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Questions tagged [falcon-9]

Questions regarding the Falcon launch vehicle developed by SpaceX for medium payloads (15,000 lbs) to LEO and GEO (via GTO, second stage cannot inject into GEO direct)

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How will Dragon v2's solar panels be protected during launch on top of Falcon 9?

When Elon Musk unveiled Dragon v2 last year, we got our first truly good look at what SpaceX's crew vehicle is like. Apart from the ability to propulsively land, one of the big changes was the lack of ...
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1answer
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Why does the Falcon 9 consume hydraulic fluid?

According to many news articles, the crash of the Falcon 9 during landing on 1/10/2015 was due to running out of hydraulic fluid for the steerable hypersonic grid fins. This was seemingly confirmed ...
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6answers
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Why did SpaceX attempt to land the booster on a barge instead of somewhere on land?

I understand the benefits of reusability for the rocket booster. But I don't understand why they're landing it on a barge. I've read tons of articles about this but not one has even hinted at an ...
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2answers
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Would it not be easier for SpaceX to make their first stage only partly reusable?

Very excited about the upcoming test to land the first stage of the next Falcon 9 on an ocean platform. Elon Musk & Co. make it sound incredibly difficult though. I'm assuming that the first ...
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8answers
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Why would SpaceX not use parachutes for the final descent of the first stage?

According to what I've read, SpaceX tried to use parachutes to recover the first stage of the Falcon 9, but it did not survive reentry. Now they plan to use 2 separate rocket burns to land: Reentry ...
8
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1answer
567 views

Where will SpaceX take CRS-5 after it lands?

If SpaceX's plan to land the CRS-5 first stage on their Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship goes perfectly, there will be a 50 (ish) meter rocket on a barge in the Atlantic. Leaving aside the interesting ...
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1answer
3k views

How much fuel can SpaceX save by landing the Falcon 9 booster on a barge?

It sounds from the text of this tweet like Elon Musk plans to continue to do barge landings over the long term: "Base is 300 ft by 100 ft, with wings that extend width to 170 ft. Will allow refuel &...
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628 views

Through what mechanisms would SpaceX test and examine the returned CRS-5 first stage?

A significant minority of the users over at the /r/SpaceX Reddit community seem to be of the opinion that SpaceX will attempt to reuse the Falcon 9 CRS-5 first stage provided it lands on the downrange ...
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Why is there so little price difference between the Falcon 9 and the Falcon Heavy?

A Falcon 9 costs 61.2M dollars. A Falcon Heavy (1 Falcon 9 + 2 boosters) costs 85M dollars. That means 1 booster of the Falcon Heavy costs only 11.9M dollars. So, why does a Falcon 9 (9 Merlin 1D + ...
4
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1answer
479 views

How can I calculate the Characteristic Energy to Sun-Earth L1?

Alternatively, does anyone know it? I'm asking in regards to the upcoming DSCOVR (Deep Space Climate Observatory) mission scheduled to launch aboard a Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket in January 2015. DSCOVR is ...
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1answer
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What are the droplets/particles falling off rockets at launch?

In this picture from the AsiaSat 6 launch by Falcon 9 on 8th September 2014, the part of the rocket between the fairing and the engine appears to be surrounded by dust, water droplets or debris: ...
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How does SpaceX manage parallel processing at the LC-40 Complex?

After the SpaceX CRS-4 launch of Dragon on F9, Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX head of launch operations is quoted as saying: Koenigsmann said that shorter gaps between launches should become more routine ...
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4answers
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Other than then N-1 (30 engines) has there been a single stage of a rocket with more engines than a Falcon 9?

The Saturn V had 5 engines (F-1) on the first stage, five engines on the second stage (J-2). The N-1 had 30 engines on its first stage (NK-15). The Falcon 9 (1.0 and 1.1) have 9 Merlin 1 engines on ...
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1answer
769 views

What is the value of the cross-track angle between the two designated CRS-4 first stage recovery zones?

For the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch on its Dragon/CRS-4 cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station, according to Spaceflight 101, two downrange safety zones have been identified: The SpX-...
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1answer
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Does the Falcon 9 v1.1 form a shock diamond when in flight?

How does the Falcon 9 v1.1 form this exhaust pattern with its nine Merlin 1D engines? Is it a bigger, rougher shock diamond? I am trying to learn more about how one could form with a cluster of ...
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How far downrange would a reusable Falcon 9 first stage land (without fly-back)?

Let's imagine a rocket like the Falcon 9 recovers its first stage via a soft landing, but doesn't attempt a return to the launchpad. For the sake of argument, let's imagine that there are no ...
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1answer
330 views

What went wrong during the OG2 Mission 1 launch attempt on June 20th 2014?

Yesterday (June 20, 2014), SpaceX intended to launch a Falcon 9 to bring 6 satellites of the Orbcomm OG2 satellite constellation into orbit. However, the launch was first postponed for an hour and ...
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5answers
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How is SpaceX going to land their Falcon first stage?

SpaceX's attempt at a reusable first stage rocket sounds amazing, but how they're going to get it to land back on the launchpad is beyond me. Assuming that the first stage will separate with a speed ...
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0answers
174 views

SpaceX launch site - why all the cables are needed around top of the rocket [duplicate]

On the SpaceX launch site (slc-40 launch pad) there are lot of cables suspended around top of the rocket (between four white rods). What is the function of them? Why no such cables is used on other ...
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2answers
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Are the Falcon 9 landing legs aerodynamic surfaces as well?

