Questions tagged [safety]

Questions regarding space exploration safety issues and procedures.

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4
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2answers
261 views

Is it practical to 'shoot down' a rocket stage?

Space Policy Online has an article from yesterday titled 'AUSTIN: NO PLANS TO SHOOT DOWN ERRANT CHINESE ROCKET STAGE'. Which made me wonder - is that even plausible? If you shoot it in space, first ...
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2answers
125 views

How much debris will hit the ground from the Long March 5B compared to the debris from a GTO upper stage?

It was commented that there are currently 22 SpaceX upper stages in orbit that will eventually reenter in an uncontrolled fashion. PcMan pointed that out when I asked Why the Long March 5B wasn't ...
4
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1answer
208 views

Why couldn't China's space agency do a controlled deorbit burn for the Long March 5B?

China has succeeded in launching the main module of its future space station, Tian He. Cool! The Long March 5B core that launched it is now in an uncontrolled decaying orbit. It's estimated it will ...
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0answers
310 views

Is “Stranded in the middle of the room” by retired NASA astronaut Dan Barry the unvarnished truth? [closed]

There is a passage/section called "Stranded in the middle of the room" in a book called "Space Shuttle (sic): The First 20 Years -- The Astronauts' Experiences in Their Own Words" ...
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What is the safety record of launch vehicles per person-distance traveled, over all time?

Sometimes, the safety of various forms of transportation are compared based on the rate of fatalities (or injuries or other unplanned destructive accidents) per person-mile or person-kilometer ...
3
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1answer
176 views

Do standard procedures for securing the ISS before an orbital boost burn include making sure that at least large objects are securely “strapped down”?

In discussions on previous posts it was debated whether ISS crew would need to "batten down the hatches" and confirm all objects were "lashed to the deck" before an orbital boost ...
2
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1answer
126 views

Is radiation on Mars line-of-sight? [duplicate]

Roughly a year ago, there was a TV show about colonizing Mars; National Geographic channel I think. The habitats were underground to avoid the Sun's radiation. So I'm wondering: does the radiation ...
11
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1answer
1k views

What is the procedure in case the ISS loses one of the evacuation crafts?

Suppose that a micrometeorite or a sudden failure renders one of the Soyuz inoperable, or that a routine inspection discovers a defect in one of them that makes it unsafe. What is the protocol to ...
14
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1answer
3k views

Did the U.S. Space Shuttles have a way for crew to bail out?

This recent question regarding the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster mentions the possibility that the crew could have bailed out if the orbiter could have successfully descended to 25,000 feet before ...
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0answers
152 views

How often are fewer than three astronauts present when moving a Soyuz spacecraft from one docking port to another?

CNN's Astronauts relocated a spacecraft outside the International Space Station (was it inside before?) says: Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, along with NASA astronaut ...
2
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1answer
215 views

When were Shuttle crew absolutely required to have their seat belts fastened and their tray tables in their full upright position?

@OrganicMarble's comment says: Rhea Seddon describes in her bio standing and walking around in the shuttle middeck in the early part of entry when g's were low. "...I had this funny sensation of ...
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1answer
503 views

How radioactive is surface regolith on the Moon?

Use of regolith for shielding from cosmic radiation seems the most practical solution for perspective lunar surface bases. But lunar regolith should gather some secondary radiation while being ...
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0answers
77 views

Do ISS crew have the opportunity to take daily naps if they'd like to?

Could "days" on the space Station be made shorter to accomodate sleep patterns? raises an interesting point. I've often heard that for some astronauts they never really were able to sleep as ...
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35 views

Do ISS crew worry about the ionosphere? Have hazards to EVAs or surface arcing and functional anomalies ever happened due to ionospheric charing?

Comments below this answer tell us that the International Space Station always remained in Earth's atmosphere. It orbits in the thermosphere and simultaneously the ionosphere. This answer to How do ...
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57 views

Propulsion thrust vs high winds?

While I do understand that high wind speed is a risk for space launches (and all air flights), still, is it a physical constraint or a computational problem given we are not dealing with a hurricane/...
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0answers
37 views

What percentage of the population can pass Virgin Galactic's training sessions for tourists to board a sub-orbital spaceflight?

I read on https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/26/space-tourism-how-spacex-virgin-galactic-blue-origin-axiom-compete.html (mirror): Additionally, Virgin Galactic has said that passengers will spend three ...
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1answer
173 views

Are Virgin Galactic tourists asked to take a 6 to 8G centrifuge test to qualify, and if so, what's the point?

