Questions tagged [aerodynamics]

the effect on a spacecraft of moving through atmosphere, how its density, pressure, temperature, flow velocity, and viscosity affect a craft, and how lift and drag can be used to modify that.

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48 views

What are the primary or typical expected failure modes if Q-alpha is exceeded?

I never heard of this before seeing What was the actual Q-alpha limit for Saturn/Apollo launches, and what was the typical max Q-alpha? which refers back to this answer to What does “angle of attack ...
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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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Calorically perfect gas calculations of re-entry vehicles

We know that pressure is least sensitive to high temperature gas effects. Thus, how much of calorically perfect gas calculations (for pressure alone) are used in space vehicle design? Historically, ...
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Why was the nose cone on the Space Shuttle's external tank pointy?

Inspired by comments under this answer to this question Just how pointy does a rocket's nosecone need to be? (see also Why are the nose cones of current spacecraft less pointy?) Why was the ...
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Golfball Dimples on spaceships (and planes)?

The best of us get stupid ideas which run through our heads day in and day out without finding an answer. That's why I came here: A golf ball has dimples to reduce drag and increase flight distance (...
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Is it useful to exploit turbojets or turbofans for rockets like that (for mid & heavy-lift ones)? [duplicate]

In fact, Atmo is very hostile for classical rockets. It makes them too sizable, heavy & inefficient as well. To shift this situation needs to get another propellant, but we have fallen short here. ...
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Would a standard gravity turn still be the most optimal path to orbit if Earth did not have an atmosphere?

If Earth had no atmosphere, then would a standard gravity turn still be the most optimal path to orbit? Why or why not?
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Just how pointy does a rocket's nosecone need to be?

There are some beautiful images of the Qu8k rocket launch on this web page and I show a few below. There's a video (below) and the PDF Qu8k Final By Derek Deville, November 27, 2011 The stainless ...
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Required speed for interplanetary aerodynamic effects [duplicate]

In the atmosphere, craft may use aerodynamic effects to their benefit. As you start getting higher in the atmosphere, the atmosphere becomes rarified, requiring you to model the atmosphere not as a ...
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Which components do we calculate for center of pressure? Where is the distance of components while computing the cp and cg of a rocket?

everybody! I have 4 questions about center or pressure (cp) and center of gravity (cg) of a rocket system. Questions 1) While computing the center of pressure of rocket system, which components do ...
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What are the pros and cons of Aerospike nosecones?

Some rockets, mainly (only?) ICBMs have Aerospike nosecones Why are they preferred in lieu of traditional nose cones? Illustrations: An aerospike nosecone on a trident ICBM Video including the ...
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Can more thrust come from launching parallel to water?

Would having the exhaust of a rocket or air breathing engine in an early stage in close proximity to water on a horizontal launch provide more thrust? Could a rocket launch off water horizontally in ...
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Why are hexa airfoils used on rockets despite having more drag that diamond airfoils?

I was doing a study on airfoils shape for a rocket. I tested the diamond and the hexagonal airfoil with Missile DatCom, RasAero and the Shock Expansion theory and from my results it seems like the ...
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How high could a weather balloon be used on Mars without rupturing? [duplicate]

What is the maximum height could a weather balloon achieve on Mars without rupturing? Assume that the balloon is adapted for Mars' atmosphere and gravity from standard high altitude balloons used on ...
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Reducing the aerodynamic drag of multi-engined rockets: aft wake area

Have there ever been thoughts of reducing the aerodynamic drag that results from the empty space between rocket engines? More precisely, this extremely low-pressure area sucks up ambient air and ...
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Analyzing Amateur Rocket Stability and Range Safety

I am working with a university bunch of other university students on building a very large amateur rocket. Our objective with this rocket is just to go very high, with no significant payload or ...
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Air flow over an airfoil [closed]

We know that in real viscous flow, boundary layer exists around the airfoil and there will be a separation point which flow starts to separate from the back of the airfoil( velocity gradient equal ...
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Soyuz Steering during Re-Entry

In this youtube video, it talks about steering Soyuz by changing lift. Why does roll rotation help in changing lift and also helping in cross range steering? I am looking for an answer from ...
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The aerodynamic stability of the truncated cone shape

Can someone explicate the stability of the truncated cone shape of the reentry vehicle of a spaceship when moving in the atmosphere with its bottom facing forward? It seems counterintuitive that it ...
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327 views

Is a ballistic blimp entry possible on this way?

