Questions tagged [iss]

Questions about the International Space Station, a habitable man-made low Earth orbit satellite whose first component was launched in 1998 and used to conduct experiments for a wide variety of research fields in a microgravity environment.

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When jettisoning heavy objects from the ISS e.g. 2.9 tons of batteries+, how much torque is there on the station? Are corrective actions necessary?

Discussion below this answer to Why does it take so long for ISS garbage to fall out of orbit? addresses the jettisoning of the ~2.9 ton pallet full of used batteries full of nickel and other things. ...
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What are the “Big 13” critical contingency spacewalks on the ISS? Have any actually been performed?

There is a list of Critical Contingency items on the US side of the International Space Station called the "Big 13". The failure of any of these items would force an unscheduled spacewalk ...
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Could amateur radio operators or others contact the ISS against NASA's wishes?

In real life, but more often in fiction, there are have been a number of examples of "Don't tell the crew" i.e. Mission control finding out about an issue and deciding that for whatever ...
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What is the maximum allowed occupancy of the ISS?

With the recent Crew-2 docking while Crew-1 was still docked, there were Four Crew-1 members Four Crew-2 members Three Soyuz members That totals eleven. There have been as many as 13 aboard at once (...
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Is the life support system on ISS and other used manned spacecrafts fully redundant?

I just finished watching the Sci-Fi movie Stowaway where the crew of the spacecraft MTS-42 heading to Mars, gets in all kind of troubles after the failure of the single life support system. My ...
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Why do we never see astronauts doing breaststroke or the “Man from Atlantis” swimming movements, say, and thus swimming in air in free fall?

Why do we never see astronauts and others swimming in air in free fall? The swimming strokes that work well under water on earth are the breast stroke and especially that "Man from Atlantis" ...
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What is the acceleration in an orbit decaying due to air resistance relative to one not decaying?

This answer to Is there an upper limit for the internal size of space stations? has this paragraph: Finally, if you are stuck ["stranded" in the middle of a room in a space station filled ...
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How do modern “space windows” protect from dangerous UV? Is it simply the type of glass, or are there coatings or filters also?

Answer(s) to Did Valentin Lebedev or any another Salut cosmonaut actually get suntanned for fun and/or for science? explain that at least a few Salut cosmonauts "experimented" with getting ...
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Could the ISS be separated into two parts to make two space stations?

Let's assume that for some reason Russians wants to have a space station on their own, thus to separate their part from the rest of ISS. Would that be even possible without much of work?
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How many burns does it take to reboost the ISS?

When the International Space Station is given a reboost, how many burns are performed? Is it a Hohmann transfer orbit, with one perigee burn and one apogee burn? Or is it one burn at apogee just to ...
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When ISS Launches Cubesats, which direction do they usually fire them?

I was listening to Houston We Have A Podcast and they mentioned that spare payload on ISS supply/crew runs frequently get filled with cubesats which get (more elegantly than the word suggests) tossed ...
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What can the ISS do that a SpaceX Starship could not?

The SpaceX Starship (lunar and/or crew-rated version, upper stage only) is expected to have more habitable volume than the International Space Station. On the other hand, the ISS is around 400 tons, ...
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How big are Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) boots?

How big are Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) boots? Are any NASA equipment related to the ISS open to the public, if so were where would I find it?
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What is the density of the earth's atmosphere at an altitude of four hundred kilometers?

What is the density of the earth's atmosphere at an altitude of four hundred kilometers? I want to use it to calculate the drag on something in orbit near the ISS. The Jacchia Reference Atmosphere is ...
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Why did ESA retire the Automated Transfer Vehicle, instead of developing it into a crewed spacecraft?

The Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) was a cargo spacecraft for the ISS developed by ESA, analoguous to the Russian Progress and America's Cargo Dragon. It had three times the Progress' capacity and ...
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Do standard procedures for securing the ISS before an orbital boost burn include making sure that at least large objects are securely “strapped down”?

