Questions tagged [recovery]

Refers to retrieving spacecraft or related equipment instead of simply expending it. Use with the related equipment tag(s) (i.e. [rockets]).

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Why aren't ejectable engine blocks in use today?

Related to my previous question regarding expending the RS-25s. Why aren't engine blocks, especially those expensive RS-25s on the SLS, made ejectable from the fuel tank assembly and parachute to be ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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Why not first stage rocket recovery at launching site after one orbit?

Rockets first stage recovery at launch site needs a significant amount of fuel for going back. This is why SpaceX most often uses sea platform and booster back burn for re-entry. As we see on Falcon9 ...
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What is the "recovery" helicopter for the Electron booster carrying?

This Rocket Lab tweet says While we won’t be attempting a mid-air capture today, for the first time a helicopter will be stationed in the recovery zone offshore to track and observe the descending ...
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What would have happened if an Apollo/Gemini/Mercury splashdown hit a ship?

This had to be a possibility - an unguided splashdown location is very hard to predict and there is a huge flotilla waiting for it. Did NASA publish the probability of a capsule hitting a ship rather ...
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Have lasers ever been used to track laser-reflective parachute cloth for spaceflight missions? And what is it by the way?

In the JAXA PDF Hayabusa2 Information Fact Sheet (Ver. 2. 3, 2018. 07. 05, found here) on slide/page number 53 there is a diagram labeled Re-entry sequence overview and in the top right corner is ...
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Thrown-together $200 million mission to asteroid 2020 SO; check out or nudge to longer-lasting mini-moon orbit

This tweet says in part: Earth's potential new minimoon, 2020 SO may be the Surveyor 2 Centaur rocket body, launched in September 1966. Integrating backwards shows 2020 SO2 to also be orbiting Earth ...
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Camera cuts on live Dragon capsule recovery as astronauts put on stretcher

I noticed that, during the recovery of the astronauts of the first Dragon landing, the live streaming camera was placed beautifully on the ship and one viewpoint was used the entire time, except for a ...
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Why did they use uprighting bags in different sizes for the Apollo CM?

The Apollo 17 CM after recovery, image ap17-S72-55889 from ALSJ. Part of the Apollo 12 image ap12-69-H-1895: If the capsule splashed down with the apex under water, the white spherical uprighting ...
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What is this "black box" at the top of Apollo 17 CM?

An Apollo 17 recovery image of the top of the CM, ap17-S72-55888 from ALSJ. What is the black box under the parachute mortar? See the green rectangle. It might be a part of the recovery system, a ...
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Is it the Apollo CM "flowerpot parachute attachment fitting"?

An Apollo 17 recovery image of the top of the CM, ap17-S72-55888 from ALSJ. What is the structure inside the red polygon (drawn by me)? Is it the "flowerpot parachute attachment fitting"? ...
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Were these Apollo 14 and 15 recovery images taken (by a Navy frogman) using an underwater camera?

These images were taken after the flotation collar was mounted and inflated by the frogmen. Also the raft was inflated. The divers jumped off a helicopter before, no rescue ship was present. Camera ...
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How will the recovery of the first crewed Crew Dragon water recover differ from previous recoveries of Crew and Cargo flavors?

The NASA video Expedition 63 Inflight with New York Times, Fox News, and USA Today - July 7, 2020 includes an interview with Fox News reporter Bill Hemmer, who asks: I am most interested in your ...
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Were the "frogmen" who performed ocean recovery Navy SEALs?

The ocean landings of Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo were assisted by "frogmen" rescue divers. They were dropped from helicopters to assist with the recovery of the crew and capsule. The U.S. ...
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In designing the Apollo capsule, was consideration given to lashing it down?

At https://history.nasa.gov/afj/ap11fj/cm-107_graffiti.html, there is a picture of CM-107, alias the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia, aboard the recovery ship Hornet. So, after splash-down, the ...
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What became of slowing down and recovering the falcon 9 upper stage using large balloons

On 16 April 2018, Elon Musk posted on twitter This is gonna sound crazy, but … SpaceX will try to bring rocket upper stage back from orbital velocity using a giant party balloon And then land on a ...
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Why aren't there more 1.5 stage rockets?

