Questions tagged [launch-vehicle]

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

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3
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1answer
150 views

Does NASA really report the power of rockets in horsepower?

On a recent episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson said: And to this day NASA will still report the power of rockets in horsepower, which is completely absurd, ...
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1answer
89 views

Shape of satellite launch vehicle

I was watching videos on YouTube, and I came across a fact that satellite launch vehicle has shape like a nose or you can ogive shape and I search on Google related to that, and I found that it ...
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Have studies / worked examples, including mass figures, been published for these reentry methods for reusable upper stages?

(Related: is there a general rule of thumb for thermal protection systems?) For a fully-reusable launch vehicle to be developed, we need a lightweight thermal protection system and method for (...
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1answer
1k views

Rockoon on steroids

In typical rockoon a balloon is the lifting body to the upper atmosphere where a rocket is released and ignited. But I would like to ask about a variation to launch small payloads to space. Instead ...
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2answers
432 views

Does Arianespace have a modified Soyuz launch vehicle?

Ars Technica's OneWeb joins the satellite Internet gold rush this week says: The company chose to partner with Arianespace and its modified Soyuz launch vehicle for the 2020 launches because, ...
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2answers
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Launch system to get a 75,000 kg object to geostationary orbit?

Is there any current launch system that could get a 75,000 kg object to geostationary orbit? If not, am I correct in assuming the Saturn V could have gotten such an object there?
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Were there any launch vehicles with so heavily pronounced Plume Induced Flow Separation (PIFS), other than Saturn V?

This answer describes a very interesting phenomenon of Plume Induced Flow Separation on Saturn V vehicle. (Apollo-6 S68-29737 photo, courtesy NASA) This is, basically, when "fire" from engine ...
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166 views

Why is the diameter of the boosters of some launch vehicles smaller than the diameter of their payload fairing?

Whilst watching yesterday's Starliner launch I've noticed how skinny that Centaur (3.1m) looks compared to the CST-100 (4.5m). Looking up the Atlas V I was amazed to find out that it has even larger (...
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1answer
148 views

NASA's definition of a launch vehicle

Does NASA's use of the term launch vehicle apply only to those that ascend from the Earth's surface and leave the atmosphere? If so why is the term limited that way?
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1answer
126 views

Are RTG-powered spacecraft restricted to only some launch vehicles? [duplicate]

This answer by PearsonArtPhoto mentions for spacecraft powered by an RTG there's "only a single rocket that can launch them (Atlas rockets)". Of course that probably doesn't apply to non-US launches, ...
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55 views

Commercial 3DoF/6DoF trajectory simulation and optimization tool for launch vehicle

Is there any 3DoF/6DoF trajectory simulation and optimization tool for launch vehicles like POST available commercially? If there whether it's how reliable when it comes to using for real-time ...
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1answer
69 views

What is the purpose of the pairs of cylinders on the interstage of PSLV?

In the following images, it can be seen that the interstage (separating the first stage PS1 and the second stage PS2) of the Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (...
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1answer
134 views

Can a lighter rocket lift more than a heavier rocket?

Let us consider two launch vehicles - "A" and "B". If "A" has a larger wet mass than "B", does this imply "A" has a higher payload capacity to a particular orbit, from a particular launch site than "B"...
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179 views

Are solid-fueled launch vehicles faster to orbit than liquid-fueled ones?

The (relatively) new Kuaizhou family of launch vehicles is described as "quick-reaction", and is based on ASAT and ICBM heritage. Solid-fueled rockets have been, historically, cheaper to launch on, ...
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2k views

Why do we need dedicated launch vehicles for small satellites?

The Wikipedia webpage on Small-lift launch vehicle gives a huge list of dedicated launch vehicles with a maximum payload capacity of 2,000 kg (4,400 lb) for small satellites, which are either retired,...
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1answer
248 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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2answers
511 views

How many space launch vehicles are under development worldwide?

I need to know how many space launch vehicles (across categories - small, medium , heavy etc) are under development, worldwide. For instance this report talks only about the number of Small Space ...
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1answer
114 views

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
113 views

What is “additional line load” [N/mm] for the Ariane 5 launch vehicle?

In the textbook Spacecraft Systems Engineering 4th ed. page 14, table 2.1 ("Acceleration values for the Ariane 5 launch vehicle") provides data on the loading of the Ariane 5 spacecraft. One of the ...
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3answers
478 views

Why don't launcher rockets ordinarily have names?

There are names for the class or family of launcher, e.g. Delta IV, Electron, Falcon. Sometimes the launcher is "named" for a specific configuration of a class, e.g. "Delta IV Medium+ (4,2)", "Chang ...
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77 views

Launch vehicle trajectory tool for ascent phase to orbit using PYTHON

Currently, I am developing a trajectory optimization tool for launch vehicle from lift-off to orbit using python for my project. Since I'm new to optimization problem, I am finding it hard to ...
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1answer
290 views

If there “won't be” rockets to launch individual cubesats, then why did JAXA build exactly that? (SS-520-xx)

The question Why isn't there a rocket to launch a single cubesat? has several good answers that explain why there isn't and/or will not likely be one, based mostly on commercial viability, consistent ...
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1answer
193 views

Is the space shuttle the only launcher that jettisson tank without any engines in its staging process?

