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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4answers
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If the ISS had an emergency, how long would it take to get a rocket to it?

If there was an urgent need to launch a rocket to the ISS, how long would it take to have a rocket ready to launch? I am trying to understand what factors take up the time to prepare for a rocket ...
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Will SpaceX use a special launch maneuver for the SAOCOM 1B mission?

Teslarati's SpaceX sets date for first Florida launch of its kind in more than half a century explains that something different will happen. For those that want to read the article first, I've used ...
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Would wind shear or other atmospheric conditions delay a rocket launch FROM the surface of Mars?

On earth we have launch windows because of this and constant weather monitoring is needed right up until launch. Would this be required on a return trip from Mars given that the speed of the wind on ...
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Why do panels fall off of Arianes 1-4 on launch? [duplicate]

I hope this isn't a duplicate. In earlier Ariane rockets, there's a lot of panels which seem to fall off of the interstage immediately upon liftoff, exposing a highly reflective surface. Source: ...
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1answer
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Can I push the atmosphere out of the way?

The problem with virtually all methods of giving a launch vehicle velocity before launch is the atmosphere. The higher the velocity, the worse the drag. In the comments to a recent question, someone ...
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What are the biggest challenges for high altitude rail-gun launch systems?

Use a maglev railgun for initial acceleration - in a new, hyperbolic tunnel facing eastward - this exits from the burrowed -undergrade- track to Equadors' Mt. Chimborazo peak - (a mountaintop both 6 ...
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What would a human rocket be like to launch a human off Mimas?

In a comment on Is there a self-rounding celestial body from which an Olympian could jump into space? @jpa made a modest proposal. What if we stacked a bunch of athletes on top of each other and ...
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Non-orbital takeoff and landing?

I know it is a naive question, but somehow I couldn't find where it is answered here earlier. There have been a number of questions and answers detailing how spacecraft need to achieve high orbital ...
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Cubesat/Nanosat dispensers/deployers costs

I’ m looking for informations about dispensers/deployers equipement costs and associated launch costs, espacially for 12U configurations and over. I’ve got price information on Tyvak 12U Deployer in a ...
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Advantages of launching very large rocket while submerged, buoyant, in a body of water

I vaguely remember reading about some supposed advantages of launching very large rockets (Saturn size and larger) from underwater in an ocean or similar large body of water. I was recently reminded ...
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Why does launching east result in an orbital inclination equal to the latitude of the launch site?

As mentioned briefly in this answer and this Everyday Astronaut video: And just as a reference, if you launched straight east out of Kennedy Space Center, you'd be on a 28.6° inclination which you ...
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How are rocket launches scheduled?

With all the satellites and other objects already in space; how exactly are launches scheduled and coordinated? Is there some kind of clearinghouse? How do the mega constellations affect the ...
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Cost of launch unrelated to cost of building rocket

ULA CEO Tory Bruno said long time ago that only 1/2 cost of orbital launch is cost of building of rocket. SpaceX never denied this. F9R block 5 total cost of launch can be about 60-80 million per ...
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How high will the Crew Dragon capsule get during the In-Flight Abort?

During the In-Flight Abort test (IFA), the Crew Dragon capsule will pull away from the Falcon 9 rocket when the rocket is undergoing maximum aerodynamic stress. At that time, it will still be going ...
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What does S represent in Chris Hadfield's D = ½ ρ v² S?

Retired test pilot, CSA astronaut and ISS Commander Chris Hadfield's new Master Class advertisement video Chris Hadfield Teaches Space Exploration - Official Trailer - MasterClass is heavily edited ...
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What is the white vapor seen immediately prior to and during the early part of the launch? [duplicate]

As most modern rockets rest on the pad much white vapor is seen. Is this propellant being vented or condensation from the surrounding air due to the extreme cold of the rocket body?
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Can we use a drone instead of rocket? [duplicate]

I would like to know if it is possible to use a drone instead of the rocket to launch a satellite into orbit. If no, then I would like to know why, and if yes, then in which countries would this be ...
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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 ...
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1answer
193 views

Can jet engines be used to launch a rocket?

