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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Control used during orbital insertion?

Which control is usually active during the orbital insertion phase of launch vehicles? Once the velocity requirement for orbital insertion is met, engine is switched off RCS usually takes care of ...
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Horizontal vs Vertical Takeoff

What is the reason that some space planes take off with the help of a rocket and others take off with nothing but their own engines. For example the X-37 uses an additional rocket while the VSS Unity ...
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Why aren't clusters of F-15 or SR-71 engines used for a boost stage for rockets? [duplicate]

A cluster of say 8 F-15 or SR-71 engines in my mind could make a viable first stage for a small rocket. Second they can land the stage back to the ground and if my guess is right they could go to up ...
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2 votes
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Reaction control system testing

How are RCS (reaction control systems) for Launch vehicles usually tested? After going through some literatures, I came across two different testing schemes, Leans more towards testing the Cold gas ...
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How does US crewed launch abort coverage "jump" the ocean in an instant?

As I understand things, the Commercial Crew Program stipulates full abort coverage from pad to orbit. An abort to the middle of the Atlantic ocean is understandably not acceptable. Watching the OFT-2 ...
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5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Are nozzle plugs taken out before launch or are they ejected upon ignition?

Inspired by this question. For most orbital launch vehicles, do their engines have nozzle plugs installed and what happen to them at launch? Are they manually removed during the prelaunch/rollout or ...
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7 votes
3 answers
314 views

Can something like SpinLaunch actually work?

Can something like SpinLaunch actually work? It appears that Spinlaunch attempts to accelerate a capsule to very high speeds and then basically throw it into space. A regular rocket is moving slowest ...
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1 answer
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Could we launch from the moon to another planetary body? [closed]

Would it be possible with currently rocket technology or technology towards the end of its development (ex. SLS, Starship, New Glenn, etc.) to launch from the moon. Of course, we would send down a ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
211 views

Can we launch from the moon?

Would it be possible with currently rocket technology or technology towards the end of its development (ex. SLS, Starship, New Glenn, etc.) to launch from the moon. Of course, we would send down a ...
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2 votes
1 answer
91 views

Why did the "Running out of Toes" mission fail?

On May 15, 2021, Rocket Lab's Electron failed in the "Running Out of Toes" mission. The first stage had a nominal flight. Then, from looking at the launch video published by Rocket Lab, the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
180 views

Why did the Hyperbola-1 launch fail in February 2021?

There is no launch video and very little data published about the launch. Considering how the maiden flight was successful, and it does appear that they made any design changes, what went wrong? Why ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Spinlaunch Safety

How could the Spinlaunch concept ever be made so that, in the event of an anomaly where it is released at the wrong angle, it wouldn't obliterate a small town or city center? Launch sites at Cape ...
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What is the purpose of having a planned hold during a countdown for a rocket launch? [duplicate]

NASA had many with the space shuttle, ULA always had a planned hold at T-4 minutes, and yet other launch providers like SpaceX don't. What is the purpose of a planned hold, and why do some launchers ...
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2 votes
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Do the maximum launch capability figures of Falcon Heavy includes payload adaptor fairings or launch vehicle adaptors?

I would like to learn if stated payload capabilities of Falcon Heavy includes PAF. According to Falcon User's Guide, SpaceX has two different PAF for Falcon 9. In the said document, smaller PAF doesn'...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Insights about launch vehicle engine configuration

When dealing with launch vehicles (specifically heavy lifters), there have been a number of different mindsets in terms of engines. The Saturn V used some absolutely massive engines, which was great ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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How much energy would be required to launch a 10km x 10km x 10km cube into LEO?

I know this is a bit of a ridiculous scenario, I am just looking for a very conservative estimate as to how much force would be required to get something orders of magnitude bigger and more awkard ...
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9 votes
2 answers
662 views

How does Spinlaunch manage the counterweight right after launch?

Spinlaunch has successfully launched a suborbital test vehicle from a 1/3 scale demonstrator, see for instance aviationweek.com or space.com. While spinning up the arm, perfect balance is achieved ...
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2 votes
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Why does Vandenberg have the most launches?

