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Questions tagged [abort]

Questions regarding the process of bringing a mission to an early stop, often due to an emergency or unforeseen circumstances.

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Did Boeing's Starliner do an inflight abort test?

Did the Starliner perform an inflight abort test? I could not find any videos to support the same. Isn't a pad abort and an in flight abort neccesary before sending humans to space? Can the starliner'...
Ashvin's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
439 views

How actually dangerous was RTLS for the Space Shuttle?

I know that the Space Shuttle's Return To Launch Site abort mode was always considered to be particularly risky, and as a result was never tested. In particular, it seems like it requires everything ...
ikrase's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
169 views

Gemini Ejection seat usage during late stages of reentry

Gemini in one way or another was a somewhat unique spacecraft. One such unique feature was having a ejection seat. While reading trough the document Development and qualification of gemini escape ...
Jeroen Smink's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
151 views

How was the external tank emptied in a TAL shuttle abort?

One of the numerous reasons RTLS was the least preferred choice is For a safe separation, the ET must contain a maximum of 2% propellant remaining at Main Engine Cutoff (MECO). How would TAL do away ...
Vorac's user avatar
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18 votes
5 answers
6k views

Wouldn't it make sense to use parachutes for aborting test flights rather than destroying the whole rocket?

Recently, a SpaceX test flight was aborted by blasting the whole device. Wouldn't it make sense to have parts of such rocket be equipped with parachutes when test flights are performed, so at least ...
AxD's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
232 views

SpaceX Super Heavy booster: Is it publicly known whether the failure of one engine to start prior to liftoff will result in a pad abort?

Elon Musk, SpaceX’s founder and CEO, tweeted minutes later that engineers turned off one of the booster’s 33 engines just before ignition, and another engine “stopped itself.” “So 31 engines fired ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
212 views

What caused the H3 rocket to squeal so loudly after its launch abort?

Immediately after the H3 rocket's first launch attempt was aborted, a loud squealing noise could be heard on the live stream. What was this? The only thing I could find about it when searching the ...
Infinite_Maelstrom's user avatar
26 votes
2 answers
3k views

What were the most impactful non-fatal failures on STS missions?

Which failures on STS missions were the most impactful? Please exclude the o-ring issue on STS-51-L, as well as the tile damage caused by insulative ET foam on STS-107. Unrelated failures that ...
Speedphoenix's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
581 views

Which STS mission had the most accidents or failures?

This question was prompted by articles mentioning that a majority of Space Shuttle launches had scrubbed launches. Which STS mission had the largest amount of accidents and/or failures? If relevant, ...
Speedphoenix's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
823 views

On the LM, what is the difference between ABORT and ABORT STAGE?

The LM had both ABORT and ABORT STAGE buttons. What was the difference and in which scenario would each be used?
Andy's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
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What engine-out capabilities does SLS have?

Falcon 9 can complete its mission with the loss of any one engine. The Space Shuttle could reach orbit with one engine out starting a few minutes into flight. Most other rockets don't have any ...
Mark's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
249 views

What would happen during an inflight abort in a Falcon 9 if the booster engines did not shut down?

During the SpaceX'S Crew Dragon In Flight Abort Test on a Falcon 9 Launch System, as soon as the abort system was triggered Falcon 9 booster engines was shut down and crew dragon's super dracos ...
Ashvin's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
157 views

How does US crewed launch abort coverage "jump" the ocean in an instant?

As I understand things, the Commercial Crew Program stipulates full abort coverage from pad to orbit. An abort to the middle of the Atlantic ocean is understandably not acceptable. Watching the OFT-2 ...
BrendanLuke15's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
288 views

What if both SRBs failed in a shuttle launch?

I'm certain there are several flight regimes where this could happen, and that the procedures should be different for each one. For instance, this is a very different question before lift off than it ...
Starship - On Strike's user avatar
21 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why are unused launch abort rockets jettisoned rather than used to augment thrust?

Launch abort rockets use powerful rockets. For a pad abort, they must have enough thrust to lift the capsule to an altitude where parachutes can function. The Apollo launch escape rocket had a 155,...
Woody's user avatar
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37 votes
3 answers
5k views

How do you reliably blow up a rocket that was built not to explode?

NASA, and I'd imagine most space agencies around the world, demands abort systems of its commercial partners capable of destroying a rocket should it venture too close to populated areas. Note that ...
TheEnvironmentalist's user avatar
6 votes
0 answers
114 views

Why did early MOL/Gemini aborts involving the separation of the crew capsule from the launcher still call for the crew to eject afterwards?

