Questions tagged [nasa]

Questions pertaining to activities of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, a United States government agency that deals with space exploration and research.

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Are there any preliminary results from Mars lander InSight's RISE antennas?

@karthikeyan's excellent answer links to The Rotation and Interior Structure Experiment on the InSight Mission to Mars (Folkner, W.M., Dehant, V., Le Maistre, S. et al. Space Sci Rev (2018) 214: 100. ...
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Do astronauts set a pressure on the space craft altimeter before launch or zero it?

I was watching First Man and noticed that just before the launch of Armstrong's Gemini mission the capsule's altimeter read zero. My understanding of the Titan II GLV is that it's 109ft tall so I ...
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How will Mars 2020 rover Perseverance's selfie skills compare to Curiosity's? Will it have any additional selfie-related capabilities?

The design of the Mars 2020 rover Perseverance benefits from years of operational experience with Curiosity. While 2020's instrument suite differs in several ways it looks remarkably similar to ...
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X-248 cape catastrophe [closed]

I was responsible for changing the ignition system on the fatal x-248. It was a result of poor igniter design and especially dangerous procedures by Cape personnel. I am looking for some facility of ...
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Why is NASA building its own rocket for the moon mission when it could use SpaceX's?

I read in this article that NASA is building its own rocket for the moon mission. Why would they build their outdated and inefficient rocket, when they could instead use a SpaceX rocket and use their ...
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How was DSCOVR “fixed” so that sufficiently dynamic attitude determination is gotten from star cameras?

The following from Space News indicate that a laser gyroscope failed and that software changes were developed and uploaded to the spacecraft bringing it back on line again recently: Software fix ...
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Lunar landing module and orbiting space craft personnel transfer [duplicate]

How did the crew of Apollo get from the orbiting capsule into the Lunar lander, as the orbiter rocket engine was between the orbiter and Lunar lander?
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How will NASA's software for autonomous navigation in cis-lunar space work?

NASA news item NASA Funds CubeSat Pathfinder Mission to Unique Lunar Orbit says: The pathfinder mission represents a rapid lunar flight demonstration and could launch as early as December 2020. ...
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How will NASA's TROPICS cubesats be inserted into their three orbital planes and proper phasings?

Rocket to launch 8 cubesat to LEO at an equidistant distance reminded me that I'd never asked this question. NASA's TROPICS 3U cubesat constellation hasn't been launched yet, so there's still time to ...
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Does NASA really report the power of rockets in horsepower?

On a recent episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson said: And to this day NASA will still report the power of rockets in horsepower, which is completely absurd, ...
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Why are checklists the way they are?

Checklists from different programs are quite different, they are also different from typical aviation checklists. The ISS checklists are full of special characters, e.g. √, boxes around numbers, some ...
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What's the final word; does the EmDrive drive work or not?

I'd like to know the final verdict on the EmDrive (or EM Drive); does it work or not? Some say yes, others say no, some say the measured effect was not propulsion, but just the energy radiated by the ...
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Are there any ISS component failures that could cause irreparable harm to the station?

What component, if any, would cause irreparable harm ("total") the ISS if it were to break or require replacement? If this component exists, when is it going to reach its end-of-life? By "total", I ...
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What were the two circa 1965 semi-polar missions launched from Cape Canaveral?

Teslarati's SpaceX sets date for first Florida launch of its kind in more than half a century says That November 1960 launch thus shut down East Coast polar launches to avoid overflying Cuba and ...
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Has the National Near Earth Object Preparedness Strategy and Action Plan seen any action?

This answer to Does NASA have an end-of-the-world policy? mentions the National Near Earth Object Preparedness Strategy and Action Plan. Has this plan resulted in any action?
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Does NASA have an end-of-the-world policy?

If an asteroid were detected, shooting towards earth with enough speed and certainty that it would all but guarantee a sequel of the end of the dinosaurs. Observatories and space agencies would almost ...
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Did the Saturn IB have eight equally spaced fins around its circumference?

