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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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174 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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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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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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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
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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
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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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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
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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 ...
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1answer
614 views

Why should the roll program position the shuttle's nose to the east?

The roll program occurred during a shuttle launch for the following reasons: (...) Orienting the shuttle more parallel toward the ground with the nose to the east. ...
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1answer
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At which stage of rocket development does systems engineering become critical/useful? [closed]

Rockets are complicated system and the interaction of the sub-systems are even more complicated. But different subsystems tend to be developed parallels without much interaction but does so when ...
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0answers
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How does Arduino or Raspberry Pi synchronize time using gps? [closed]

I have been looking at time synchronizing using arduino or raspberrypi. but well still I couldn't find something certain. does it possible with arduino? then how does it have something work? like ...
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Could a bottle rocket be up scaled to achieve orbit?

Could you construct an orbital stick stabilized rocket, by scaling up a firework?
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How much noise would the BFR make at launch?

In addition to multi-planetary travel, SpaceX has plans to use the BFR for intercontinental travel. However, would the sound generated by the BFR's launch disrupt local communities and therefore make ...
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1answer
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Is Space X adopting a strategy to move away from the launch segment into being an operator only to fund the Mars Ambitions? [closed]

The recent approval of the FCC towards the launch of the star-link constellation is indicative that from just being a company in the upstream segment,Space X is branching out into the downstream ...
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6answers
599 views

Is it possible to navigate space travel with no computer?

From launch to land could a person travel in space with only mechanical devices like a sextant? With enough experience what would be the minimum devices needed? Which vehicle currently would be easier ...
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2answers
547 views

Why is there such a large range of stage numbers, including fractional stages?

Falcon 9 clearly has two stages, but the smaller two-stage Electron has a "kick-stage" so some might call that 2.5. The question Quantitative benefits of Atlas II's engine-dropping or 1.5 staging? and ...
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Which has been the most gregarious rocket, launched from the most sites?

Which orbital launch vehicle has been "getting around" the most? Which rocket has put things in orbit from the largest number of different launch sites? For the purposes of this question, allow for ...
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1answer
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Who's “winning” with launch rate?

Launch rate, or cadence, is not necessarily a fundamental metric for evaluating a launch provider, but it's an easy one. From India Today's Sept. 18, 2018 article 6 months, 18 missions: ISRO sets new ...
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Have there been any correlations between rocket size and the delta V it achieves

Have there been any studies that discuss the delta V of the vehicle and compare it to the altitude of operation, or compare it across launchers. If not, what kind of criteria, would one look for ...
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2answers
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Could a human jump off Mimas without return?

A similar question has already been asked on dwarf planet Ceres: Could a Human reach escape velocity by jumping from the surface of Ceres (a dwarf planet)? Ceres has 2.9% of Earth's gravity. Saturn's ...
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1answer
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News of eXCITe with QIKcom-2 and SeeMe, have they been launched, or is there currently one scheduled?

Comments under the question What ever happened to SHERPA? about NovaWurks, Inc. led me to search for the DARPA eXCITe microsatellite. Spaceflight 101's page includes: Th(e) objectives of the ...
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55 views

Acceleration Profile of PSLV and GSLV

What is the way to find out the acceleration profiles of IRSO's GSLV and PSLV from launch until achieving orbit?
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Is “launch-on-minute” or other discrete launch time protocols currently the norm for wide launch windows?

This excellent answer to a question about collision avoidance practices for launches begins with: While the length of a launch window varies, launches within the window typically occur at discrete ...
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1answer
182 views

What prevents all these man-made objects flying in space from colliding with each other?

Does NASA know the location of every object in orbit and they calculate satellite and shuttle launches around not hitting these objects or are they just rolling the dice that the probability of ...
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1answer
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What were the different tests that were conducted pre-launch of Apollo 11?

I’ve done some research about the Apollo 11, and I don’t really understand what happens with different kinds of pre launch tests. For example, what are first-stage propellant tanking tests? And also, ...
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1answer
158 views

Satellite retrieval, fix and deploy possible remotely?

Is there any satellites that are designed to come back to Earth for repairs or upgrades and then be deployed again? Would there be any benefits to creating a capsule or inflatable heat shield to go on ...
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2answers
146 views

Can a rocket be intercepted in mid air?

