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271 views

What were the Top 10 Shuttle Risks in John Young's “famous letter”?

Whilst reading A Technical History of the External Tank I ran across this comment: Although the problem has not recurred, John Young, in his famous top ten Shuttle risk letter ...
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318 views

How did “the kid” (John Meisenheimer) calculate that there was a wave in the jet stream and Explorer 1 would be okay to launch?

The tough but timely question NASA at sIxty years, will there be a new moonshot mandate? links to the NASA YouTube video NASA 60th: How It All Began which shows a lot of really nice, historical file ...
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397 views

How does it feel to breathe 100% oxygen at low pressure?

Some space suits are designed to provide an atmosphere of 100% oxygen but at a reduced air pressure about 20% that of sea level. Is breathing in such a suit uncomfortable? It seems like having such a ...
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191 views

Has NASA ever included a ground controller or astronaut becoming insane/irrational/belligerent in a training simulation?

NASA training simulations have included a wide variety of problems thrown at the pilots and ground controllers -- not only the typical technical failures, but also some unusual outside-world stuff ...
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203 views

What paper size do they use on the International Space Station?

We know they have at least one printer on the ISS – that's NASA-supplied so it would be in the US Orbital Segment. Presumably there is a printer in the Russian Orbital Segment as well. (Mir had a ...
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147 views

Does the SpaceX spacesuit address any of the criticisms of ACES raised by Columbia Crew Survival Investigation Report?

A brief history of what Shuttle crews wore for ascent and entry, from the Columbia Crew Survival Investigation Report: The shuttle was originally designed to be operated in a shirtsleeve (bare-hands) ...
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209 views

How much does the ISS “banana” or flex under the constantly changing conditions of solar heating?

This answer to Do antennae on the ISS have to constantly move to maintain data links? discusses some of the challenges precisely pointing an antenna mounted to the ISS exterior. While the ISSs orbit ...
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163 views

How does increased environmental radiation affect medication potency, long and short term?

The issue of the effects of radiation on medication potency is not only important for long term stays in the ISS, but also very important for longer duration journeys and even for colonization. One ...
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208 views

What could be strong arguments against Ingenuity following Perseverance at a safe distance when the flight test program has been a success?

This answer to the question "How long could the Mars helicopter Ingenuity keep up with the Perseverance rover if it wanted to?" reasons that indeed it could for years ! But according to the ...
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2k views

Which launch was the first to use a dogleg maneuver?

Jake Blocker's excellent answer explains what a dogleg maneuver is, what it's for, what it looks like, and even what a real dog's leg looks like for comparison! A dogleg maneuver is done to change ...
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135 views

Is loss of flexibility a concern with crew on the ISS?

Videos of people on the ISS make it clear how little they need to bend or stretch, and how their joints stay in their neutral position most of the time as they float around - elbows, knees and hips ...
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163 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 ...
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124 views

Does Crew Dragon have a quick-release hatch?

After today's Crew Dragon launch was scrubbed, it took the pad ninjas at least ten minutes to open the hatch. One of the major criticisms of the Apollo Block 1 hatch design after the Apollo 1 fire ...
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298 views

Do Starlink satellites have cameras?

Obviously, Starlink satellites are equipped with sensors for attitude and location detection (like a star tracker or sun tracker) but I'm wondering if they have with any direct Earth observation ...
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182 views

Were there any launch vehicles with so heavily pronounced Plume Induced Flow Separation (PIFS), other than Saturn V?

This answer describes a very interesting phenomenon of Plume Induced Flow Separation on Saturn V vehicle. (Apollo-6 S68-29737 photo, courtesy NASA) This is, basically, when "fire" from ...
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342 views

What went wrong with Apollo 15 astronaut Al Worden's seat when he was all alone, circularizing?

The X article NASA shock: Apollo 15 astronaut's Moon landing confession - 'Can't do anything to me now' says "NASA astronaut Alfred "Al" Worden dropped an astonishing Apollo 15 ...
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164 views

Detailed information about the Soyuz descent module connection box?

