Questions tagged [space-probe]

Questions regarding a manmade object sent to explore space and celestial objects.

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Local atmospheric pressure and surface gravity in Jezero crater?

The Jezero crater on Mars is the target location of the American Mars 2020 mission. I can't find any good values on the local air pressure and gravity, though the elevation is around what is ...
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Going to Gliese 581 c

Gliese 581 c is described as one of the most promising exoplanets to sustain life. In this New York Times article, Dimitar Sasselov says: "It’s 20 light-years. We can go there." https://www....
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Has the idea of sending human heads instead of entire human bodies been considered in space exploration? [closed]

What makes human space exploration very difficult is the infrastructure require to support a human body outside earth. It must be researched, developed and tested thoroughly which can take many years ...
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Can the paper narrowing Solar System's barycentre to within 100m help find Planet Nine?

I've just read this recent news article, Astronomers Have Located The Centre of The Solar System to Within 100 Metres, reporting on a paper[1] that claims narrowing the Solar System barycentre to ...
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Why does the Parker Solar Probe slow down as the distance from the Sun increases?

Why does the Parker Solar Probe slow down as the distance from the Sun increases? Image credit: Wikipedia user Phoenix777, CC BY-SA 4.0
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Where can I find initial conditions (velocities) for NASA missions?

I am trying to simulate the launch of gravity assisted NASA satellites (specifically Galileo, Cassini, and Juno), but I am struggling to find the initial conditions for my simulation. I have tried ...
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2answers
3k views

Why not send a Gaia-like mission to Mars?

This answer to the question why we didn't send Gaia to Neptune's orbit raises the question of why we don't send a Gaia-like mission to the orbit of Mars. It seems like it doesn't have the problems ...
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Why is Gaia operating around Earth orbit? Why not send it to Neptune's orbit?

Gaia is an astrometry spacecraft that's currently operating around the Sun-Earth L2 Lagrangian point. Question: why here? Why not the Sun-Neptune L2 Lagrangian point? By orbiting the Sun at a larger ...
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Can we use Breakthrough Starshot spacecraft to detect any unknown massive object in our solar system?

For example, the hypothetical Planet Nine. Since we just want to prove or rule out the existence of Planet Nine in our solar system, we can avoid most of the technical challenges for StarChip (camera ...
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240 views

Breakthrough Starshot; could we detect similar probes flying by Earth?

If extraterrestrial civilizations were sending probes by Earth similar to our plans for Breakthrough Starshot (where the probes are only a few meters in diameter and will be moving at up to 0.2c when ...
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1answer
87 views

How does a rocket propel in a space? [closed]

How does a rocket propel its fuel in a space, where no air exists? Newton's Third Law cannot apply to this because, in Earth, rockets can push the air to propel, but in space, there is nothing to push....
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Did the International Space-Earth Explorer detect cosmic rays other than gamma rays?

In looking at the available datasets described by NASA for the International Space-Earth Explorer, I am only see gamma ray burst data. Was the platform capable of recording cosmic rays other than ...
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Why would the Chang'e-4 lander find lunar far side temp. “colder than scientists expected”, when the LRO has already been taking thermal readings?

In January, the Chinese probe lander Chang'e-4 was was announced to have found temperatures dipping lower on the far side than expected ("Chinese rover finds lunar nights 'colder than expected'" by R. ...
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2answers
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Strange speck of light in the picture sequence of the approach to 2014 Mu69 (Ultima Thule)

In the picture sequence which was taken by New Horizons during the approach to Ultima Thule on the 3rd of Dec there can be seen a speck of light in the lower left corner, not as bright as 2014 MU69 ...
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1answer
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Would the dynamic pressure of the Sun’s solar wind be strong enough to trap plasma ions within an open container?

If you were to place a long cylinder, open at one end and closed at the other end, and position this cylinder so that the open end is facing the Sun, and then you were to inject plasma ions, such as ...
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138 views

Is there a chance that UFOs could be messages from other planets? [closed]

Description Lots of people have thought to of seen UFOs (Unidentified Flying Objects), in fact, more than 83,000 have been reported this year alone. (and it's only February!) But most of the time it'...
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Whats the farthest distance a spacecraft has been detected (except by radio)

As far as I understand it, one can not hide spacecraft, because the heat from the engine would be very visible. Now I tried searching for the farthest distance an actual spacecraft has been detected ...
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302 views

Is there, in fact, any close-up photography of Saturn's rings, showing individual pebbles/rocks?

After reading this excellent but difficult answer, https://astronomy.stackexchange.com/a/18407/13071 I've been thinking how difficult it is to get a sense of the distance between and the size of ...
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2answers
139 views

can we use connect a long pipe with space station and use vacuum for fuel transfer? [closed]

We all know that we need a lot of fuel to escape from earth. Even 90% fuel of an spaceship is wasted in escaping the earth which definitely affect our power to explore the universe. we have to do a ...
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1answer
60 views

How long New Horizons will remain operational? [closed]

As of now the New Horizons probe is well beyond the orbit of Pluto, moving towards the Kuiper belt. In an article I read that New Horizons will eventually follow the path of Voyager probes to the ...
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Is the Tombaugh Regio on Pluto visible from Earth?

Is the Tombaugh Regio on Pluto discernably visible from Earth ground based or Earth orbiting telescopes? And more generally, can surface features seen in Hubble images be matched with images from New ...
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1answer
105 views

The fastest Probe we could build now

I found this at http://www.nature.com/news/the-exoplanet-next-door-1.11605 Even when launched by one of the most powerful rockets on Earth, boosted by a gravitational slingshot around Jupiter, and ...
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How long does it take Dawn to orbit Ceres?

I haven't been able to find the orbit time of Dawn around Ceres. Do you know how long it takes?
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53 views

How does radio bandwidth restrict the choice and use of science payload on interplanetary probes?

I asked a question here about returning to Earth a physical memory capsule along with soil samples, as a complement to radio operations as today. This might return a much larger amount of data ...
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102 views

Voyager spacecrafts

Will the Voyager space crafts actually reach another Star System in 63,000 years? If the answer is yes, what will be powering the crafts to keep them going for so long?
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Could the Philae comet lander be recharged by laser?

Could the Philae comet lander be recharged with a laser (or possibly many lasers) from earth? My thought would be to aim one or more powerful lasers from earth at the Philae lander to recharge it ...
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Is Rosetta changing the theory of comets? [closed]

Rosetta is now arriving at Comet 67P. Other comets have been analyzed to some degree (Giotto, Deep Space 1, Deep Impact, etc.) So my question is... where I can study the up-to-date theory of comets?...
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196 views

Speed comparison of both voyagers

I came across this page which provides (mostly extrapolated) speeds of both voyagers. Assuming they are fairly accurate, any reason why the speed of Voyager 2 (5-6 km/sec) is less than that of Voyager ...
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1answer
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Where is Voyager 1 (or 2) going? In which direction?

Knowing it has exited the solar system, is it traveling in the direction of the center of the galaxy, away from it, orbiting it, or maybe even going perpendicular from the disk-shaped galaxy?