This answer to Saturn V Small Rectangles On S-II Stage includes images and links related to the Saturn IB rocket. It shows what I think is an unwrapped representation of part of a circumference which ...
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ISS Mass breakdown [duplicate]

I'm looking for some solid numbers that break down the mass of the ISS into functional categories (with the goal of making a neat pie chart). Such categories might include the mass of... Docked ...
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How did NASA fund searches for extraterrestrial life before 1993? How were the searches done?

The BBC's Astronomers want public funds for intelligent life search says: Nasa once funded the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence to the tune of $10m a year. But the funding was scrapped in ...
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Why so many STS-61's?

Wikipedia's STS-61 says that it is not to be confused with STS-61A, STS-61B or STS-61C. Why were there so many STS missions where the name included the number "61"?
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Why will the NASA Mars drone helicopter use off the shelf batteries?

I read from this paper under section G. that the JPL Mars helicopter scout will use standard 18650 cells from Sony. I’m sure that a company like NASA has the capability of acquiring much more advanced ...
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What's the method behind this TDRS triplet inclination “madness”?

Previous "method to the maddness" questions: 1, 2. The image below is from Why does TDRS 1's inclination evolve so much differently than that of all the others starting in 1995? and I've used it a ...
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What's next for New Horizons?

Five years ago What's after Pluto for New Horizons? was asked, and the answer turned out to be at first 'something in the Kuiper belt if we can find a good candidate' and finally 2014 MU69. But now ...
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What is this font used in Apollo / early Shuttle NASA documents? (possibly OT)

Seeking the name of a font used in Apollo NASA documentation and some early shuttle documents as well. Examples: from SSME Pocket Data Book From Apollo 12 / SA 507 Flight Manual Recognizing this ...
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Where is http://thunder.msfc.nasa.gov/?

In the question Methods of lightning detection on Mars? I included an image of A lightning detector at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida: Source The Wikimedia's page cites http://thunder....
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Are there any close-up photos of the screens used in the MOCR2 from the Apollo era where text features can be distinguished?

The question is mostly about the fonts used in those screens. AFAIK, the images were slides superimposed with data generated by computers that was captured from CRTs by cameras and piped into the MOCR ...
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Are the lines on the wheels of the Mars 2020 rover wavy? If so, why?

CNET's NASA narrows down Mars 2020 rover names: Hello, Fido? includes the image below. I'm not sure if the rover is moving and a rolling shutter was in use, or if the lines on the wheels are really ...
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Where can I find FOIA requests to NASA and their subsequent replies?

NASA official page compiles Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) information requests here. https://www.nasa.gov/FOIA/elibrary Above page lists few xlsx files for past few years but links given for ...
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What terminology is used to describe spacecraft in stationkeeping?

Forgive any inaccurate wording of this question. If a Soyuz craft which had been docked at the Zvezda module backed away from the ISS and remained at stationkeeping, would NASA, Roscosmos, or the ESA ...
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If solar radiation can heat up gas particles in the thermosphere, why will it not heat up a spacecraft?

NASA says that the reason why a spacecraft does not get hot in the thermosphere is because there are not enough gas particles to come into contact with the spacecraft to heat it up. If you were ...
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Dealing with lunar regolith

NASA has announced its intention to return astronauts to the Moon by 2024. Various other questions and answers here address the many dangers and difficulties posed by the fine and abrasive particles ...
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Is retired astronaut Scott Kelly now the same height as his brother?

In WIRED's new video Astrophysicist Explains One Concept in 5 Levels of Difficulty | WIRED "Astrophysicist Janna Levin, PhD, is asked to explain the concept of gravity to 5 different people; a child, ...
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Why did NASA want the Z-2 prototype spacesuit need to mimic the appearance of sportswear?

NASA has been considering a new type of space suit, the Z2 Spacesuit, "in order to protect NASA astronauts embarking on a new class of mission, NASA has to build a new class of space suit. Far off ...
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Why was the reusability of the SSMEs so poor, and why was this considered acceptable given their purpose to launch a reusable vehicle?

