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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37
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3answers
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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 ...
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7answers
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Is there any reason why a spacecraft would not be able to turn around without a gravity assist?

Let's say you have a spaceship on its way to Mars; halfway there you decide you need to come back to Earth instead. Is there any reason a spacecraft would be unable to do this? Let's assume it began ...
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5answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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871 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 ...
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3answers
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How hard is it on the crew to go through the 14+ g's of a launchpad abort of the Soyuz, or the Falcon system?

It's only for 5 seconds, but that is an awful lot of force. The Falcon system is similar and presumably also involves very high-g forces. Could injury result from the abort itself in either case?
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Why does Dragon 2 abort with the trunk attached?

In the Dragon v2 abort test yesterday, it lifted off with its unpressurized trunk in tow, then ejected the trunk at apogee. Is this the real abort profile? Wouldn't it be easier to pull away without ...
19
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1answer
721 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 ...
18
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2answers
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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 ...
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Could the Apollo lunar ascent stage have separated from the descent stage before touchdown in an emergency?

In case the Apollo Lunar module had approached the landing site at way too high velocity, could the ascent stage have separated and returned to the command module before a crash? Thus performing a ...
16
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2answers
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Has a pad abort ever been done on an actual launch?

In light of the recent SpaceX Dragon test, I was wondering if any pad aborts have ever been performed during an actual launch? To my limited knowledge, none have occurred, despite the Soyuz and Apollo ...
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Why is the descent module of the Soyuz in the middle of its stack?

The Soyuz is made up of three major components/modules. The Orbital module on top, basically a sphere, which is basically extra room, and contains the toilet, which allows for some modicum of ...
16
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1answer
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Why aren't SpaceX controllers allowed to abort during the final 10 seconds?

During yesterday's aborted SpaceX launch, someone was giving instructions to the controllers about abort procedures: To abort the launch, a controller will say 'abort, abort, abort'.... controllers ...
13
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1answer
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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 ...
13
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1answer
423 views

When is the Dragon V2 abort system armed?

Or more specifically, had a Dragon V2 (uncrewed) been atop the AMOS-6 mission stage that blew up during propellant loading before a test fire would the Dragon abort system been armed and thus been ...
13
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1answer
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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 ...
12
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2answers
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What caused SES-8's Falcon 9 launch computer to abort at T+2 seconds?

SES-8 had its launch aborted at T+2 seconds. What, exactly, caused the flight computer to decide the engines weren't ready?
12
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1answer
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Did the Apollo command module have an abort mode?

Many manned space exploration vehicles have some way to abort, to end the mission as quickly as possible and get back to relative safety. I'm wondering if the Apollo command module had an abort, a ...
12
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1answer
308 views

What were emergency procedures for failure of launch vehicles with nuclear upper stages?

There were many studies in the 1960s, and a lesser number of later ones, for launch vehicles with nuclear-thermal upper stages. I have rarely seen mention of what emergency procedures were considered ...
11
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2answers
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Could a Falcon 9 land carrying its second stage and payload?

I'm afraid this is a highly speculative question, but I wanted to put it out and see if anyone can provide more insight. Let's say that at some time in the future, during a Falcon 9 launch, but ...
11
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3answers
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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 ...
11
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1answer
705 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 ...
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2answers
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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 ?
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
10
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1answer
737 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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
9
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1answer
996 views

Why will SpaceX do Pad Abort test from a truss, not a real first and second stage?

SpaceX will be doing a Pad Abort test at LC-40 in Florida for the Dragon V2 vehicle to close out the CCiCAP criteria. They will not be using a real first or second stage, instead building some kind ...
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3answers
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What would one learn by borescoping a rocket engine after an aborted launch?

In November/December 2013, during the Falcon 9 Flight 7 (SES-8) processing flow, SpaceX managed to get the vehicle onto the pad and attempted to launch a few times without success. Either a scrub was ...
8
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1answer
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Could the Apollo LM abort mode be engaged after touchdown? What would have happened if it was?

The Lunar Module had an abort mode where the crew basically just had to push the ABORT button on the control panel, and the ascent stage would detach from the descent stage, followed by the ascent ...
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2answers
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What is the problem with aborting a Space Shuttle launch?

In the question Why didn't the Space Shuttle have a launch escape system? there was discussion in the commentary about why the Space Shuttle could not safely abort through much of its envelope. ...
8
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1answer
570 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 ...
8
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1answer
372 views

What went wrong during the OG2 Mission 1 launch attempt on June 20th 2014?

Yesterday (June 20, 2014), SpaceX intended to launch a Falcon 9 to bring 6 satellites of the Orbcomm OG2 satellite constellation into orbit. However, the launch was first postponed for an hour and ...
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0answers
629 views

Dragon Pad Abort hot fire, how much cleanup work was needed?

The day before the Pad Abort test attempt (May 5, 2015) SpaceX test fired the SuperDraco engines in a hot fire. Similar to how they test the Falcon 9 a day or three before launch, the engines spin up ...
7
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2answers
245 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 ...
7
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2answers
880 views

Has SpaceX considered using its abort system for cargo flights too?

If SpaceX starts reusing boosters, it has to be assumed there is an increased risk of catastrophic failure until proved otherwise. If my payload was going to be on top of one of those boosters, some ...
7
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1answer
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If a rocket launch is delayed, what happens to the cryogenics?

On February 8, SpaceX had to scrub a launch due to an Air Force technical problem. What happens to the cryogenic fuels when such a launch is delayed? Are the tanks (LOx for the Falcon 9) drained? Are ...
6
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1answer
257 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, ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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1answer
911 views

What abort modes does Soyuz have in space?

In Progress 59 mission, the service module was damaged and venting pressured gas, which caused the spacecraft to tumble. What could be done if similar situation occurs on a Soyuz? Or generally, What ...
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1answer
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Emergency plan for Soyuz missions

Recent ISS Cargo delivery via Progress ship was a failure, and it seems that Russian mission control lost the cargo ship completely. Since Progress ship is basically the same design as Soyuz: What ...
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2answers
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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. ...
5
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1answer
508 views

Why is SpaceX testing Pad Abort at LC-40 (CCAFS) but Max-Q abort at Vandenberg?

Per SpaceNews article SpaceX has set November 2014 for a Pad Abort test from LC-40 in Florida, and January 2015 for a Max-Q abort test from Vandenberg Airforce Base in California. They have only done ...
5
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1answer
369 views

Why is the SpaceX Pad Abort test starting at ground level?

I cannot find references, but prior to the Pad Abort test, for years, it was stated or implied that the test would take place from a platform at LC-40 that would simulate the height of the first stage ...
5
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1answer
716 views

How has the Dragon v2 been tested before its launch pad abort test?

Dragon of SpaceX has been very successfully tested and used. But Dragon v2 seems to be differently designed and has 8 superdraco engines. Has the v2 been drop tested from a balloon or helicopter? ...
5
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1answer
488 views

How do the G loads from various abort systems compare?

With the SpaceX Pad Abort on peoples minds, I was wondering. How does it compare to other abort systems in terms of G load on the passengers. SpaceX reports that their abort G load is around 4G's. ...
5
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1answer
246 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 ...
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0answers
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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 ...
5
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0answers
969 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 ...