Why does Vandenberg SFB have the most launches? Is it related to location, when it was founded, something else, etc? It would make more sense for Florida to have more launches. It is illegal for ...
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6 votes
1 answer
299 views

How to attain an equatorial orbital inclination from a non-equatorial launch site?

The orbital inclination of a satellite is limited to inclinations roughly equal or greater than the latitude of the launch site, unless additional energy is expended for an orbital plane change. In ...
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What happens to the parts of rockets after they burn up?

For some first stages and second stages, and some failed launches, their fate is to burn up in the Earth atmosphere. Once the stage has broken into thousands of smaller parts, aerodynamics changes. ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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How much energy is lost by damping yaw from a SpinLaunch?

SpinLaunch hopes to launch a 200 kg satellite from a ground-based centrifuge, at 5000 mph, and more troublingly, at 450 rpm aka 7 tumbles per second. (The 3000 rpm figure mentioned in its tech sheets ...
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10 votes
1 answer
279 views

What happens to the propellant in a wet dress rehearsal?

The Artemis 1 mission is going to do a wet dress rehearsal where the rocket will be filled with propellant and the launch sequence will continue until almost the last second. The launch sequence will ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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What launch market is the new Shetland spaceport targeting?

The new spaceport on Shetland has now been given planning permission. It is at quite a high latitude (60 degrees north) which will effect the types of launch that are easily achievable so what is the ...
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12 votes
2 answers
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Why does a launch due south (180° azimuth) not translate into a polar orbit from Vandenberg?

I found this image showing the allowable launch azimuths for Vandenberg AFB and I was wondering why a 180° launch azimuth doesn't match a 90° inclination orbit. This led me to question the equation ...
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Will the NASA Commercial Crew "zip line away from the tower and into" this "military armoured truck" in case of emergency? Does the truck have a name?

The NASA Commercial Crew @Commercial_Crewtweet The #Crew4 astronauts have been busy getting ready for their upcoming mission to the @Space_Station! The crew recently participated in simulations ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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What is the current turnaround time for Vandenberg SLC-4E?

Is there public knowledge for the turnaround time for this Falcon 9 B5 pad?
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What exactly is Part 450 and how will it "streamline the regulatory process for companies requesting both launch and spacecraft reentry licenses"?

CNBC's Astra shares drop 14% after rocket launch attempt aborted and postponed says: Notably, for this launch Astra received the first Federal Aviation Administration license under Part 450 – a new ...
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What is a "space launch delta", how many of them are there, and what fraction of them are assigned to Space Force?

This answer to Why did the Firefly Alpha launch 6 months ago fail? quotes a Space News article which says: Space Launch Delta 30, which operates the range at Vandenberg, then destroyed the rocket ...
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Why did the Firefly Alpha launch in September 2021 fail?

On 2nd September 2021, the Firefly Alpha launch failed. I have looked up why repeatedly, and have not found an answer. Their website says nothing about the reasons for failure only that it happened. ...
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2 votes
1 answer
243 views

What is the lowest the cost of launch can get to?

The cost of launch has been dramatically reduced by companies such as SpaceX building parts in house. Once that lowered the cost of launch as much as it could, they moved onto reusing the first stage, ...
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1 vote
1 answer
119 views

Using Chimborazo as a rocket launching platform

Please consider this. Chimborazo is a sleeping volcano at 01°28′09″ S 78°49′03″ W. Its peak is 6263 metres above the sea level and because it is very near of the equator, the peak is more than 2 ...
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What was the first successful two-stage-to-orbit launch by the US? What was the first attempt if different?

Wikipedia's Juno I (the launch vehicle for the first US satellite in orbit Explorer 1) begins: The Juno I was a four-stage American space launch vehicle, used to launch lightweight payloads into low ...
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3 votes
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Info needed on PSLV launch adaptors and configurations

I want to understand how satellites are accommodated in PSLV. I know about few configurations and adaptors that've been used in the past. Is there any document which gives detailed info on Multiple ...
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11 votes
1 answer
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Why making such a big deal with Max Q?