Could the entry of Mars with balloons work by inflating to equalize with the atmospheric air pressure, while establishing buoyancy before meeting the ground? Would a balloon pop if dropped from space?...
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Could the $C_L$ of the X-15 be calculated from the flight data near the Kármán line altitude?

The "lift coefficient" $C_L$ can be very different for one specific aircraft at different speeds. According to this article from NASA about the lift coefficient: So it is completely incorrect to ...
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Does an airplane in orbit near the Kármán line altitude, with the air providing lift, ever reach orbital velocity? [duplicate]

The equation for an airplane in orbit with the air providing lift would be: $$\frac{GM_Em}{(R+h)^2} - \frac{\rho(h) v^2 S C_L}{2} = \frac{mv^2}{R+h} $$ $GM_E$ is Earth's standard gravitational ...
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What is the most aerodynamic Satellite?

From what I understand at least in the lower orbits you want the least amount of drag possible. My brain is telling me that a long pole or submarine shape satellite orientated to the direction of ...
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Could rockets launched from the ground use wings in the stages?

Could a slower or smaller rocket take advantage of lift if all the stages had wings? Could the stages reduce splashdown impact forces by using a spinning seedpod-like design (as shown in the image ...
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Is the equation showed below the right one for an airplane flying at the Kármán line altitude?

$$\frac{GM_Em}{(R + h)^2} - \frac{ \rho v^2 S C_L}{2} = \frac{mv^2}{R + h}$$ $GM_E$ is Earth's standard gravitational parameter , $R$ is Earth's radius and $h$ the altitude of the airplane above the ...
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Does a credible Kármán plane reach escape velocity within 1 minute or does it follow the curvature of the Earth? [duplicate]

Edit: This question is no duplicate because here the dropping of the atmospheric density together with the horizontal line, play an important role. Furthermore none of the answers and question ...
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Is a Kármán Rocket Possible? [duplicate]

Why are the rockets not razor sharp, skinnier and taper off at both ends farther to cut through air better? Would making a rocket more aerodynamic allow it to be more efficient flying as a "Kármán ...
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Where does the definition of the Kármán line on Wikipedia come from?

According to Wikipedia's article about the Kármán line: The Kármán line is the altitude where the speed necessary to aerodynamically support the airplane's full weight equals orbital velocity ( ...
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Is it correct to use the vis-viva equation when there are two forces acting on the orbiting body? [closed]

Edit: Although this question seems similar to the question "Is it correct to apply the vis-viva equation to an airplane that flies in a straight line", it is different because there the airplane flies ...
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Is it correct to apply the vis-viva equation to an airplane that flies in a straight line at the Kármán line?

The vis-viva equation models the motion of an orbiting body and it applies when the only force acting on the body is it's own weight. So is it correct to apply this equation to an airplane that ...
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Are there any advantages to being a smaller spacecraft for reentry?

Could a ship drop its cargo or shed weight before reentry to lessen the strain on the ship during reentry? Would a ship breaking down to smaller parts before reentry have any advantages over being one ...
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Understanding Coefficient of Drag Verses Mach Number for Launch Vehicles

I've been working on a design for a sounding rocket that can go to the Karman line, that I want to make my senior capstone project next year. As a part of this process, I am making a program to ...
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Would an autogyro be a good solution for a space re-entry vehicle?

From what I can imagine, using an autorotative maneuver as a re-entry control method would be a good idea because I believe very high lifts would be generated when relative air speed is high (first re-...
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How do the dynamic pressure evolves during reentry?

