Space News
space history and artifacts articles

Messages
space history discussion forums

Sightings
worldwide astronaut appearances

Resources
selected space history documents

Websites
related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Free Space
  Static discharge during docking?

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Static discharge during docking?
Max Q
Member

Posts: 381
From: Whyalla South Australia
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 11-18-2008 05:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Max Q   Click Here to Email Max Q     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was wondering the other day, when two space vehicles dock is there a problem with static discharge between the two vehicles? With all the energy expenditure and friction of launch, I would think some sparks might fly on dock up.

ilbasso
Member

Posts: 1493
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 11-18-2008 12:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Agena docking targets from Gemini days had three flexible static discharge 'feelers' sticking out from the docking cone, that would touch the nose of the Gemini just before the actual docking took place. So, it has been a known issue since at least that far back.

space1
Member

Posts: 506
From: Danville, Ohio, USA
Registered: Dec 2002

posted 11-18-2008 01:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for space1   Click Here to Email space1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Agena static discharge system was removed for Gemini XII, as there did not appear to be any significant static discharge on previous dockings.

------------------
John Fongheiser
President
Historic Space Systems, http://www.space1.com

Jay Chladek
Member

Posts: 2211
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 11-18-2008 02:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Static charges between spacecraft don't seem to be a concern. But for spacewalkers around solar arrays it can be a concern, given that the suits used are filled with pure oxygen at 5 PSI (as opposed to a 14.7 psi oxygen nitrogen atmosphere in shuttle and the station).

So when Scott Parazynski did the cufflink repair on the ISS arrays in 2007, he made darn sure not to contact an array with his glove to lessen the chance of a discharge from his suit to his body. Hence the need for the special tool "hockey stick" that was used to contact the array.

ilbasso
Member

Posts: 1493
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 11-18-2008 04:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Didn't they trace the problem with the Soyuz TMA reentry modules not separating properly due to static discharge? I recall that they believe that there was static buildup while the Soyuz was docked with the ISS, and discharges from the ISS through the Soyuz shorted out or otherwise affected some of the pyrotechnic devices.

Duke Of URL
Member

Posts: 1301
From: Syracuse, NY, USA
Registered: Jan 2005

posted 01-04-2009 12:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Duke Of URL   Click Here to Email Duke Of URL     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I read that they wrapped the spacecraft in Downy dryer sheets.

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 1999-2012 collectSPACE.com All rights reserved.


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a





advertisement