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69 votes
Accepted

Why doesn’t NASA build its rockets using graphene?

The Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of graphene is at 2 or 3 as far as I can tell. And that is TRL as related to making very tiny stuff. Anything used to build a structure for aircraft or spacecraft ...
BradV's user avatar
  • 3,292
42 votes

Why doesn’t NASA build its rockets using graphene?

Besides the fact BradV pointed out that we don't have the technology to do this yet, the fact is that graphene on a macroscopic scale would not perform as well as the numbers you cited suggest. All ...
Mark Foskey's user avatar
  • 11.3k
27 votes

What is the rarest launch window?

Comet West with its unpredictable but estimated at 558 000 years period is a good contender. Since launch windows can aim for the alignment of N objects, the answer obviously tend to infinity. You ...
Antzi's user avatar
  • 12.7k
26 votes

Is there something inherently more difficult about servicing satellites in the 2nd Sun-Earth Lagrangian point?

Distance certainly is a key factor. It took JWST a month to go from launch to L2 pseudo-orbit insertion. Another key factor is that to date, the only successful satellite servicing missions have been ...
David Hammen's user avatar
24 votes
Accepted

What landings beyond Mars and the Moon are scheduled?

Feel free to edit this answer to add more or adjust formatting. List may be incomplete. Ordered by launch date: Hayabusa 2 and MASCOT to 162173 Ryugu, Japan/Germany/France, launched 2014, landed ...
21 votes

What is the rarest launch window?

Hohmann launch windows occur each synodic period. Or a more general version of a Hohmann transfer would be a transfer orbit tangent to both departure and destination orbits. This also occurs each ...
HopDavid's user avatar
  • 15.8k
20 votes
Accepted

Has there ever been crewed mission plans by any Space Agency to go to a solar system object other than the Moon and Mars?

Yes, NASA did consider a crewed flyby of Venus using Saturn/Apollo hardware. This is discussed in another QA on this site. There wasn't much point in doing it, as it would have been several months of ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
20 votes

Is there something inherently more difficult about servicing satellites in the 2nd Sun-Earth Lagrangian point?

Getting to L2 in a timely fashion is more challenging than going to the Moon. The Apollo missions took about 3 days to get to the Moon. 4.5 days is how long the LRO took to orbit the Moon when ...
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
  • 121k
18 votes
Accepted

Will there be another joint International Space Station (ISS) after the current is retired?

As far as I'm aware there are no plans to build another "ISS". Instead NASA and ESA are helping to fund various commercial space stations: Axiom Orbital Segment Orbital Reef Starlab Haven-1
Alan Birtles's user avatar
  • 2,065
17 votes
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Can double deck spacecraft be designed and constructed for manned missions?

Yes. They can be designed. Big Gemini was a seven-person capsule design that took a two-seat Gemini capsule: (Note: this image shows both the capsule (the black part) and the service module (the ...
Anton Hengst's user avatar
  • 10.9k
16 votes
Accepted

What is the rarest launch window?

The launch of New Horizons was very critical. The NASA scientists had 5 years to develop a space probe to Pluto and make sure it got a gravity assist through Jupiter, which is only possible if ...
Bharath Simha Reddy's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

Is there any independent evaluation/report on the feasibility of SpaceX going to Mars by 2024?

I don't have any independent evaluations on hand but it is almost completely certain that SpaceX will not have any rockets landing on Mars in 2024 or leaving for Mars in 2024. Launch windows aren't ...
Dragongeek's user avatar
  • 19.2k
14 votes

What are and could be all the advantages and disadvantages to have a crewed station on Phobos before landing crewed missions on Mars?

Establishing a human presence on Phobos would require development of a vehicle specifically for that purpose. Such a vehicle would have a far larger fraction of its arrival mass devoted to propellant ...
Christopher James Huff's user avatar
12 votes
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Why do larger and newer rockets not use electric pumps?

Ultimately the pump, whether electric or combustion-turbine driven, needs a certain amount of total energy input to do its job. Combustion reactions both deliver more total energy per mass than ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
12 votes

With increased space exploration missions, are we affecting earth's mass?