During launcher ascent, dynamic pressure evolution is describe in this answer for the Saturn V. I suppose this is comparable from one launcher to another. Given the protections designed for reentry, ...
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Can it be calculated that near the Kármán line the lifting force equals the centrifugal force?

According to Wikipedia about the Kármán line: In the final chapter of his autobiography Kármán adresses the issue of the edge of outer space: ...or 24 miles up. At this altitude and speed, ...
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Drawbacks and advantages of two slidable & rotatable control surfaces for BFS sized spaceships

BFS (SpaceX's Big Falcon Spaceship) is in development and has seen between 2016 and 2018 three major design modifications. January 2018 I asked here how BFS planned to manoever during aerobraking. ...
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Is the definition of the Kármán line from Wikipedia right? [closed]

Edit: this question is about making clear that the Wikipedia's article about the Kármán line is an interpretation, not the definition ! Why not consider the Kármán line as a curved boundary that ...
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Why does in-flight mission abort often ends in ballistic high-g reentry?

I am seeing a lot of references to the “ballistic reentry” mode of the crew return vehicle in relation to the abort during the powered ascent stage. In partiulat, the recent crewed Soyuz MS-10 abort ...
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Did the Shuttle have a drag penalty for ascent with a negative angle of attack (AOA)?

@OrganicMarble's answer mentions Because the Orbiter wings developed lift at zero angle of attack, the high dynamic pressure portion of ascent had to be flown at a negative angle of attack, close ...
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How would a long pole be transported to space?

Can a long pole or a set of poles be strapped to the out side of a rocket (like a bottle rocket)or on the nose as an external payload without interfering with the aerodynamics of the rocket? How would ...
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What is the terminal velocity on Mars?

How would I calculate the terminal velocity of Mars? What is the terminal velocity of a balloon entering Mars' atmosphere? Would a balloon pop if dropped from space?
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What causes a rocket to be destroyed during launch other than leaking fuel?

There were some famous accidents where rockets launched and just went up into flames. Many had something to do with leaking fuel in some sort. I want to focus on aerodynamic stress however, like when ...
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Aerobraking on Mars

I am looking for a calculator or formulas that can be used to calculate the aerobraking on Mars mission. I have found some data on previous Mars flights where aerobraking was used and all my current ...
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Aerodynamically - can a rocket be over 30 meters in diameter?

The past and current designs of rocket launchers have diameters up to 8-10 meters (Saturn-5, N-1, SLS, BFR), up to 13-14 meters for max cross-section dimension for Space Shuttle and Energia-Buran (...
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Falcon fairing half - between separation and parachutes deployment

How does Falcon fairing half behaves in atmosphere before parachutes deployment? What is its free fall attitude in atmosphere? Is the fairing's attitude stable (with some wobbling, but without ...
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What would a “Kármán plane” look like, a bird, or a plane?

If I understand correctly (which I might not), the Kármán line is roughly the altitude where a "Kármán plane's" upward lift force at the orbital velocity for that altitude would be equal in magnitude ...
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Can a reentry be done slowly?

The usual approach to reentry is fast and hot. There's a lot of energy to be lost, and doing it quickly has some advantages: You can dump energy into hypersonic air, and then leave that heat behind ...
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Could Space Shuttle's wings be diminished?

From Wikipedia The crucial factor in the size and shape of the Shuttle orbiter was the requirement that it be able to accommodate the largest planned commercial and military satellites, and have ...
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What are these circular structures around the rocket?

Youtube video of the Iridium-6/GRACE-FO NASA Launch (Falcon 9 SES-12). Edit 31 May: Too bad they have changed the content of the video (and still call it 'live'), so that you can no longer see the ...
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Why would a significant non-zero angle of attack be an advantage during 1st stage burn?

From videos of both the SES-10 launch shown in @RusselBorogrove's question, Cause of apparent plume deflection on SES-10?" and the Block 5 launch Bangabandhu Satellite-1 Mission at ...