Suppose that: 1-an interplanetary crewed rocket such as SpaceX BFR is built in secret. 2-the launch station can be arbitrary located. 3-the rocket is launched without any warning. 4-the rocket is ...
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0answers
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How to make a orbital launch tube work?

Normal rockets would not work in a pressurized tube, but could a stage be made for the diagonal launch tube to save fuel and weight? Can the bottom stage be nuclear powered? Unlike the piston launch ...
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1answer
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Does a retrograde launch impact the return booster propellant requirements, as compared to prograde?

Space-X's latest launch, of SAOCOM-1A, was a retrograde launch from Vandenberg, with a landing back at Landing Zone 4 - at Vandenberg. A retrograde launch requires more energy (to counteract the ...
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1answer
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Would a Martian landing and take off require a flame trench/deflector?

Flame trenches/deflectors are essential for avoiding reflections of acoustic waves from damaging the rocket system while taking off. This is discussed in this YouTube video - Why doesn't the sound of ...
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1answer
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Should all the Air-Launch systems be deployed at sub-sonic speeds?

There have been several proposals to develop Air-Launched rockets, like what Virgin Orbit or Pegasus rocket doing. All of the concepts are released from aircrafts in a Sub-Sonic velocity (0.7 to 0.8 ...
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8answers
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How would a long pole be transported to space?

Can a long pole or a set of poles be strapped to the out side of a rocket (like a bottle rocket)or on the nose as an external payload without interfering with the aerodynamics of the rocket? How would ...
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2answers
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What happens to rocket stages that land in the oceans, and how many are still there?

When a rocket stage is jettisoned into the ocean, does it typically sink? Assuming yes, how many rocket stages are now lying on the ocean floor? Are there, on the ocean floor, areas where there ...
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1answer
311 views

What do you need to do legally to have an object in orbit?

Hello fellow explorers, I've been looking into amateur satellite and rocket launches. Now, I'm by no means saying I'm an expert and have all my plans ready for launch. However, hypothetically if I ...
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1answer
271 views

Could electric fans lift a rocket strait up like a multi propeller drone? [closed]

Could electric fans like the ones below lift a rocket? What is the amount of electricity needed to lift a interplanetary rocket? Could a nuclear power plant provide enough electricity? https://en....
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1answer
307 views

Are there any dog-leg hot-spots? Where are dog-leg maneuvers used most frequently?

Dog-leg maneuvers are nicely explained in @JakeBlocker's excellent answer. If you go there now (and hopefully come back here) you can see a diagram of a dog-leg maneuver along with a comparison to an ...
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Does the ISS still “need” to be at around 400 km?

The video Why is the International Space Station 400 km above the Earth? first mentions that there are fairly hard limits at 300 km (due to imminence of reentry) and 700 km (loss of protection from ...
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1answer
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Deciding factors for launch site

While deciding the launch site layout, what parameters are considered? I understand that the various components like monitoring station, propellant storage tanks are kept at some safe distance. How ...
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1answer
247 views

Beyond the Apollo 12 incident, have there been any instances of triggered lightning?

As explained in this answer, the ionised plumes of engine exhausts can provide a low-resistance route for lightning strikes during a launch, potentially endangering the vehicle. This is thought to ...
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2answers
286 views

Aerodynamically - can a rocket be over 30 meters in diameter?

The past and current designs of rocket launchers have diameters up to 8-10 meters (Saturn-5, N-1, SLS, BFR), up to 13-14 meters for max cross-section dimension for Space Shuttle and Energia-Buran (...
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1answer
106 views

What is 'triggered lightning'?

In NASA's pre-launch briefing for Parker Solar Probe, the Weather Officer Kathy Rice discusses briefly the possibility of 'triggered lightning'. See around 40:55 in this video1. She explains: We ...
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Launch cost of a small satellite

The satellite mass is 100 kg. The volume is 150 $dm^3$. The orbit is sun-synchronous (700km altitude) I'm doing a research to find the actual launch price of this satellite by ISRO, Arianespace, ...
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1answer
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Is the atmosphere a positive or a negative for reusability?

Does the atmosphere provide a benefit or detriment in terms of fuel economy for rockets that take off and land back on Earth? We know that the atmosphere plays a large role in helping slow down ...