26 votes
Accepted

How feasible is a manned flight to Apophis in 2029 using Artemis or Starship?

There's no point in a flyby since there would be no time to conduct any meaningful measurements. According to Wikipedia, 99942 Apophis will be going about 7 km/s relative to Earth at closest approach ...
Scott McPeak's user avatar
  • 1,209
24 votes

Why no parachutes in the Orion AA2 abort test?

The test they were doing didn’t require parachutes. Data-taking ended right after the capsule separated from the tower. Since the capsule’s behavior after that was not part of the test, it could be an ...
Bob Jacobsen's user avatar
  • 12.7k
24 votes
Accepted

Why is Artemis 1 swinging well out of the plane of the moon's orbit on its return to Earth?

The return orbit has a high inclination to align with the planned Entry Interface (EI) target line shown in figure 4 from Trajectory Design Considerations for Exploration Mission 1. Each short blue ...
Woody's user avatar
  • 21.6k
22 votes
Accepted

Why isn't the Delta IV Heavy ever used for crewed spaceflight?

What's the reason that they don't use the Delta Heavy for crewed flights to the Moon and beyond? The Delta IV Heavy isn't powerful enough to send Orion beyond low Earth orbit. Orion masses about 26.5 ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

What is under these four white covers on the upper part of the Orion capsule?

Those are covers on the windows. There are 2 large forward-facing windows, and 2 smaller flush-mounted windows: "Do not touch" and "Remove before flight" are not synonyms. The use of "Remove before ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 128k
16 votes
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Why is the Orion capsule using 2 burns to transfer from the moon back to earth instead of one?

The drawing in this "flight plan" indeed looks like it would be trivial to get into a direct Earth return trajectory without doing two burns and a low fly-by at the Moon. The actual ...
asdfex's user avatar
  • 15k
15 votes

Why no parachutes in the Orion AA2 abort test?

From the article: Tuesday’s launch was more focused on testing the launch abort system itself. The parachutes on Orion have been tested 47 times.
ulatekh's user avatar
  • 251
14 votes
Accepted

What missions could be done with Orion on Falcon Heavy?

SpaceX gives the LEO payload of Falcon Heavy as 63.8 tons (presumably in fully expendable mode). Orion, fully loaded with propellant, is about 26 tons. So LEO flight is doable, possibly even with ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
13 votes

Why doesn't NASA plan a manned Venus flyby first?

A Venus flyby does little to nothing towards the stated goal: a manned landing on Mars. because you get a lot closer to the Sun than on a Mars mission, you need to modify the spacecraft to reject ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 128k
13 votes
Accepted

What capabilities does Orion have that Dragon-V2 does not?

Orion is larger, has a life support rated for a few weeks, has a service module that will allow it real control around the Moon, and is rated for a return from the Moon. The closest direct comparison ...
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
  • 121k
13 votes
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What are the patterns on this solar panel?

The design of the SAW is based on an improved version of the Solar Array Wings that flew on the ESA ATV, a cargo resupply and reboost vehicle for the ISS, through 5 flights from 2008 to 2015. (in fact ...
blobbymcblobby's user avatar
12 votes

Why no parachutes in the Orion AA2 abort test?

This is not a complete answer as I do not know the status of the parachute development, but here are some reasons a parachute is not needed: Ejected Data Recorders: These ~20 data recorders, ...
CourageousPotato's user avatar
12 votes

Why is the Orion capsule using 2 burns to transfer from the moon back to earth instead of one?

Answer: The 2 burn transfer uses less fuel than the one-burn direct transfer. Orion was in a Distant Retrograde Orbit. “Distant” means beyond the Lagrange Points L1 and L2. “Retrograde” means ...
Woody's user avatar
  • 21.6k
11 votes
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Why no parachutes in the Orion AA2 abort test?

Here's an official response: NASA has already fully qualified the parachute system for flights with crew through an extensive series of 17 developmental tests and 8 qualification tests completed at ...
Everyday Astronaut's user avatar
10 votes

Why is the Orion spacecraft so big?