Anyone have some detailed information about how all this connectors, located in the soyuz descent module? Are they used only when they setup the Soyuz or they are ...
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150 views

What rocket uses the largest percentage of Fuel/Oxidizer before liftoff?

inspired by this question: How much propellant is used up until liftoff? which asks how much propellant (fuel/oxidizer) a typical rocket uses before liftoff. What has been or is the most non-typical ...
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81 views

What science data has been released from Chang'e 4?

Chang'e 4 was the first soft landing on the far side of the moon. What science data has been released from it? That is, in two parts: what science was done and of that, what data has been released to ...
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462 views

Why was the Apollo 6 service module painted white?

All other SM's were silver except Apollo 6. I'm wondering what the justification for this was, if any?
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913 views

Could there be liquid hydrogen oceans on the surfaces of worlds (including frozen gas giants) in the distant Kuiper belt or Oort cloud?

This is something I'm wondering for a science book I'm writing (not science fiction) where I cover the various forms of life that could exist especially in our solar system - such as life on Mars of ...
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755 views

Roughly how many self-viewing cameras are present in a Falcon 9 LEO mission?

Watch any of last year's SpaceX LEO satellite deployment missions's broadcasts in YouTube, and you can see views from at least several different cameras. At least two on the 2nd stage nozzle, at least ...
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400 views

How do domes in lunar impact melts develop, and might they be hollow?

On the floors of young craters of the Moon, smoothly rounded domes are visible in some spots. Lalande crater has 4 of them, each around 200 m across. Here are less regular ones on the floor of ...
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119 views

How heavy were Perseverance's balance masses?

Perseverance ejected two 70 kg "cruise balance masses" just before it became an airplane, to move its center of mass off axis and increase its angle of attack from 0° to about 16° to make it ...
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134 views

How often have signs of life been dismissed as abiotic?

Today, there are rumors about an upcoming announcement of the discovery of (non-conclusive) evidence for life on Venus, apparently they detected some phosphorus compound that is not produced by any ...
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277 views

How does one test Ground Segment communications with, and “downlink” data from a spacecraft that's still on the ground?

NASA News item Ground Segment Testing a Success for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope says: Testing teams have successfully completed a critical milestone focused on demonstrating that NASA’s James ...
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203 views

Will SpaceX paint over the NASA Worm on booster 1058 for its next flight?

For the Dragon Crew mission SpaceX flew a brand new booster (how declasse) B1058 and painted it with the old style NASA Worm logo. SpaceX owns the booster and is most likely to fly it many more times ...
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419 views

Why do the SpaceX suits require “drying” during the mission?

In the period when the Crew Dragon Demo-2 mission was initially docking with the ISS, before the hatches were open, one of the tasks was to "dry the suits". They reported on the status later, ...
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190 views

What are the general properties and specs for JWST's onboard data and image processing capabilities?

Answers and comments on What is the data storage capabilities onboard the James Webb Telescope? which reference the James Webb Space Telescope User Documentation item JWST Solid State Recorder mention ...
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144 views

How long could the ISS function if removed from Earth orbit?

Suppose the ISS were instantaneously moved to the opposite side of the Sun from Earth - how long would it continue to function? Are there any systems aboard that depend on passing behind the planet ...
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270 views

What is the heaviest part of a rocket engine?

I'm trying to understand how much different parts of a rocket engine weigh. For example, according to Wikipedia, Merlin engine weighs 470 kg, of which 70 kg is the turbopump. How is the remaining 400 ...
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220 views

Are the SpaceBEEs still “illegal” or did they eventually receive approval to operate?

This answer to Might ISRO's 2018-004 launch be at least a technical violation of the Outer Space Treaty by India? clarifies some of the actions taken against Swarm Technologies for launching some ...
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190 views

Is the vestibular system ever useful in spaceflight?

The Vintage Space video Eleven Deaf Men Helped NASA Leave Earth describes a number of different NASA experiments done on human subjects who had damaged vestibular systems due to childhood illness. ...
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160 views

Does the kinetic impact of gas particles cause erosion to the surface of objects in orbit?