Why aren't 1.5 stage rockets, like the SM-65 Atlas, used as small sat launchers? It seems to me like that would be simple as you don't need as many tanks and the plumbing to connect the to the engines ...
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Where did the floatation collar and sea anchor attach to the command module?

When the recovery helicopters arrived after an Apollo splashdown, one of the first tasks was for Navy divers to attach a flotation collar and sea anchor to the spacecraft. The flotation collar kept ...
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Why is the Falcon Heavy center core recovery done at sea?

Why does SpaceX attempt sea recoveries of the Falcon Heavy center core instead of staying at altitude and performing a land based recovery at a different site?
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4 answers
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Why doesn't the Falcon-9 first stage use three legs to land?

The immediate thought that would probably come into your mind would be "Because 4 legs is more stable than 3." However that is not always true. 3 legs offer the same or in some cases more stability as ...
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Why no parachutes in the Orion AA2 abort test?

On July 2, 2019, the Ascent Abort 2 test of the Orion spacecraft was performed, with the Orion command module ascending on a solid rocket booster, then firing its launch escape system to safely ...
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Why doesn't SpaceX land boosters in Africa?

Apart from the obvious answer that it'd take too long to get the booster back across the Atlantic, why doesn't SpaceX leave the main or centre booster in space a little bit longer and guide it to land ...
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Did the Falcon Heavy center core miss the drone ship or abort?

On the recent Space Test Program-2 Falcon Heavy launch, the center core crashed into the ocean. Unlike the test flight, however, it was not due to running out of TEA-TEB lighter fluid. From the video ...
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Why did the number of recovery ships decrease with time?

This NASA page names the various ocean ships that have helped recover NASA spacecraft. There is a general trend that later missions used fewer ships. Read the link for details, but here are some ...
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Why did the Falcon Heavy center core fall off the ASDS OCISLY barge?

On the second flight of the Falcon Heavy, they successfully landed the side cores at LZ-1 and LZ-2, and the center core downrange on the ASDS Of Course I Still Love You. Reports have come in that ...
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Why does this boat have a landing pad? (SpaceX's GO Searcher) Any plans for propulsive capsule landings?

The BBC News article SpaceX Dragon demo capsule set to return to Earth talks about the return of the first Crew Dragon capsule to Earth: Four parachutes should bring it into soft contact with water ...
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How to slow a spinning spacecraft externally?

I came accross the is question What are the consequences to breaking the ISS? and wander how would a spacecraft be made to stop spinning from the outside? Scenarios might include (but are not limited ...
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Is half of a SpaceX fairing a viable lifting body?

If it was powered, would a shape such as a half-fairing produce any lift, or could it be modified to both work as fairing, and lifting body?
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19 votes
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Why do rockets not glide back?

After stage separation, why do the rockets not glide back to Earth with wings? Is retro propulsion a better idea than gliding rockets back to 'Earth'? Take Energia-II as an example: Source: buran.ru ...
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Chilling during restart of Spacex first stage engine [duplicate]

As I know that all the liquid rocket engines go through chilling process for different components (like pipes, engine, injector plate, etc.) before starting the ignition. At the time of launch the ...
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Does the downrange position of an ASDS vary, depending on payload mass?

SpaceX in its recovery attempts can either do a Return To Launch Site (RTLS) or land downrange on an ASDS landing barge. The Telesat 19V and 18V payloads were some of the heaviest payloads on the ...
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Would having the Falcon fairing reconnect be possible/beneficial?

I understand that many of the problems with recovering the two pieces of the Falcon 9 fairing deal with the weird aerodynamic patterns of the descent. It is by no means an aerodynamically sound object ...
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17 votes
2 answers
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Why is the first stage from the Falcon 9 SES-12 mission not recovered?

Youtube video here At 4:13 minutes into the Iridium-6/GRACE-FO NASA Launch, the commentator mentions: The first stage is not going to be recovered, so there won't be any views from the drone ship ...
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30 votes
3 answers
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Why won't they recover the Falcon 9 from CRS-14?

