Skip to main content
49 votes

Have any space suits (not) used "pulsed magnetic devices"?

Spacecraft and space suits do NOT generate a magnetic field for medical reasons. Any magnetic fields generated are side effects of using electric motors etc. The linked question on Skeptics ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 128k
26 votes

Why doesn't the ISS orient itself to the Earth's magnetic field like a compass needle?

Sources: bar magnet (annotated with a red "X"), aluminum can (annotated with a green "OK" check mark) Beautiful video and demonstration, thank you! However... That magnet in ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
22 votes

Have any space suits (not) used "pulsed magnetic devices"?

Well, an electric motor is arguably a 'pulsed magnetic device', as is a solenoid valve, but good ones try very hard to contain the fields to where they will do useful work. I suppose one could ...
Dan Mills's user avatar
  • 401
19 votes
Accepted

Why did the data "go wild" when Ulysses entered Hyakutake's tail?

The NASA public affairs department may have exaggerated a bit with the "went wild" quote. The encounter was not even noticed until two years after it happened! Evidence of the encounter was ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

Why doesn't the ISS orient itself to the Earth's magnetic field like a compass needle?

Because the people that run it don't want that: The magnetic field of the ISS is quite weak. This would be a combination of deliberate and inadvertent , as it is built out of mostly nonmagnetic ...
CuteKItty_pleaseStopBArking's user avatar
12 votes

Why doesn't the ISS orient itself to the Earth's magnetic field like a compass needle?

This isn't an answer, just a minor addition to the previous answers. There have actually been cases where satellites have accidentally become magnetized and caused an undesirable magnetotorque; it is ...
0xDBFB7's user avatar
  • 2,249
11 votes
Accepted

Could an articulated permanent magnet work as a low-power cubesat magnetotorquer? Problems?

RAX and RAX-2 and possibly other cubesats launched by the University of Michigan (I can't remember at the moment) used fixed neodymium based magnets on their Z+ axis. Hysteresis was added to dump any ...
Andrew W.'s user avatar
  • 976
11 votes
Accepted

The Orbital Mass Accelerator Engine Theory

In theory, yes, if the accelerator and the spacecraft are of the same mass, they'll gain the same amount of velocity when they pass, and so they'll meet at a higher altitude on the opposite side. If ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

What kind of antimatter engine is this?

It's a "beam core" engine, described in some further detail on Project Rho's Big List O' Engines: Microscopic amounts of antimatter are reacted with equal amounts of matter. Remember: ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Can Earth magnetic field be used for attitude determination in LEO?

Yes, actually, and it is commonly used for LEO satellites. I know of a number of satellites that use magnetic field information to determine their location. It won't provide absolute attitude, but it ...
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
  • 121k
8 votes

How could an induced magnetosphere be created at Mars for terraforming?

The way to solve this problem has recently been proposed by NASA. Put a magnet on the L1 Legrange point (between Mars and the Sun) of about 2 Tesla. This is what it looks like: At present, ...
Herman's user avatar
  • 383
8 votes
Accepted

Are magnetic boots in space practical?

This turns out to be a pre-space-age thing. It's not really needed, most of the time it's perfectly fine to float around. On Skylab they provided an elaborate system of triangular grid floors and ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
8 votes

Is a magnetic field really needed to terraform Mars?

Mars has no magnetic field to protect any atmosphere we might add to the planet, but fortunately it would be lost very slowly, over geological time. Fortunately, both protecting and creating a Martian ...
Max Green Eclipse's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Launching sounding rockets from the magnetic equator (ISRO's Thumba)

It turns out the magnetic equator is quite important to for research on geophysics and the interaction of the Earth's field with the atmosphere and solar wind. This location seems ideal both for ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
8 votes
Accepted

Why must "Mercury’s core (be) partially molten" to explain its weak magnetism?

tl;dr: because any solid iron would still be above the Curie temperature and so unable to retain any residual magnetization. The magnetic phenomena associated with liquid metal in (the cores of) ...
Oscar Lanzi's user avatar
  • 8,525
8 votes

Why doesn't the ISS orient itself to the Earth's magnetic field like a compass needle?

