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What eliminates the velocity when occupants return from ISS to earth, and how much?

Nearly all the velocity is cancelled by atmospheric deceleration of the descent module, before its parachutes are deployed. ISS orbital velocity is around 7700 m/s. An initial retro-burn of the ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
38 votes
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If you release a tool outside the ISS in space will it remain at the "same" place forever?

It will not. Once released, the object is in a very slightly different orbit from the space station. If you put the object further out or further in from Earth than the space station it will be ...
notovny's user avatar
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36 votes

Why did the space shuttle's altitude go down after reaching 108,000m?

The drop in acceleration around 40s into the flight is the shuttle throttling down to reduce the aerodynamic load on the vehicle. It then accelerates when past this point. The drop in acceleration at ...
Innovine's user avatar
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32 votes
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Interstellar Travel Thought Experiment

Does this logic make sense? Has anyone thought of this before? Yes, it's been considered. In the literature it's known as the "incentive trap". There are a couple of academic papers on it, ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
31 votes

Are rockets faster than airplanes?

Rockets are much faster than airplanes for most of their flight. Here's a graph of a Space Shuttle launch: The red line is speed. It's in ft/s, 1000 ft/s is 1097 km/h. So At about 45 seconds, the ...
Hobbes's user avatar
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25 votes
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Why is Voyager/Pioneer so slow compared to Parker Solar Probe?

Physical First and foremost, the physical reason is that objects accelerate as they approach massive bodies and decelerate as they recede: Parker Solar Probe achieves its peak orbital speed (almost ...
Jack's user avatar
  • 9,956
25 votes

What eliminates the velocity when occupants return from ISS to earth, and how much?

The process is described here, which answers nearly all of your question. The reentry burn removes about 120 m/s of velocity from the capsule (that's your 1) and the final impact is 15 miles per hour ...
Steve Linton's user avatar
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22 votes
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How hard do you have to throw something off the ISS to make it deorbit?

@user3715778's answer is correct. Throwing will not make enough of a difference in the orbit to reenter Earth's atmosphere de-orbit promptly. Let's run the math using the vis-viva equation: $$v^2 = GM ...
uhoh's user avatar
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21 votes

Are rockets faster than airplanes?

A rocket isn't automatically fast - a small firework rocket may be no faster than a car. The important point is that rockets carry their own oxidiser and aren't limited by the need to interact with ...
Robin Bennett's user avatar
18 votes

What is the fastest rover that has ever traveled on the surface of an extra-terrestrial body?

The manned Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle from Apollo 17 holds the record of 17km/h achieved by Eugene Cernan. Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle was also present on Apollo 15 and 16. For traditionally ...
SF.'s user avatar
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17 votes
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What is the velocity of the ISS relative to the Earth's surface?

JPL Horizons has trajectory data for the International Space Station, SPKID = -125544 Revised: Nov 23, 2022 Trajectory is TLE-based. Predicts run for 4 weeks into future, but are of low accuracy for ...
PM 2Ring's user avatar
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15 votes

How to calculate the speed of rotation of a given point on the Earth's WGS84 ellipsoid, about its axis?

NOTE: This answer was provided for a different, very basic question which didn't specify the WGS84 ellipsoid; it's illustrative of the basic principle as applied to a spherical Earth. Still, not bad ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
15 votes

Travel Speed in Space

Currently functional and proven technology is limited to basically no interstellar travel at all. To reach one of our stellar neighbors (like Proxima Centauri), one of the fastest space probes we have ...
Dragongeek's user avatar
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15 votes

Why should the velocity through the nozzle throat be sonic?

Uwe's comment on the question is spot on. The characteristics of the flow through the nozzle depend critically on the pressure ratio - the two pressures being the pressure at the entrance to and exit ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
12 votes
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What is the required burn to keep a satellite at a Lagrangian point?

What is the required burn to keep a satellite at a Lagrangian point? tl;dr: typical station keeping delta-v for a halo orbit around Sun-Earth L1 or L2 points are of the order of 2 to 4 meters/sec per ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
12 votes

A spacecraft is travelling at X units per hour. But relative to what exactly? Does it depend on the orbit? How?