The Space Shuttle Main Engines operated for around 8.5 minutes in every Shuttle launch, yet were removed from the orbiter after each flight and went through an overhaul, parts often being traded from ...
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Does NASA use any of the twilight designations?

Do the differences in civilian, nautical, and astronomical twilight have any technical relevance to NASA either on Earth or any other object in the solar system where a probe has landed? Does NASA ...
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Did NASA ever supply astronauts with canned food?

Looking through information regarding food for ISS, one thing caught my eye: a lot of canned food for Russian cosmonauts (as a side note, they apparently have bread (and crackers!) there too (...
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Short documentary about spacesuit seamstresses

I'm trying to find a short documentary video about people who sew together NASA spacesuits. I saw it quite some time ago -- at least 20 years, maybe longer. Quite possibly on PBS, maybe the Spokane ...
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Mars mission success rate vs. outer planets success rate

I've heard discussion of the Mars Curse, with the very high failure rate of missions to the planet. Comparing NASA Mars missions to NASA outer solar system missions since the beginnings of the 1970's ...
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From commercial pilot to astronaut

With enough work and effort, is it possible for a commercial pilot to become a NASA astronaut? If a candidate astronaut who is a commercial pilot met all of the requirement apart from a type rating ...
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If I wanted to reconstruct an entire Apollo mission's crewed spacecraft trajectories, what are the key sources of historical data I'd look for?

The last few images in Robert A. Braeunig's Apollo 11's Translunar Trajectory; and how they avoided the heart of the radiation belts are fascinating and a bit perplexing as discussed in this answer ...
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Reentry without pressure suits in Apollo: was there a formal risk assesment?

In Apollo 11 Flight Journal the following is stated: The crew will make re-entry without suits or helmets on. Although this was a controversial decision on the first Apollo flight, Apollo 7, when ...
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To what extent will JAXA and NASA coordinate their studies of material returned from Ryugu and Bennu by Hyabusa2 and OSIRIS-Rex?

Livescience.com's Your RNA May Have Come from Space, Meteor Study Suggests is mostly about the chemical analysis of the insides of meteorites recovered on Earth reported in PNAS, but one paragraph is ...
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How did Conrad let Bean drive Apollo 12? Did anyone get in trouble?

In the NPR News item and podcast It's Been 50 Years Since Apollo 12 Landed On The Moon reporter Geoff Brumfiel says: The trip back went smoothly. Conrad let Bean drive the spaceship a little bit, ...
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How often did Apollo astronauts wear red helmets?

Images of NAsA astronaut David R. Scott performing a spacewalk during Apollo 9 show a red helmet. When did NASA's use of red-colored helmets begin, and when did it end, and was there a special name ...
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Are there any active or recent projects investigating skyhooks for orbital lift?

On the Wikipedia page for skyhooks, the most recent entry in "History" describes a 2001 effort by the Boeing Phantom Works to draft a proposal for a skyhook system for NASA under the name of HASTOL. ...
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Security during a NASA launch rehearsal test

Am I correct in assuming that security during a launch rehearsal test is very high? That all the people working in the service structure have been well vetted and it is highly improbable that someone ...
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What exactly has “changed” about the way that NASA will procure technology for the Artemis program?

A video in the Space.com article NASA Taps Maxar to Build Lunar Gateway Power Module for Artemis Moon Plan shows the NASA director explaining the series Artemis 1, 2, 3... and announcing that the ...
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Looking for help in drawing diagrams to explain graphically NASA Horizons output

I searched a lot for a javascript library or a REST API to access full functionalities of powerful NASA Horizons tool, but with no luck, so I am trying to write my own interface, to replace the very ...
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Why are space tools shiny

I was watching one of the broadcasts of a space walk on the ISS. I noticed the Pistol Grip Tool (Thanks Courageous Potato) looks like its made of polished stainless steel. Why do these tools have ...
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Why are Viking LR results not sufficient evidence of life on Mars?

Gil Levin, one of the scientists involved with the 1976 Viking mission to Mars, has claimed and continues to claim that there is life on Mars, based off the positive results of the Labeled Release (LR)...

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