Linked Questions

3
votes
1answer
146 views

What's the benefit of making boosters land nicely (SpaceX) instead of parachuting them at sea (Space Shuttle) [duplicate]

SpaceX boosters return by landing nicely thanks to an elaborate guiding system. This requires, well, a guiding system (so, more electronics, more opportunities for failure and massive engineering ...
0
votes
0answers
92 views

Why is it such a big thing to recover the first stage in a reusable way? [duplicate]

When I got it right, the big problem to overcome for SpaceX was, to get the right technique to land the first stage properly. This requires the first stage also to have enough fuel, so it can burn ...
61
votes
6answers
18k views

Why does the SpaceX reusable launcher use vertical rather than horizontal landing?

As alternatives to vertical retro-engines landing: horizontal landing using wings, already discussed in Why is it preferable for SpaceX to land their booster vertically rather than fly it down with ...
15
votes
6answers
10k views

Why can the Falcon 9 be reused while the SLS cannot?

In reading about SLS, I learned that the reason they won't reuse their rocket is that the weight of the parachutes to enable recovery is too much of a sacrifice. How is the weight of the hardware and ...
16
votes
5answers
5k views

Why is it even desirable for a spacecraft to land without a parachute?

In this SpaceX promotional video, they indicate their plans to land a crewed capsule without a parachute, using landing thrusters. I know that Soyuz does this too, though in combination with a landing ...
14
votes
3answers
4k views

Why is it preferable for SpaceX to land their booster vertically rather than fly it down with wings?

SpaceX lands their booster rocket vertically, this seems complicated. The space shuttle landed with wings which seems more simple. Why is it preferable for the rocket to land vertically as opposed to ...
21
votes
2answers
9k views

How did the Falcon 9's 1st stage return back to Cape Canaveral?

SpaceX's original plan was landing the 1st stage to a landing ship, that waits far away from the launch site, and it was like this: But tonight, the rocket's first stage landed at Cape Canaveral. ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

What was SpaceX's original vision for booster reusability?

An article from 2007 made the following statement: SpaceX is in many ways the exact opposite of Kistler. It's run by Internet wunderkind Elon Musk, does almost all of its work in-house with a staff ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Why doesn't the Falcon 9 booster use rigid air brakes during landing attempts?

SpaceX's attempts to land involve using the first stage engines to slow the booster down, and use grid fins to perform trajectory adjustments. Parachutes generally aren't rigid and can throw the ...
2
votes
4answers
987 views

Is powered descent from orbit a viable method of reentry on bodies with an atmosphere?

Pretty much like the title says. Beyond a simple (one or more) retro burn into unpowered plummeting into the atmosphere, is some form of powered descent a viable method of reentry from orbit on ...
1
vote
1answer
231 views

Would having the Falcon fairing reconnect be possible/beneficial?

I understand that many of the problems with recovering the two pieces of the Falcon 9 fairing deal with the weird aerodynamic patterns of the descent. It is by no means an aerodynamically sound object ...