Regarding sub-orbital spaceflights with Virgin Galactic, claims that: Allegedly some travelers were asked to take a 6 to 8G centrifuge test to qualify Is that true, ...
2
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0answers
74 views

Do the passengers in Virgin Galactic's VSS Unity spacecraft have a parachute or some other way to escape the spacecraft if needs be?

Do the passengers in Virgin Galactic's VSS Unity spacecraft have a parachute or some other way to escape the spacecraft if needs be? In the VSS Enterprise crash that occurred on October 31, 2014, the ...
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0answers
147 views

Does the SpaceX spacesuit address any of the criticisms of ACES raised by Columbia Crew Survival Investigation Report?

A brief history of what Shuttle crews wore for ascent and entry, from the Columbia Crew Survival Investigation Report: The shuttle was originally designed to be operated in a shirtsleeve (bare-hands) ...
2
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1answer
112 views

How redundant are Orion's power and data units (PDUs)? Doubly? Quadruply? If so, why?

In the news today: NASA to skip repair of Orion electronics unit NASA will fly Orion deep-space crew capsule ‘as is,’ despite failed component; The agency claims there is enough redundancy in the ...
5
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1answer
120 views

Burning Up Hydrazine and N2O4 for Safety

Sadly, all the "good" (storable, hypergolic, and having good performance) rocket fuels and oxidizers -- Hydrazine, methylated hydrazine, nitrogen tetroxide, and fuming nitric acid -- are ...
2
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1answer
172 views

Challenges that missile mail would have to overcome?

Mail delivery by missiles has been attempted but never really took off. I have read of some who made attempts to build a postal missile system, such as Stephen Smith of India, but I wonder about the ...
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2answers
901 views

Is disabling glare common in space?

I'd like to know if astronauts have been under the effect of Disabling Glare, how easily this could accidentally happen and how long can last if this happen?
2
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1answer
75 views

When is the self-destruct of a rocket armed?

By this answer I now know that most rockets have self-destruction, with SpaceX even an automated one. And here I learned that the self-destruct is also tested. But nowhere does it say when the self-...
5
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1answer
567 views

What are the appropriate phrases to use to wish an astronaut safe travels?

When you want to wish an astronaut "safe travels", what particular phrases are commonly used? I'm looking for historical phrases as well as more modern. Although I'm more interested in English ...
4
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1answer
152 views

What are the safety differences in launch conditions with Crew Dragon vs a normal launch?

During the scrubbed launch yesterday, one of the commentators mentioned there were more restrictions on crewed launches vs a launch of a satellite or Cargo Dragon. Is there a list of differences?
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0answers
124 views

Does Crew Dragon have a quick-release hatch?

After today's Crew Dragon launch was scrubbed, it took the pad ninjas at least ten minutes to open the hatch. One of the major criticisms of the Apollo Block 1 hatch design after the Apollo 1 fire ...
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2answers
456 views

Is a low-altitude, stable glide really absolutely needed to bail out of the space shuttle?

After the Challenger disaster, the Space Shuttle astronauts were outfitted with pilot spacesuits equipped with parachutes and internal emergency oxygen supplies, and the space shuttle was equipped ...
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2answers
2k views

How dangerous are RCS thrusters?

How dangerous are RCS thrusters, in a vacuum, to A. other spacecraft, especially when docking, and B. astronauts in EVA suits? How far away do you have to be to be safe / do RCS thrusters need to be ...
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1answer
101 views

Is present-day plumbing technology enough to make refueling of hypergol rockets safe? What about only in space?

Sadly, all of the currently commonly used chemical rocket fuels that are either hypergolic or storable are horribly toxic/corrosive/explosive. RP-1 is so safe you can pour it out of a gas can, but ...
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1answer
286 views

Do all dangerous asteroids first pass through keyholes?

Scitech Daily's MIT Engineers Devise the Best Way to Deflect an Incoming Planet-Killer Asteroid Now MIT researchers have devised a framework for deciding which type of mission would be most ...
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1answer
179 views

Loose items in Apollo CM during reentry?

Would there have been any danger to the astronauts or the equipment if a soft item, like a crumpled up napkin or tissue, was loose during the Apollo CM reentry, or did everything have to be secured?
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1answer
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Was there any risk of the Gemini hatches blowing open?

The Gemini hatches open outward, as can be seen in this EVA image. I know this was required for the ejection seats to work, but wouldn't this also pose a risk of depressurization if the latch ...
2
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1answer
245 views

Does the Artemis III mission have a backup plan if the astronauts are unable to ascent from the Moon?

