Questions tagged [design]

Questions about how space vehicles and related hardware are designed.

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0answers
24 views

Minimal heating a realistic reentry vehicle could achieve?

In this question, I asked whether it would be possible to make a reentry vehicle that could slow down from orbit and glide to the ground entirely passively. The answers and comments point out several ...
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2answers
115 views
+100

Are there any designs of geostationary satellites available online?

Are there any designs of perhaps old geostationary satellites available online? After searching around I was mostly able to find either crude diagrams or designs for little cubesats, but nothing for ...
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1answer
142 views

Why have androgynous docking systems seemingly fallen out of favour?

There are two basic types of spacecraft docking systems: Non-androgynous docking systems (examples: every U.S./Russian docking system currently in use for docking spacecraft) have two separate, ...
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1answer
102 views

Why aren’t rocket stages modular and interchangeable?

Being an avid player of Kerbal Space Program, it is intensely frustrating to return to the real world and have to remind myself that rocket stages can’t generally be swapped out between rockets (...
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0answers
63 views

What was the volume of the Space Shuttle orbiter, not just the crew cabin or cargo bay but the total volume of the entire craft?

For context, after an in-depth Google search, I asked the question "What was the volume of the Space Shuttle orbiter, not just the crew cabin or cargo bay but the total volume of the entire craft?" on ...
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0answers
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Special Case Constellation Analysis Approach: Walker Constellation with Circular (e = 0) orbit in LEO

I am familiar with the general approach to propagate orbits using orbital parameters, and how to account for basic J2 perturbations. I am looking to perform some analysis on large walker ...
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1answer
61 views

Was the Titan SRM thrust vs time curve engineered to allow for acceleration switches to initiate staging sequence events?

This answer describes the timing between the Titan III Stage 0 (SRM's) and Stage 1 events. The Titan first stage ignited just prior to SRM separation: Titan Stage I ignition occurs at ...
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2answers
2k views

How feasible is the Delta-Glider?

In Dr. Martin Schweiger's freeware spaceflight simulator Orbiter 2016, a very popular(but fictional) spacecraft is the Delta-Glider. It is capable of take-off from a runway, has hover engines for ...
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1answer
137 views

How many motors on the new Mars 2020 rover? (and other questions)

With so many different motors on the new Mars 2020 rover, I'd like to ask if each motor programmed to operate independently or can the different motors operate in sync with each other? Also, as a ...
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1answer
232 views

Why is multi-spool pump very rare on rockets?

The only one I know of is the LP LOX pump on RD-0120. A multi-spool design is already a default for jet engines, which are basically turbine-driven air pumps. A multi-spool pump can save at least the ...
12
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1answer
253 views

Why did the cones of the Mercury and Gemini capsules have a neck?

As highlighted by the green double-arrow lines in the pictures below, the Mercury and Gemini capsules had a (roughly) cylindrical "neck" at the end of the capsule cone. If they had instead followed ...
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1answer
48 views

Tradeoffs to consider for OBDH system design for a Multi-Spectral Imager payload? (Enceladus Mission)

I am having a problem with designing the On Board Data Handling (OBDH) system for our MSI (Multi-Spectral Imager) payload. Our payload will be detached from Orbiter and it will take photos (for ...
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1answer
52 views

How common are “parallel stages” in a launch vehicle?

I'm being told in this answer and in this comment that the fourth stage of the Farside rocketoon lies in the center of the four "cores" of the third stage. See this answer for several pictures of ...
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3answers
278 views

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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38 views

How does the inter-propellant seal works in kerosene/LOX and UDMH/NTO rockets?

I get that the inter-propellant seal on the SSME LOX HP pump is simply a series of cascading regular seals trying to eliminate bleed-through by venting and letting boil at each stage, so that when ...
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1answer
76 views

Are new precision gyroscopes used in spaceflight pretty much all optical?

