Use of different fuels for stages of Saturn V

Why were different fuels used for different stages of Saturn V? I read that the first stage used kerosene (RP-1) and LOX combination, but liquid hydrogen and LOX for the second and third stages. With ...
2
votes
1answer
127 views

Why would the orbit of a satellite in GEO climb by 21 km in altitude over six months by itself?

This answer mentions several effects that tend to move geostationary satellites out of their "box" over time, but one really surprised me. According to the plot below (from there, but uncredited) the ...
1
vote
1answer
99 views

Why satellite’s solar panel wattage is often listed in specifications?

What is the purpose of listing the power output (Wattage) from solar panel, without the energy/power specification of batteries or other electrical storage devices? Do satellites often use the power ...
3
votes
1answer
89 views

How often does a geostationary satellite enter into a Lunar shadow?

Is there a chance for the many geostationary satellites to enter into the moon’s shadow? If so, how frequently do such eclipses happen and how long do they typically last? Are such eclipses pre-...
2
votes
3answers
174 views

Why are the rovers finding the long Lunar night difficult to overcome?

Compared to Martian nights, Lunar nights are long and cold. This has posed a lot of challenges in the past. What specific challenges does long duration night pose? What are the methods to over come? ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

Which point in an orbiting body most closely follows its Keplerian trajectory?

Keplerian orbits can describe the motion of a negligible mass around a massive fixed central body, but they also describe the motion of two bodies around their center of motion. But which point ...
2
votes
0answers
29 views

Understanding shape of DSN's 'kinky uplink protocol' keeping frequency in coherent transponder's optimum bandpass?

This tweet by deep space SDR entheusiat Edgar Kaiser @df2mz shows a squiggly tone from MRO. Mars Reconnaiscance Orbiter (MRO) X-band downlink. The signal shows this kinky behavior due to a ...
3
votes
1answer
100 views

Why does the Apollo-8 Trans-Lunar Injection burn appear to be pulsing in this photo?

This tweet called my attention to The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum story Photographing Apollo 8's Orbit Toward the Moon. The story is quite an interesting bit of space history and worth a ...
0
votes
1answer
109 views

What spacecraft components are in the foreground of this image of the Earth and Moon? What is the camera inside of?

This tweet shows the image below, and says: Finally, some images from Queqiao, the relay satellite for the Chang'e-4 far side mission, showing the Earth and Moon! Queqiao is in a halo orbit at a ...
5
votes
0answers
69 views

Are the ejected first stage Electron rocket batteries really incinerated?

This answer reminded me that the Electron rocket drops one of it's batteries when it is mostly spent. We might call that "micro-staging". This answer quotes Spaceflight 101: With a low auto-...
3
votes
2answers
114 views

Did Apollo's velocity slow down after TLI due to Earth's gravity?

I assume Apollo's velocity slowed down after it left Earth orbit, for how long was it decelerating. Did it start accelerating as it approached the Moon. What was the rate of deceleration due to ...
10
votes
1answer
237 views

What is the surface temperature distribution of Venus?

I can find lots of resources stating the average surface temperature. However, I have found conflicting reports concerning the distribution of temperatures on the surface. For example, the Venus ...
2
votes
0answers
69 views

What fuels would make refueling in space more dangerous/complicated?

I saw the question: Has in-space refueling been done? And was actually beginning to wonder, is refueling and transferring propellant dangerous in space? I understand that this would most likely be ...
11
votes
3answers
4k views

Rocket flywheel instead of battery/generator (crazy idea)?

The Electron rocket is launched using a battery instead of generator... I saw some video about research into using flywheels for energy grid buffer storage, I think that they could reach higher ...
1
vote
0answers
29 views

Total amount of torques and forces in Lunar L2 Halo orbits

I want to design a spacecraft control systems around Earth-Moon L2 Halo orbits but at the first place, I want to have an estimation about the total torques and forces which the control devices should ...
1
vote
0answers
20 views

spacesuit airconditioning [duplicate]

I read that during the EVA, the astronauts body temp. was maintained by the PLSS, by rejecting the body heat, using porous plate sublimator. In this porus plate, water was made to evaporate into space ...
14
votes
1answer
304 views

Did anyone piloting a Space Shuttle ever make a significant pilot error?

Did anyone piloting a Space Shuttle ever make a significant pilot error? (I've never heard of any, and I'm curious if that is due to their extensive training, or if it's just that that sort of ...
4
votes
1answer
110 views

Could you track small particles in space and could you control their position with lasers or reflected light?

If you released a large amount of small but precise particles (the size of glitter or confetti) is space, between a group of cube sats. Could you track the particles with cameras and/or lasers? And ...
2
votes
0answers
29 views

When were elements on asteroids first identified?

Is there an approximation on when scientists first found out about certain elements on asteroids, more specifically gold?
1
vote
1answer
28 views

Is OSIRIS-REx's high gain antenna nearly the same as TESS'? If so, why?

These two high gain antennas look very similar superficially, but are not identical. Is this a case of convergent design (a fancy kind of coincidence) or have they evolved from the same source, or ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

How exactly will OSIRIS-REx's Navcam be used to navigate?

This remarkable, tweeted OSIRIS-REx image is described in AsteroidMission.org's NavCam Image of Earth, the Moon, and Bennu The particular camera is called a NavCam, and yet it will be used during the ...
5
votes
0answers
61 views

The fine prints of launching a satellite

I have read about the space law, international and legal responsibility of the companies and countries involved and I must say it is complex, not to say scary. I can't imagine the lawyers' costs prior ...
3
votes
0answers
106 views

Could inflating while decending for rentry be possible?

Could entry of Mars with balloons work by inflating to equalize with the atmopheric air pressure while establishing buoyancy before meeting the ground? Would a balloon pop if dropped from space? ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

Why does the Delta 4 Heavy look burned? [duplicate]

When I was looking at pictures of the Delta 4 Heavy rocket, I noticed that closer to the engines, the rocket looks black instead of the orange color it has right after launch. It looks burned to me. ...
1
vote
2answers
84 views

Could the $C_L$ of the X-15 be calculated from the flight data near the Kármán line altitude?

The "lift coefficient" $C_L$ can be very different for one specific aircraft at different speeds. According to this article from NASA about the lift coefficient: So it is completely incorrect to ...
2
votes
2answers
96 views

Docking of CSM with LM

After separation from the SLA (by about 50-100 feet), the CSM "turned around" and docked with the LM to pull it out. This turning around was done by a 180 degree change in orientation. This could have ...

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