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162

Fun question! Provided the three Lunar Roving Vehicles (LRV) left on the surface of the Moon by the last three Apollo program missions were not, tongue-in-cheek, towed away for unpaid parking, reckless driving and littering fines, or clamped by the Lunar people (not to be confused with Lunatics), I don't see why not, provided you have brought along all the ...


133

I believe the discovery was made by orbiting satellite, but I'm not sure which one. That is not the case. Look at the author affiliation for the article to which you linked. The three authors of that paper were from the British Antarctic Survey. These scientists were part of a larger expedition to Antarctica. They pointed a cheap instrument (extremely cheap ...


106

Basically, the most prominent reason is so that if something happens during launch, it happens over the Atlantic and not someone else. Anything launching over the Gulf of Mexico will probably cross over land a couple of times before going over the Atlantic. As geoffc pointed out in the comments, the Atlantic is a lot wider than the Gulf. Once the rocket has ...


102

Probably, but you likely wouldn't drive it away. Not only will the batteries be completely discharged, but the rovers have gone through a large number of lunar days since then, creating a large thermal cycle. The number of thermal cycles is on the order of 500 for each one, and the cycles are brutal, going from -150C to as high as 120C each time. Even ...


90

Because it's at the end of a 6 month cruise and there's no turning back. InSight will not enter closed orbit around Mars - its trajectory is hyperbolic so either it misses Mars entirely or it enters the atmosphere. There were six planned course corrections during the cruise phase, the final one of which - TCM 6 - occurred on the day of the landing. This ...


89

It's required to by the legislation that created it, the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958. FUNCTIONS OF THE ADMINISTRATION Sec. 203. (a) The Administration, in order to carry out the purpose of this Act, shall-- (1) plan, direct, and conduct aeronautical and space activities; (2) arrange for participation by the scientific ...


87

Mars' temperature range is rather large, with temperatures down to -107 °C measured by the Viking landers. This is below rubber's glass transition temperature of -70 °C, below which rubber becomes brittle. So you can't use rubber. A rubber tire is heavy. The tread of a normal road tire is more than 1 cm thick, off-road tires are thicker and heavier. It also ...


86

The high gain antenna of New Horizon as an opening angle of its beam of about 0.6°. That means, it has to be pointed at Earth with an error margin of 0.3°. As a practical example, this is more like pointing a torch (flashlight) with a (well focused) beam at a far target than aiming with a tiny Laser spot. For comparison, 0.6° is slightly larger than the ...


84

tl;dr From Space With Love has compiled detailed requirements from various space agencies. Your height is good. Eyesight is not a problem as long as it can be corrected to 20/20. Glasses are fine. Speaking perfect English is required. Right now to be a NASA astronaut you need to... Be a U.S. citizen. Possess a master's degree (or equivalent) in a STEM (...


82

You're observing shamefully bad journalism. The "protect Earth from aliens" bullet point in the "Highlights" section of the article was put there by an editor who either ignorantly or willfully distorted the actual role of the Planetary Protection Officer. The first paragraph of the story gets a little closer: The full-time role of "...


82

The Apollo Guidance Computer did use metric/SI units internally for its calculations. But it converted to imperial/USC units when it displayed data on the DSKY. This is probably because the Apollo astronauts (mostly trained as test pilots) had an intuitive "feel" for imperial/USC units. Although data was stored internally in metric units, they were ...


81

Standard atmospheric pressure at sea-level Earth is just 14.696 psi. Compare that to 340 or 300 psi (23.14 and 20.42 amt, respectively). The difference in internal tire pressure in Earth's atmosphere and absence of atmospheric pressure in vacuum of space is only 4.3 - 4.9%. Tires would experience far more dynamic pressure environment due to friction heating ...


81

This image is very similar to the following image https://spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/images/shuttle/sts-130/html/iss022e062672.html with the following description STS-130 Shuttle Mission Imagery ISS022-E-062672 (9 Feb. 2010) Though astronauts and cosmonauts often encounter striking scenes of Earth's limb, this very unique image, part of a series over ...


72

The signal from the Moon was received using giant parabolic antennas, e.g. the 64-m dish at the Parkes observatory. These have very good sidelobe rejection so they won't pick up any Earthbound signals. Despite the space race, relations with their biggest enemy were good enough that the Russians shared Luna 15's flight plan with the Americans when this ...


69

The main reason is heat rejection. NASA was asked this very question, and the answer was identified. Basically, the waste heat from the shuttle is expelled via the cargo bay doors. You don't want to ever point a radiator at the Sun, so the easiest thing is to point it at the Earth. Sometimes, if the heat was too high, they would actually point the shuttle ...