According to the upcoming livestream of SpaceX CRS-14 (resupply of ISS): SpaceX will not attempt to recover Falcon 9’s first stage after launch. Why not? Wasn't that the whole point of (among ...
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Falcon 9 fairings stability on reentry

On the descent of the fairings into the atmosphere how is stability provided? Why does it not start to rotate in a uncontrollable fall but reenter gently without apparently damage on the interior ...
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7 votes
2 answers
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Is SpaceX trying to catch two pieces of fairing with one boat?

During the Paz / Starlink demo mission (2/22/18), SpaceX attempted to catch the fairing before it splashed-down into the ocean. They failed to catch it by just a few hundred meters. My question is:...
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14 votes
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What was the point of the re-entry and landing burn of the first stage of the GovSat-1 launch?

Supposedly SpaceX did not intend to recover the first stage of the GovSat-1 launch. If so, what was the point of doing a re-entry burn and a landing burn, if they were just planning on dumping the ...
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Why are the new Titanium Grid fins not used on all Falcon 9 landings?

With the Block 4 version of the Falcon 9, one of the new features is the Titanium Grid fins, vs the previously used Aluminium fins. However, not all Block 4 flights have used the Ti vs Al fins. Is ...
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12 votes
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Why does one leg open slower than others on Falcon 9 landings?

I had noticed this before, but when landing, the legs do not open at exactly the same time or speed. For the CRS-13 mission, it was really obvious in this video around 50 seconds into the video. ...
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9 votes
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Have there been individual satellites that have been deployed and recovered more than twice?

Have there been individual satellites that have been deployed into Earth orbit (or beyond) and recovered safely back to Earth's surface more than twice? Deployed means it's not a launch vehicle ...
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What is a "re-radiation system"?

In SpaceX's Echostar XXIII Hosted Webcast after T+ 00:03:50 they mentioned the "re-radiation system" as a part of the payload fairing that increased it's value and ...
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Do 'size of a bus' sized F9 fairings ever float after impact? Are they navigation hazards?

This and this answer describe the Falcon 9 fairings as being quite large, with the payload volume being roughly "the size of a bus" or simply REALLY REALLY big. 13 meters by 4.6 meters and being ...
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3 answers
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What makes 21st century fairings so valuable that they'd potentially be recovered and re-used?

I've read in @geoff's answer that SpaceX is doing some experimentation that may lead to fairing recovery capability. In fact I remember hearing Elon Musk mentioning a few years ago that it was being ...
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Is there a way to recover any of the energy of reentry of a Mars lander?

Is there a way to recover any of the energy of reentry of a Mars lander? Tremendous energy is generated as a craft enters the atmosphere – admittedly over a fairly short time - and only one time. We ...
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Why is it such a big thing to recover the first stage in a reusable way? [duplicate]

When I got it right, the big problem to overcome for SpaceX was, to get the right technique to land the first stage properly. This requires the first stage also to have enough fuel, so it can burn ...
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Why won't the SLS boosters be recovered?

The SLS will be using five segment boosters derived from the four segment ones used during the STS program. Almost all of the STS boosters were recovered and reused, however NASA doesn't plan to ...
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2 votes
3 answers
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How variable is the landing spot of a reusable Falcon 9 with a GTO payload

It is common knowledge know that SpaceX uses the landing barges when the requirements for the first stages are so high that a return-to-base is not achievable. This seems to occur both in case of GTO ...
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16 votes
2 answers
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Is the Falcon Heavy booster much simpler to land than the Falcon 9 first stage?

Given the fact that the Boosters of the Falcon Heavy will separate much earlier during ascent (and hence at much lower speeds), there should be a notable difference in the complexity (and thus chance ...
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4 votes
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What are the version number and identification names for each Falcon 9-r boosters?

I would like to track the all the Falcon 9-r boosters that are landing or are attempting to land. I know that the third booster which landed successfully is the F9-0024-S1 but I don't know the ...
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What is the burn time for the F9 boostback / reentry / landing burns?

I'm trying to figure out the timing of the 3 recovery burns and the total fuel reserve needed to perform them. [Answers Inlined] Boostback: [30] seconds of 3-engines at full-thrust. Reentry: [20] ...
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9 votes
3 answers
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Falcon 9 - fuel needed to hop back from a barge

There were multiple mentions of the future ideal first stage ASDS landings - if the mission won't have enough deltaV to do a RTLS, then just land on the barge, refuel and "hop" back to the launch site....
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