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6

During the Apollo era (1967-1972), 4 NASA astronauts died during training or test flight. Those 4 brave people were the Apollo 1 crew, Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger B. Chaffee. The fourth astronaut was Clifton C. Williams who died flying a training jet. However no NASA astronaut died in spaceflight during the Apollo era. Unfortunately, there were ...


7

This is a strange question, but it is worth answering. The ultimate answer is: Space is hard. But let's unpack that. There were many, many factors that led to the various failures and accidents. Some of them were a simple lack of understanding during the design phase - space is hard, that's not a joke but a reality. Simply put, we don't understand how ...


8

tl;dr: Park your ISS-like space station above 700 km and there is a good chance it will only lose 100 m/s in 1,000 years due to atmospheric drag at least (and 2000 km for a million years). However, there are other problems This is a really interesting question! Just for example, the LAGEOS satellites are about 6,000 km above the Earth's surface and are ...


3

First, let's ask ourselves "why do orbits decay?". For multiple reasons. Atmospheric drag. Solar gravity acting on satellites. Solar activity Satellites in geostationary orbit can stay in orbit for billions of years, such as the EchoStar XVI which orbits around 35000 km above Earth. Safe from the atmosphere, far enough to not decay from solar flares, and ...


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