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-...
Organic Marble's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

Do Orion's solar panels have adjustable sweep?

It appears that the Solar Array Drive Mechanism (SADM) serves two primary purposes: Orient the solar panels toward the sun for maximum power generation. From Spaceflight 101: The wing is connected ...
Matthew R.'s user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

What about Orion ISS missions?

Orion is: expensive to operate. It's heavier, bigger, but primarily the development was done in ways that drove the costs up significantly. It is capable of flight to lunar orbit - and it's an ...
SF.'s user avatar
  • 55k
9 votes

How much delta-v does the Orion spacecraft have?

The Answer Orion (with service module) can use between 1346 m/s and 1587 m/s of delta-v. Here is a solar system delta-v map to get a sense of how much that is: (Delta-v map taken from wikipedia page ...
ORcoder's user avatar
  • 1,033
8 votes

Why will Artemis II not orbit the Moon?

Artemis II will have Orion conduct proximity operations testing in preparation for docking with HLS on Artemis III. The ICPS (Interim Cryogenic Upper Stage - SLS block I's final stage) will be used ...
Infinite_Maelstrom's user avatar
7 votes

Were any Components Off The Shelf (COTS) used in the Space Shuttle?

Yes, Velcro is one example. Wheat Thins are another. Did you have some specific type of component in mind?
Organic Marble's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

What brand and model is the hand-held sextant tested on the ISS?

It is a Celestaire Astra 2. Source: viewed image full size. According to a conference paper from the 2019 the sextant is an Astra III. The paper is HOLT, Greg N.; WOOD, Brandon A. Sextant Navigation ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

What is the nature of the sextant tests on the ISS for Orion cis-lunar emergency navigation?

Reference: https://ntrs.nasa.gov/citations/20190001296 Question: What is the nature of the sextant tests on the ISS for Orion cis-lunar emergency navigation? ISS Astronauts performed "star / ...
Woody's user avatar
  • 21.6k
7 votes

Why is the Orion spacecraft so big?

Leaving aside the very valid political elements of the Orion design choices. As noted in the question, many costs/weights in manned space flight are fixed per craft regardless of crew size. A computer,...
GremlinWranger's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Orion cockpit instrumentation

Ok - after a bit more research, I figured out what the readouts in question are: the attitude "ball", along with readouts 2, 6 and 7, are part of a spacecraft-specific instrument called Flight ...
Mitch99's user avatar
  • 513
6 votes

Reason for different "cone angles" of different space capsules?

The target lift-to-drag ratio (L/D) also plays an important role. A high L/D provides greater aerodynamic control authority during hypersonic entry, providing engineers with greater flexibility in ...
Ed Robertson's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Are the Artemis Missions direct ascent?

The Artemis mission architecture for crewed missions to the Lunar surface is significantly different from the Apollo mission architecture. The Artemis mission architecture for crewed missions to the ...
Jörg W Mittag's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Reason/meaning of dot/dash pattern in Orion capsule

Tribute to former (deceased) Orion chief engineer Charlie Lundquist. Located above the Callisto voice-activated technology demonstration in the middle of the cabin, a morse code symbol for “Charlie” ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
6 votes

How feasible is a manned flight to Apophis in 2029 using Artemis or Starship?

It might be possible in theory, but it would require a dedicated development campaign. It won't happen in practice as the powers that be have no interest in doing it. Most eyes are focused on the Moon ...
Slarty's user avatar
  • 9,323
5 votes
Accepted

How does Orion take its bath (Hydro Impact Basin)?

The Hydro Impact Basin (HIB) holds about 3.4 million liters of water. This is based on the stated dimensions of 20 feet deep by 100 feet long by 60 feet wide, measured at the water surface. To compare,...
called2voyage's user avatar
  • 23.7k
5 votes

Were any Components Off The Shelf (COTS) used in the Space Shuttle?

www.nytimes.com/1998/11/05/laptops-on-the-shuttle-age-does-does-matter.html "To keep costs down, NASA has shifted to using off-the-shelf products as much as possible. So they bought dozens of I.B....
Brooks Nelson's user avatar

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