Linked Questions

44 votes
2 answers
12k views

Why didn't the Space Shuttle bounce back into space as many times as possible so as to lose a lot of kinetic energy up there?

From this video, I got know that Space Shuttle did reentry around 5000 miles away from landing site. It's angle of attack is maintained around 40 degrees during re-entry. If it is more than that, it ...
SRD's user avatar
  • 808
26 votes
4 answers
6k views

Why can't you just parachute down right from orbit?

This will surely seem, at least at first sight, a completely stupid idea, seeing the usual “space isn't high away, it's fast away”, and that the heat shields which actually are used need to withstand ...
leftaroundabout's user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
3k views

Earth re-entry from orbit by a sequence of upper-atmosphere dips to reduce kinetic energy?

There are quite a few questions on this sort of theme here, and I've also read one or two other things, like non-ballistic re-entry. So this might be a duplicate, but I don't think so. To clarify: I'm ...
mike rodent's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
1k views

Would it be possible to avoid the heat-from-friction problem when re-entering the atmosphere by performing (vertical) "U-turns"?

If you lift a swing at a children's playground and release it will swing back and forth for a while, losing some altitude in each swing, mostly (?) due to drag. Eventually it has lost all energy and ...
d-b's user avatar
  • 291
6 votes
2 answers
741 views

Modeling a rocket using Tsiolkovsky's equation and ordinary differential equations

So I have this uni assignment to make a model out of ODEs, and my idea was to use rockets. After some research I found about Tsiolkovsky's equation and tried using it on a Falcon 9 (disconsidering ...
Yodaperor's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
470 views

What would the damage radius be if a Falcon 9 booster impacted the Earth without a landing burn?

Apologies in advance if this is the wrong stack exchange for the question, but I figured it would fit here; if not let me know and I'll delete/move it. I'm trying to figure out what the damage radius ...
sneak's user avatar
  • 205
4 votes
2 answers
750 views

With what attitude does Soyuz reenter, and in what way might this angled pattern on Exp. 53's return a result of attitude?

The BBC article Soyuz space capsule brings ISS crew back after five month mission describes the return of ISS Expedition 55's "Russian Anton Shkaplerov, American Scott Tingle and Japan's Norishige ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
4 votes
1 answer
1k views

How do I calculate re-entry velocity when decaying from a circular orbit?

I am trying to find the velocity of an object during re-entry so that I can calculate the peak heat flux but I'm a bit stuck. I know how to find the velocity of the original, circular orbit (300km) ...
Tom's user avatar
  • 41
3 votes
1 answer
297 views

Do reentering capsules always make a(n Earth-shattering ka-)boom and look like a fireball if at night? Time & epicenter predictable w/ public info?

SpaceX enjoys press. So the unexpected events popping up in the news is good for them. March 26, 2021: Fire ball burning over Woodland WA- SpaceX second stage re-entry and burn up. A ‘spectacular’ ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
2 votes
1 answer
211 views

Roughly what is the rate of energy loss of survivable capsule re-entries?

In this answer I've estimated the peak rate of energy loss of a particularly unwise re-entry as 3 to 4 gigawatts. Never mind that it's 15-20 gees of acceleration, that's a lot of power injected into ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
2 votes
1 answer
166 views

Why not bring a rocket to idle velocity for less violent and safer re-entry? [duplicate]

Since kinetic energy have to be converted into heat during re-entry, the re-entry into the earth's atmosphere seems very violent. Why most rockets or crew re-entry modules plunge into the earth's ...
seccpur's user avatar
  • 1,175
2 votes
1 answer
80 views

How much heat is reabsorbed by a high-speed object?

I have been playing around with an app to demonstrate high speed objects entering earth's atmosphere. I am using the drag equation to approximate how much kinetic energy gets converted into heat at ...
RBarryYoung's user avatar