In discussions on previous posts it was debated whether ISS crew would need to "batten down the hatches" and confirm all objects were "lashed to the deck" before an orbital boost ...
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What do ISS astronauts do while the ISS gets reboosted? [duplicate]

For its orbit to not decay, the ISS reboosts itself to higher altitudes once in a while. During the reboost, I wonder how much gravity is felt by the astronauts onboard, and what do they do to avoid ...
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What is the procedure in case the ISS loses one of the evacuation crafts?

Suppose that a micrometeorite or a sudden failure renders one of the Soyuz inoperable, or that a routine inspection discovers a defect in one of them that makes it unsafe. What is the protocol to ...
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Evacuating the ISS but wait, there's only one Spacecraft?

I was doing some research regarding the Soyuz as I'm currently planning a summer project in which I would build a close replica of a Soyuz when the question popped into my mind, "What would ...
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Did or do space station engineers need to worry about angular momentum stored in circulating fluids?

One of the ISS' main uses is to provide a long duration microgravity environment for a wide variety of experiments. For some experiments residual acceleration needs to be much smaller than average. ...
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How much electrical energy is required to dissipate heat?

I'm modeling the electrical energy consumption of a chemical reactor for the Moon base. The reaction taking place in this reactor is highly exothermic, and the device must be cooled. My question is ...
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Why does ISS uses liquid ammonia in the Active Thermal Control System?

I saw this today and it made me very curious. See page 8 here: https://www.nasa.gov/pdf/167129main_Systems.pdf Ammonia has a boiling point of -30 C. The ammonia is liquid in these loops, so if ever ...
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Soyuz for Sale?

Reading through some stuff on the interwebs I came across some information saying that some old Soyuz Capsules are keep in a junkyard. Does anyone know if it's actually possible to purchase one of ...
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Is Starship planned to fly directly to the ISS without first stage? Is it even possible?

I'm having difficulty understanding how/if Starship and/or Super Heavy could be used to deliver crew to LEO. Is it expected to deliver astronauts to the ISS Crew-Dragon-style, but without the 2nd ...
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Has the ISS ever “flown upside down”? Has the cupola ever “looked up”?

For a spacecraft in low Earth orbit let's call the zenith direction (vector away from Earth) "up". For most of its life I think the ISS has orbited with it's "up side" pointed &...
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Has an astronaut ever gone into a docked capsule to take a photo out one of its windows?

A discussion below this answer to Did anybody on the ISS photograph this partial eclipse? How long did it last? How did they safely photograph it? has me wondering if astronauts can ever see "up&...
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Did anybody on the ISS photograph this partial eclipse? How long did it last? How did they safely photograph it?

Thanks to @gerrit's comment I have "irrefutable photographic circumstantial evidence" that the ISS (probably) passed through the penumbra of a partial solar eclipse. I know this is true ...
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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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Why did NASA divide Expedition 13 into two parts?

Up until ISS Expedition 12, all are single parts, but why did NASA divide Expedition 13 into two parts?
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ISS nodal precession

I was confused by JPL Horizons data showing time variations in the ISS longitude of ascending node, until I realized maybe the orbital plane itself rotates around earth... A quick web search then ...
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How often are fewer than three astronauts present when moving a Soyuz spacecraft from one docking port to another?

CNN's Astronauts relocated a spacecraft outside the International Space Station (was it inside before?) says: Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, along with NASA astronaut ...
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Orbit design guidelines for rendezvous with ISS?

Are there guidelines for orbit design if you're launching a payload for delivery to the ISS? Altitude, maybe phase angle constraints? Orbital approach maneuvers, maybe? I've figured out how to control ...
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ISS battery “de-orbit” burnup?

In reading these two questions: How many kilograms of nickel particles will be dispersed in Earth's atmosphere by dumping old ISS batteries overboard? and Why does it take so long for ISS garbage ...
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Why does it take so long for ISS garbage to fall out of orbit?

