Questions tagged [flight-termination-system]

Questions regarding systems in place to terminate the launch of a spacecraft to prevent the destruction of endangered people & property.

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Did the ISS modules have Flight Termination Systems when they launched?

Not that it did, but if something stuffed up during the launch of a module, could it have been destroyed before hitting the ground?
Blue Skin and Glowing Red Eyes's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer

What happens if the range control fails?

Your rocket was launching. Something went wrong. It is outside of the safety corridor. The range control attempts to terminate the flight, but the Flight Termination System (FTS) fails. Now what ...
Blue Skin and Glowing Red Eyes's user avatar
37 votes
3 answers

How do you reliably blow up a rocket that was built not to explode?

NASA, and I'd imagine most space agencies around the world, demands abort systems of its commercial partners capable of destroying a rocket should it venture too close to populated areas. Note that ...
TheEnvironmentalist's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer

When is the self-destruct of a rocket armed?

By this answer I now know that most rockets have self-destruction, with SpaceX even an automated one. And here I learned that the self-destruct is also tested. But nowhere does it say when the self-...
Anton Hinkel's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers

Self destruct mechanism on upper stages

In a follow up to this question: the upper stage of the launch vehicles are usually treated as orbiting debris after the launch mission completion. In that case, are there self-destruct ordinance ...
Harish's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer

What kind of sensor can trigger launcher self-destruct?

Many questions here talk about the rational behind self-destruct systems and the implementation of the self destruction, but I cannot find specific information about the triggering of such system ...
Manu H's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer

Why did they not use the Flight Termination system on CRS16 booster?

All US boosters (I assume other nations as well) have flight termination systems. The goal is to try and stop an out of control booster (Big vehicle, full of explosives/fuel/oxidizer) from causing ...
geoffc's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers

What are some drawbacks of Automated Flight Termination Systems (AFTS) sometimes called Automated Flight Safety Systems (AFSS)?

I often read about how AFSS is the the next big part of the range of the future, and how it is a tremendous improvement upon the current system. But I never really read about the drawbacks. No system ...
SpaceMan's user avatar
23 votes
6 answers

How can a rocket's self-destruct make for a safer situation than being out-of-control?

On the Sci-Fi Stack Exchange there was a question about implementing self-destruct on spaceships and comparing that to scuttling on naval vessels. One person in a comment said, "They do implement a ...
Octopus's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers

When the CRS-6 Falcon 9 first stage hit the ASDS, did the Flight Termination System explode due to the heat of the fire?

In the question: Does the Falcon 9 (v1.1) first stage have an explosive Flight Termination System? It became clear that the Falcon 9/9R first stage has an explosive flight termination system. ...
geoffc's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer

Does the Falcon 9 (v1.1) first stage have an explosive Flight Termination System?

Does the Falcon 9 first stage use an explosive FTS? An FTS can operate in many different ways. The key goal is to terminate thrust, break up large chunks of burny stuff, and avoid killing people. A ...
geoffc's user avatar
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15 votes
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How are self-destructs implemented in rocketry?

Many rocket systems are equipped with self-destructs to prevent an out-of-control vehicle from wandering too far from its intended path and becoming a hazard. Presumably, the objective is to kill the ...
Anthony X's user avatar
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20 votes
7 answers

Space Shuttle range safety system - Why is there a caution light?

Why did the Space Shuttle have an indicator to alert the crew to the arming of the range safety destruct system? Quoting from here: The first message, called arm, allows the onboard logic to enable ...
MattyZ's user avatar
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25 votes
1 answer

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? ...
coleopterist's user avatar
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