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Questions tagged [fairings]

Questions regarding the hardware, development, use and cost of rocket fairings and protective shells.

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How to confirm payload fairing seperation

How do launch providers confirm fairing separation? I know they have a video feed, but I assume there's a more reliable (short delay) means of detecting separation. Is it as simple as a limit switch?
Phillip Gyasi - Agyei's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
277 views

What is the significance of a heat flux value of 1135 W/m^2 when jettisoning the payload fairing? [duplicate]

I have seen that many rockets jettison their payload fairing at an altitude where the aerothermal heatflux is leass than or equal to 1135 W/m^2. What is the reason behind considering this particular ...
Tejaswi's user avatar
  • 41
0 votes
1 answer
236 views

Are Falcon Heavy fairings reused?

I heard a lot about SpaceX reusing the fairings from the Falcon 9. Do they/ are they planning to do the same for Falcon Heavy?
Starship - On Strike's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
254 views

How can you find out how many times a SpaceX fairing has been reused?

For the past few years, SpaceX has been reusing there fairings. While on some SpaceX webcasts they tell you, others they dont. Is there a way to find out how many times judging from how they appear? ...
Starship - On Strike's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
273 views

Why do the Falcon 9 fairings have soot on them?

On nearly every SpaceX webcast since 2020 they explain that the Falcon 9 booster has soot on it because, during the entry burn, it flies through its own exhaust plume very quickly depositing the ...
Starship - On Strike's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
279 views

Have there been any rockets whose payload fairings consisted of more than two parts?

Most cargo rockets, such as Falcon 9, Delta IV, and many others, incorporate payload fairings to protect payloads from aero forces and heating during ascent. All of these rockets' fairings split in ...
WarpPrime's user avatar
  • 3,125
6 votes
1 answer
608 views

Why aren't smaller fairings used for smaller payloads?

I saw this picture of the DART spacecraft being encapsulated in its payload fairing. Why doesn't SpaceX manufacture a smaller (shortened or thinned) fairing for the spacecraft? It reduces mass and is ...
WarpPrime's user avatar
  • 3,125
0 votes
1 answer
121 views

Are there payloads that went to orbit without a protective fairing?

Reading about the Ultralight Starshade Structural Design, It seems some solution among others could be an umbrella based concept Since the starshade has to be roughly 100m in diameter, one could ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
182 views

Why the payload fairing separation occurred at high altitude of 183 km for Vega C VV21?

For various launch vehicles it usually it occurs at altitude around 110-120 km range but for inaugural launch of Vega C flight VV21 payload fairing jettison altitude seems too high, why is it so?
Ohsin's user avatar
  • 1,812
8 votes
1 answer
199 views

Neutron boosters second stage inside the fairing, is this unique?

RocketLabs announced info about the new Neutron booster. Neutron Booster video Many interesting aspects summarized as: The landing legs do not deploy, but are permanently mounted around a relatively ...
geoffc's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
774 views

How hot do the nose cones of fairings actually get on ascent?

I've been reading into aerodynamic heating of rockets, and it's seemingly a rather complicated topic. It's relatively easy to calculate the stagnation temperature at a given mach number, and that is ...
DodoDude700's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
257 views

what kind of valves are used in payload fairing for venting?

I wanted to know that there have been a handful of literature that mentions vent openings in the rocket payload fairings. However, none specify the kind of valves used in those fairings? does anyone ...
Shamoon's user avatar
  • 41
2 votes
1 answer
776 views

Why not use alternative/low-pressure atmospheres in fairings during launch?

For example: using a reduced pressure helium atmosphere. Most fairings are already cleanroom environments. Benefits I can see: Eliminate need for acoustic tiles as low pressure and/or light gasses (...
Alonda's user avatar
  • 491
5 votes
1 answer
2k views

What are the longest current rocket payload fairings, capable of carrying long space station sections?

Space News' China launches Tianhe space station core module into orbit China successfully launched a 22-metric-ton module April 28, beginning an intense period of missions for constructing the nation’...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
24 votes
4 answers
4k views

Are SpaceX Falcon rocket boosters significantly cheaper to operate than traditional expendable boosters?

The title pretty much sums it all up. I remember somebody once remarked about the space shuttle program that “the space shuttle was originally designed to be a space truck. But the shuttle is to ...
Romeo_4808N's user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
117 views

Have any stages of rocket killed aquatic animals?

This question may seem off-topic but I am curious.Those rockets that aren't reusable let their stages fall and splash down on the ocean. Is there any news reported that they have killed some aquatic ...
Auberron's user avatar
  • 1,506
2 votes
0 answers
73 views

How hot the payload fairing of Falcon 9 can get?

