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39

I copied some of the lines from Ars Technica's NASA brings back its iconic “worm” logo to mark return of human spaceflight and The Verge's NASA brings back its iconic ‘worm’ logo for upcoming Falcon 9 Crew Dragon launch. Most of all NASA has also posted The Worm is Back! NASA originally planned to announce that it was bringing its iconic “worm” logo back ...


34

In the defense of NASA, SpaceX does not per se have an operational vehicle for the purposes they want to use SLS. (Yet, Starship is coming) However, missions to the moon using Falcon Heavy vehicles have been proposed by Bob Zubrin. Once SpaceX has an actual flying Starship/Super Heavy I think the situation will change. Ultimately the SLS program is ...


24

Because there are no super heavy-lift launch vehicles flying right now. In fact, simply by existing, SLS will be the most up-to-date and the most efficient super heavy-lift launch vehicle since the Saturn V (Shuttle is debatable). Super heavy-lift launch vehicle, Proposed designs When looking at current SpaceX rockets, the Falcon Heavy are human certified. ...


12

This surprises me, too. I was an engineer who worked for three years in the STS program during the 1980s. As someone who watched Challenger disintegrate while at work in a NASA facility, the retirement of the worm represented closure for an era of extended poor decision making. Now it's back. I love NASA and have to acknowledge a lot of good was ...


12

SLS has been in development for a long time, although it suffers from political winds quite a bit. It started in its current form in 2011, when there was no other system in existence that even was close. Falcon Heavy was a concept then, but it would have only been slightly better than Delta IV Heavy, still nothing compared to SLS. They considered other ...


7

The parameters for the Apollo lunar descents are too complicated to explain here. However, the entire May-June 1972 issue of the Bell System Technical Journal volume 51 number 5 (30 Mb pdf, 176 pages) was devoted to documenting the planning of the Apollo program. Pages 1046 to 1048 describe the descent trajectory. It includes these pictures: Appendix B ...


4

The Apollo 11 Mission Report (MSC-00171 of 11/1969) claims for PDI: 1.037º latitude, 39.371º longitude @ 49,376 feet (best estimate; primary guidance computer had slightly different values) (Table 5-III, p 5-14). The document also gives no less than 8 different sets of landing coordinates from different sources (table 5-IV, 5-15). There's a lat/long/...


4

Yes, part of NASA's function is public outreach. As such they will use units such as "Aircraft Carriers$^1$" "School Buses$^2$" and "horsepower$^3$" While not precise, expressing thrust in terms of horsepower notionally allows people to understand it more. 1: [...] horsepower [...] 2: [...] horsepower [...] 3: [...] horsepower [...]


4

Canned food was also used in Apollo, starting with Apollo 10. A more recent development in thermostabilized-food packaging for manned space flight is the use of rigid aluminum cans with full-panel pullout lids . This type of can was used in space for the first time during the Apollo 10 flight in May 1969. The package proved so successful that its use in ...


3

Partial answer: They stopped wearing suits for Earth re-entry after Apollo 7, and there is a notable lack of literature why. The Apollo Program Summary Report says 6.1.2.13 Entry and landing.- The Apollo 7 crew performed entry while suited but with helmets and gloves removed. The crewmen had developed head colds, and removal of the helmets provided a ...


3

While the modules were launched with the engine in between, the modules docked nose-to-nose. The crew moved between the modules using hatches in the noses of each module. Image location Related questions about the "transposition, docking, and extraction" maneuver: Reasons behind the "Transposition, docking and extraction" maneuver Did the ...


3

According to The Smithsonian, the pressure altimeter was intended primarily as a landing aid. In the event of an abort during takeoff, parachute deployment would be based on speed, not altitude. Rockets move incredibly fast. From launch, Gemini traveled 50 nautical miles horizontally in two and a half minutes, and achieved an altitude of 210,000 feet. So, ...


2

The paper "Initial results from the InSight mission on Mars" published on 24 February 2020 in the journal Nature Geoscience states HP$^3$ and RISE have not yet collected sufficient data for meaningful analysis; thus their results will not be discussed here. The webpage for RISE does not report any problems with that instrument. In contrast, NASA has ...


2

Possible answer: Another answer not yet explicitly listed could be: to limit the loss of-/build/maintain/expand their independence on other parties when it comes to launch technology (usage). For example, an agency might account for uncertainties in the availability of the technology provided by other parties, or contracts might be such that it becomes ...


2

in the post Space Shuttle era, NASA is going backwards This is based on the assumptions that because the Space Shuttle looked cool, it was (a) an effective spacecraft, and (b) an effective method of reentry. Both assumptions are entirely incorrect. As a route to orbit, the Space Shuttle was significantly less effective than anything else. It was less ...


2

There’s a 2017 federal “Sources Sought” for launch services for TROPICS. The relevant part is: Therefore, 6 to 8 TROPICS CubeSats will be placed in a constellation formation as described in the three scenarios included in the attached document. All of the CubeSats are identical and must be placed into their operational orbit within 60-days (first ...


2

The two antennas need to point at Earth during morning and evening on Mars. They are oriented in opposite directions so that one can be used in the morning and one in the evening. The science goal requires continuous contact over several years, so all the relative orientation changes of the antennas due to the movement of Mars need to be taken into account. ...


1

Disregarding other concerns such as the practicality of spaceplanes: If you are designing from scratch, and you just need to get a crew and/or a few hundred kg of cargo into space and back to the ground, and you are not trying to push for hardcore re-usability with fast turnaround, a capsule is vastly easier to design and to make safe and durable and ...


1

Another candidate for Al Bean driving during the trip back is this line from day 9 of the mission. 211:18:45 Conrad: In case you're watching the DSKY, it's a little OJT [on the job training] for Al, and we won't torque. What Al Bean's doing is a "P52", adjusting the alignment of the Inertial Measurement Unit based on star sightings. When Conrad says "we ...


1

The specific chemical identity of the germicidal pouches is described in Biomedical Results of Apollo: The germicidal liquid was a mixture of sodium orthophenylphenol and sodium chlorophenylphenol of amaplast blue LXT (NASA, c. 1967). The bag was kneaded to rupture the inner pouch and mix the germicide with the wastes.


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