With increased space exploration missions, are we affecting earth's mass? In theory, yes. In practice, no. The amount of mass we send into space is completely negligible compared to the huge mass of ...
David Hammen's user avatar
12 votes

An alternative architecture for a mission to Mars

All manned Mars proposals that do not involve a nuclear launch from earth have a LOT of launches. Pretty much every serious plan since Von Braun's have involved multiple launches assembled in earth ...
GremlinWranger's user avatar
10 votes
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What are and could be all the advantages and disadvantages to have a crewed station on Phobos before landing crewed missions on Mars?

This NASA paper explores some of the rationales and implications of using Phobos as a staging point for human Mars surface missions. The conclusion is stated in the abstract: Results from this ...
Armadillo's user avatar
  • 1,426
10 votes
Accepted

What is the TRL of a skyhook?

There's a detailed breakdown of TRLs of various subsystems in Boeing's 2001 HASTOL architecture report. Bottom line is that the overall TRL is 2, though many of the subsystems have much higher TRLs. ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
10 votes

Will there be another joint International Space Station (ISS) after the current is retired?

Probably the first question is what a future International Space Station is trying to do. The current ISS exists for many reasons, and the result is at best described as functional with many ...
GremlinWranger's user avatar
9 votes

How feasible would it be to move the ISS to the surface of the Moon to recycle its components in future?

Supplementary answer expanding on @PearsonArtPhoto's answer. The first part of getting ISS (or anything else) from LEO to the Moon is lifting it's orbit around the Earth (or at least one end of its ...
Steve Linton's user avatar
  • 19.6k
9 votes

Does it make sense to invest money on space investigation?

"We should wait for all the problems on earth to be solved before going into space". I've seen this sentiment multiple times, and I disagree vehemently. 1. There are other much more worthy targets ...
Ingolifs's user avatar
  • 6,458
9 votes
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Are they already planning a successor to the JWST?

See the Launch Pad Astronomy video 4 Future Space Telescopes NASA wants to build linked below. The notes say that the four ...future space telescopes NASA wants to build are the: Habitable Exoplanet ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
9 votes

With increased space exploration missions, are we affecting earth's mass?

The earth gains about 43 tons of mass every day in meteorites and space dust. We are not only not decreasing the mass of the earth with our space program but are not even keeping it from growing.
John Meacham's user avatar
8 votes

Is a one-way manned mission to Mars currently possible?

Getting back is not impossible, just very expensive. This site has a good explanation of the phenomenon.
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 128k
8 votes

An alternative architecture for a mission to Mars

The infographic in your question references a Sept 28th, 2021 NASA document called the HEOMD Strategic Campaign Operations Plan for Exploration, where HEOMD stands for "Human Exploration and ...
phil1008's user avatar
  • 6,201
8 votes

Will there be another joint International Space Station (ISS) after the current is retired?

NASA and other partner space agencies are looking beyond LEO for the next collaborative space station. The Lunar Gateway Program is developing a space station that will orbit the moon in support of ...
Doresoom's user avatar
  • 1,804
7 votes

Is space mining and development as shown in the television show "The Expanse" realistic?

Short answer: Maybe, if you allow for an engine like used in the series. Long answer: The spaceships in The Expanse do not use Hohmann transfers. Instead they just start to accelerate continuously ...
m.fuss's user avatar
  • 1,249
7 votes

Any proposed missions to explore the black liquid on Titan? Technical challenges?

It's a late answer but I was surprised nobody cited this: Titan Mare Explorer (TiME) The TiME lander was a part of cooperative NASA-ESA mission TSSM. The mission was not considered as highest ...
Heopps's user avatar
  • 9,061
7 votes

Could it be worthwhile to bring a small and simple greenhouse with biofilms along with one of the next missions to Mars?

Planetary protection is still in force for Mars, see the special sub class of rules for it. While it can be argued that there have probably been lapses with the crashed orbiters listed at the link, ...
GremlinWranger's user avatar

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