27 votes
Accepted

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 ...
17 votes
Accepted

How do satellite motors keep themselves cool and lubricated?

There is only one regular car in space, but it doesn't have a piston engine — as leftroundabout pointed out so helpfully, it is a Tesla, an electric vehicle. Even without piston engines, however, ...
16 votes

How do satellite motors keep themselves cool and lubricated?

Satellites never use Internal combustion engines like in cars (obviously they do have propulsion engines that require combustion for station-keeping purposes) in them, they mostly use solar-power and ...
13 votes

How do satellite motors keep themselves cool and lubricated?

There are a few elements here that are worth considering. Part of the story is to do with the purpose of the engines you might find in a satellite, or space vehicle for that matter. While the other ...
11 votes

How do satellite motors keep themselves cool and lubricated?

For a satellite you need something that functions in zero gravity for many years without any maintenance or repair. Therefore piston engines are not used. To produce electrical energy solar cells are ...
  • 47.7k
7 votes

How do satellite motors keep themselves cool and lubricated?

The requirements on engines (really motors in my experience) in space are very different from the requirements on automobile engines on the ground. This leads to very different designs and very ...
7 votes

Docking in space

The Soviets designed a super-simple docking mechanism for their failed lunar program. Of course, the price was that you had to EVA-transfer from craft to craft. It was never used. Source: https://...
7 votes

Fancy locomotion for rovers

The question is exploratory in nature and seems to allow for some degree of flexibility, so I will pick and choose words and address: fancy locomotion for rovers and How close do already launched ...
  • 148k
4 votes

How do satellite motors keep themselves cool and lubricated?

For extreme cold conditions like the WEBB telescope, most lubrication is provided by dry film lubricants since any oil would freeze solid.
  • 2,471
2 votes

How do satellite motors keep themselves cool and lubricated?

Many of the answers here are fantastic at addressing the actual question, but it's worth mentioning that there are sometimes electric motors on satellites and space probes that have a strict runtime ...
2 votes

Vehicle liquids freeze on the Moon -- how has this problem been solved?

Supplementary answer: Vehicle liquids freeze on the Moon -- how has this problem been solved? There's an example where liquid/solid transitions really are a feature, not a bug. How much wax is on ...
  • 148k
1 vote

Docking in space

No. A standard umbrella requires a very complicated arm and hand mechanism to close it. This will not work in space. In addition, an umbrella is not airtight, does not allow crewmembers to pass ...
  • 4,405
1 vote

Fancy locomotion for rovers

According to its obituary(!) in The Economist, 2019 Feb 23, p. 86, Opportunity could brake wheels independently. It dug a trench by spinning one wheel while it kept the others locked Also, JPL ...

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