68

Edit: The JPL Mars Helicopter Scout will use inertial navigation: The inconsistent Mars magnetic field precludes the use of a compass for navigation, so it will use a solar tracker camera integrated to JPL's visual inertial navigation system. Some additional inputs might include gyros, visual odometry, tilt sensors, altimeter, and hazard detectors.[15] ...


67

Your question is based on a false assumption namely: So why didn't NASA take money from the private sector to do these later two on the behalf of corporations? NASA did take money from the private sector to do these things. The STS-5, STS-7, STS-8, STS-41-B, STS-41-D, STS-51-A, STS-51-D, STS-51-G, STS-51-I, STS-61-B, and STS-61-C Space Shuttle ...


66

Well, it is very common indeed to regain communications with a space probe after losing contact. In fact, communications are generally not continuous for the entirety of any mission. These are generally planned, for example This happened with almost each and every satellite at the beginning of the space age. Both the former USSR and the US are huge ...


64

This discovery is news because the water found is in a sunlit area, the Clavius Crater. Previous water discoveries were all in 'cold traps', which are areas where sunlight cannot reach, so water resources on the moon for colonies or space exploration was thought to have been limited to permanently shaded areas - the rest was thought to have been boiled off ...


63

Until 1949, the U.S. launched rockets from Wallops Island in Virginia and the White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) in New Mexico. The Rockets launched from Wallops were of American origin while the rockets launched from White Sands were V-2s, supported by a hundred or so German rocket scientists who had been smuggled out of Germany (along with some V-2s) via ...


60

There are two major factors at play. First, NASA doesn't own the designs of many of the technologies they use; they contract with private companies to develop them. Technological knowledge does flow back and forth between NASA and those companies, but those companies are in competition with one another, so they don't want their detailed designs made public. ...


59

I think a lot of folks see these gorgeous photos of distant galaxies, with fine detail on dust lanes and spiral arms and assume that since they’re so far away, seeing Pluto would be easy. But while these galaxies are far away, they’re also huge. The (relative) detail that can be seen in any given telescope will be found by the object’s size divided by the ...


59

They are burns, with the direction of the arrow roughly indicating the direction of thrust. Ascent Earth orbit insertion Trans-lunar injection Midcourse correction Lunar orbit insertion Burn to drop out of lunar orbit for landing (LM) Ascent from lunar surface (LM) Lunar orbit insertion (LM) Trans-Earth injection Midcourse correction Whew! Found a ...


57

The baseball bat is for "Attitude adjustment", apparently :) Source: Arstechnica photos of ISS control room (ADCO=Attitude Determination and Control officer) Here's a better pic of the bat from the Twitter:


56

The planned test was a centrifuge test. They were going to take the entry vehicle up past the 10-g mark and back down. According to the JPL Mission Manager, who was my boss at the time, the g-switch was supposed to come off the peg at 3 g's, saturate at 10 g's which told the deployment controller to enable the deployment sequence start (i.e., to "arm&...


54

As Antzi states, NASA only employs US nationals in its astronaut corps. However, Romania joined ESA (the European Space Agency) in 2011 and ESA has its own astronaut corps. As a Romanian national you might be able to go to space as an ESA astronaut. ESA last recruited astronauts in 2009 - this page gives some details of how they selected astronauts: How to ...


53

According to History of the Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center JSC wanted the water moat (located around the runway) since it would serve as a visual aid to identify the runway. It is also required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a retention pond for storm water runoff from the concrete runway, and provides a barrier ...


53

I don't know of any features on the Saturn V that are solely aesthetic in purpose. The flags and USA markings come closest, but they are ostensibly there to identify the origin of the vehicle. The overall white paint scheme is to minimize heating of the cryogenic propellant tanks from sunlight. The interrupted black stripes along the fuselage provide visual/...


53

First off, large life-ending asteroid impacts are very rare as there aren't many of them out there and we've found almost all of them: Looking at the 'continent' and 'global catastrophe' areas of shading on the right, the percentage discovered (blue line and numbers on the right hand vertical scale) is 80+%. This may not sound good, but if you look at the '...


52

The Plutonium isotope 238 used in RTGs is highly specialized. It's not produced in large quantities routinely. Not very many radioisotope applications need that much of a highly radioactive isotope, and it's only produced in certain reactors. In fact, there was only one reactor in the USA that produced it. Nuclear stuff is expensive in general and, now that ...


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