With the CRS-3 (SpaceX-3) launch of a Falcon 9 v1.1 with a Dragon capsule to the ISS the F-9 will launch with landing legs for the first time. Elon Musk Tweeted an image of the legs mounted on the ...
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What are the consequences of Vertical vs Horizontal integration for SpaceX?

One of the issues the Air Force has with using SpaceX as a launch provider is that their payloads are designed for vertical integration. That is, the booster stands on the pad upright, and the ...
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1answer
495 views

Does the proximity of engines in engine clusters cause interference?

One way to create a heavy launch vehicle is by clustering large numbers of small engines together in a stage. An example of this approach is the SpaceX Falcon 9: Now I've heard people arguing against ...
12
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1answer
555 views

What is the alternate hangar SpaceX has available at the Cape?

In the web cast for the Falcon 9 Flight 8 launch campaign they showed an alternate hangar where spacecraft can be prepared and fueled, before being brought to the SpaceX hangar on LC-40 for ...
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2answers
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Is the LC-40 SpaceX Transport/Erector updated for Falcon Heavy already?

When I was watching the F-9 Flight 8 they showed some footage of the launcher on the pad. I grabbed this screen grab that looks like they might have added to the T/E as as shoulders for the F-H ...
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What is “downrange distance”?

On the SpaceX mission I hear periodic "Downrange distance: N kilometers" for various values of N (initially 1, then 3, then 383, 920, 1500...). What is the meaning of this value?
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1answer
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On a Falcon9 launch at T-13 they poll all stations, what are all the stations they poll?

While listening to the webcast for flight 8 of Falcon 9 (Thiacom-8 mission), they did a poll of all controllers/stations at T-13:00. I could guess a number of them, but wondering what the full set ...
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2answers
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What are the basic concepts of the SpaceX Falcon 9? [closed]

Is the Falcon 9 a launch vehicle or a spacecraft? What are the key design features and why did NASA decide to use it for cargo instead of its own spacecraft?
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1answer
130 views

Were there any extra objects in the latest Falcon 9 launch?

The previous launch of the Falcon 9 included a number of mysterious objects. Has there been any indication that the recent SES launch produced similar objects?
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1answer
713 views

Was any first stage recovery system tested on SpaceX Falcon 9 flight seven?

My son really was upset he missed the launch live, so we re-watched the video at breakfast and I noticed starting at 3:27 in the video a few seconds after MECO, and stage separation, you can see the ...
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1answer
5k views

How does SpaceX ignite their engines?

Based on the aborted launch on Thanksgiving 2013 of the first Falcon 9 v1.1 from Florida, we know that an issue occurred where oxygen got into the ground based TEA-TEB sources. I understand that TEA-...
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1answer
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Why aren't SpaceX controllers allowed to abort during the final 10 seconds?

During yesterday's aborted SpaceX launch, someone was giving instructions to the controllers about abort procedures: To abort the launch, a controller will say 'abort, abort, abort'.... controllers ...
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What caused SES-8's Falcon 9 launch computer to abort at T+2 seconds?

SES-8 had its launch aborted at T+2 seconds. What, exactly, caused the flight computer to decide the engines weren't ready?
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2answers
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Why is the SES launch going to an apogee of 80,000 km?

Why is the apogee of the Falcon 9 SES launch going clear out to 80,000 km? GEO is only 36,000 km or so, it seems like a waste to go so far beyond it.
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2answers
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Why did the US lose almost all commercial launch opportunities?

With the launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 V1.1 Nov 25th (Assuming it succeeds), it will apparently be the first US Commercial launch (I assume to GEO, since Orbital, with all the commercial small sats ...
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3answers
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When SpaceX claims to build 4 engines/week, which engines do they mean?

In this Tweet (dated 11 Sept 2013) Peter de Selding reported that Gwynne Shotwell of SpaceX said: SpaceX's Shotwell: We're building 7 Falcon 9 fairings/yr now, 15 in 2014, & 4 engines/week ...
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1answer
331 views

Falcon 9 1.1 demo flight (flight 6) - Was the second stage burn meant to test deorbit?

On F9 flight 6, the first demo of the V1.1 configuration, the putative rationale for the extra second stage burn was to demonstrate relight capabilities for Geosync, and really, any orbit that ...
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2answers
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What are the mystery Falcon 9 v 1.1 objects?

There are 20 objects in orbit associated with the Falcon 9 v 1.1 launch. So far only 1 has been identified. 5 were payloads of the launch, plus the booster and some debris. Bottom line, 11 objects ...
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1answer
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What went wrong, Falcon 9 1.1 first flight with first stage landing attempt?

They are reporting that the three engine relight in the upper atmosphere worked. But the relight of a single engine, lower down for pretend landing on the water generated too much torque and the fuel (...
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1answer
1k views

What are the differences between the Falcon 9 (1.0) and the Falcon 9 (1.1 or F9R)?

With the change at the 6th launch from the original Falcon 9 design for the first five launches, to the new design, either called Falcon 9 v1.1 or Falcon 9R, it would be useful to understand the ...