Gyroscopes are used in spaceflight as parts of inertial systems to monitor spacecraft attitude. They are not absolute, they will drift slowly over time and so need occasional calibration via other ...
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43 views

How much more hardware is needed in a cross-fed CBC rocket than a non-cross-fed one?

Is it just a matter of adding a multi-in fuel manifold?
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84 views

Are LiPo batteries more suitable for 1st stage electric power than Li-ion batteries?

I've just ran across two mentions in Scott Manley's videos of LiPo batteries (Lithium-polymer) in first stage launch applications. These involve power levels of megawatts. Why The Electron Rocket May ...
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1answer
165 views

What set of units does the Orion capsule cockpit instrumention use?

Shuttle was English, ISS is metric. What's Orion? For example: What units are inertial velocity displayed in?
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1answer
150 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 ...
8
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1answer
339 views

Why are planetary probe RTGs tilted at a jaunty angle?

This image from here: Does the Dragonfly project (quadcopters on Titan) envision attached RTG's or would they be static and revisited for charging? and this image show that the RTGs on these two ...
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2answers
2k views

Why latest Landsat satellites have solar panel on only one side?

It is normal for satellites to have solar panels on both sides of the body. But Landsat satellites, from Landsat 4, seems to have the solar panel on only one side. Are there any specific advantages ...
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6answers
9k views

Why can't they just drop a solar winch down from a shuttle and have planes fly up and clip things on?

Why can't they just drop a solar winch down from a shuttle and have planes fly up and clip things on? I know of the idea to have a space lift but the cable necessary is too expensive. Why can't we ...
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1answer
165 views

Could protons in the Sun's solar wind be used to create a photonic laser thruster for a spacecraft?

I have a conceptual idea for a photonic laser thruster for a spacecraft and I am wondering if this particular idea has already been thought of and whether or not it is capable of generating enough ...
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1answer
1k views

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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3answers
236 views

What are some notable computer systems used in space probes?

I was reading about Cassini and learned that it used a CPU architecture I'd never heard of before, called MIL-STD-1750A. This got me thinking. What are the most common (or otherwise notable) CPU ...
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90 views

Are 2 satellites joined better than 2 apart?

Could new satellites be designed to intercept other older functioning artificial satellites or space junk already in orbit to add weight to the new satellite in order to last longer in orbit?
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43 views

Conditions and sensors that can be used for parachute deployment?

I'm looking for an explanation on ideal conditions/considered factors when a parachute is deployed (particularly in large competition rockets). Also what sensors should be used to measure these ...
6
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1answer
237 views

Why does PSLV use four stages to get to LEO, and why do they alternate solid, liquid, solid, liquid?

Is there a simple way to explain why ISRO's PSLV launch vehicle uses four stages to get to LEO, and why they alternate as follows: ...
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1answer
125 views

How to waterproof a rover?

What changes would be needed to a late model rover to enable it to function under water? What would prevent a rover from functioning under water as is? related: https://astronomy.stackexchange.com/...
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1answer
118 views

What is the maximum pressure a rocket body can experience?

Given that the alloys (typically made of aluminum or titanium) are optimized for being as light and as durable as possible, what is the maximum pressure a rocket like the Falcon 9 would be designed to ...
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3answers
3k views

How is thrust transmitted from strap on boosters to the central core?

Strap on boosters of a lot of heavy launch vehicles seems to be attached with just a few "flimsy" struts. Here are few images for reference : Some of the possibilities: These support structures ...
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1answer
141 views

Could a Roton-like SSTO work?

The Roton, developed by Rotary Rocket Company, was an attempt at SSTO using a helicopter rotor for takeoff and landing. This particular concept was cone-shaped with a tip-jet rotor on top and an ...
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2answers
289 views

Orbital reentry glider with no heat shield

Let's assume a reentry craft designed to not use heat protection like Soyuz or the Space Shuttle, and budget is not an issue. The Concorde max surface temperature was 400 K, so let's use this as a max ...
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2answers
3k views

Did NASA's Borg Collective-designed antennas work? Have similar designs ever been used in spacecraft beyond testing?

