Questions tagged [atlas-rocket-family]

A large family of space launch vehicles using LOX and RP-1 and possibly strap-on engines or SRBs, originally based on an ICBM design. The separate atlas-v tag should be used instead for questions about that vehicle.

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8 votes
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Why do Atlas III and V use Russian RD-180 engines?

The Atlas III and V first stages were powered by NPO Energomash RD-180 engines, unlike the previous Atlas II which was powered by Rocketdyne RS-56 engines. Why did Lockheed Martin switch to Russian ...
Woody's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers

Why was the LES on Apollo white?

In below images they’re red for Mercury (both on the Redstone and Atlas boosters). But the Apollo ones are white. Why were the Launch Escape Systems of Apollo white?
Blue Skin and Glowing Red Eyes's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer

"Tandel Missile" design with engines forward of their fuel tanks

Whilst looking for something else entirely, I came across this amazing looking rocket design mentioned in passing on this forum page, talking about the San Diego Air and Space ...
Starfish Prime's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer

Why aren't there more 1.5 stage rockets?

Why aren't 1.5 stage rockets, like the SM-65 Atlas, used as small sat launchers? It seems to me like that would be simple as you don't need as many tanks and the plumbing to connect the to the engines ...
Philip Waldman's user avatar
16 votes
1 answer

What is an "exhausterator" and what does it do?

I laughed when I first saw the word "exhausterator" mentioned, I scratched my head when I saw it the second time, and I came here after the third. Besides making me feel like maybe technobabble isn't ...
Anton Hengst's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer

What's the puffy fabric-like material around the upper stage at launch of Ranger 5?

The Ranger 5 mission launched 57 years ago today. In a photograph of the launch, there's an irregular shroud of wrinkled white material either next to or wrapped around the upper Agena stage of the ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
25 votes
4 answers

Will some rockets really collapse under their own weight?

There are a couple of answer here talking about, rockets collapsing under their own weight. One claims it actually happened another says it is possible. I once saw a pic of a retired Atlas on ...
James Jenkins's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer

Quantitative benefits of Atlas II's engine-dropping or 1.5 staging?

The question Would there be any advantages for a rocket with two “half stages”? begins with: A "half stage" is a rocket stage which separates with its engines, but not fuel tanks. Common examples ...
uhoh's user avatar
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