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34 votes
Accepted

Do spacecraft ever release unneeded gases into space?

You bet. Not only gases, but astronaut pee as well! Which could result in spectacular light shows. This happens for several reasons: Spacecraft and the tanks inside them are built to be as light as ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
20 votes
Accepted

Why is butane never used in rockets as fuel?

Hydrocarbons are largely interchangeable when it comes to performance, and as long as no single one beats kerosene with a large enough margin, the hassle of changing infrastructure is generally not ...
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

Other than He and N as pressurizing gases

A good pressurizing gas needs to satisfy a few basic properties: it needs to stay gaseous at the temperatures and pressures your fuel and oxidizer are stored at, so that it won't just condense out ...
Ilmari Karonen's user avatar
10 votes
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Can a machine process and run on $CO_2$ and $H_2O$ for an $O_2$ by product?

Can electrolysis of water provide fuel for the generator where both water and liquid carbon dioxide is utilized in one self sustaining machine? NO. A 'self sustaining machine' would be a perpetual ...
Hobbes's user avatar
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7 votes

Do spacecraft ever release unneeded gases into space?

Section 30.4 of this NASA document describes passivation of spacecraft at end of life. The objective is to remove all sources of stored energy including pressurized gases and the way to do it is to ...
Ross Millikan's user avatar
6 votes

Do spacecraft ever release unneeded gases into space?

There was a proposal by Mars One for a mission to Mars. It suggested using hydroponics to produce oxygen. But a MIT study reviewed it and showed that this model could not work, because the plants ...
geoffc's user avatar
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6 votes

Can a machine process and run on $CO_2$ and $H_2O$ for an $O_2$ by product?

note: the question has been significantly modified (potentially improved) - I'll leave this slightly-outdated answer here as-is for reference. There probably are no studies that have shown that carbon ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
4 votes
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How much nitrogen did Skylab and the Space Shuttle carry for atmosphere makeup?

Skylab had 1630 lbm of N2 at launch. That's enough to fill the 12,750 cubic foot habitable volume ~ one and a half times to sea level pressure and temperature even ignoring any oxygen. Shuttle N2 ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
3 votes

What is the purpose of the helium and argon gas supplies on ISS?

Nitrogen Usage The Minus Eighty Degree Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI) uses high purity nitrogen for its Brayton cycle, not helium (source). The nitrogen ISS uses for other payloads and ECLSS isn't ...
Doresoom's user avatar
  • 1,754
3 votes

Other than He and N as pressurizing gases

There aren't many atomic or diatomic gases at room temperature: H, N, O, F, Cl and the noble gases. noble gases are expensive F and Cl are corrosive oxygen reacts with propellants, so can only be ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 128k
1 vote

Do spacecraft ever release unneeded gases into space?

The materials that spacecraft are made of can release gas into space. It's called outgassing, and is a problem that crops up from time to time with satellites and spacecraft. Source : https://en....
Crisp's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote

Would a biological resource-system be feasible for long-term manned flights?

On one hand, a biological resource system should be avoided because they are large and energy intensive. On the other hand, it is likely necessary due to the complex biochemical requirements of humans....
Woody's user avatar
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