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29 votes
Accepted

Why was Space Shuttle Atlantis selected for Mir docking so frequently?

Looking at old manifest documents, it seems pretty clear that Atlantis (OV-104) was outfitted with all the hardware for Shuttle-Mir missions and they used her exclusively for that until they couldn't ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
18 votes

What is this long truss associated with Mir?

I believe that's the Sofora girder which was made up of 20 segments totalling 14 metres in length. There was an RCS thruster at the top end which made it easier to orient the station and used less ...
GordonD's user avatar
  • 1,153
17 votes
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Did all of the Space Shuttles dock with multiple space stations or crewed spacecraft?

Columbia did not. Despite being in service during the Shuttle-Mir and International Space Station programs, Columbia did not fly any missions that visited a space station. The other three active ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
16 votes
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What is this long truss associated with Mir?

Updated answer: TL;DR: Mayak (Lighthouse/beacon) or URS truss, mounted on Salyut-7 in May 1986. Additional element, including interview with cosmonaut Vladimir Solovyov, added at end of this answer -...
blobbymcblobby's user avatar
13 votes

How did the Mir crew recover from the power outage following collision with Progress 34?

Martin's answer offers a great overview and a link to a hidden gem - transcribed interview with Michael Foale, covering the incident and its aftermath in a great detail. I'd like to share the most ...
Pavel's user avatar
  • 413
11 votes
Accepted

Was a commercial (ad) balloon satellite ever deployed?

Yes, this was done during the EO-21 mission via a spacewalk from Mir in May 1996. The deployment was filmed (or videotaped) for use in a TV commercial. The balloon was not intended to be visible ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
10 votes

When did astronauts/cosmonauts start cleaning and vacuuming space stations?

For the US space program, it started in Skylab. Vacuuming of the Orbital Workshop mixing chamber screen, the waste management compartment screen, and other environmental control system screens was ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
10 votes
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How did the Mir crew recover from the power outage following collision with Progress 34?

The best I was able to find is this description of the event by Michael Foale. In short reactive thrusters of the docked Soyuz spacecraft was used to reorient the whole station. And, in the periods of ...
Martin's user avatar
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10 votes
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Were Hasselblad cameras used in space after the Apollo mission?

Partial answer: Hasselblad 500 EL/M cameras were used early in the Shuttle program, before the advent of digital photography. The training manual is available here, it has this beautiful cover I do ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

On Mir, Zarya, or Zvezda, do docking ports consume space inside the module?

First off, here's a picture (source: NASA) of the inside of the MIR node with something connected in every direction: There's also a video here where the node is traversed, but I can't find any ...
1337joe's user avatar
  • 7,206
8 votes

How many people have returned to Earth in a different type of vehicle than the one that launched them into space?

Here is the list of people (11) I have found so far: ...
7 votes

What is a gravity gradient?

This is actually quite interesting problem, which has a few levels to it: In first order approximation, there is a tendency to align the orbiting body vertically with its mass extending as much as ...
Martin's user avatar
  • 1,831
7 votes

What is a gravity gradient?

Due to the fact that gravity follows an inverse square law with distance. So an object twice as far away from the centre of another object will only feel one quarter of the gravitational force. So for ...
Slarty's user avatar
  • 9,560
7 votes

Was the teletype machine on MIR the first printer in space? Is there a photo, and what frequencies were used?

For your first question, it was definitely not the first teletype printer: The airlock module had other functions, too. In it were located the controls for the temperature of the Skylab and the ...
Andrew is gone's user avatar
7 votes

Why did the Mir space station need someone to look after it at all times?

