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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 ...


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 (...


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 ...


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. ...


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&...


41

The relevant law is Texas Administrative Code Rule §81.35 "Voting from Outer Space" and who's going to vote against that? It is a very small modification of Texas early voting law. (a) A person who meets the eligibility requirements of a voter under the Texas Election Code, Chapter 101, but who will be on a space flight during the early-voting ...


34

You throw it in space (in the ISS) just like you would in a room on Earth. It returns to you if it is properly built, and you are capable of properly throwing a boomerang to make it return (this does take some skill.) A returning boomerang will only work in atmosphere - inside a spacestation or on a planet. They depend on aerodynamic forces for the return. ...


33

How can it be prevented that NASA would become (too) dependent on one rocket company or vice versa? By doing exactly what NASA is doing right now. In 2006 NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services funded several companies to develop alternatives to resupply the International Space Station (ISS). Later that year NASA downselected to two suppliers, ...


27

It is news because the 6.1 $\mu$m wavelength measured is unique to $\rm{H_2O}$. All prior evidence included $\rm{OH}$ groups as well, thus did not show clear proof of presence of "$\rm{H_2O}$". So, now we know there is $\rm{H_2O}$ and not just any random $\rm{OH}$ group containing moleculas. Anyway, the amount measured still is ~100x less water per ...


22

A long, long time ago, I managed to arrange to get two passes to see the first light from one of the Voyager flybys of Jupiter. I collected on lots of debts and pulled lots of strings to get those passes. I brought a date. She. Was. Bored. (Needless to say, that was the end of that relationship.) And that was the first light from a vehicle that whose sole ...


16

As explained in video description of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Emsf_udovU the voting is done electronically Most U.S. astronauts live in Houston. Texas law allows them to vote from space using a secure electronic ballot. Mission Control forwards the ballot to the space station and relays the completed ballot back to the county clerk.


16

To quickly summarise the answer: Nimbus 7 was the satellite involved - but it wasn't first. The ozone hole did not substantially materialise before the early-1980s - in retrospect the decline was visible, as this graph shows, but the catastrophic drop hadn't happened yet. Nimbus 7 was the first satellite (I think?) to carry an ozone spectrophotometer, which ...


14

There are aspects of what NASA does that cannot be divulged because NASA does indeed rely on trade secrets held by private companies (Russell's first point). There are other aspects of what NASA does that cannot be divulged because there's not much difference between accurately landing a probe on a specific point on Mars and accurately making a nuclear ...


14

Wouldn't it be an unhealty situation when NASA would become (too) dependent on one company, for instance the only one that could launch heavy rockets ? Sure, and this was the case from 2006 to around 2010, when ULA, as manufacturer of both the Atlas V and Delta IV launcher families, was the sole provider for NASA and DoD. Under these circumstances, ULA had ...


14

I am almost certain the answer is not just no but is on the level of the underworld freezing over level of no. Congress has forbidden NASA from providing any support for China's space program. Shortly after NASA landed men on the Moon in 1969, the Soviet Union congratulated NASA for its Moon landing. There was a hidden message in this congratulation: "...


14

Wikipedia has a good overview of the ISS's ECLSS. This paper also includes some details. In particular, the Atmosphere Control and Supply (ACS) The ACS subsystem provides cabin atmosphere pressure control, overpressure relief, pressure equalization, rapid depressurization detection and response, nitrogen and oxygen distribution, and nitrogen and oxygen high ...


12

The return function of a boomerang works in the atmosphere only. Therefore no return in the vacuum of space. The 'arms' of a boomerang are profiled like a airplane wing, but wings do not work without air. (The ISS isn't a vacuum, and so boomerangs "work" in them.)


11

There are four positions in NASA that require Senate confirmation: Administrator, Deputy Administrator, Chief Financial Officer, and Inspector General. Even though Inspectors General do need Senatorial confirmation, they are not viewed as political appointees. For example, the current NASA Inspector General has served since November 2009. On the other hand,...


11

Most remotely controlled spacecraft and rovers do not use text-based commands. Instead, each command has a unique identifier, a command-specific data structure that contains data specific to that command, and data (e.g. checksums) that confirm the command and data are valid. All of the data are binary rather than text-based. The Mars rovers use a sequenced ...


10

The Orion capsule can carry 6 because that is what the NASA requirements it was designed to satisfy asked for. Unbelievably these requirements date from 2004. Orion then was supposed to be a multi-purpose vehicle taking crew to the ISS as well as lunar and planetary destinations. ~16 years later it still hasn't flown with a crew. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/...


10

According to Apollo Experience Report: Crew Station Displays and Controls, NASA Tech Note D-7919, the only Nixie intended for use in Apollo was cancelled: The first change involved the nucleonics quantity measuring system developed for the service module and LM reaction control system. This gaging system consisted of many small radioactive sources placed ...


9

In trying to explain my feelings on this question in comments on the other answer, I came around to a possible explanation -- There could be a real PR cost to publishing raw data streams in real time. There's certainly a vocal subset of space geeks who want to see this. It would inevitably spawn hours of commentary in forums and on YouTube, folks with a wide ...


9

In the late 1949, the Army designated the Redstone Arsenal as their R&D center for rocket-related activities, presumably to consolidate the efforts in one location: In October 1948, the Chief of Ordnance had designated Redstone Arsenal as the center of research and development activities in the field of rockets and related items. The arsenal was ...


9

Yes you can, here's a screencap from the online Google Luna Chart. But it is much easier to find in Google Earth, which shows coordinates, and nice guide flags for interesting locations, etc.


8

How about ESA? This sentence catches the eye: Applications from women are strongly encouraged There is a single space station right now. Both NASA and ESA astronauts work at ISS. Low body weigth and height (to some extent) are actually an advantage in aerospace. You will probably not be exactly the same in the years to come anyway. Eyesight (if problems ...


8

I'll start with what COSPAR wrote in 1964, emphasis mine: COSPAR "accepts, as tentatively recommended interim objectives, a sterilization level such that the probability of a single viable organism aboard any spacecraft intended for planetary landing or atmospheric penetration would be less than $1\times10^{-4}$, and a probability limit for accidental ...


7

The RTG makes heat, which is used in two ways in missions to cold places: Through thermocouples to generate electricity, and through waste heat. Some of the waste heat is cycled through coolant loops or heat pipes to keep things warm; the excess is radiated. The electricity can also be used to run heaters. As the RTG ages and the plutonium within it ...


6

This student competition involved writing code to command the SPHERES. The scenario and requirements were presented as follows: The Red SPHERES Satellite is in trouble. Increasing numbers of satellites are being deployed to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to study Earth’s atmosphere, climate, land, oceans, and weather. To protect the success of this important ...


6

A search on NASA NTRS for "design standards" turns up a lot...


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