When going up, what is the peak temperature of the Falcon 9 payload fairing? Is it heating uniformly or there is a significant temperature difference between various regions of the fairing?
Joe Jobs's user avatar
  • 2,650
1 vote
1 answer
128 views

How long it takes for the Falcon 9 payload fairings to reach the sea?

The payload fairings of Falcon 9 are released at about 3:15 min How much time they need to fall and reach the sea? And what is their maximum speed while reentry?
Joe Jobs's user avatar
  • 2,650
3 votes
0 answers
173 views

What are the protrusions on the outside of the Falcon 9 nose fairing?

Near the base of the Falcon 9 nose fairing is an array of square protrusions (marked in red) that you'd probably want to avoid unless they serve a very essential purpose. Does anyone know what that ...
user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

What happens to payload fairings of GEO launches?

Say you launch a satellite into GEO using Falcon9 The 1st stage returns The 2nd stage is moved into graveyard orbit. But what happens to the payload fairings?
Joe Jobs's user avatar
  • 2,650
3 votes
1 answer
185 views

Does RUAG Space recover and reuse Ariane 5 and Atlas V payload fairings after splashdown?

RUAG Space is the company that manufactures payload fairings for the Ariane, Vega, Atlas V (500 series) and the upcoming Vulcan. Back when Spacex started trying to catch the fairing without it hitting ...
Speedphoenix's user avatar
  • 5,324
5 votes
1 answer
174 views

Was ULA's mobile clean room on the ground floor or up near the top of the rocket? What were the logistics for getting Perseverance up there?

Spaceflight Now's ULA’s Atlas 5 is NASA’s go-to rocket for nuclear-powered space probes quotes Tory Bruno, president and CEO of United Launch Alliance: Bruno said the mobile clean room set up inside ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
3 votes
1 answer
460 views

What are the needle pins that go through the pneumatic pushers of the Falcon 9 fairing?

The Falcon 9 fairing uses four pneumatic pushers to impart a positive separation force between the fairing halves. The pushers all mount on half of the fairing and push against the other half. But ...
user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
81 views

Would the 6.5 ton capable Blue Moon lander fit in New Glenn?

As the 2 massive projects of the same company, are they designed to be compatible for NASA's CLPS program ? New Glenn's said to have a 7 m payload fairing diameter but as far as I know, Blue Moon's ...
Atakan Okan's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
129 views

Shape of satellite launch vehicle

I was watching videos on YouTube, and I came across a fact that satellite launch vehicle has shape like a nose or you can ogive shape and I search on Google related to that, and I found that it ...
आर्यभट्ट's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
135 views

Calculating trajectories of payload fairings

How can I calculate the trajectory of a payload fairing assuming that I have several data points of height or speed of rocket? I'd like to know which topics are necessary to study this.
isalvinator's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
365 views

How do ships catch fairings? Can fairings steer or do the ships do all the work?

A comment in The Pod Bay says it all: ...fourth Starlink payload launched. Booster landed on OCISLY. (Has now launched three times, LC-39A, SLC-40, SLC-4W once at each launch pad they own!) And they ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
2 votes
0 answers
52 views

How come the SpaceX fairing doesn't get burned on return? [duplicate]

In the SpaceX January 29, 2020 Starlink mission, the fairing separation happened at the altitude of 104 km, speed 8636 km/h. SpaceX is trying to retrieve the fairing halves and reuse them. 104 km is ...
Passiday's user avatar
  • 381
7 votes
0 answers
129 views

How long does the SYLDA fairing stay in orbit after deploying?

For dual-manifest missions, Ariane 5 often uses the Système de Lancement Double or SYLDA system to encapsulate the lower of two stacked satellites. It can be seen in the following image encapsulating ...
quinnkenri's user avatar
  • 1,130
6 votes
0 answers
1k views

Why is the diameter of the boosters of some launch vehicles smaller than the diameter of their payload fairing?

Whilst watching yesterday's Starliner launch I've noticed how skinny that Centaur (3.1m) looks compared to the CST-100 (4.5m). Looking up the Atlas V I was amazed to find out that it has even larger (...
Sergiy Lenzion's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
171 views

What is the surface area of Falcon 9 payload fairing?

what is the external surface area of the payload fairing of the Falcon 9 ?
Rajath Pai's user avatar
  • 1,251
7 votes
2 answers
821 views

What is the fate of SLA fairings jettisoned from lunar mission spacecrafts?

After TLI burn, just before Transposition, Docking and Extraction, the later design crafts jettisoned 4 pieces of the SLA fairing/shroud. These 4 pieces supposedly would follow similar path as the CSM/...
Sergiy Lenzion's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
214 views

Why use an air conditioning blanket instead of supplying air into the fairing?