This interesting answer to the question Do antenna farms on spacecraft make any sense or are they purely aesthetic? in Worldbuilding SE links to the NASA Ames page 'Borg' Computer Collective Designs ...
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1answer
69 views

Where can I find schematics of rockets with their stage sizes?

I want to recreate real rockets inside a space sim game called KSP, but for that I need to know what sizes those rockets have ( diameter, height, etc ), not just in general, but each of their stages ...
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137 views

How quickly might a Titan rover get covered in oil and dirt? Will it need windshield-wipers?

These questions and their answers address some potential aspects of a rover on Saturn's moon Titan. Titan rover survival challenges What are the technical challenges in building a Titan rover that ...
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0answers
177 views

Why is heated Helium used for tank pressurisation in Falcon 1?

Here in Falcon 1 user guide, in table 2-1 in page 8, heated Helium is mentioned as used for tank pressurisation. What will be the temperature of such He and why is heated He used?
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2answers
253 views

Do some solid rockets burn faster at the bottom? What's an extreme case?

Discussion in comments below this answer relate to how much solid rockets or SRBs burn bottom-to-top versus radially outward. I am sure I've seen a diagram somewhere showing that different designs ...
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1answer
116 views

What does this drawing by Konstantin Tsiolkovsky illustrate, or represent?

The Kinetic video (ironically titled) The first rocket scientist - Robert Goddard begins with an introduction to the even more first rocket scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and shows the following ...
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3answers
406 views

Why were the antennas on the spherical surface of some early satellites spiral-shaped?

In the question What's the spiral pattern on this satellite? I show this image of a spiral-shaped pattern on the spherical surface of a (presumably) vintage satellite or model thereof. @OrganicMarble'...
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1answer
241 views

How big of an external tank to replace the shuttle SRBs with more LH2 and LO2?

The space shuttle ascended using two types of propulsion: (1) liquid hydrogen and oxygen stored in the external tank and burned in the main engines on the orbiter, and (2) the solid rocket boosters. ...
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What colors were used in the Apollo Lunar Module interior, and why?

There are lots of publications and blog posts on the exterior colors of the Apollo Lunar Module (a function of material choices), but I've struggled to find any information on the interior colors and ...
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5answers
362 views

What are some practices of space exploration that are no longer acceptable?

I'm sure that for every good idea that made it into a spaceship design, there had to be plenty of bad ideas. There's most likely a bunch of old designs (or practices) that passed previously, but would ...
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3answers
152 views

3D Printing Rocket Parts

The Rutherford Rocket engine is a 3D printed battery powered engine. While the engine is made for small rockets, is it possible to use elements of 3D printing and battery power for launches of bigger ...
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2answers
216 views

Is it true that hydrogen is the only practical fuel for upper stages?

Consider this quote about early designs for the Saturn upper stages: Formalized as Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) on February 7, 1958, the group examined the DoD launcher requirements and ...
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1answer
109 views

Is there internal diagram of Zvezda or information about the internal size of Zvezda?

I found a diagram of Zvezda showing the external features, but I can't find one showing the internal features. Does an easily obtainable diagram exist?
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0answers
89 views

Optimal Thruster Layout For Cubesat

I am working on a simulation of a Cubesat for rendezvous. Using the Clohessy-Wiltshire equations I calculate delta-v. Now that I know the thrust needed for operation, I would like to know how to ...
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0answers
97 views

How would the antenna on a spacecraft in GEO be provided an electrical ground?

I would like to understand better what specifications or guidelines address the electrical grounding/Earthing a parabolic reflector Antenna in GEO to minimize the potential difference with respect to ...
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1answer
113 views

Could the interaction of the Sun’s solar wind and trapped plasma ions be used to propel a rocket through interplanetary space?

I have recently had a renewed interest in comets and how comet tails are formed. From studying this process, a thought occurred to me that perhaps plasma ions can be created within a long hollow ...