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77

The Apollo spacecraft consists of three major parts: The Command Module (CM), a conical module where the three crew members live during launch from Earth and travel to and from the moon, and which re-enters Earth's atmosphere alone at the end of the trip; The Service Module (SM), a cylindrical section containing fuel, power, life support, communications, a ...


52

The display shown is from the screen of one of the Space Station Computer laptops in the US Lab. This was being downlinked to Mission Control in Houston to monitor the functioning of tools used by the ISS crew to track the Crew Dragon's approach. The foreground program is the Dragon 2 Docking Monitor, which takes video supplied by the Crew Dragon (aka ...


42

Short answer: Space stations have been refueled on orbit, as well as some small demonstration missions. Long answer: There is only a limited number of objects that this is even an option. There are 3 types of docking which have generally happened. Those involving manned spacecraft but not a space station, those involving a space station, and those with ...


32

Three factors come to mind from my reading over the years: Heat Shield integrity, Escape Tower limitations, and avoiding fuel over the CM on the pad. Throughout this answer, keep in mind that the stacking order (from the top) is Escape Tower (ET), Command Module (CM), Service Module (SM), Lunar Module Shroud, Lunar Module (LM). See the full Saturn V diagram ...


28

There are usually 6 crew members, and 2 Soyuz spacecraft on station. Each Soyuz carries 3 astronauts. If there is an issue redocking during the move procedure, the backup plan is to return to earth. If they cannot redock and someone is left on the station, they would be stranded and cause all sorts of downstream issues. So no, you do not need 3 to move ...


25

They have shaved off 45 hours, not minutes. It seems to be a whole complex of factors: After the Space Shuttle retirement, the ISS orbit could be raised to provide better ballistic possibilities. The new on-board computer allows to conduct ballistic calculations faster and with less dependence on ground control. The orbit measurements precision has ...


24

Looking at old manifest documents, it seems pretty clear that Atlantis (OV-104) was outfitted with all the hardware for Shuttle-Mir missions and they used her exclusively for that until they couldn't any more. The rules for orbiter mission scheduling were really byzantine but one major consideration was that every X flights and/or time interval, the ...


23

The material used for the seal is silicone rubber. Example materials considered for NDS iLIDS are: Parker S0383-70 (as part of Gask-O-Seal product) Esterline ELA-SA-401 Silicone rubber is the only class of space flight-qualified elastomeric seal material that functions across the expected temperature range. NASA Glenn has tested three silicone ...


21

Yes, the ISS was a busy place recently. As you probably remember Cygnus had to wait for a week to proceed with its rendezvous to let Soyuz dock first. We can consider that a traffic jam in orbit. :-) The current Russian plans include docking MLM Nauka after deorbiting Pirs. And a bit later to add a spherical Uzlovoy Module (i.e. Hub Module or Nodal Module). ...


21

Earth Orbit Rendezvous is a method for applying brute force. Mars Orbit Rendezvous actually improves efficiency, potentially by a lot. A Mars sample return (or, for that matter, a straight-up crewed mission to Mars) needs to do the following in order: Launch from Earth (*) Get on transfer orbit to Mars (*) Land on Mars with an ascent vehicle ready Take ...


20

The first, experimental redocking was performed on Soyuz 29 (though by crew of Soyuz 31) with the Salyut 6 station. Afterwards, the maneuver was repeated several times, usually between different ports of a station, moving a docked craft from one port to another, in order to make room for a new arrival, although other purposes happened too - e.g. visual ...


20

Short answer: 8 For great info on available ports, check out this question on ISS Docking ports. I will link in the awesome picture from that question here. The Russian segment has 4 docking ports. The ATV is out of service, but that port is used by Soyuz and Progress, plus the other three ports. The US segment has 4 ports. Where the HTV is berthed ...


19

Yes and no. The current X-37 as flown by the US Air Force is not equipped with any docking ports (PMA, CBM or APAS) as described by @geoffc, nor does it have an attachment for the SSRMS (aka Canadarm) to grab it. However, Boeing, the manufacturer, have published designs that would permit it to be so equipped at some future time. These plans are described in ...


19

NASA has made a list of requirements for spacecraft approaching the ISS. SSP 50808 is an ITAR controlled document that identifies the requirements for rendezvous, proximity operations, and physically meeting the ISS interface. An excerpt is available online: Trajectories must be designed such that ISS safety is preserved ... Safe ...


18

Horsh answered for the Russian side of the station very. But the question was more about the US side of the station. The US side of the station does need more ports. It looks like a fair bit of reconfiguration will be performed of the current modules to free up spots. (Edit: Early 2016 this reconfiguration was complete. CRS-7 with IDA-1 was lost on launch. ...