As other answers have noted, the bodies of most spacecraft are made of nonmagnetic aluminum. However, some smaller spacecraft do use the Earth's magnetic field for attitude control. These smaller ...
David Hammen's user avatar
7 votes

Is a magnetic field really needed to terraform Mars?

Venus has no Magnetic field and it has a thicker atmosphere than any other terrestrial planet. Which is a direct counterexample to the statement that lack of magnetic field is what makes it impossible ...
saolof's user avatar
  • 191
7 votes

Can a spacecraft be propelled by two electromagnets of different size?

Any method of propelling a spacecraft needs two things: Something to push against, which is usually propellant ("reaction mass") that is expelled, but also can be matter existing in space ...
ikrase's user avatar
  • 8,873
7 votes
Accepted

Why is Aurora Australis less popular?

Less people that can possibly see it. The Aurora Borealis is easily visible from highly populated countries in northern Europe, Canada, sometimes from northern states of the USA. There are a LOT of ...
CuteKItty_pleaseStopBArking's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Accelerating spaceships via planetary magnetic fields

At the distances involved, a magnetic field is much weaker than a gravitational field. So instead of using the magnetic force, we use gravity (i.e. gravity assists) to accelerate interplanetary ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 128k
6 votes

Can you use magnets to travel through space?

So the short answer here is yes you could. However, there's not a justifiable advantage to using this. To propel yourself, you would constantly need an incredibly strong magnetic object near you. Now, ...
Gigaboggie's user avatar
5 votes

Is a magnetic field really needed to terraform Mars?

Mars does not have the ability to hold an atmosphere breathable for humans, not because of lack of a magnetic field and the solar wind, but because of the lack of mass and the average kinetic energy (...
Famous Jameis's user avatar
5 votes

How much power would a spacecraft's magnetic shield require?

This might be of interest: CERN, in collaboration with the European Space Radiation Super Conducting Shield project are using advances in super conductor technology to develop a super conducting ...
Robert Walker's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Is the Paramagnetism of Liquid Oxygen Ever Considered in Engine or Tank Design?

Check out this article and the sources cited: Simulation of LOX reorientation using magnetic positive positioning https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02908417 Looks like it has been studied. ...
Almaadin's user avatar
5 votes

Passive attitude stabilization with magnets - are there studies based on actual flight data?

Yes, it does work. The first Australian satellite, Australis OSCAR 5, used a magnet to approximately align one axis with the earth's magnetic field AND rods with a large magnetic hysteresis loop to ...
Owen Mace's user avatar
5 votes

Place a satellite at Sun-Mars L1 to shield Mars from Sun radiation

The very idea was proposed earlier this month at the Planetary Science Vision 2050 Workshop. The talk was titled: "A Future Mars Environment for Science and Exploration", J. Green, R. Bamford, et. ...
Martin McCormick's user avatar
5 votes

The Orbital Mass Accelerator Engine Theory

Although I love the idea, this will not be practical for at least 2 reasons: Cost: two spacecraft would need to be launched into opposite orbits. This can't possibly be efficient because earth's ...
Everyday Astronaut's user avatar
5 votes

What kind of antimatter engine is this?

It's difficult to say exactly what type of engine this is as Anti-matter engines are solely conceptual. Mainly due to the highest production available for Anti-Hydrogen seems to be about 1 gram per ...
Adriano's user avatar
  • 59
5 votes
Accepted

Can objects be deorbited by a satellite using a magnetic field?

A magnetic field is one way for one satellite to exert a force on another, changing the orbits of both. Since satellites are mostly made of aluminium, titanium and carbon fibre based composites, ...
Steve Linton's user avatar
  • 19.6k
5 votes

Can objects be deorbited by a satellite using a magnetic field?

No, the range of a magnetic field is too short to be usable. Magnetic field strength is proportional to 1/r3, so a magnetic field is only effective at very short distances (less than 10 meters), and ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 128k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible