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Questions tagged [launch-vehicle]

Questions about a craft used to propel payloads into space, usually a rocket-powered vehicle

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Structural Mass Fraction

In spacecraft design, when talking about the structural mass fractions, the NASA website gives the following equation: Source: https://www1.grc.nasa.gov/beginners-guide-to-aeronautics/mass-ratios/ ...
G11's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
2k views

Does it economically cost the same to launch a satellite into LEO and GTO?

I was doing some research about how much $/kg it costs to launch a satellite into GEO. I came across several sources that lists info for LEO: https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/cost-space-launches-low-...
Yi Qiang Ji's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
68 views

How to do Preliminary Analysis of Spacecraft Primary Structure?

I'm looking for specifics as to how preliminary analysis on spacecraft primary structure is performed (prior to CLA). I understand LV providers include CG load factors in their user manuals, but how ...
Retsied's user avatar
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1 vote
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42 views

What figure-of-merit (FoM) is used to characterize the performance of a launch system's reentry-and-landing system?

I'd like to make a table that compares the performance of different launch systems such as The Space Shuttle, Falcon 9 plus Crew Dragon, and Starship. Engine ISP and thrust-to-weight ratio would be ...
phil1008's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
184 views

During Starship's recent flight, the stack appeared to be venting gas during the staging sequence. What was it?

During Starship's launch on November 18, 2023, the two stages successfully executed hot staging and separated from each other. In the seconds leading up to ignition of the upper stage engines, the ...
John McCarthy's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
211 views

how to procure a Launch vehicle for injecting a cubesat into LEO at LOW COST?

Me and my team are working on sending Cubesats just beyond the Karmann line. For which we obviously need a launch vehicle and would like to procure one or if possible build one. If any aerospace ...
Souvik Banerjee's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
98 views

Combustion stability for the second stage of Sea Dragon

I was listening to a video about SHLV's (Super Heavy Launch Vehicles), and Sea Dragon's first stage engine was mentioned. In terms of combustions stability, the suggested fix would be large combustion ...
AnarchoEngineer's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
359 views

Unknown spacecraft reference. "Wang's vehicle"

I've got a mystery for you today: In Dan Sharp's book, "British Secret Projects - 5 - Britain's Space Shuttle" ISBN:,9781910809020 MUSTARD (Multi Unit Space Transport And Reuse Device) is ...
AnarchoEngineer's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
145 views

Energy Needed for Lunar Lander to Ascend?

Is it possible to calculate how much energy was expended when the Apollo 11 lunar lander ascended from the Moon's surface to join the Command Module in lunar orbit? Many relevant parameters for the ...
David_B's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
138 views

Accidents where discarded stages are propelled by vaporized propellant?

Falcon 1 flight 3 failed when propellant vaporized in the detached first stage's engine, causing it to slam into the second stage. Has this happened to any other launch vehicle? Do launch vehicles ...
Abdullah is not an Amalekite's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
286 views

How far did the MUSTARD project get?

http://www.astronautix.com/m/mustard.html As described above, MUSTARD was a BAC project to develop a fully reusable VTO/HL shuttle to transport crew and payload to earth orbit. There were many ...
AnarchoEngineer's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
230 views

ARCA Aerospace has announced the EcoRocket Heavy, a wider-than-tall rocket. Has there ever been any other seriously proposed rockets wider than tall?

Is this the first seriously proposed/planned launch vehicle that is wider than it is tall? https://www.arcaspace.com/ecorocket
qazwsx's user avatar
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4 votes
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Anti-Geyser Test Full Scale

I am working on the thesis about Geysering and Recirculation in Launch Vehicles. And I am having some diffucilties to understand that "do we need to use full-scale model to test geysering?". ...
srule's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
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Does a fully loaded Starship really have a thrust to weight ratio less than 1 at sea level?

If Superheavy fails during launch (or even fails to launch in an unsafe way) the Starship itself might well be able to just light its engines and fly a suitable suborbital trajectory https://space....
Abdullah is not an Amalekite's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
289 views

Why wasn't Buran mounted on top of Energia?

Since unlike the Shuttle, the Buran did not carry the main engines, why was it not mounted on top of the external tank equivalent - Energia's core stage? And even better, why wasn't Energia's second ...
Abdullah is not an Amalekite's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
334 views

Why didn't SpaceX scrub the 4/20 Starship launch when they saw the launch pad being shredded?

