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14 votes
Accepted

How were the ISS compartments attached and pressurized?

The ISS modules were launched pressurized, if for no other reason than that to pressurize them in orbit would be a drain on ISS resources. The mechanical interface between a new module and the ISS is ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

Could the Soviets have gotten to the Moon using multiple Soyuz rockets?

To build a translunar stage of around 80 tons from the 7 ton payloads that could be launched on the Soyuz booster would require extensive assembly work to be done by astronauts in orbit, which was ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
11 votes

Would space exploration benefit by sending small drones instead of huge rockets?

Let's say you have a 6500kg piece of equipment you want to launch into space, but your rocket design can only lift 2500kg to the desired orbit. You can: Build five of these Strap them together Put ...
John Dvorak's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Building space stations with the original, smaller shuttle

A mix of manned shuttle missions and unmanned boosters carrying larger modules. They planned to use Saturn Vs to launch pre-assembled stations (like Skylab) and have the shuttles bring up experiment ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Why we do not refuel and assemble in orbit?

Several things that KSP does not model: The challenges of actually docking two things mechanically together without a handy human such that the plumbing works (leaks have a tendency to go bang) The ...
GremlinWranger's user avatar
5 votes

What are the advantages and disadvantages of assembling a space station in LEO before sending it to its intended Lunar orbit?

Making this a community wiki answer so others may add to it as they see fit: Advantages LEO assembly allows less mission risk if assembly does not go completely as planned. It's much easier to ...
4 votes

Would it be better to build a Mars-fairing ship on land or in space?

Better by what criteria? It's a tradeoff. Assembly from parts makes less efficient use of mass, due to the need for mating structures and a larger area of hull wrapped around smaller bits of volume, ...
Christopher James Huff's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Silly concept: repurposing BFS into a spin-gravity habitat

Obvious caveat: the BFS isn't completely real right now, and what The Public knows about it is even less limited than whatever has been finalized in the design. I guess what I'm saying is some of ...
Erin Anne's user avatar
  • 11.5k
4 votes

Why such a large gap between ISS construction and inhabitation?

Should be noted that Zvezda was planned to be launched soon after Zarya and Unity. It was delayed by Proton launch failure in 5 July 1999, and by another failure in 27 October 1999. https://en....
Heopps's user avatar
  • 9,061
4 votes

Can orbital debris be assembled into a module for space exploration?

Legally, this would be outlawed by the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, as well as the "daughter" treaties which dictate ownership of space objects. There is currently no law of salvage in space, such as ...
Tawooh's user avatar
  • 208
3 votes

Has there been any program to develop tiny pod-like vehicles with manipulator arms for extra-vehicular activities?

There has been at least one semi-recent (2012) paper on the topic. The design is called the Flexcraft. There is a wikipedia article here. It appears to be purely in the proposal stage. The concept ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
3 votes

Building space stations with the original, smaller shuttle

Prior to the Shuttle approach, there were really two modes of station building. Skylab first, which used a Saturn-IVB third stage outfitted before launch, and was basically all done in a single ...
geoffc's user avatar
  • 79.6k
3 votes
Accepted

What happened to 2 of the 3 radiators on P6 on the ISS?

tl;dr the P6 truss had a special cooling system installed on it to provide thermal control of the proto-ISS until the full external thermal system was installed. This system incorporated two special ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Feasibilities and challenges of these Orion + commercial lunar lander scenarios?

Robert Zubrin of Mars Direct fame has discussed the issue of how to return to the Moon, to stay, to do ISRU (In Situ Resource Utilization) all without the need for neither SLS nor the Lunar Toolbooth ...
geoffc's user avatar
  • 79.6k
2 votes

Could the Soviets have gotten to the Moon using multiple Soyuz rockets?

No. The possibility of using the Universal rocket was considered. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Rocket
A. Rumlin's user avatar
  • 7,863
2 votes

What are the advantages and disadvantages of assembling a space station in LEO before sending it to its intended Lunar orbit?

LEO is a bit dangerous in my book. If anything goes wrong you may not have enough of a margin to fix things. Put the station in a little higher orbit and make your deliveries to LEO and use tug to ...
tony lester's user avatar
1 vote

Is it possible to build a collapsible fuel tank for in-orbit assembly?

Answer: Tidally locked toothpaste tubes Large volume pressure vessels (larger than the delivery vehicle) have to deal with a number of issues: Any space-based propellant tank will be a pressure vessel,...
Woody's user avatar
  • 22.1k

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