The Gemini spacecraft, often given as an example of a manned space capsule with no launch escape system, or LES (it used individual ejection seats instead), did, in fact, have an LES, although not one ...
Vikki's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
586 views

Failure to jettison the Apollo launch escape system

In Apollo, was there a contingency plan if the LES (Launch Escape System) failed to jettison? The BPC (Boost Protective Cover) would have prevented the parachutes deploying so the stack would have had ...
GordonD's user avatar
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19 votes
1 answer
766 views

What is done between a scrub and the next launch attempt?

What operations are performed that are not overlapping with 'scrub and take it off the launchpad back to VAB, there's a fatal fault' and 'launch successfully'? In particular, what (besides orbital ...
SF.'s user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
319 views

Will Ariane 5 ECA have LES for the launch of JWST?

Ariane 5 rocket is contracted to launch JWST. This rocket has approximately one failure out of every fifty launches (excluding minor failure). JWST has already taken many years and it is next ...
Auberron's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
1k views

Aborting a de-orbit maneuver

I was contemplating on how a de-orbit may be abandoned post completion of the orbit burn, say, from LEO. A situation in which this might be necessary would be detecting a breach in the heat shield ...
William R. Ebenezer's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
535 views

Will SpaceX Starship have launch abort system? [duplicate]

Since future SpaceX Starship is planned as long duration passenger spacecraft for multiplanetary transport will it have launch abort system? Also how is crew evacuation planned during interplanetary ...
WOW 6EQUJ5's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
284 views

Does Dragon have any timeframes during launch where there is not a planned survivable abort mode?

The space shuttle had many scenarios with combinations of SSMEs or SRB failures where there was no planned survivable abort available because of a variety of factors (aerodynamics, energy, g forces, ...
Nate Lowry's user avatar
26 votes
4 answers
8k views

Why was the SpaceX abort test not initiated by real booster failure?

Today (2020-01-19) SpaceX had a successful flight abort test. As far as I can understand, at a specific altitude, Crew Dragon fired its engines and escaped from the rocket. This test looks like a ...
Jithin Jose's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
44 views

How high will the Crew Dragon capsule get during the In-Flight Abort?

During the In-Flight Abort test (IFA), the Crew Dragon capsule will pull away from the Falcon 9 rocket when the rocket is undergoing maximum aerodynamic stress. At that time, it will still be going ...
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
1k views

What was the actual Q-alpha limit for Saturn/Apollo launches, and what was the typical max Q-alpha?

Organic Marble's answer to a previous question about Apollo abort limits clarified that the figure of concern was the product of dynamic pressure (Q) and angle of attack (alpha), with the 100% level ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
941 views

Space Shuttle RTLS in 3-engine-out: what does it use for propulsion?

For a three-engine-out abort, there's a couple of great diagrams provided in the answer at In a shuttle launch, what would have happened if all three SSMEs failed during flight? showing different ...
CBHacking's user avatar
  • 1,542
12 votes
1 answer
1k views

Was this a rapid SCHEDULED disassembly? How was it done?

The new Curious Droid video Apollo's Forgotten Computer - The LVDC discussed the Saturn V flight computer that's also discussed in answers to Is this really the Saturn V computer only, or are there ...
uhoh's user avatar
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29 votes
5 answers
3k views

Why no parachutes in the Orion AA2 abort test?

On July 2, 2019, the Ascent Abort 2 test of the Orion spacecraft was performed, with the Orion command module ascending on a solid rocket booster, then firing its launch escape system to safely ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
398 views

Why were the canards on the Apollo LES retained even after being proven unnecessary?

In the event of a Mode IB abort during an Apollo launch (an abort initiated between 3 and 30.5 km altitude), a pair of canards would be deployed from the tip of the spacecraft's LES in order to force ...
Vikki's user avatar
  • 4,157
10 votes
2 answers
3k views

How was Apollo supposed to rendezvous in the case of a lunar abort?

If the LEM had to abort at the point of landing on the moon, the CM/SM would be about 1000 miles ahead of it when the LEM reached the same orbit. How could the 2 craft achieve rendezvous ?
Alan Borrowman's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
3k views

Can the SpaceX Dragon 2 crew vehicle still use the draco and super draco thrusters to slow down when landing?

In an emergency, is it possible to use the draco and super draco thrusters alone to slow down the vehicle after re-entry? Right from the point parachutes are supposed to be released right upto touch ...
safe_malloc's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
743 views

Why didn’t the space shuttle external tank have pressure-relief vents?

During a space shuttle abort, it would have been vitally important not to allow the vehicle to droop below 265 kilofeet during powered flight, as excessive aerodynamic heating below 265 kft would have ...
Vikki's user avatar
  • 4,157
12 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why didn’t the space shuttle’s engine-out checklists include steps for attempting a relight?

