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Questions tagged [launch]

Questions regarding the takeoff or the liftoff phase of the flight of a rocket and the set of activities required for preparation of the launch vehicle leading to it.

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How would 2 spacecraft be launched to be in sync in opposite directions?

How would 1 spacecraft be launched to have a prograde orbit and the another be launched retrograde to have a mirrored orbital path around the sun or otherwise? Would the 2 spacecraft launch together ...
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0answers
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Details about traveling from EM-L2 to SE-L1

Would the optimal time to launch be when the Moon was on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun? What direction would be optimal leaving EM-L2, radially away from the moon? Is the last line of ...
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0answers
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Space-X Canaveral launch question

In the past, I could see space shuttle launches from my front door on the gulf coast of Pinellas County by looking due east on a clear day or night. I have tried to catch Space-X launches a couple ...
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3answers
234 views

Why SpaceX have the T+0 second in the countdown while the Space Shuttle 'skip' the T+0 second?

Does the space shuttle countdown skip the first second after launch (T+0) and if yes why? You can see this effect in videos like this one: In comparison with an ...
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1answer
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Can an Ion engine in tow assist in launch? [closed]

This question asks: How large a body could a probe with ion engines land on and launch from? and made me think could an ion engine that is the payload be mounted in a way to assist in the launch?
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1answer
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Resources for planning and schedule a launch-watching day-trip in Florida?

I know some busy people in Florida who I'd like to encourage to take a break and go watch a launch. They aren't "space people" and won't be keeping up on technical blogs or NASA or industry websites. ...
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5answers
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Why does Arabsat 6A need a Falcon Heavy to launch

Is it just me or does a falcon heavy seem like a bit of an overkill to launch Arabsat 6A? Falcon Heavy - GEO payload: 26,700 kilograms Arabsat 6A - weight: ~6000 kilograms Wouldn't some other ...
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2answers
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Can a rocket refuel on Mars from water?

Can a rocket run only on hydrogen and oxygen? Could a rocket, rover, and electrolysis machine be sent to either of Mars' poles to excavate ice to make hydrogen and oxygen to refuel an unmanned rocket? ...
2
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1answer
88 views

What is the point in which metal turns white hot during launch or reentry called?

This is a slow motion film of the Sprint missle. There is a point where to skin goes white hot like a light switch. What is that called? What metal gets white hot while keeping its shape?
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Are there “Space Jellyfish” in Florida? Would they be possible?

The Wikipedia article Space Jellyfish shows the image below with the caption: A California space jellyfish from 22 December 2017 I think that when other Q&A here have shown similar space ...
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3answers
255 views

Can more thrust come from launching parallel to water?

Would having the exhaust of a rocket or air breathing engine in an early stage in close proximity to water on a horizontal launch provide more thrust? Could a rocket launch off water horizontally in ...
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1answer
126 views

Could a rocket launch off water horizontally in stages us using water and air for lift to save fuel? [duplicate]

A term I have heard is the "water was like class". Meaning that the water had 0 waves. Could a rocket be modified to take off a horizontal surface starting slowly increasing throttle on each stage? ...
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3answers
207 views

Can a flock of birds crash a rocket?

Has there ever been a situation when birds caused damage to a rocket? At what speed would birds be a problem? Could a rocket launch off water horizontally in stages?
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1answer
162 views

Could escape velocity be achieved in the atmosphere?

When rockets launch for orbit they travel up and the air thins respectively to the speed increasing. How fast can a rocket for travel at sea level before it would fail or the elevation would have to ...
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2answers
126 views

Break Away Valves for Launch [duplicate]

I forgot to hang up the fuel pump and broke it off and costed around 80 dollars to replace. While there I wandered could this be adapted to a rocket in some way? How much fuel capacity would be saved ...
4
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1answer
74 views

What rocket system launch contained the highest amount of propellent potential energy?

In regards to rocket launches, what rocket launch contained the most potential energy (joules/btu/etc.) in its thrust propellant to achieve is basic mission? I'm not as much concerned with ...
2
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0answers
42 views

What is the minimal distance of clearance in the direction of flight path for a rocket?