While Starship took to the skies on its maiden flight, the slow build of power started to devastate the launch pad (or Stage Zero as SpaceX refers to it) and surrounding area with debris. Though ...
Abdullah is not an Amalekite's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
512 views

Why was the launchpad not destroyed during Super Heavy test firings?

It's becoming clear now that the 4/20 launch devastated the launchpad, leaving a massive crater and flinging debris - perhaps into the booster itself. But why did this not happen during test firings ...
Abdullah is not an Amalekite's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
442 views

How will Starship get ullage during launch?

All the Starship air-starts up to this point have been landing burns using small header tanks which gave less ullage requirements, but I can't recall any mention of how Starship settle it's propellant ...
Abdullah is not an Amalekite's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
78 views

What if satellites could be recovered during a launch failure? [duplicate]

How heavy would a capsule have to be to return a satellite safely to earth in the event of a launch failure? Would a satellite survive the loads endured by astronauts during an abort? If not, is there ...
Abdullah is not an Amalekite's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
218 views

Why did the Virgin One launch fail?

What caused the early shutdown of Virgin rocket's upper stage? The previous failure was also due to early shutdown of engine, although that was first stage failure. As per reports available in public, ...
Shubham Srivastava's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
180 views

HTOL vs VTOL first stages

For a generic launch vehicle, would Horizontal Take off be better than VTOL like most orbital launch vehicles?
AnarchoEngineer's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
154 views

Is there a system for determining the class of a rocket?

I'm not so sure on the specs. So, I'll just look up my handy spacey rocket class chart, oh, I don't have one. The system should class rockets into these classes: light, medium, and heavy. The real ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
81 views

What are the differences between Skyroot Aerospace's Vikram-S and Vikram-1?

Skyroot Aerospace (an Indian aerospace startup ) is ready to launch its first launch vehicle Vikram-S, which is the suborbital version of Vikram-1. What are the differences in flight hardware between ...
Ashvin's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
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Where do the separated stages of ISRO Launch Vehicle Mark 3 (LVM3) end up?

ISRO Launch Vehicle Mark 3 (LVM3) is a three stage launch vehicle: First stage – S200 Boosters Second stage – L110 Third stage – C25 Where do each of these stages end up after a launch?
Ritesh Singh's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
626 views

Is a low-energy cruise an option for manned lunar flights?

Some lunar probes such as GRAIL travelled on a different trajectory to the Moon that went even much farther than the Moon itself is from Earth, to a Langrangian point, so why isn't this option ever ...
Nullnummer's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
361 views

Why weren't super heavy lift launch vehicles used for deep space missions?

According to this PDF Cassini-HuygensPDF, we would need to launch 70 tons if we wanted to do a Saturn transfer orbit from a low earth orbit. It says that there are no vehicles in NASA’s stable even ...
A. N Asker's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
313 views

Is Blue Origin redundant?

Blue Origin was founded in 2000, SpaceX in 2002. But so far, Blue Origin has only conducted Sub-orbital launches while SpaceX has launched high profile missions like DART. Can Blue Origin actually do ...
A. N Asker's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
93 views

do launch vehicles fly at negative angle of attacks after pitch over maneuver?

At early seconds of flight, launch vehicle goes up vertically. at the beginning of pitch over, it has vertical velocity and simultaneously pitching which makes the wind to flow from upward direction. ...
جامکلو حسن's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
201 views

Selection of booster for Mercury capsule

How did NASA verify that "Redstone (PGM 11?) was the most suitable rocket to launch Mercury capsule (1st launch)? From books like "Project Mercury - a chronology", and "This new ...
Niranjan's user avatar
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1 vote
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Is there any major difference between acceleration of solid propelled and liquid propelled rockets during launch

Few days ago, ISRO launched its PSLV-C53, which had solid first stage. (Clip here) Also, the SpaceX's starlink launched on 24th July, 2022, having liquid first stage. (Clip here) Is there any major ...
Priyansu Tank's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
120 views

Are there payloads that went to orbit without a protective fairing?

Reading about the Ultralight Starshade Structural Design, It seems some solution among others could be an umbrella based concept Since the starshade has to be roughly 100m in diameter, one could ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
199 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 ...
Starship - On Strike's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
140 views

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 ...
frank's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
359 views

For launch vehicles, during atmospheric stages, are there constraints on the yaw angle?