All launcher I know jettison stages composed of both tank and engines. I do understand that: the jettison process is useful to get rid of dead weight jettison engines allows the use of more suited ...
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1answer
260 views

Why aren’t rocket stages modular and interchangeable?

Being an avid player of Kerbal Space Program, it is intensely frustrating to return to the real world and have to remind myself that rocket stages can’t generally be swapped out between rockets (...
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2answers
375 views

Why was the Energia’s payload capacity to lunar orbit greater than its payload capacity to geosynchronous orbit?

The Energia rocket, developed in the 1970s and 1980s to launch the Soviet Buran space shuttle, had the second-highest payload capacity (100 tonnes to LEO) of any rocket ever flown (and the highest-...
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205 views

How often did launch vehicles have a “Stage 0”, and what does it mean exactly?

While trying to do some reading for the question Need help understanding staging shown in infographic of Titan launch of Hexagon satellites I ran across the Wikipedia article for Titan III. This ...
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1answer
85 views

Need help understanding staging shown in infographic of Titan launch of Hexagon satellites

The NPR News item I Spy, Via Spy Satellite: Melting Himalayan Glaciers discusses use of declassified historical satellite images that include glaciers, and link to the newly published and Open Access ...
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3answers
278 views

Why does the Falcon 9 launch heavier payload in LEO than Ariane V and the other way around for GTO?

Browsing a comparison of orbital launch systems on wikipedia, I notice that launcher capable of launching payload in GTO can launch in GTO approximately all the mass of the payload they can launch in ...
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1answer
69 views

GLOM of a launch vehicle

What do you mean by GLOM of a launch vehicle? When I googled about it, it says it is a type of mass but I am unclear about it.
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History of multiple-payload launches?

Another question asks why Spirit and Opportunity weren't launched together. My gut response was that multiple-payload launches were less common then than they are today, but I don't actually know if ...
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1answer
86 views

How common are “parallel stages” in a launch vehicle?

I'm being told in this answer and in this comment that the fourth stage of the Farside rocketoon lies in the center of the four "cores" of the third stage. See this answer for several pictures of ...
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1answer
447 views

Was there any period of time when other U.S. launchers were abandoned in favor of the Shuttle?

The comments to this recent question disagree on whether the U.S. briefly abandoned other launch systems in favor of the Space Shuttle. The Shuttle was designed to be capable of bringing all U.S. ...
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Laser powered LEO launch system

Latest research on beam powered propulsion seem to focus on the microwave spectrum as it is easy to catch by the orbital vehicle. However I argue it could be way cheaper to use a solar powered laser ...
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1answer
90 views

What does the core stage of a launch vehicle mean?

I have seen the use of the term 'core stage' in the context of space launch vehicles. I am not able to clearly understand what it exactly means? I have learnt about launch vehicles having multiple ...
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0answers
141 views

Payload fairing separation- Event based or time based?

Refer the answer for this question How strong and "hot" is the wind on the payload after the fairing is deployed at ~110km? It is clear that the fairings are separated when the free ...
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1answer
279 views

New Terran 1 rocket - launch costs for Cubesat

I was reading about the Terran 1 rocket and the fact that the founding company managed to secure the launch site at Cape Canaveral. Pretty amazing story on its own but then I looked at prices and they ...
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1answer
826 views

What licenses do you need to launch a rocket and put something into orbit? [duplicate]

Do you need a licence to build, and fly a rocket (mainly flying)? Can you build any type of rocket and fly it anywhere at any time? Are there regulations on what you can take to space?
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1answer
142 views

Why did the S5.2/9D21 rocket engine engine have pyrocharges?

In a recent question, an answer showed a diagram of a Soviet S5.2/9D21 rocket engine. According to the diagram, there are four pyrocharges (3, 7, 24, and 27) in the engine. What is the purpose/...
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4k views

Why was the engine of the launch vehicle recently tested in Iran “not a very good missile engine”?

The NPR News item What's Iran Up To With Recent Rocket Launch Attempt? by NPR's Geoff Brumfiel, about a recent launch test in Iran includes the following: Earlier this week, Iran attempted to ...
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Why is SpaceX not creating its own launch vehicle for small satellites?

With a (predicted) $5.5 Billion dollar market, why isn't SpaceX trying to build its own 'mini launch vehicles'? With the brand and the technology they have, they can easily capture a huge chunk of the ...
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1answer
380 views

What are “high altitude winds” and why do they often delay rocket launches?

High altitude winds seem to frequently postpone launches from Earth to orbit. Presumably, they are fast and strong enough to induce stresses on a rocket or impede guidance, but that's guessing from ...
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1answer
3k views

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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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
119 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 ...
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1answer
113 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
3k views

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 ...
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263 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 ...
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1answer
219 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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135 views

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 ...