Usually the rocket launch sites are placed on a coast or a place where there's basically no civilian buildings in the direction of flight path. Is there a standard/regulation on the minimal ...
2
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1answer
207 views

What is meant by “a high-energy geostationary orbit”? (SpaceX Arabsat 6A)

The Teslarati article SpaceX’s April 7th Falcon Heavy launch a step toward new commercial markets says: While there is some inherent uncertainty surrounding the (once again) fairly new rocket, ...
2
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1answer
273 views

Help me understand what Farside, a ten “stage” rockoon looked like? How was it configured?

@OrganicMarble's answer links to NASA Sounding Rockets, 1958-1968, A Historical Summary and in Appendix A starting on page 79 it lists: Farside: A type of rockoon developed by Aeronutronics ...
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2answers
244 views

Could a fat rocket be used on Mars?

Since Mars' atmosphere is around 2% the density of Earth's then could a much wider rocket achieve orbit? Could the rocket be in the shape of a capsule or an optimal shape for reentry on Earth?
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0answers
68 views

What rocket uses the largest percentage of Fuel/Oxidizer before liftoff?

inspired by this question: How much propellant is used up until liftoff? which asks how much propellant (fuel/oxidizer) a typical rocket uses before liftoff. What has been or is the most non-typical ...
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1answer
1k views

How much propellant is used up until liftoff?

How much of the total propellant mass (fuel+oxidizer) of the first stage/boosters is usually burnt between ignition and liftoff?
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3answers
1k views

When was the first strap-on booster used in spaceflight?

The first use of the term "strap-on" in Google Ngram viewer is in 1930 and presumably that wasn't about a booster being attached to a rocket for additional thrust at lift-off. When was a strap-on ...
4
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1answer
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What kind of “jet engine-like propulsion” does HyperSciences use to accelerate projectiles to sub-orbital altitudes?

The Teslarati article For HyperSciences, geothermal energy builds a path to space describes the use of technology which has been applied to drilling to launching projectiles to sub-orbital altitudes ...
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0answers
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What happened to International Microspace's $100 million contract?

This might be an obscure one. As I understand it: Diamandis co-founded Microsat Launch Systems, which was renamed International MicroSpace, in 1989. (This is apparently not the Micro-Space of 1977 to ...
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1answer
160 views

Launching east from a mountain on the equator at midnight during a new moon; ranking of each contribution?

This answer is intriguing and I'm curious if it's correct, and especially which effects are most important. If you want to avoid gravity assists, the most fuel-efficient way out of the Solar System ...
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1answer
165 views

Are we changing Earth's rotation?

Can rockets launching change Earth's rotation, and can going into orbit do the same?
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4answers
279 views

What prompted all of those private launch companies to get into the business?

It seems that, somewhere around the turn of the century, a bunch of private companies started gearing up for launching things into space when nobody (at least not private entrepreneurs) seemed very ...
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0answers
90 views

What light was the Falcon 9 grid fin occulting in todays SpaceX Nusantara Satu Mission live broadcast?

What light was the Falcon 9 grid fin occulting in todays SpaceX Nusantara Satu Mission live broadcast? I backed up the time slider on the YouTube live broadcast and snapped some screen captures, ...
6
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2answers
380 views

Why is NASA buying expensive rockets from ULA when SpaceX is offering the same thing for almost half the price?

Source: https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-ula-nasa-launch-contract-win-vastly-overpriced-official-protest/ SpaceX has filed an official protest with the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) ...
4
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1answer
173 views

Most recent launch of a nuclear reactor, and current barriers to launching the next one?

This question about Kilopower nuclear reactors got me thinking. Answer(s) to How many nuclear fission reactors have been launched into space? How many are still there? suggest that most nuclear ...
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1answer
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Is a kilowatt per square centimeter a typical launch engine's thermal energy flux (density)?

I saw the following image while searching for this answer in Sung Hwan Kim's thesis Germanium-Source Tunnel Field Effect Transistors for Ultra-Low Power Digital Logic It plots power density in Watts ...
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1answer
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How might SpinLaunch actually spin something fast enough to launch it into orbit?