The ISS recently jettison some garbage and expects it to take 2-4 years to de-orbit and burn up. From Gizmodo's ISS Ditches 2.9-Ton Pallet of Batteries, Creating Its Most Massive Piece of Space Trash: ...
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How does Lunar Gateway compare to ISS and MIR

Looked around for comparison pictures, but can't find anyone (yet), probably because lunar gateway design is not yet stable. Or is it? I found several different designs. Do they exist "blueprint&...
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Does the ISS currently use “night glider mode” as part of its solar array positiioning plan?

I've seen several references on the site to a mode of ISS solar array position management called "night glider" where the solar arrays are turned to minimize drag when the ISS is on the ...
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How hard does atmospheric drag push on the ISS? Is it more than one pound?

A comment under this question has me thinking; with it's huge main structure and giant solar panels the ISS presents a very large cross-section to Earth's rarified atmosphere at 400 km altitude. So ...
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How ADCO/TOPO “Propagated State Vector” should be interpreted?

Here https://github.com/ISS-Mimic/Mimic I read: "The current total epic and all inclusive list of public telemetry can be seen at our page here https://iss-mimic.github.io/Mimic/". The list ...
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How many kilograms of nickel particles will be dispersed in Earth's atmosphere by dumping old ISS batteries overboard?

Weighing 2.9 tons... this heap of old batteries is now the heaviest single piece of garbage to be jettisoned from the International Space Station. begins Gizmodo's ISS Ditches 2.9-Ton Pallet of ...
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This ISS trash deployment looks more like 2 feet than 2 inches per second, was it too fast or are these articles incorrect?

Digital Trends' Watch a NASA astronaut jettison part of the ISS into space which was linked in says: Writing in Air & Space last year about the process of jettisoning objects, veteran NASA ...
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Why have astronauts had to take Soyuz capsules “out for a spin” on 15 separate occasions? (move from one Soyuz port to another)

NASA News item Space Station Crew to Relocate Soyuz to Make Room for New Crewmates says: Three residents of the International Space Station will take a spin around their orbital neighborhood in the ...
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Did NASA ethylene scrubbers “blast out submicron particles” which attack viruses and bacteria?

In this open letter addressed to the US president, Joseph Urso, CEO of ActivePure Technologies, Dallas, Texas Why Aren’t We Talking About Destroying COVID in Indoor Air? An Open Letter on How to Open ...
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What capacity will be lost by deorbiting Pirs

Nauka should, hopefully this year, replace the ISS' Pirs module. While Nauka is already pretty old, I suspect it will bring a lot of interesting features to the space station. However, Pirs might have ...
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Can or 'how long will' carbon fiber survive in space

Let's assume that social activist shut down metal mines in future. And we plan to built and launch another space station. Can we build it with carbon fibre? or is there any alternative to it? ...
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What are ISS orbit's sudden falls?

In current (2021) graph from heavens above (https://www.heavens-above.com/IssHeight.aspx) there are sudden falls - more than 1km in many cases and then after other sudden changes, the graphs return on ...
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Do ISS crew have the opportunity to take daily naps if they'd like to?

Could "days" on the space Station be made shorter to accomodate sleep patterns? raises an interesting point. I've often heard that for some astronauts they never really were able to sleep as ...
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Will lateral flow on paper (such as chromatography) work in microgravity?

I wonder whether or not lateral flow will work in the ISS. Thanks!
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Do rockets headed to ISS get delta V benefit from Earth's rotation

A rocket on the launchpad moves Eastward with the rest of the earth as it rotates about its polar axis. This means that on launch, the rocket already has a sizable eastward velocity component: ~460 m/...
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Orbital Insertion Altitude for Rendevous with ISS

When SpaceX launches a CRS mission to the ISS, what altitude do they target at orbital insertion? If the ISS is 400 km above ground, do they target 400 km at SECO? Or do they target a lower number---...
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Pee processing in space

Do astronauts drink each their own pee or is there a common pee container where all pee get collected and processed? It's clear to me that the obtained water must be sterile, but even then, I imagine ...

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