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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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1answer
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Why are the blueprints of old satellites still not available to public?

There are old, now mostly useless blueprints of old satellites, (or rockets, or pieces of software, or engineer's notes, e.t.c) but they are still closed to public. Why? Can it harm the Space Agency ...
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0answers
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Proton K or M altitude at Max-Q

I'm trying to fill out a sketch table as part of a research project, and I've run into a bit of a snag. Hopefully someone here can help me out. I'd like to know the altitude of the Proton K or M ...
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1answer
73 views

Loading the LOX into Falcon 9 V1.1 and Falcon 9 Full Thrust

It is clear from the spaceflight101.com that there is difference in Launch sequences of Falcon 9 FT and Falcon 9 V1.1. Clearly, Spacex has found a way to load the tank in 30 minutes (falcon 9 FT) as ...
3
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1answer
63 views

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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3answers
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How is thrust transmitted from strap on boosters to the central core?

Strap on boosters of a lot of heavy launch vehicles seems to be attached with just a few "flimsy" struts. Here are few images for reference : Some of the possibilities: These support structures ...
8
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1answer
171 views

What are the small red cylinders used for on the bottom of the Soyuz Launch vehicle?

They are fitted on each of the first stage strap on boosters and on the second stage core and are all orientated the same way. Pipes and cables connect to the stages from the cylinders. I believe they ...
1
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1answer
73 views

Quantitative benefits of Atlas II's engine-dropping or 1.5 staging?

The question Would there be any advantages for a rocket with two “half stages”? begins with: A "half stage" is a rocket stage which separates with its engines, but not fuel tanks. Common examples ...
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Who owns the IP developed in the VentureStar program?

The VentureStar program including the prototype X-33 cost upwards of $1 billion, surely some of that went into still meaningful intellectual property. Who would own it now? NASA provided the funding, ...
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Pressurization line (Helium to LOX tank line) chilling while pressurizing LOX tank

I have read that in rockets and launch vehicles Helium is used for the pressurization of propellant tanks. What temperature Helium is stored at? If Helium is stored at room temperature then while ...
0
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1answer
92 views

Has the use of any commercial launch vehicle's engines on an unrelated vehicle ever been seriously considered?

When reading On the Cusp: What’s NextDARPA Perspective on Space Briefing prepared for 53rd Robert H. Goddard Memorial Symposium March 12, 2015 I saw the slide shown below. The slide's heading is ...
2
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2answers
142 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 ...
3
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1answer
73 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
78 views

Center of gravity calculation for any rocket or launch vehicle

I understand that the the center of gravity can be calculated by making a 3D model of the rocket or launch vehicle when it is completely filled and stationary. But in case of continuous ascent (i.e. ...
7
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3answers
162 views

Have there been any other cheap, modular launcher designs like the OTRAG?

The OTRAG rocket is an interesting design. Vehicles would be assembled from 4 to hundreds of identical rocket modules. By using an extremely simple design, producing the modules cheaply using ...
0
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1answer
185 views

Will Japan's Interstellar Technologies really call its rocket a “Zero”?

The Space News article Japan’s Interstellar Technologies goes full throttle toward small orbital rocket says: LOGAN, Utah — Japanese startup Interstellar Technologies is developing the main engine ...
12
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1answer
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How can a rocket go straight up after ignition? [duplicate]

We have seen during rocket launches that the rocket goes straight up after the launch clamps have disconnected. What ensures that it doesn't tilt because of the uneven mass distribution? How does a ...
0
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1answer
162 views

Has an object ever been put in orbit where the first stage was always at maximum thrust?

Variable thrust through changing the number of engines burning, or through propellant throttling, or other means is often/usually done to reduce maximum aerodynamic stresses on the rocket as well as ...
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4answers
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Do launchers using only solid propellant exist?

The question is restricted to launchers that have already been used to launch an object into orbit before today (April 2018). Some military ballistic missiles run only on solid propergol (e.g. the ...
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1answer
152 views

Why is ISRO's PSLV named “Polar”? Are there challenges for other inclinations?