At each SpaceX launch, they always make some big deal of Max Q which most of the time comes at around 13Km and at a speed of 1700Km.h-1 But on the way back, stage 1 is at this same altitude of 13km at ...
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Who is going to the Moon in 2022? How many planned missions to land something there?

How many planned missions are there that plan to land something on the Moon in 2022? Secured access to launch necessary to count, no washing-machine with bottle-rocket missions. Please include a link ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Why is Ariane-5's upper stage appear to vent exhaust post engine cut off?

I was surprised to see, with unaided eyes, a rocket like object in the skies on Dec 25, 2021 (Indian time) around the same time as JWST launch. My coordinates were approximately ...
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Other launches at December 25th than JWST?

The JWST was launched at an unusual date, the 25th of December. Are there other historic launches during the last 10 days of December? Some examples: ...
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5 votes
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What is the benefit of an inverted rocket stage?

For example the Chinese rocket Jielong 1 has an inverted 4th (final) stage. So the payload sits between 3rd and 4th stage. When 3rd stage separates it has to do a 180 degree turn before igniting the ...
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17 votes
2 answers
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Why is JWST Launching from French Guiana?

Is the launch from the ESA spaceport because of agreement or an orbital insertion advantage from that facility?
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5 votes
1 answer
221 views

What is the smallest object our current technology is capable of launching into space?

Well, I'm quite ignorant about space exploration in general, but I hope I don't make too many misconceptions. So, from what I could find on the internet, there is a certain type of spacecraft ...
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Are there any projects of flying launch pads on high altitude ballons? [duplicate]

It is possible to fly up to 30 km with high altitude balloons. Is it possible to build an island there with launch pad on it? Will it help to fly to space?
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4 votes
1 answer
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What are the factors that determine the roll rate of a launch vehicle during the atmospheric phase?

Even though there are plenty of literature regarding the pitch control of launch vehicle, I couldn't find any regarding the roll autopilot. Is there any formula on how aerodynamic forces affect the ...
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1 answer
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Is RCS a good option to control roll during the atmospheric phase of the launch vehicle?

Do rcs perform well in the presence of high aerodynamic forces?
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1 answer
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What is this black smoke coming from an all solid fueled Epsilon rocket?

I saw a clip of a recent (Nov. 5th, 2021) JAXA Epsilon launch on Instagram (link). Shown differently here in a YouTube video @~0:23s: It's an entirely solid fueled ...
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2 votes
2 answers
231 views

Why aren’t vacuum engines turned on after Mach 1?

In rockets, smaller nozzles are used at lower altitudes because atmospheric pressure would cause problems by pushing air into nozzles with higher expansion ratios. However, it seems to me that once ...
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24 votes
1 answer
4k views

What is "anti-geysering" and why would you turn it off 70 seconds before launch?

Today Rocket Lab launched the Electron from Launch Complex 1 Pad A in New Zealand, and there was something about ...the first time a helicopter will be stationed in the recovery zone offshore to ...
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7 votes
5 answers
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Is an orbital insertion burn part of any launch from earth

As I understand it once a spacecraft reaches low earth orbit it may have to do another burn to reach a different orbit. Would that change in orbit be considered an orbital insertion burn? Do any ...
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What is that yellow fixture that the launch vehicle is resting on?

What is that fixture called as? I think it is used to support the launch vehicle during integration. Please correct if wrong. source - https://www.ruaviation.com/news/2019/3/12/13107/?h here's ...
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2 votes
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Was the JWST's shipment from California to French Guiana kept secret or otherwise anonymized during transport?

It's not often that a sea ship is spotted with cargo worth one hundred ten billion dollars. I vaguely recall reading an article several months ago where someone from NASA mentioned that they would not ...
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Just how much of a spaceflight first will the fourth 2nd stage burn of the Landsat 9 launch be?

USGS.gov's Landsat 9: Payloads stacked atop Atlas V for launch includes the following: A fourth and final burn by the Centaur's RL10C-1 cryogenic main engine executes a deorbit maneuver nearly three ...
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