Questions tagged [fairings]

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

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0answers
52 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 ...
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What's 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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154 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?
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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How is payload fairing designed?

What are all the design criteria considered when designing a payload fairing (some are payload volume, drag) ?
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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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183 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 ...
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363 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 ...
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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 ...
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357 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 ...
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How is Mr Steven piloted when catching a fairing?

Mr Steven is the ocean-going vessel used by SpaceX in its attempts to catch re-entrant Falcon 9 fairings for possible reuse. How is this ship controlled during fairing catch attempts? Is she* manned ...
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4answers
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Why aren't payloads their own fairings?

...or if they can, why so rarely? I mean: instead of placing a satellite of nondescript shape inside a fairing which is discarded somewhere above the atmosphere, build it in such a way that its ...
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How far apart do both SpaceX half fairings splash down?

Inspired by this question: How far apart from each other (both in space and time) do the two halves of a Falcon fairing land? I'd also be curious to know what's the error margin they have on this. ...
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1answer
278 views

What are these tiles inside the Falcon 9 fairing?

The three photos in SpaceX's recent tweet about attempting to recover the GRACE-FO/Iridium-6 fairing halves included a close-up of the inside of the fairing: [] What do those black tiles with the ...
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How does SpaceX decide which half of the Falcon 9 fairing to catch?

Question: How does SpaceX decide which half of the Falcon 9 fairing to catch if they are only going to catch one half? Is one half more expensive and/or well instrumented than the other? Images from ...
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1answer
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How much does a current F9 fairing-half weigh?

Question: How much does a current F9 fairing-half weigh? Is this resting on something, or is it really floating this high in the water? Images from this SpaceX tweet: Falcon 9 fairing halves ...
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Why did this fairing separation happen at such a high altitude? (SpaceX Iridium-6/GRACE-FO)

I noticed in the video of the recent Iridium-6/GRACE-FO launch that the fairing separation happened at an altitude of about 143 kilometers. This is significantly higher than any altitude I can ...
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Why is Falcon 9's fairing so big?

The Falcon 9 fairing costs millions of dollars. It is 5.2 meters wide while the rocket itself is only 3.7 meters wide. There is no aerodynamic reason that the fairing has to be so big, since Dragon ...
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1answer
347 views

Are all payload fairings this floppy?

When I watched the launch of HYLAS-4 and Superbird-B3 on Ariane 5 ECA, for a moment it seemed that ESA is also experimenting with fairing recovery - with a fairing which flaps its wings and flies like ...
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Why is Mr. Steven in California and not Florida

Mr. Steven is the ship that is used to catch fairings. There is one of these thus far, and it is based to assist Vandenberg, not Cape Canaveral. Why are they choosing to test the fairing catching in ...
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Pressure inside a launch fairing - falcon 9

This article indicates that a faclon 9 launch is being delayed due to an issue with the "payload fairing pressurization system". Are launch fairings pressurized to 1 atmosphere for the benefit of the ...
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1answer
265 views

Falcon 9 fairings stability on reentry

On the descent of the fairings into the atmosphere how is stability provided? Why does it not start to rotate in a uncontrollable fall but reenter gently without apparently damage on the interior ...
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Is SpaceX trying to catch two pieces of fairing with one boat?

During the Paz / Starlink demo mission (2/22/18), SpaceX attempted to catch the fairing before it splashed-down into the ocean. They failed to catch it by just a few hundred meters. My question is:...
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1answer
106 views

Were MicrosatA-B represetative of final design for Starlink?

The reason I ask is that when you need to launch 4400 satellites packing them tightly to get as many on a launch as possible is a huge component. The possible numbers were discussed int this question:...
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Will SpaceX attach its fairings to a booster to recover them?

Elon Musk has said that SpaceX is going to try to recover the fairings that protect the payloads on the upper stage. If SpaceX were to try and 'fly' the fairings back safely, they would have to add ...
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1answer
279 views

Will the Falcon Heavy make the first full fairing reuse ever?

The two side boosters will need some kind of aerodynamic protection, which could very much be recovered with the rocket in one piece. Will they be recovered and reused?
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460 views

What are these 'Lego' plates inside the Atlas 5 fairing? [duplicate]

My local engineering newspaper has an article on the X-37B craft, with an image displaying the craft within half of the shell that encapsulates it. The shell has a number of plates arranged on its ...
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Is this fairing covered in thick thermal insulation? Keeping the payload warm? Or Cold?

I was enjoying some 2017 April 13 tweets on robots and reminiscing about shoveling snow after seeing this one, but then I scrolled down further and saw a video of a rocket. It's also here in YouTube, ...
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1answer
216 views

Could a shiny metallic fairing have some engineering advantage? Disadvantage?

It may just be a handy "material" in the rendering software used to make the images, but it shows up in multiple places. Could there be any possible engineering advantage of a fairing's outer finish ...
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Do each of the fairing halves now use thrusters post-deployment? How does that work?

From Reddit Recap of the Elon Musk and Martin Halliwell press conference with lots of new info, March 31, 2017 (presumably not related to April fools day in some time zones?) Fairing and future ...
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What is a “re-radiation system”?

In SpaceX's Echostar XXIII Hosted Webcast after T+ 00:03:50 they mentioned the "re-radiation system" as a part of the payload fairing that increased it's value and ...
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834 views

Do 'size of a bus' sized F9 fairings ever float after impact? Are they navigation hazards?

This and this answer describe the Falcon 9 fairings as being quite large, with the payload volume being roughly "the size of a bus" or simply REALLY REALLY big. 13 meters by 4.6 meters and being ...
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1answer
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How strong and “hot” is the wind on the payload after the fairing is deployed at ~110km?

In the question What makes 21st century fairings so valuable that they'd potentially be recovered and re-used? I said: 21st century fairings are much more than passive rooftop boxes to "keep the ...
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What makes 21st century fairings so valuable that they'd potentially be recovered and re-used?

I've read in @geoff's answer that SpaceX is doing some experimentation that may lead to fairing recovery capability. In fact I remember hearing Elon Musk mentioning a few years ago that it was being ...
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1answer
2k views

How can the 6.5 m primary mirror of the JWST fit inside the 5.4 m fairing of Ariane 5?

All the variants of the payload fairing for Ariane 5 are 5.4 meters in diameter, the same as the core stage of the rocket. At the same time, the mirror of the James Webb Space Telescope is 6.5 meters. ...
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What makes a payload fairing so expensive?

According to this question, a payload fairing costs 'several million' dollars. From the outside, the fairing seems like a simple structure: aluminium honeycomb sandwiched between 2 sheets of carbon ...
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Falcon 9 fairings cost and reusability

I read that SpaceX is starting to work on fairings reusability. I couldn't find any information, so I would like to know more about them. In particular, I remember a quote from Musk saying that ...