The "P" in ISRO's PSLV stands for "Polar". Is there anything particularly "polar" about this launch vehicle, or is the use of the word in the name of the rocket more historical or for marketing ...
4
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1answer
267 views

What are the falling parts in this ISRO rocket launch?

ISRO launched IRNSS-1I satellite yesterday using its versatile PSLV-XL. In the launch video (from 00:35 to 00:40), within five seconds of the launch, many large parts of the rocket are seen to be ...
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3answers
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Pressure inside a launch fairing - falcon 9

This article indicates that a faclon 9 launch is being delayed due to an issue with the "payload fairing pressurization system". Are launch fairings pressurized to 1 atmosphere for the benefit of the ...
0
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1answer
72 views

What single figure best compares the mass launch capacities of different rockets?

How much kinetic energy does a given launch give its payload? Could all launches be fairly lined up according to one single scalar representing how much kinetic energy they have actually delivered to ...
6
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1answer
100 views

How does horizontal payload mounting influence satellite design

Payloads have to withstand forces of several G, but those forces point backwards toward the rocket engines (or close to). Also, while the launcher is in the pad the satellite is subject to 1G, but ...
5
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1answer
346 views

Why Has Research Moved Away from SSTO Launch Systems? [closed]

I remember in the late 90's and early 00's it seemed like SSTO launch vehicles were all the rage and they were even building the X-33, then suddenly nobody wanted to talk about SSTO vehicles anymore. ...
4
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1answer
323 views

Was Sea Dragon second stage reusability ever plausible?

Many websites consistently claim that the first stage of the enormous Sea Dragon rocket was intended to be reusable. While recovering a giant booster from sea after a splashdown may seem tricky, it ...
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0answers
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Implementing control system to track position and velocity references simultaneously

I've been trying to implement a PI (proportional-integral) controller to allow a launch vehicle to track 2 reference states simultaneous, namely position and velocity, so that the launch vehicle will ...
6
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1answer
288 views

To what extent, if any, does the exterior paint color of a launch vehicle affect its propellant & vehicle thermal management?

Many orbital launch vehicles use a combination of a chilled oxidiser (usually LOX when dealing with liquid-fuelled rockets) and a fuel (commonly RP-1, but with many designs now opting for Methane). ...
5
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0answers
109 views

What is the smallest launcher that has put a satellite in geostationary orbit?

Minotaur V might become a candidate for the smallest current launcher to put a payload in GEO, but it has only launched LADEE yet. The first satellite in GEO seems to have been Syncom 1 which launched ...
3
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1answer
123 views

How long does the upper stage stay in orbit if the payload is released on GTO?

A launcher upper stage may not stay in orbit for long, as it does not need to go as high as the payload and thus travel at an altitude at which although it is thin, the atmosphere is still dense ...
2
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1answer
118 views

Fuel-optimal thrust profile for an orbital ascent on a planet with an atmosphere

This is a continuation of a previous question posted a few months ago. If we consider a SSTO vehicle launching from a planet with an atmosphere, would it be fuel optimal to have a period of lowered ...
3
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3answers
109 views

What uncrewed interplanetary exploration probes have launched on heavy/superheavy-lift vehicles?

What uncrewed interplanetary probes have launched on heavy/superheavy-lift rockets? I'm using NASA's definitions of heavy and super-heavy vehicles; heavy-lift is 20-50 metric tons to LEO, super-heavy ...
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1answer
612 views

How can the same upper stage be optimal on a common core booster as well as on a single booster?

Bundling three or five first stage cores together improves the launch capacity a great deal. But Delta, Falcon and Angara are supposed to use the same upper stage in their multiple common core ...
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4answers
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How large could launchers become?

I've heard that the size of Saturn V was pretty much as big as could've been built in the 1960s. And the Soviet N1 did basically fail because it was too large for their infrastructure and engine size ...
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2answers
874 views

What does determine when a rocket goes from a vertical trajectory to an horizontal one?

