81 votes
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How did the Lunar Module dock with the rest of Apollo 11 and what is the "CSM"?

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-...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
62 votes

What are these green text/line displays shown during the livestream of Crew Dragon's approach to dock with the ISS?

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 ...
Erin Anne's user avatar
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31 votes
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What would happen to the ISS if the Russians undocked their part?

The US Orbital Segment maintains ISS attitude, so tumbling is not an immediate problem. The need to desaturate the control moment gyros used to maintain attitude and the need to reboost the ISS to ...
David Hammen's user avatar
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29 votes
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Why was Space Shuttle Atlantis selected for Mir docking so frequently?

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 ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
27 votes
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Docking in space

There were issues with the docking system so it possibly it needed to be more complex. Docking is always a trade off of mechanism simplicity VS event simplicity. Just using pipe flange with bolt holes ...
GremlinWranger's user avatar
26 votes
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What exactly makes the "bang-bang-bang-bang-bang-bang-bang!" sound just before "Houston, we have hard dock." in the Apollo 13 movie?

Around the perimeter of the docking system are a set of 12 spring-loaded latches that lock the two spacecraft together. I believe the latches trip as the retractable probe pulls the two spacecraft ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
21 votes
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What is the "ISS's Keep Out Sphere" and what is its radius?

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 ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 128k
21 votes

Why use a Mars orbital Earth return vehicle for sample return?

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 ...
ikrase's user avatar
  • 8,874
20 votes

Has a spacecraft ever docked with the same space station twice in one mission?

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 ...
SF.'s user avatar
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20 votes
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How many spacecraft can dock at the ISS at once?

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....
geoffc's user avatar
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18 votes
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With six spacecraft currently docked at the ISS, how could Santa (or anyone else) deliver presents?

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 ...
geoffc's user avatar
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17 votes
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Did all of the Space Shuttles dock with multiple space stations or crewed spacecraft?

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 ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
16 votes
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How are Kounotori modules unbolted? Who or what does the unbolting?

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 ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
16 votes

What would happen to the ISS if the Russians undocked their part?

Spacecraft such as Cygnus has previously been used to boost the ISS and might be used again, although with some difficulty with finding an appropriate launch booster. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
Slarty's user avatar
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15 votes
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What is Crew Dragon approaching in this picture?

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 ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
13 votes
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How were the Apollo 13 CM and LM able to undock without the engines of the SM?

According to this article: The docking tunnel connecting the two ships was pressurized, though, so the idea was to use that pressure as a kind of “air spring” to push the two spaceships apart. ...
Eugene Styer's user avatar
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12 votes
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How many times has a spacecraft docked with two or more different space stations during a single mission?

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 ...
mickburkejnr's user avatar
12 votes

Who performs the docking procedure?

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. ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
12 votes
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What are these giant NASA boxes?

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). ...
Polygnome's user avatar
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12 votes

Why use a Mars orbital Earth return vehicle for sample return?

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 ...
Steve Linton's user avatar
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11 votes
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Can a Boeing CST-100 be used to provide station reboost?

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 ...
Mark777's user avatar
  • 2,145
11 votes
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Did the "Zvezda" module really dock to the ISS 2 weeks after launch?

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 ...
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
  • 121k
11 votes

How does automated docking work and why isn't it used more often?

First a general image of what the port situation at the ISS kind of looks like. This is a bit dated, but one of the best images, showing some of the possible vehicles docked. To note the ATV at the ...
geoffc's user avatar
  • 79.5k
10 votes
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Harpooning satellites? Is this really the best way to get them under control?

This answer responds to the title question "Harpooning satellites? Is this really the best way to get them under control?". I've studied this problem, the answer is "no", based on this rationale: ...
Puffin's user avatar
  • 9,524
10 votes
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How can Northrop Grumman's Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV-1, 2) "dock with 80% of satellites currently in a geostationary orbit"?

There isn't much information publicly available, but the MEV appears to dock to the one component many satellites have in common: the rocket engine nozzle. An extensible probe from the MEV (on the ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
9 votes

How did the Lunar Module dock with the rest of Apollo 11 and what is the "CSM"?

Oh man, I wanted to asnwer this but someone got to it first, and look at all those pictures! Here's the short answer: So Neil and Buzz are on the surface, and the CSM is the "return pod" in orbit ...
Alex T's user avatar
  • 132
9 votes

Has a spacecraft ever docked with the same space station twice in one mission?

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 ...
mickburkejnr's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

Has on-orbit refueling ever been demonstrated with cryogenic fuels?

No. (Unless it has been done as part of a secret mission.) NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate had plans for just that called Cryogenic Propellant Storage & Transfer (CPST), which would ...
Mark Adler's user avatar
  • 58.2k
9 votes

Transfer of astronauts from CSM to LM

After docking both the probe and the drogue were removed, extracted from the tunnel and stored somewhere. Here is the transcript from Apollo 11. Some excerpts: 055:19:49 Duke: Apollo 11, Houston. It'...
Hans's user avatar
  • 3,566
9 votes
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Would the Lunniy Korabl be able to dock with the Oryol spacecraft?

Would the Lunniy Korabl be possibly able to dock to the Oryol spacecraft Oryol isn't currently designed to dock with an LK, but I don't think there's a fundamental reason it couldn't be modified to ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar

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