Throughout much of a space shuttle ascent, even a single SSME failure would have left the mission’s intended orbit out of reach and forced some sort of abort; a two-SSME-out situation would have left ...
Vikki's user avatar
  • 4,157
4 votes
1 answer
866 views

Why would a space shuttle have flown a normal first-stage and early-second-stage ascent trajectory during an RTLS abort?

Had a space shuttle suffered a main-engine failure very early on during ascent, or had a time-critical emergency (for instance, a crewmember unexpectedly having a stroke) occurred before negative ...
Vikki's user avatar
  • 4,157
9 votes
2 answers
3k views

What are SpaceX Starship/BFR proposed abort modes?

From the different renderings of Starship no escape systems can be seen. What will the different abort modes both during launch and landing be like? What happens for example if the first stage ...
GuruGuruSandwich's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
548 views

Why did they not use the Flight Termination system on CRS16 booster?

All US boosters (I assume other nations as well) have flight termination systems. The goal is to try and stop an out of control booster (Big vehicle, full of explosives/fuel/oxidizer) from causing ...
geoffc's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
332 views

If the CRS16 booster was out of control, how did it abort to water?

The CRS-16 missions first stage, seems to have had a stuck grid fin. Apparently a hydraulic pump failed. It was spinning fairly wildly and clearly did not try to land at the pad as it was scheduled. ...
geoffc's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
145 views

Details about the BFR abort procedures?

What kind of emergency procedures will the BFR have during landings? I can see an abort to an alternate landing zone but what about when you have a an emergency ten seconds after engine shutdown?
giggleherz's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
716 views

Can Stratolaunch land with the rocket still attached?

Is the Stratolaunch plane able to land with the rocket still attached, if a malfunction is detected – and the plane has to return without having launched its load? Is there a known emergency ...
Peter's user avatar
  • 321
5 votes
4 answers
2k views

Could Dick Scobee have flown a RTLS on Challenger 51L

In a previous question, I explored whether or not, with a call up from an observant Flight Controller, the SRB’s could be separated from the STS-51L stack before the destruction of the ET tank at 73 ...
Challenger Truth's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
416 views

Did Apollo have provisions for "system aborts" during ascent?

The Shuttle flight rules provided for launch aborts if the vehicle suffered severe failures: cabin leak, loss of cooling, severe electrical problems, etc. These rules were in addition to the rules ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
356 views

Why is ISRO Launch Escape System so SLOW?

I've just watched a video of the recent test and one thing I noticed is that comparing to other LES, like Mercury, Dragon, Soyuz, it looks really sluggy - like it has like 1.3-1.5 TWR. For pad abort, ...
SF.'s user avatar
  • 55k
5 votes
0 answers
972 views

Dragon 2 in-flight abort test - what will happen to the booster?

SpaceX is planning to do an in-flight abort test of the Dragon 2. I imagine that at max-Q the Dragon will start its own motors to fly slightly faster than the booster (and move sideways). Suddenly ...
filo's user avatar
  • 1,442
10 votes
1 answer
789 views

Does Soyuz LES take the service module?

During Jettisonable Emergency Escape Head Section abort mode, the head section of the rocket is separated and pulled away by OGB SAS (the escape tower) to safety away from the malfunctioning lower ...
SF.'s user avatar
  • 55k
10 votes
1 answer
854 views

What does "angle of attack 100%" mean in Apollo abort rules?

In Apollo Mission Rules and Saturn V Flight Manuals, I have seen the following abort rules: I understand what most of this means -- if the launch vehicle begins turning at more than 4 degrees per ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
27 votes
2 answers
1k views

How would the space shuttle have been retrieved following a TAL out of Vandenberg?

Had the space shuttle ever launched out of Vandenberg AFB, its primary transoceanic abort landing (TAL) site would have been Mataveri International Airport (SCIP) on Rapa Nui (Easter Island; Isla de ...
Vikki's user avatar
  • 4,157
20 votes
2 answers
6k views

Do the solid rocket boosters of the Shuttle and SLS have a self-destruct system and was it activated during the Challenger disaster?

Videos of the Challenger shuttle explosion show both solid boosters speeding on after the main tank detonated. Were they eventually self-destructed by the ground control, or why not, and why not ...
LocalFluff's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
3k views

How much does a launch scrub cost?

SpaceX (among others) does a series of final automated checks 10 seconds before launch, and aborts the launch if any of them fail. Yesterday and today, one of them did (each time), causing the launch ...
WBT's user avatar
  • 1,144
17 votes
1 answer
3k views

Was a method available to save the Challenger Crew?

In a previous thread, I asked the question of the likelihood of the STS stack surviving an early separation of the SRB using the SRB manual separation switch on panel C3: Could the SRB's have ...
Challenger Truth's user avatar