Most of the literature discusses the pitch angle and constraints on it, namely, trying to keep it zero for load relief. This leads to the gravity turn. I understand that ideal trajectories are within ...
SpacePotato's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
78 views

Atlas V booster appearance change in flight

In the livestream of the latest Atlas V 541 flight launching the GOES-T satelite I saw that the nosecones of the two visible boosters changed the appearance within a few seconds in the flight. Is this ...
Spaceman-21's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
780 views

European orbital rocket companies?

Besides the obvious Arianespace (France) with Ariane 5/6 Avio (Italy) with Vega/Vega C I found a few other new companies that haven't launched yet (to my knowledge), such as RFA (Germany) Isar ...
Bojan Kogoj's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
102 views

Cost breakdown of launch companies

One thing which I recently heard Peter Beck say in an interview with Tim Dodd was that the cost of running a launch company isn't primarily driven by the rocket itself, but the operations required to ...
hopper19's user avatar
  • 221
0 votes
0 answers
153 views

Is the SS-520-5 both a floor wax and a desert topping? Can it be considered both a sounding rocket and an orbital vehicle?

The answer to If there "won't be" rockets to launch individual cubesats, then why did JAXA build exactly that? (SS-520-xx) begins The SS-520-5 launcher is not intended to be an ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
5 votes
1 answer
572 views

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 ...
BrendanLuke15's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
584 views

Material used in LOX propellant tank

Most launch vehicles use aluminum alloy AA2219 for LOX propellant tanks, has anyone used AA6061 with additional coating instead?
suzi Venus's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
174 views

Evolution of Saturn V for JFK's Man on Moon mission

While reading about history of Saturn family of rockets, I read that all the Saturn rockets were initially designed to meet defense requirements for heavy lift vehicles. I was reading a NASA ...
Niranjan's user avatar
  • 3,758
3 votes
0 answers
89 views

How is a launch vehicle aligned to the hold down post when assembled and rolled out horizontally?

Launch vehicles like Falcon are rolled out in horizontal position, joined to hold down post and raised by the strongback. How are the misalignments between launch vehicle and hold down pins overcome? ...
suzi Venus's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
157 views

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 ...
suzi Venus's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
214 views

Why did Black Arrow have a tail skirt?

Next week marks the 50th anniversary of the UK's one and only satellite launch on one of her own rockets - Prospero, aboard the Black Arrow. In-flight photos of the Black Arrow look odd because there ...
GordonD's user avatar
  • 1,153
7 votes
2 answers
139 views

KARI's homegrown KSLV-II almost hit the target orbit on its very first launch. How many OLVs can boast success on the first flight attempt?

Outdated: KSLV-II is a homegrown South Korean orbital launch vehicle. While KARI's launched the Russian-derived KSLV-I before, KSLV-II (or Nuri) uses only new, domestic, hitherto un-flight-tested ...
Anton Hengst's user avatar
  • 10.7k
3 votes
1 answer
288 views

Which pipeline is this, found outside the launch vehicle?

which pipeline is this found on the electron launch vehicle?
suzi Venus's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
693 views

Why were American Apollo-era launch towers red, and why was the reused elements of the Shuttle-era FSS painted over in grey?

This image of STS-8 shows red peeking through the grey of the launch structure. That got me thinking... Mercury-Atlas launch towers were red (although Mercury-Redstone's towers were yellow, I think) ...
Anton Hengst's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
380 views

Does electric fuel pumping scale well for rockets?

The Electron launch vehicle first stage has nine Rutherford engines In addition to adapting the single-engine-out-friendly nine engine configuration from the Falcon-9, the rocket carries a significant ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
1 vote
0 answers
52 views

Launch excapse system for satellite payloads? [duplicate]

Once a rocket lifts off, there is usually no abort mode that does not involve the destruction of the rocket, and on a satellite launch, the payload. Therefore, expendeble satellite launchers are quite ...
Abdullah is not an Amalekite's user avatar
7 votes
0 answers
92 views

Are launch vehicles or payloads transported through the Suez canal very often? Ever?

There are some comments under How do SpaceX intend to transport their starship/super heavy? referencing rockets in tight places including whatever you do, don't send it thru the Suez Canal :-) ...
uhoh's user avatar
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