For the unlikely scenario where the Artemis III astronauts having landed on the Moon press the ascent button and nothing happens, will NASA have a backup or rescue contingency plan? If so, what ...
2
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1answer
145 views

How will space suit computers likely be radiation hardened?

Writing this comment inspired the following question: Space suits are critical to life, so if there's a solar storm and the astronaut has received a less-than-lethal dose of radiation, they'll be ...
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1answer
2k views

Did the Apollo missions fly “over the top” of the Van Allen radiation belts?

In the video The Moon Trees That Flew To The Moon On Apollo 14 after about 08:47 Scott Manley says that Apollo 14 "flew up over the top" of the Van Allen radiation ...
2
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1answer
294 views

How do we use Fire Extinguishers to Control Fire in the Space Station?

In this NASA Webpage for Fire Prevention in Space, it is given that If a fire were to occur on the ISS, the astronauts would become firemen and follow a three-step response system. First, they would ...
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1answer
200 views

Best (or least worst) conditions to “store” an astronaut in a suit for six days?

@GremlinWrangler's answer to How can an Astronaut survive for six days inside a Spacesuit? includes the following: make sure the suit can provide air and water, and adjust the temperature to ...
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0answers
107 views

Aerosol products in space

I am assuming aerosol products are not used inside the living environment of a spacecraft while it is microgravity. Is that correct, or are there examples of such products being used while an ...
7
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1answer
206 views

What is the furthest distance Apollo astronauts can be from each other during a Lunar EVA?

I'm assuming there has to be a limit set by NASA of how far astronauts can be from each other for their safety. If something happens to an astronaut's EVA suit, the second astronaut can use the "buddy ...
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1answer
1k views

Was this a rapid SCHEDULED disassembly? How was it done?

The new Curious Droid video Apollo's Forgotten Computer - The LVDC discussed the Saturn V flight computer that's also discussed in answers to Is this really the Saturn V computer only, or are there ...
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0answers
75 views

Has one satellite's outgassing ever affected another satellite in the same fairing? Documented examples?

At about 01:31 in Scott Manley's new video RocketLab & Reusable Rockets - Plasma Knifes, Ballutes, Helicopters and... Elephants he says: This occurs during a ...
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3answers
6k views

Is the EU really banning “toxic propellants” in 2020? How is that going to work?

This comment links to an archived presentation by Tesseract "The space transportation company offering revolutionary propulsion" says on slide 8: Timing is right Small satellite ...
7
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1answer
423 views

What is Tesseract's “secret sauce”? (green propellant)

TechCrunch's Tesseract makes spacecraft propulsion smaller, greener, stronger tells us to "ditch the hazmat suits" and https://www.tesseract.space/products-and-services lists the Lyra 22 (i.e. 22 ...
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1answer
2k views

Why would the Apollo Lunar Module pressure dump (to space?) valve have a bacterial filter?

This answer to Why did they bother closing the hatch on the LM while doing EVA? links to a transcript of Apollo 11 which contains the following (find it there by searching for "radiative"): 109:41:...
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2answers
1k views

How long were the Apollo astronauts allowed to breathe 100% oxygen at 1 atmosphere continuously?

This answer explains that from the time they suited up "in the Suit Lab before launch" until the time the capsule started depressurizing during ascent, the Apollo astronauts were breathing 100% oxygen ...
2
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1answer
105 views

What scenario would require the closeout crew to use their light sticks?

The light sticks are intended as an aid in case of an emergency, and are colored orange to identify the astronaut crew, while technicians in the close-out crew carry green ones. https://en....
5
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2answers
129 views

Does landing a Falcon 9 first stage affect the allowable launch azimuths?

The rationale for limiting the allowable launch azimuths for many launch sites usually includes "dropping booster stages on population". With SpaceX (and maybe Blue Origin in the future) returning ...
26
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1answer
4k views

How did sloshing prevent the Apollo Service Module from moving safely away from the Command Module and how was this fixed?

The Insider.com article 'We could have lost the Apollo 11 crew:' A once-classified anomaly nearly killed NASA's first moon astronauts, a new book reveals describes a problem during reentry of several ...
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6answers
23k views

What makes Ada the language of choice for the ISS's safety-critical systems?

We have it on good authority that Ada is widely used for "safety critical software" on at least the US side of the International Space Station. Of all the possible languages to choose from, what are ...