Questions tagged [failure]

Questions regarding missions or parts of missions which were not successful.

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39
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4answers
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Why didn't the Space Shuttle have a launch escape system?

Since the very beginning of space exploration, rockets had some sort of Launch Escape System (LES). From this Wikipedia article, we know that Mercury and Apollo had an escape tower, while Vostok and ...
13
votes
4answers
4k views

Why do reaction wheels fail so “frequently”?

While I realise that "frequently" is relative, why exactly do reaction wheels fail so frequently? Is it simply wear and tear? What happens to their mechanisms? In the case of the recent Kepler ...
25
votes
1answer
4k views

Do all launches include self-destruct mechanisms?

Do all launches involve self-destruct mechanisms? How do they usually work? Is it just the boosters that are required to self-destruct? In the case of the space shuttle, how about the external tank? ...
9
votes
2answers
360 views

Are there any significant differences in launch failure rates between different agencies/countries?

NASA, ESA, Roscosmos, and others, all have somewhat different cultures and attitudes when it comes to building and launching spacecraft. I don't have a source, but one anecdote I heard from someone ...

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