Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

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.

-2
votes
1answer
328 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....
2
votes
2answers
152 views

What are the modifications done to carry a different spacecraft with the same launch vehicle?

I was curious to know what exactly are the changes done in any reusable launch vehicle to carry various different spacecrafts? Is there any standard procedure that is followed? Like do they change ...
4
votes
0answers
118 views

Why is NASA buying expensive rockets from ULA when SpaceX is offering the same thing for almost half the price?

Source: https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-ula-nasa-launch-contract-win-vastly-overpriced-official-protest/ SpaceX has filed an official protest with the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Why did the X-15 not achieve orbit?

The X-15 has a maximum velocity of 7.274 km/s. As the velocity to achieve orbit is 8 km/s, why did they not fly horizontal/diagonal until they achieved around 7km/s and then go vertical to get to ...
2
votes
0answers
82 views

What was the most recent launch of a nuclear reactor, and what are the current barriers to launching the next one?

This question about Kilopower nuclear reactors got me thinking. Answer(s) to How many nuclear fission reactors have been launched into space? How many are still there? suggest that most nuclear ...
4
votes
1answer
93 views

Is a kilowatt per square centimeter a typical launch engine's thermal energy flux (density)?

I saw the following image while searching for this answer in Sung Hwan Kim's thesis Germanium-Source Tunnel Field Effect Transistors for Ultra-Low Power Digital Logic It plots power density in Watts ...
50
votes
5answers
5k views

How much bigger could Earth be, before rockets would't work?

hint: Apparently the Tsiolkovsky rocket equation does not actually say that you can launch a conventional rocket into orbit around an arbitrarily large and massive body. Question: "How much bigger ...
3
votes
0answers
121 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
129 views

How might SpinLaunch actually spin something fast enough to launch it into orbit?

Ars Technica's Edition 1.34 of the Rocket Report! says: SpinLaunch signs deal with Spaceport America. Spaceport America has announced that SpinLaunch has signed a lease to conduct tests at the ...
13
votes
2answers
3k views

How much fuel can SpaceX save by landing the Falcon 9 booster on a barge?

It sounds from the text of this tweet like Elon Musk plans to continue to do barge landings over the long term: "Base is 300 ft by 100 ft, with wings that extend width to 170 ft. Will allow refuel &...
6
votes
2answers
411 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
6k views

Why are rockets cylindrical?

What are the drag coefficients for a cylinder, a wedge, etc? I know there are other reasons for a rocket to be cylindrical that aren't related to aerodynamics such as efficiency when mixing the ...
28
votes
1answer
4k views

What are these membranes at the aft end of the Shuttle that get torn off during lift off?

The link to the Space Shuttle launch video. At 1:30 mark, three circular disks get torn away. It happens immediately after the engine ignition begins. Here is a cropped image of the Discovery after ...
3
votes
1answer
125 views

Why does the exhaust plume apprear to be throbbing?

Here is a cropped video of the space shuttle exhaust. There appears to be some throbbing/oscillatory behaviour to the exhaust plume. It is often visible along with an intensity changes/fluctuation ...
5
votes
1answer
562 views

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 ...
7
votes
3answers
5k views

What are the consequences of Vertical vs Horizontal integration for SpaceX?

One of the issues the Air Force has with using SpaceX as a launch provider is that their payloads are designed for vertical integration. That is, the booster stands on the pad upright, and the ...
33
votes
5answers
6k views

Has any spacecraft ever been flown manually to orbit?

Has anyone ever manually flown a spacecraft to orbit, Kerbal Space Program-style?
38
votes
1answer
8k views

Why did the Tesla Roadster spend time in the Van Allen belt?

Following the Falcon Heavy launch, the second stage + Roadster payload spent a number of hours 'drifting' through the Van Allen belt before performing the burn to put it into its current orbit. Elon ...
1
vote
0answers
47 views

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
284 views

Puzzler: What acceleration are these astronauts experiencing?

