66 votes

Is pinging the Moon with a laser as shown on "The Big Bang Theory" possible?

There is a very nice Myth Busters video about bouncing a laser off the Moon linked below. To answer your question, current work is done with an array of corner cube reflectors on the Moon roughly 50 ...
  • 148k
43 votes
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Saturn V's external blueprints

Had a bit of a gander at what NASA Technical Report Server and Semantic Scholar had to offer and found a couple things that I reckon might be helpful. NASA created a 1/10 scale model of the Saturn V ...
36 votes

Is pinging the Moon with a laser as shown on "The Big Bang Theory" possible?

The University of Texas's McDonald Observatory performs laser measurements of the distance to the Moon using retroreflectors left by the Apollo astronauts. You can read all about it in the McDonald ...
28 votes

Saturn V's external blueprints

There's a more detailed profile drawing available for download at the bottom of this Heroic Relics page. Here's a representative slice: It used to be possible to get an inexpensive print of a cleaned-...
28 votes
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Where can I download the Soyuz Crew Operations Manual?

I can't recall where I got them from, so let me just re-host. Crew-ops manual Users manual
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22 votes

Does anyone recognise this differential equation (from Gravity's Rainbow)?

Schachterle, Lance, and P. K. Aravind. "The three equations in Gravity's Rainbow." Pynchon Notes 46-49 (2000): 157-170. Journal Link. "In our view, Pynchon inscribes these equations into ...
20 votes
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From which NASA publication originates/where can I find a higher resolution version of this SSME flow diagram?

It's on pdf pages 139-141 here: https://gandalfddi.z19.web.core.windows.net/Shuttle/SSME_MPS_Info/KSC-SSME_System_Eng_Handbook.pdf but you'll have to "glue" it together into one drawing. ...
16 votes
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Center of mass location on any popular rocket in any typical condition?

Here is the Apollo 11 (Columbia and Eagle) graph of center of gravity during the AS-506 flight, taken from the APOLLO/SATURN V POSTFLIGHT TRAJECTORY - AS-506 (rather large scanned PDF):   &...
  • 75.8k
12 votes

Accurate map of Ceres

NASA has produced a topographical features map of Ceres, with names for some craters. The map was produced in 2015. This one has few more details,
  • 11.4k
12 votes
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Resources for Rocket Propulsion

A good starting point would be this very site's rather comprehensive reference section, which contains many propulsion references: Resources and references on the topic of space exploration If you are ...
11 votes
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Is there free, accurate and updated data on planetary body positions in the solar system?

For integration into software, I would recommend the SPICE toolkit, available with interfaces for C, Fortran, IDL, and MATLAB, and the many SPK kernels that can be loaded into SPICE containing the ...
10 votes
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Barriers to launching a cubesat

Launching a CubeSat is by their nature a difficult process. They are designed as a secondary payload, which means that the primary payload dictates the entire launch. There are some programs such as ...
  • 839
9 votes
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Are the Mars elevation data publicly available?

There are two sources: MOLA laser altimetry (http://tharsis.gsfc.nasa.gov/mapping_data.html) with the actual data available from MEGDR (Mission Experiment Gridded Data Records) at http://pds-...
  • 11.4k
9 votes

Radiation pattern and signal strength of navigation satellite antennas

Exact radiation patterns and gain (you're probably not asking about signal strength since that depends on distance which isn't constant) will vary across all the different GNSS contellations, even ...
  • 75.8k
9 votes

Earth to Mars (or reverse) Hohmann transfer orbits for the 21st Century

Graphics showing non-optimal but "close enough" launch opportunities, and their relative cost, are called porkchop plots. The following example is from On the Nature of Earth-Mars Porkchop ...
8 votes
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What Christmas events have happened in space?

The most famous Christmas-related event was on the Apollo 8 mission. Apollo 8 orbited the Moon on Christmas Eve and into the morning of December 25th. On Christmas Eve, the crew read the first 10 ...
  • 122k
8 votes
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Book recommendation for Apollo program, very specific

This NASA technical report seems to correspond to your focus: Project management in the Apollo program: An interdisciplinary study Drucker, Pooler, Wilemon, Wood. Publication Date: Jan 01, 1972 ...
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8 votes
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Where is the best place to get a time history of launches and satellite numbers

What you want is the Satellite Catalog or "SATCAT" file. The original public source for this is the Satellite Situation Report (SSR) published daily on Space-Track (http://www.space-track.org - free ...
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8 votes
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Returning from Space: Re-entry - from which book is this chapter taken?

Simply traveling the URL "upwards" you get this: https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/avs/offices/aam/cami/library/online_libraries/aerospace_medicine/tutorial/ It's an "online ...
  • 12.4k
8 votes
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How do I get the Landsat satellite's images of the Earth?

Head over to the USGS website, and find yourself their nifty Earth Explorer webapp. Figure out where & when you want to snag the imagery of (the tools they provide allow you to draw/designate an ...
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8 votes
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Accurate map of Ceres

The USGS Astrogeology Science Center's Astropedia is an excellent source for derived mapping data products (though only 7 Ceres products). Here is a "Ceres Nomenclature" data product:
7 votes

Center of mass location on any popular rocket in any typical condition?

I don't know how commonly rocket CGs are published. You can estimate it reasonably well from published weights and dimensions by modeling engines, fuel tank, and oxidizer tank as cylinders of ...
7 votes

Halo vs Lissajous orbit: Which station-keeping strategy to select and when?

The main difference between the two is that halo orbits tend to be much larger and are constricted to one plane. There's a NASA tech doc from 1993 comparing the station keeping costs between the two ...
  • 304
7 votes
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Is this really the logo of the North Korean space program?

Among others, the Wikipedia page cites this CNET article, which in turn links to a copy of the original KCNA statement; this is also linked from the WP page. It's now offline, but here is an archived ...
  • 7,636
7 votes
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Research paper on 'Wait calculation' for interstellar travel

@AnthonyX has found a paper that fits your description, published in JBIS. The paper's citation is: Kennedy, Andrew. (2006). Interstellar Travel - The Wait Calculation and the Incentive Trap of ...
  • 148k
6 votes

What is the status of ESA's proposed human mission to the Moon?

I asked Jim Carpenter, lead scientist for ESA on the Luna 27 lander project, about this. He said that although the plans and protocols for Aurora are still in place, it is currently on hold, outside ...
6 votes
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What are the technical specifications of modern reaction control systems?

The good old Space Shuttle News Reference Manual should get you started. There is also good information in the Crew Operations Manual (section 2.22). I know just linking is frowned on, but your ...
6 votes

When New Horizons is closest to Pluto, how fast will it be going (km/s)?

From Wikipedia on New Horizons: New Horizons is intended to pass within 10,000 km (6,200 mi) of Pluto, with this closest approach date estimated to occur on July 14, 2015 at 11:50 UTC. New Horizons ...
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6 votes
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Ariane 5 performance data for escape missions

The Ariane 5 user manual has the following data: Using a storable propellant upper stage, through a delayed ignition of this upper stage, Ariane 5, in the A5G version, has demonstrated its ability ...
  • 122k
6 votes
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Technical historical books covering the Apollo-Saturn program

Chariots for Apollo NASA SP-4205 (1979) By Courtney G. Brooks, James M. Grimwood and Loyd S. Swenson, Jr. (web version) (pdf version) Moonport NASA SP-4204 (1978) By Charles D. Benson and William ...

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