Ars Technica's Edition 1.34 of the Rocket Report! says: SpinLaunch signs deal with Spaceport America. Spaceport America has announced that SpinLaunch has signed a lease to conduct tests at the ...
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1answer
139 views

Why does the exhaust plume apprear to be throbbing?

Here is a cropped video of the space shuttle exhaust. There appears to be some throbbing/oscillatory behaviour to the exhaust plume. It is often visible along with an intensity changes/fluctuation ...
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1answer
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What are these membranes at the aft end of the Shuttle that get torn off during lift off?

The link to the Space Shuttle launch video. At 1:30 mark, three circular disks get torn away. It happens immediately after the engine ignition begins. Here is a cropped image of the Discovery after ...
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1answer
572 views

Would any manned orbital launches to date have been possible (but lower) if they were launched retrograde instead of prograde?

Manned launches have always been launched prograde to take advantage of the Earth's rotation velocity boost, and often in order to match the prograde orbit of another spacecraft for rendez-vous. I ...
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5answers
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Has any spacecraft ever been flown manually to orbit?

Has anyone ever manually flown a spacecraft to orbit, Kerbal Space Program-style?
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0answers
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Are the ejected first stage Electron rocket batteries really incinerated?

This answer reminded me that the Electron rocket drops one of it's batteries when it is mostly spent. We might call that "micro-staging". This answer quotes Spaceflight 101: With a low auto-...
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0answers
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Why does the Delta 4 Heavy look burned? [duplicate]

When I was looking at pictures of the Delta 4 Heavy rocket, I noticed that closer to the engines, the rocket looks black instead of the orange color it has right after launch. It looks burned to me. ...
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0answers
37 views

Which nations own tracking ships for support of rocket launches?

This wikipedia list of tracking ships contains ships of the following nations: China, France, Russia and USA. Are there no other missile range instrumentation ships for support of space operations of ...
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0answers
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How to reach a target apoapsis with a gravity turn?

Ok, here I go. I have as a project to simulate the launch of a payload by a rocket into polar orbit. Since original question was too big, let's get it into separate parts. First of all, trajectory ...
5
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1answer
190 views

How does the impulse-to-weight ratio of a propulsion system indicate an effective design?

While going through Sutton's propulsion elements text, I came across an example where he compares the values of impulse-to-weight ratio to that of specific impulse and deems it a "fair design". The ...
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1answer
70 views

Were Jupiter-C's really given code names based on the word “Huntsville”?

In the video Explorer 1 Preparation and Launch around the ten-minute mark the narrator says: This particular Jupiter C, it’s serial number was 29, and that was coded in the missile. You see on the ...
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1answer
173 views

How much less fuel do rockets burn with higher G force?

How does G force at launch differ between spacecraft when it comes to efficiency between crewed and uncrewed space flight? Does less time in the atmosphere equate to a savings in fuel for an ...
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0answers
62 views

How are Launch Ascent Trajectories and Reentry Constraints Being Implemented these days?

Historically, endoatmospheric guidance for launch ascent has been open loop and suboptimal. Recently, however, it seems as though there has been renewed interest in determining optimal endoatmospheric ...
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Parasite Satellite

With computers and technology becoming lighter and is also effected by drag. Could a small satellite that lacks certain systems be designed to utilize an existing satellites systems like radio, solar ...
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0answers
139 views

Does the 90 million cost for the Falcon Heavy include everything?

SpaceX says that it costs them 90 million each time to launch a Falcon Heavy, does this include fuel? If I where to purchase a Falcon Heavy launch, how much would it cost me to launch it, buying my ...
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2answers
123 views

Solid hydrogen hybrid motor engine for launch?

Would hydrogen unlike water in a solid state take less space or be more stable? How would a rocket work using a block of melting solid hydrogen instead of liquid hydrogen? Has and could any kind of ...
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0answers
39 views

Launch Vehicle LM2D

As it is well known, the circularization of orbits needs at least 3 stages. How could the Chinese launch vehicle LM2D circularizes its orbit with only 2 stages?
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1answer
210 views

What is the circular item that fell off of the returning booster during the CRS-16 mission?

During reentry of the first stage booster on the Dragon Resupply Mission (CRS-16), there was a ring-looking item that floated away from the booster. I would imagine it is some sort of ice debris, but ...