Rockets are launched vertically and then turn to have an horizontal course. It sems logical to begin vertically to reach less denser atmosphere quickly and to travel horizontally when reaching low ...
5
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1answer
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Using large orbital launchers as sounding rockets. What are the opportunities and challenges?

Instead of launching a payload to orbit, consider one of the big launchers of today (like Atlas V, Ariane 5, Falcon 9, Proton) being used as a sounding rocket for astronomical observation purposes. ...
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4answers
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What does it take to make a spacecraft able to launch on any out of several different launcher types?

Choice of launcher seems to be an early decision in the design of spacecrafts. There would be an advantage to having the option to easily change launcher, especially for an interplanetary mission with ...
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2answers
228 views

Some examples of pressure fed engines used on launch vehicles

Are there any examples of pressure fed engines used on launch vehicles? I already know of the ones on the wikipedia page which include Firefly Space Systems OTRAG (rocket) Quad (rocket) of Armadillo ...
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1answer
309 views

Is the Towed Glider Air-Launch System's glider now also a rocket?

In an answer to a previous question, I learned about the game-changing nature of Towed Glider Air-Launch System technology. While the glider in the Towed Glider Air-Launch System (here, here, and ...
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2answers
424 views

What is the game that the Towed Glider Air-Launch System (actually) changes?

I understand that the Space Technology Mission Directorate's Game Changing Development program https://gameon.nasa.gov/ has a broad scope and is not necessarily focused on immediate payoff. ...
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2answers
281 views

How would a bulk payload like fuel (instead of delicate technology) change boost to LEO optimization?

This answer suggests that if a payload were simply bulk propellant, such as LH2 and LOX, and not delicate technology such as an interplanetary probe or communications satellite, then there may be some ...
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0answers
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What factors prohibit building a space cannon to launch raw materials? [duplicate]

I am envisioning a magnetic cannon to launch materials directly from Earth's surface to geosynchronous equatorial orbit. The parameters I have in mind are a near vacuum launch tube, about 10 km in ...
5
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1answer
267 views

With 31/32 successful launches why isn't the Delta IV a category 3 certified launch vehicle

I'm having some trouble understanding the requirements for launch vehicle certification. According to NPD 8610.7D the requirements for a category three LV are "a demonstrated flight record of a ...
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1answer
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What does it mean for a launcher to be 'nuclear-certified'?

This article says NASA has booked a nuclear-certified Atlas 5 for the launch of the Mars 2020 rover, and says this: currently, Atlas 5 is the only launch vehicle that holds a NASA certification ...
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1answer
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What is/was the smallest orbital launch system, by total mass?

What is (or was, if it's no longer in use) the system with lowest launch mass, capable of putting (any) payload in (or reaching) LEO? "How small" did we get with orbital flights? (and yes, I realize ...
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0answers
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When were these Pegasus photos taken?

This NASA Spaceflight Tweet shows historical photos of (presumably) Antonio Elias wishing Pegasus well. Does anyone know for sure if these are circa the first flight in 1990? Before or after? ...
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5answers
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Why does NASA not replicate existing manned launch systems?

Since the retirement of the Space Shuttle, NASA has depended on contracts with Russia to launch manned vehicles to the International Space Station. The specifics for other manned spacecraft must be ...
4
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1answer
160 views

Does ISRO's RLV have a future manned spacecraft in mind?

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is currently testing a Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) in a technology demonstration program. Does this program have a future manned vehicle in mind? Or is ...
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2answers
402 views

What kind of missions are US surplus ICBM's capable of launching?

It has been proposed that the US military should repurpose suborbital, nuclear weapons carrying, intercontinental ballistic missiles for civil use, like Russia and Ukraine has done since decades. How ...
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0answers
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Is there a website or database which lists launch vehicle accidents and reasons in detail?

Looking for online databases or printed compilations of launch vehicle accidents, mistakes done while fabricating rockets and preventive measure taken.
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1answer
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For how long will the Soyuz 2.1v launcher use the old NK33 engines?

I understand that the Soyuz 2.1v launcher will switch from using the NK33 engine to the new RD-193 when stocks of the former are finished. Does anyone know how many launches, beyond the two so far, ...