Your concerns are all perfectly valid - giving just a number doesn't tell a lot. So, in all proper publications, the reference system has to be mentioned. Typically, the reference is the body the ...
asdfex's user avatar
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11 votes
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At what point of travelling progressively faster around the Earth you are not going to fall back again?

This is a great question! tl;dr From a circular orbit, a little more or less velocity just makes your orbit slightly elliptical. If your orbit happened to be very close to the Earth's surface (LEO ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
11 votes
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How often do we get information from the Voyager spacecrafts?

We get information from the Voyagers just about every day for 8-16 hours per day. Getting the information requires that a dish antenna be pointed accurately in Voyager's direction, so that gives two ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 128k
11 votes

Did a spacecraft ever use an atmosphere to accelerate away from a planet?

Your premise is incorrect. In no case does "skipping off the atmosphere" leave you going faster than you arrived, engines on or not.
Russell Borogove's user avatar
11 votes
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Did a spacecraft ever use an atmosphere to accelerate away from a planet?

Entering the atmosphere introduces drag, which could only reduce your energy. That is, reduce your speed relative to the planet. If you hit the atmosphere at 18,000 mph at too shallow an angle you ...
Greg's user avatar
  • 4,287
11 votes
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Minimum velocity needed to cross Karman line

When you ask about the minimum velocity needed to cross the Karman line there are 2 things you could mean. The first thing is that you could mean the minimum velocity needed on the ground going ...
The Rocket fan's user avatar
11 votes
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orbital speed to maintain relative position to the Earth

No, not without a rather large acceleration constantly pushing it towards the Sun. The circular orbital velocity is: ($\mu$: mass of the Sun times the gravitational constant, $r$: distance from the ...
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
11 votes

What's the motion of two connected satellites orbiting the Earth after their separation?

Many good things here, though a few of the assumptions made are not safe. Before cutting the tether the velocity of two satellites is equal to the one of the system CoM This can not be assumed. ...
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
10 votes

Are rockets faster than airplanes?

Rockets don't actually mostly go up, they try quite hard to go up as little as possible. While flying, gravity is always accelerating you downwards at 9.8 m/s^2. This means that any fuel spent ...
the_Demongod's user avatar
10 votes

If you release a tool outside the ISS in space will it remain at the "same" place forever?

Great question to illustrate small but measurable effects of orbital mechanics! NO, even if both wrench and ISS are idealized point masses in the same circular orbit. The mass of the ISS imposes a non-...
Woody's user avatar
  • 22.1k
10 votes

Could time illusion be used to send a spacecraft faster than the speed of light?

Could time illusion be used to send a spacecraft faster than the speed of light? Absolutely not. Could the time illusion be used to send a space [probe] slower than light but have it seem like it is ...
asdfex's user avatar
  • 15.1k
10 votes
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Is the launch of a rocket slow because the change in velocity (delta_v) should be as small as possible because of energetic reasons?

No. Nor the opposite. Smallest possible launch useful speed is barely >0 m/s. The rocket will mostly hover, spending all of its fuel just fighting gravity. Inefficient. The other extreme is ...
Hennes's user avatar
  • 334
9 votes

How hard do you have to throw something off the ISS to make it deorbit?

There is a great video by Scott Manley, which specifically addresses your question: Could An Astronaut Throw Something From Orbit To Earth? The short answer is no, humans can not provide enough ...
user3715778's user avatar
9 votes

What is the fastest rover that has ever traveled on the surface of an extra-terrestrial body?

The highest speed was recorded by an Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle: The rovers were designed with a top speed of about 8 mph (13 km/h), although Eugene Cernan recorded a maximum speed of 11.2 mph (...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 128k
9 votes

What is the terminal velocity of SpaceX Starship?

I have been looking for the same thing. The only mention I found was on a blog post (https://www.neowin.net/forum/topic/1402753-spacex-starship-sn8-15km-test-flight/) which stated 66-68 m/s for SN8. ...
Neil's user avatar
  • 91

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