Late in its life, Mir suffered significant failures, a lot. Designed for only a five-year life, the aging Mir suffered a series of equipment failures and accidents in 1996–97 but remained in service. ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Was TORU really used on Salyut space stations

An answer of two parts, part one: From what I have seen, http://www.hightechscience.org/toru.htm is the only site to include Salyut in the list of stations with TORU installed on it. And I do believe ...
blobbymcblobby's user avatar
6 votes

What is this thing on the right of the frame in this photograph? (STS-71)

(cropped and sharpened) oh. its the probe. I had previously counted out the probe for the following reasons: probe is always retracted in flight probe extends for docking only even if blister window ...
blobbymcblobby's user avatar
6 votes

Was the teletype machine on MIR the first printer in space? Is there a photo, and what frequencies were used?

UPDATE 2: Confirmed that (unencrypted) teletype existed on Salyut 2, from one of the programmers on the teams, with an amusing note on where they got the magnetic tape from: On board the Salyut-2 and ...
blobbymcblobby's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

How did the atmospheres of Soyuz, Shuttle, Mir, and ISS compare?

All these craft were designed to maintain the rough equivalent of a sea level atmosphere. Reference: Life Support Concepts for Space Travel Shuttle Environmental Control and Life Support System ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

How was APAS-89 chosen for Buran and Kristall?

The major claimed advantage of the APAS was that it can be applied to more massive vehicles because it incorporates a damping system. Buran was going to be much more massive than Soyuz. Source: ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
5 votes
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Where did Soyuz and Progress dock with Mir?

There has been a book on the topic I can not seem to find from my memory. However in searching I found a good resource, in the PDF at NASA called Mir Heritage. https://www.hq.nasa.gov/pao/History/SP-...
geoffc's user avatar
  • 79.6k
4 votes

Were Hasselblad cameras used in space after the Apollo mission?

A Hasselblad image of the Mir. Docking target on Mir space station as seen from Shuttle Discovery NASA ID: sts063-711-069 STS063-711-069 (3-11 Feb. 1995) --- This close-up scene of Russian Mir Space ...
Uwe's user avatar
  • 49k
4 votes

What was being manufactured on Salyut and Mir?

I have a (probably exhaustive) list of every smelting experiments that where done on the space stations (Sayult 5-7; mir) I could post it but it would take time to compile (There was many experiments ...
Antzi's user avatar
  • 12.6k
4 votes

Why did the Mir space station need someone to look after it at all times?

Because previous Soviet experience (and Krikalev's personal experience) with uncrewed space stations did not go well. Of the 9 Soviet space stations prior to Mir, only 5 were intentionally terminated:...
DrSheldon's user avatar
  • 48k
3 votes
Accepted

Did astronauts and cosmonauts headed to the Mir space station go into quarantine before launch?

Yes. It's still early when Tsibliyev slips out of the quarantine rooms in the Prophylactorum ... Dragonfly, Bryan Burrough, page 68 This was in preparation for the Soyuz-25 mission to Mir. ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
3 votes

Were Hasselblad cameras used in space after the Apollo mission?

Yes, they were used on the space shuttle inside the cabin. So this iconic image of Bruce McCandless II was taken with a Hasselblad Camera from inside the cabin of the Orbiter. I could not find any ...
TrySCE2AUX's user avatar
  • 3,255
1 vote

Were Hasselblad cameras used in space after the Apollo mission?

The STS-61 Post Flight Presentation mentions that a Hasselblad was used outside the cabin during a spacewalk. The speaker talks about this at 12:50 along with some trivia: "nobody had ever taken ...
S. Low's user avatar
  • 105
1 vote

When did astronauts/cosmonauts start cleaning and vacuuming space stations?

Partial as short of time, will add later: This is partially useful: (describes cleaning in both Skylab and Salyut) https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/Architecture_for_Astronauts/8RWKOxH1c8sC?hl=en&...
blobbymcblobby's user avatar
1 vote

Was a commercial (ad) balloon satellite ever deployed?

It would be kind of pointless - at least for a free-flying satellite. Even the largest objects in low earth orbit require a telescope, a good pass (location, lighting, weather, etc.) and no small ...
CoAstroGeek's user avatar
  • 1,909

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