When satellites or space stations orbit the Earth, they are constantly experiencing a low level of aerodynamic drag from Earth's atmosphere. The ISS needs to be reboosted every few months to account ...
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232 views

Was this the first-ever photo of a full moon very close to lunar new year?

Limiting the concept of "lunar new year" to "Chinese New Year" (since there are many lunar and lunisolar calendars, the latter of which the traditional Chinese one is a widely used example), is this ...
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268 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-...
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285 views

What spinoff technologies have come from the Soviet/Russian space program?

There is plenty of information available on NASA spinoff technologies including a Wikipedia page and Space SE question. What innovations are a byproduct of the Russian space program?
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189 views

Onboard recording of trans-Mars injection

Is there any video recording of the Falcon Heavy trans-Mars injection burn from onboard cameras? The live feed of the Tesla Roadster and Starman orbiting Earth cycled through multiple cameras ...
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341 views

For a launch, how is safe viewing distance determined?

In determining safe viewing distance, seems to me there are discrete threats to consider: First is the rocket blowing up on the pad, or just above it. That would have no warning. There would be a ...
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148 views

Smart suits in development

This is an offshoot of this question. There's a new generation of space suits coming up (Z-series, anything that the Zvezda NPP has up its sleeves), and I wonder at the level of sophistication of ...
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628 views

Dragon Pad Abort hot fire, how much cleanup work was needed?

The day before the Pad Abort test attempt (May 5, 2015) SpaceX test fired the SuperDraco engines in a hot fire. Similar to how they test the Falcon 9 a day or three before launch, the engines spin up ...
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77 views

Ingenuity Three Axis Velocity Derivation from Camera, Gyro and Altimeter

It seems that Ingenuity has a 4000 pixel camera, a gyro, inclinometer and an altimeter. Using these information, they are able to derive three axis velocity information. Thereby compensating for the ...
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152 views

Perseverance individual sample collection post-mission; what stops them from blowing away or getting covered and hidden by dust?

I have been seeing videos that the plan after Perseverance is done collecting samples to distribute them in 'strategic' locations around Mars for another rover to drive around and pick up later. Why ...
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40 views

Are there any sites that have collection of Bellcomm Inc. memos?

Bellcomm Inc was contracted by NASA to provide alternate and hypothetical launch vehicles, spacecraft, and missions. The memos combine the right blend of technical detail without heavy mathematics ...
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70 views

How much did satellites and space exploration enable the development of solar panels?

After the demonstration of silicon solar panels in 1954, Bell Labs struggled to find demand for the solar panels as they were too expensive for most mainstream applications. However, satellites needed ...
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156 views

What did NASA Vehicle Assembly Building's “weather” look like? Did it really have clouds? Did it rain?

Comments below this answer to Would there be snow, rain, fog or clouds in a deep, sealed, subsurface cavern on the Moon if water were present? point out that the NASA Vehicle Assembly Building ...
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111 views

Why are Perseverance's wheels flatter?

As visible in the image above (and as most of you would have noticed!) the wheels on the upcoming NASA/JPL rover Perseverance seems to be largely different from Curiosity's wheels. A notable ...
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63 views

Escape system of SLS vs Ares I

One of the criticism directed at the Ares I rocket was the danger during a launch termination of the solid-propellant 1st stage. As far as I understood it, a terminated Titan IV solid-propellant ...
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644 views

Why were the SpaceX ninjas (pad crew) using a stepladder to move something?

On the second launch attempt of the Dragon Crew Demo 2 (human spaceflight), sometime lower than 1:50:00 to launch, the ninjas spend about 5 minutes on a stepladder, dealing with a tube and box, which ...
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104 views

Is thermal soakback from the engine a problem for rocket stages? Especially ones that complete several burns over several hours (e.g. S-IVB, Centaur)?

Thermal soakback is a phenomenon whereby a hot, operating engine transfers heat into the spacecraft, usually conduction through the engine mounts. I've only ever seen this problem discussed with RCS ...

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