From only the video footage within the capsule, please estimate the rocket's acceleration (gee's). http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-39658947 Show all work and assumptions. There is a ...
-7
votes
2answers
485 views

Can a reusable electric powered blimp stage for launch possible?

Originally this question asked about using blimps and electricity in replacement of boosters. As written then it was no good and got down votes. I had a few question marks and each question really ...
6
votes
0answers
76 views

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-...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

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. ...
5
votes
0answers
37 views

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 ...
25
votes
1answer
17k views

What are the droplets/particles falling off rockets at launch?

In this picture from the AsiaSat 6 launch by Falcon 9 on 8th September 2014, the part of the rocket between the fairing and the engine appears to be surrounded by dust, water droplets or debris: And ...
7
votes
2answers
542 views

Why does NASA still use film cameras?

According to this video, NASA still operates some cameras for tracking rocket launches that use film: According to NASA, they even have some film cameras placed around their launch site loaded ...
5
votes
1answer
180 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

How long does Max-Q last?

When watching rocket launches, the commentary or status reports often mention that the vehicle is "passing through Max-Q" - how long does the "passing" take? Is the event instantaneous or is there ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

Has SpaceX re-used a first stage twice yet?

SpaceX has re-used a first stage once, several times now. Has it re-used the same first stage twice yet? If not, has a particular mission been named that will be the first second re-use?
0
votes
1answer
65 views

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 ...
11
votes
0answers
195 views

How did “the kid” (John Meisenheimer) calculate that there was a wave in the jet stream and Explorer 1 would be okay to launch?

This tough question links to the NASA YouTube video NASA 60th: How It All Began which shows a lot of really nice, historical file footage and stills. After about ...
2
votes
1answer
168 views

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 ...
2
votes
0answers
53 views

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 ...
-1
votes
3answers
240 views

Could a bottle rocket be up scaled to achieve orbit?

Could you construct an orbital stick stabilized rocket, by scaling up a firework?
1
vote
0answers
82 views

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 ...
6
votes
5answers
23k views

How far south can one see a rocket launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida?

I'll be in Miami this Thursday 30th of March and there is a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch from LC-39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida (if it's not delayed). I won't be able to drive north to be on ...
15
votes
1answer
42k views

How long does it take to get to ISS?

The ISS is in orbit about 250 miles high, the students in this related question get 62 miles in less than a minute. This NASA Press release indicates the The Soyuz TMA-13M launch on May 2014 has a 6 ...
15
votes
2answers
17k views

Launch Accelerations: Values, history

This topic: What G-forces do different launchers cause? indicates that current satellite launchers are limiting peak acceleration to about 4g. I'm pretty sure the STS (Shuttle) did the same. My ...
2
votes
0answers
118 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
243 views

For an Apollo Lunar Module Ascent Stage launch, what is the optimal profile of $\beta$ (or $\gamma$) vs time?

When Apollo astronauts departed the lunar surface in the Lunar Module's Ascent Stage, it appeared to rise vertically ($\beta$ = 0) for ~10 seconds and then begin the "tipover" (videos of Apollo 15, 16 ...
2
votes
2answers
117 views

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 ...
9
votes
5answers
6k views

Cubesat Launch Costs

What are tentative launch costs for 1U/3U cubesat on popular launchers? I checked up ISRO, SpaceX and others. Only RocketLab provides exact cost for cubesat as a piggy-back launch: \$77k / \$240k for ...
0
votes
0answers
37 views

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?
7
votes
1answer
204 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
617 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. ...
3
votes
0answers
51 views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
594 views

What computer programs does ITAR say I can or can not write, or share, or use in the US?

After reading this answer by someone knowledgeable in the field, I realized that I still don't understand even a little bit what International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) (and its cousins) does ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Rabbits in Space

It seems that first rabbit was launched into space around 1959. There are differences in sources (Wikipedia, Korabl-Sputnik 2, does not mention rabbits) but it appears several rabbits have been ...
3
votes
1answer
69 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
616 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 ...