This answer explains that some Atlas payloads were covered in an air coditioning blanket before launch. I can imagine that the payload has some thermal requirements, but a blanket looks lust plain ...
filo's user avatar
  • 1,442
3 votes
0 answers
123 views

Has one satellite's outgassing ever affected another satellite in the same fairing? Documented examples?

At about 01:31 in Scott Manley's new video RocketLab & Reusable Rockets - Plasma Knifes, Ballutes, Helicopters and... Elephants he says: This occurs during a ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
6 votes
0 answers
321 views

What (the heck) is this purple donut in the video of the Falcon 9 fairing's atmospheric reentry?

This SpaceX tweet (found in CNET's SpaceX camera captures incredible view of rocket part returning to Earth) shows a video taken by a camera in one half of the fairing on the recent STP-2 mission and ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
17 votes
5 answers
5k views

Reusable spacecraft: why still have fairings detach, instead of open/close?

Why do reusable rockets (e.g. SpaceX Falcon 9) still utilize detachable fairings? SpaceX keeps trying to find a way to recover the $6M fairings for obvious cost saving reasons, why not have them ...
ToolUsr's user avatar
  • 179
5 votes
1 answer
522 views

Could a fairing vacuum protect the payload from acoustic loads?

This is a weirder question, but here it goes: During launch, a payload (let's say a satellite) undergoes intense shaking and acoustic loads. This is known from the launcher parameters and the ...
Yuri-M-Dias's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
321 views

Would it be practical to add side payloads on top of Falcon Heavy's side boosters?

Those side payloads / side fairings, would be strapped on central core second stage, on top of side boosters. The idea is to increase payload volume without (that much) changing drag during the lift ...
user avatar
6 votes
0 answers
79 views

How are interplanetary spacecraft protected from biological contamination while being integrated on their launchers?

After having been disinfected in some NASA lab for forward planetary protection reasons, how are spacecraft stored and brought to the launch pad and loaded into the fairings, in order to prevent them ...
LocalFluff's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
207 views

Is half of a SpaceX fairing a viable lifting body?

If it was powered, would a shape such as a half-fairing produce any lift, or could it be modified to both work as fairing, and lifting body?
Alonda's user avatar
  • 491
2 votes
0 answers
273 views

Payload fairing separation- Event based or time based?

Refer the answer for this question How strong and "hot" is the wind on the payload after the fairing is deployed at ~110km? It is clear that the fairings are separated when the free ...
Vasanth C's user avatar
  • 1,161
14 votes
1 answer
2k views

On large diameter Atlas V fairings, why is the Centaur inside the fairing?

When including an image in an answer to this question: Was New Horizons launched on a copper rocket? I noticed that for the larger diameter fairings (Atlas 501 and up) the Centaur upper stage is ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
214 views

Which one of these (if any) is the Moon? What are the rest?

I frequently see the Moon in SpaceX videos, "I suspect" the frequency is higher than random, but can't prove it (yet!) I found the SpaceX video Falling Back to Earth | HD Footage From Space (also ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
4 votes
1 answer
749 views

How is payload fairing designed?

What are all the design criteria considered when designing a payload fairing (some are payload volume, drag) ?
Amar's user avatar
  • 2,246
2 votes
0 answers
76 views

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 ...
Heopps's user avatar
  • 9,061
1 vote
1 answer
274 views

Would having the Falcon fairing reconnect be possible/beneficial?

I understand that many of the problems with recovering the two pieces of the Falcon 9 fairing deal with the weird aerodynamic patterns of the descent. It is by no means an aerodynamically sound object ...
Magic Octopus Urn's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
399 views

Why doesn't SpaceX deploy some module to cover whole fairing like a rain coat just before sea landing? [duplicate]

In order to avoid fairing to get wet in water, why can't SpaceX just deploy something such that when fairings separate from the Falcon 9 then from inside some raincoat type waterproofing to just cover ...
Sudhanshu Gaur's user avatar
44 votes
4 answers
11k views

Why can't Falcon 9 fairings touch the water?

SpaceX is spending considerable effort to catch Falcon 9 fairings into a giant net on a ship. I am aware that salt water ruins almost everything in the long run, but the fairings are a composite ...
filo's user avatar
  • 1,442
9 votes
1 answer
487 views

What makes it so hard to precisely land a fairing?

SpaceX currently tries to land their fairing halves on a boat with a net attached to it. So far they had no success but landed nearby, although quadrupling the net area. They first tried with this ...
DaGroove's user avatar
  • 1,334
7 votes
1 answer
535 views

Why is this rocket transparent, and why is there a nozzle in the nose, pointing up?

The tough question NASA at sIxty years, will there be a new moonshot mandate? links to the NASA YouTube video NASA 60th: How It All Began which shows a lot of really nice, historical file footage and ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k