Following up on my previous question Can a VASIMR Plasma engine be used to launch a rocket?, I was told that VASIMR plasma thrusters are inefficient in an atmosphere. I then had the idea of using jet ...
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Can a VASIMR Plasma engine be used to launch a rocket?

When I was in primary school, I spent countless hours designing spaceships that probably wouldn’t work. It’s only now that I’ve stumbled across some of the old drawings and actually thought if it ...
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Could a balloon or airplane launched rocket get humans into orbit?

There are working systems based on aircraft and balloons which can launch satellites into orbit with the help of a rocket booster. All of these are fairly small payloads. Are there any studies of the ...
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Earth Rotational Vector and Orbital Inclination

I'm doing a project regarding orbital launches and i'm kinda confused about how to calculate orbital inclination from launch sites. I've simplified my model so I can ignore fuel and the rocket ...
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2answers
517 views

Velocity of a rocket needed to get to Mars

At 2:16 in this video, Don Pettit says he used the Rocket Equation to determine the velocity of the rocket needed to travel to Mars, which was 16 km/s. I am not sure as how he did it though, and was ...
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Why are the majority of launches in Florida [duplicate]

I had noticed that most launches take place in Florida, or somewhere near the equator, with the exception of the Soyuz rockets.
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How many Starship launches would it take to build this simple centrifugal space station concept?

Every centrifugal space station design I have seen uses either a large curved material or an inflatable structure. There have been no large scale curved material construction in space and only one ...
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1answer
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How to find the optimal launch trajectory for a rocket launched from a planet with an atmosphere?

I originally asked this question on maths stack exchange As the title states I am trying to find the optimal launch trajectory for a rocket launched from a planet with an atmosphere (Earth) in order ...
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What is the utility of this peanut-shaped ground facility?

The following image is from GSLV-F11 GSAT-7A Mission: Location: Second Launch Pad (SLP), Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, India. Please click here in case you want to see the image in ISRO's ...
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1answer
233 views

Why doesn't Ariane-5 lift off at T=0 seconds?

I have seen Ariane-5 lift off at T+07 seconds and not at (or close to) T=00 seconds. The following statement is from the Ariane-5 User's Manual (Page 35, Section 2.3 - Typical Mission Profile): The ...
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1answer
138 views

Better launching location to Neptune

I'm a big fan of space movies, especially when they're based on actual science and/or near-future. So of course I went to see Ad Astra (IMDB). In a nutshell, Brad Pitt's character flies into an orbit ...
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+100

Launch to orbit delta-v penalty from Venus compared to Earth?

Thinking about the no atmosphere caveat here made me think of Venus, which is the opposite of no atmosphere for solid/rocky bodies in our solar system. Earth's low orbital velocity is about 7.8 km/s. ...
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1answer
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How is this reentrant storage area on JAXA's HTV 8 protected during launch?

The image below is from Spaceflight Now's Fresh batteries, experiments on the way to the International Space Station In the photo there appears to be a giant reentrant "hole" in the side of the HTV ...
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What is falling off the Saturn V at launch? [duplicate]

At 4:07 in this video you can see that large objects are falling of the outside of the rocket. What are those?
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1answer
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If a comet-sniffing spacecraft were launched today, could it catch up to newly-discovered ε>3 C/2019 Q4 (Borisov)?

As found in this answer to What makes scientists already so certain that Comet C/2019 Q4 (Borisov) is a comet and not an asteroid? the orbital parameters of this eccentricity > 3 visitor to our solar ...
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1answer
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Is the monetary cost of space programs misleading?

