64

Primarily, because without a lot of extra equipment, they could at best be space coffins for the astronauts. First, they share life support with the rest of the station. Air circulated through them is scrubbed of CO2 in the station's scrubbers. Heat is regulated through station's radiators. This all is powered by station's solar panels. And that's just for ...


60

Why were the SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts backed up by guards with automatic weapons? A NASA crew launch is a highly-visible symbol of US national pride. I mean, the slogan for the whole campaign is Launch America, and the message has always been "Launch American astronauts from American soil in an American capsule on American rockets (for the first time ...


44

Wikipedia contains some information about the computer systems which control the ISS. Short version is: it is a mess. Apparently, some modules have their own systems and communication frameworks. Internally, WiFi is used. The "key systems" are documented to run Debian Linux, while they previously used Windows -- which means that these systems are basically ...


44

There's a handgun on the Soyuz attached to the Space Station. Does that count? The Outer Space Treaty forbids placing weapons of mass destruction in space. Other than that handgun on the Soyuz, that's about it. That handgun is a weapon of bear or wolf destruction, not a weapon of mass destruction. This question is a bit tougher to answer when you consider ...


43

Partial answer covering only Is this a new thing, or were similar military guards around to guard Shuttle crews as well? It is not a new thing. Photo by former colleague Michael Grabois at STS-101 crew walkout, 2000. The guards were not only on the ground. Image source Personal photo at STS-135 launch, 2011.


23

Locks aren't needed, because it is physically impossible to open the hatch from outside unless the airlock is depressurized. All airlock hatches are inward opening (the STS Orbiter side hatch was not an airlock hatch) and the air pressure inside amounts to tons of force keeping the hatch closed. For example, check out this picture of the ISS US airlock. ...


20

First of all, what do we know about it's orbit? From the direction that the rocket took off, we know it's inclination was about 50 degrees. That could be adjusted higher in flight at a time that is difficult, but that's probably about right. That information and the launch time effectively confines the orbit into a plane. Less known is the altitude. The ...


20

Firstly the ISS doesn't have dedicated "escape pods". The Crew Return Vehicle was intended as one, but it was cancelled, so instead the ISS keeps enough Soyuz capsules docked to allow its occupants to escape in an emergency. This is a case of expedience, not of design from a blank sheet of paper. That aside though, all capsules are only big enough to ...


14

At least for the Space Shuttle, commands to the orbiter from the ground were routinely encrypted. Communications Security Communications security (COMSEC) equipment provides the capability for encryption / decryption of operational data aboard the orbiter. The COMSEC equipment works with the NSPs to provide selectable transmit, receive, and ...


14

The Soviet space station Salyut 3 used to have a gun (an aircraft autocannon) equipped on it (reference). The cannon was a modification of NR-23 autocannon used in Tu-22 aircraft. Russian version of Salyut-3 Wikipedia article claims that this weapon system, named "Schchit-1" (in Russian "Щит-1", translated as "Shield-1"), was ...


14

There are lots of variables here. Gun type, wall thickness, type of shielding used. According to this email exchange, handgun bullets can penetrate 1-3 cm of aluminium. It also states that: (in) a M113A2 APC (armored personnel carrier) the aluminum (hull) is about 3/4 inches The first data I've found for the wall thickness of a space station module is ...


10

As David Hammen states in his answer, the Soyuz emergency landing survival kit included a gun, but, according to James Oberg, not any more. For decades, the standard Soyuz survival pack included a deluxe all-in-one pistol called the TOZ 82 with three barrels and a folding stock that doubled as a shovel and contained a swing-out machete. There were a few ...


10

There are three major arguments against physical security on manned spacecraft: A lock is a point of failure. Given the dire consequences of an astronaut being locked out after a spacewalk, you need to make really sure people can get in in an emergency. So adding a lock would make the hatch design a lot more complicated, for no added value (see point 2). ...


8

To my knowledge, Mercury Project used keyed CWI (Continuous Wave Interrupted) FM (frequency modulated) system, or FMCWI, capable of receiving Morse code over the UHF (Ultra High Frequency) and voice over HF (High Frequency) channels. This would be a completely analogue system, so we can't really speak of cryptographic algorithms. That doesn't mean comms were ...


8

At least in the shuttle days: To access a NASA site you must either have a NASA badge (the issuance of which required you to pass a Homeland Security Presidental Directive - 12 or equivalent background check) or be escorted by a properly badged individual. In addition to general site access, you must also be badged for the specific work areas. To access ...


7

I'm assuming the reference is to http://space-track.org, where the US government publishes its information on satellite locations to the world. I just checked, the plane is on the site. So far as I know he doesn't actively have a security clearance, but he does have access to some archival data that isn't easily accessible, and I believe he has at least some ...


7

Early satellites were not protected. In fact there was at least one case where satellite was lost because rogue radio transmission got into command link and at least another (Kosmos-785, 1975) where spontaneous error in transmission was misinterpreted as self-destruction command. Security through obscurity (and a need to use fairly expensive and bulky ...


6

There are other wavelengths than those discussed in this answer. On the off-chance that Zuma might broadcast data or telemetry, Canadian amateur astronomer Scott Tilley used a nice antenna and SDR to probe the sky for signals. The first post in his extensive blogging on the signal in Riddles in the Sky, A blog dedicated to observing, mostly classified, ...


6

The answer to your question is classified. What is almost certain is that the USA launched stealth satellite in low Earth Orbit, so presumably it works well enough. These satellites were called MISTY by the amateur observers, and were hard to track. The Federation of American Scientists has a whole sourcebook dedicated to the issue of stealth in space.


5

There are basically 3 means of tracking satellites: Radar- Can hide from this, see anything about stealth aircraft out there (Same principals) Visible- To hide from visible, it would basically be necessary to absorb any light for anything that might be pointed to the ground. This would heat the satellite up, and might make it less useful. In theory one ...


5

Probably. The ISS has been infected with computer viruses multiple times. You can read about it here. This was not the first instance of malware being transported to the space station, as other reports note that as early as 2008, another Russian astronaut had brought a laptop running Windows XP that was infected with the W32.Gammima.AG worm which ...


5

Airplane engines, and rocket engines are usually transported with a cover on them. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single piece of unexpected debris. The covers try to protect them.


4

As an information security professional this makes me cringe, but I'm not in the last surprised. I've read the OIG report, there's not that much information on the data that is lost, but the report states on page 10: Prior to detection and containment of the incident, the attacker exfiltrated approximately 500 megabytes of data from 23 files, 2 of ...


4

Anything big enough in orbit can be used as a weapon due to its immense gravitational potential and kinetic energy. You can smash a satellite into another one as sabotage,the brilliant pebble project demonstrated here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brilliant_Pebbles#Brilliant_Pebbles) or just deorbit it for ground bombardment if you can calculate the ...


3

A link to the relevant article: http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/space-flight-news/orion/exploration-flight-test-1/two-delta-iv-heavy-boosters-arrive-ccafs-leadup-nasas-eft-1-mission/ From that article, On Tuesday, March 4, two Delta IV Common Booster Cores (CBC’s) arrived at Port Canaveral aboard United Launch Alliance’s (ULA’s) Delta Mariner barge. ...


3

Not really definitive, but max zoom in on the picture here shows an individual in the camo uniform exiting a KSC security forces vehicle as shown here


2

Space Track publishes TLE data on non-classified objects. Data for classified satellites is usually published by several satellite observers, who consider this a hobby. Most recent occurrence would probably be NROL-44, which is set to launch in the coming days. It should be noted, that due to the number of objects in space, several states continuously track ...


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