18

Considering how all the usual docking/berthing ports at the station are occupied, Santa would likely arrive in a Dragon Crew/V2 or a Boeing CST-100 vehicle. These are the next US vehicles that will be manned and due for first launches in 2019. The Russian side uses their own style of docking port that Progress, Soyuz, and the ESA ATV vehicles dock. These ...


16

While I don't have a complete answer I thought I'd share what I've found in the hope that someone can come up with something better. I can find nothing online about exactly how and why the visiting vehicle schedule is constructed (Although this could simply be my poor google-fu skills). One thing that is clear is just how tightly packed the schedule is. ...


15

Columbia did not. Despite being in service during the Shuttle-Mir and International Space Station programs, Columbia did not fly any missions that visited a space station. The other three active orbiters at the time had visited both Mir and the ISS at least once. Columbia was not well-suited for high-inclination missions; it was the heaviest of the orbiters, ...


15

User DarkDust provided this explanation and video link: As you can see in the video of the approach at about 08:00 this structure is appearing. It's in the foreground, Dragon is moving towards the forward port of the Harmony module which is outside the viewport of this camera and would be somewhere on the lower right. Ignore the position of the ...


15

The bolts are part of the Common Berthing Mechanism (CBM). The Common Berthing Mechanism (CBM) is a complex collection of latches, bolts, Ready to Latch (RTL) indicators ... and computers to control this equipment. This system can be operated by either the ground or the crew; extravehicular activities (EVAs) (i.e., spacewalks) are not required to use this ...


12

Probably the biggest reason is they did not want to cut a hole through the heat shield, same reason the Soyuz has the ascent/descent element in the middle of the stack, instead of at the top. But the Lunar module is not very robust, and probably needed the structural bracing for launch. So probably would not have worked well on top of the Command Module. ...


12

ESA has a doc about the design of the docking ports (IDS - Internation Docking Standard, sometimes also called NDS NASA Docking System, sometimes called LIDS - Low Impact Docking System. Though technically LIDS became NDS which fulfills the IDS standard). On page 3 it says for the IDS ports, design goal is 30 cycles. For the CBM ports, a NASA Tech Doc ...


12

The ISS is periodically refueled by its cargo supply ships. NASA's Robotic Refueling Mission has experimented with refueling satellites. DARPA's Orbital Express demonstrated hydrazine refueling (among other autonomous orbital maintenance operations) between two satellites in 2007.


12

While the LM pilot flew the rendezvous and approach, the command module pilot took over once the craft were a few meters apart and flew the actual docking maneuver while the LM held a fixed attitude. The CMP had a better view of the situation (looking forward instead of upward) and had to do the extraction docking of the LM earlier in the mission (when no ...


12

Fig. 35 View showing active EFBM The "JPM/C2-09" marker is a dead giveaway: Its Kibo! JPM here means "JEM Pressurized Module" (with JEM being Japanese Experiment Module, the original name of Kibo). Here is a good image showing Kibo, taken in the Space Station Processing Facility, where it rests on a workstand during pre-assembly measurement activities on ...


12

In this question I suggested, that, on the face of it, the SS520-5 sounding rocket could get about 5kg from the surface of Mars onto a trajectory to hit Earth. That rocket (a three stage solid fuel rocket) masses 2.6 tons at liftoff. Let's make the rather large assumption that I haven't missed any problems (someone has already suggested the cold as an issue)....


11

The International Space Station's PMA docking adapters and Tiangong-1 both use passive APAS-95 docking adapters for spaceship operations; the ISS additionally uses CBM connectors for connecting modules (including most supply spacecraft) and Soyuz probe-and-drogue connectors for Russian modules and craft. To cover your scenarios: Connecting two APAS ...


11

The answer is yes, it can used to re-boost the ISS. According to the information in spaceflightinsider.com and in rocket.com Aerojet Rockedyne site in the RCS engines paragraph, in a declaration of Terry Lorier, Aerojet Rocketdyne’s CST-100 service module propulsion system program manager, are confirmed the capabilities of Boeing CST-100 Starliner ...


11

I've looked through a large number of sources, Zvezda really did take 2 weeks to dock to the ISS, launching July 12 and docking July 26, 2000. SpaceFlightNow did a pretty good job of explaining what was happening during those two weeks. It will take flight controllers two full weeks to activate and check out Zvezda's systems and to maneuver the ...


11

When USSR were in the final stages of putting Mir in to orbit, Salyut 7 was still in orbit containing many devices and equipment that the USSR wanted on Mir. So on 13th March 1986 the Soyuz T-15 launched, docking with Mir. On the 5th May 1986 it then undocked for the first time from Mir, and travelled to the orbiting Salyut 7 space station and docked ...


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