Car production in the us costs about a million tons of steel per year which is maybe 99% recycled. Say a rocket costs 100 tons and is expendable. Launching 100 rockets yearly is a decent share of ...
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Why were there so many icicles in this Space Shuttle launch area? (Challenger disaster)

The blogpost Lessons From NASA Disasters: When Curiosity Deficits Kill is about the importance of freedom of curiosity for members of organizations. However it contains many Space Shuttle-related ...
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Features seen on the Space Shuttle's solid booster; what does “LOADED” mean exactly?

The question Please explain the time reference shown in Shuttle launch engineering video links to the very cool video Ascent - Commemorating Shuttle. After about ...
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1answer
139 views

How would the shuttle perform various attitude changes during ascent?

How would the Space Shuttle have performed each of the following maneuvers during ascent? Pitching the nose away from the external tank ($+$Y). Pitching the nose toward the external tank ($-$Y). ...
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1answer
108 views

Why would low pump inlet pressure result in such a spectacular explosion? (Vanguard TV3)

In the short US Naval Research Laboratory video Vanguard 60th Anniversary: A Look Back at about 03:46, Mr. Alton E. Jones says: Most people are curious about as ...
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1answer
139 views

Why RFNA is used in orbital rocket and why it leaks?

The red fume can be seen in some ballistic missile tests and of course here for the case of Chinese KZ-1A orbital launcher. i wonder what's the usage and why it leaks.
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1answer
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What is a propellant burner trailer?

CNN and NPR have pointed out that the US president recently tweeted a surveillance photo of an explosion of a rocket on a launch pad. One of the items identified in the photo is labeled as a ...
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When does the space shuttle stop its gravity turn?

I am trying to model the launch of the space shuttle (up to 120km of altitude) from Cape Canaveral, Florida. In order to do so I would need to know when the gravity turn part of the flight starts and ...
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1answer
104 views

Where can I find launch trajectory data of the space shuttle?

I am trying to mathematically model the launch of the space shuttle (up to 120km altitude) from Cape Canaveral Florida. It would be really handy if I could check my calculations with some real launch ...
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1answer
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How is imbalance handled in the Delta IV heavy?

All the engines of the Delta IV are not ignited at the same time: One of the lateral engine is started few seconds before the other. I imagine there is a good reason for not starting all engines at ...
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2answers
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What factors determine the altitude at which rocket exhaust plumes start blooming hugely?

The images below are from a much larger set of photos in Spaceflight Now's August 8, 2019 article Photos: Atlas 5 paints the sky with spectacular sunrise launch. They show several effects related to ...
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What would happen if one Ariane V SRB did not ignite properly? (there may be no lock-down mechanism)

The excellent answers to What are these circular spots on these Ariane V SRB nozzles? tend to indicate that unlike the IV, the Ariane V simply rests on two flat surfaces under the SRBs at launch time, ...
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1answer
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What sounds did the Apollo astronauts hear during launch

I've looked through the Apollo Technical Debriefings 11, 12, 14-17, for descriptions of the sounds the astronauts heard during take off. Here is one example, from Apollo 15: *3.0 POWERED FLIGHT ...
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1answer
487 views

What exactly is rhumb-line control in the context of a launch trajectory?

The conference paper SS-520 Nano satellite launcher and its flight result SSC18-IX-03 from the 32nd Annual AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites linked in this answer describes the use of rhumb-line ...
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Is it possible to get a spacecraft into earth orbit using Linear Eddy Current Braking on an orbital runway?

The "Space Runway" [I have slightly edited this to clarify some issues that have been raised] Luke Parrish mentioned an unusual and novel space launch method to me. The idea is to get a spacecraft ...
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Experiments during ascent

Has any astronaut or cosmonaut personally performed experiments, that could only be done by a human in flight, during the ascent phase of a flight. If so, what kind of experiment(s) did they perform?
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What are the historical fastest and longest time between take off and orbit insertion?

The question is restricted to payloads having described at least 2 orbits. When watching launches, it appears that between launch and orbit insertion, the typical time interval is few minutes (...

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