Questions tagged [reentry]

Questions related to the movement of human-made objects as they enter atmosphere of Earth or other planetary bodies with atmospheres from space after being successfully launched.

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What is the constant g-phase in Apollo re-entry, and why does it not show up on the graph?

On the Apollo 11 Flight Journal Day 9: Re-entry and Splashdown, it says something about the "Constant g-phase". This is what the ALSJ says: Planned drag level (deceleration) during the ...
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At what altitude did the Skylab space station disintegrate?

On the Wikipedia page it is written that SkyLab's reentry began at 16:37 UTC on July 11, 1979. But neither on the page nor in the source is it written how high the Skylab workshop started ...
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What is the splash down speed of the manned dragon capsule?

What's the rated speed of the crewed dragon capsule? Do we have any data on the actual measurement for the demo mission? I'd also appreciate any info on speed for Soyuz, other soviet manned, Apollo, ...
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Is there an equivalent of the Dragon 'claw' and Apollo umbilical fairing between the Soyuz crew and service modules?

The Apollo service module provided power etc. to the command module through umbilical connections covered by a fairing. When the two modules were separated, a 'guillotine' cut through the cables and ...
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Is there a risk that re-entering capsules or other components will hit ships or islands?

How precisely can the splash-down point of re-entering capsules (from Mercury onwards) be known in advance? Wasn't there a risk that capsules would hit a ship or an island? Likewise, Russian and ...
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Create something for the module when it lands into the ocean to drive it to shore

Food for thought: SpaceX has designed its new aircraft. Why doesn’t their team, develop some thing that will allow the astronauts to drive the module back to shore?
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What are the main stages of a Crew Dragon descent?

From answers to How much time it takes for the capsules to descend from ISS back down to Earth? I understand it takes 19 hours from the undocking from ISS until it touches the land. But what are the ...
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How hard would it be to get some comms during reentry?

As I type, a Crew Dragon is out of touch while it reenters. While I see how the plasma around the spaceship would make it very hard to communicate, I'm surprised that it is really impossible. How hard ...
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Would Dragon reenter safely if the nose cone stayed open?

If the nose cone does not close before reentry, would the Dragon capsule be safe after reentry? The nose cone protects important components like the forward hatch and guidance systems. How damaged ...
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Number of segment in Wing leading Edges

Can anyone highlight the basis of having 22 NO’s of segment in wing leading edges of space shuttle.
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How to design heatshield bluntness?

How is the bluntness or curvature of a heat shield of a reentry spacecraft designed? If the answer depends on size and mass, consider a deep space sample return "mini capsule" 50 cm in ...
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How long was Sputnik 1's second stage rocket body in orbit? Are there TLEs for it?

Early artificial satellites were tracked by radio and visually by amateurs, scientists and military personnel for various reasons including fun and improving the understanding of orbital dynamics ...
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Falcon 9: Why does F9 first stage always lose Video Link during Entry Burn?

Typically the F9 first stage and the drone ship each lose the video connection once during landing: F9 first stage during entry burn Drone ship during F9 first stage touch down (see here and here) ...
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What would be the minimum distance from the launch/landing platform to be not be bothered by Starship sonic booms?

One version of Starship has also been proposed to be used for Earth to Earth transportation medium. It won't be anytime soon but when they become normal, how far would the human settlement have to be ...
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stage 2 possible hollow cylinder design

I was watching this video from Everyday Astronaut: In the video, it highlights why Stage 2 landing is considerably more difficult than stage 1 landing. There is a 1:...
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What is the speed of crew Dragon upon splashdown?

After reentry, what is the speed of the Dragon 2 capsule right before splashdown? What g-force is received upon splashdown? At the time of writing, this answer gives such information for many other ...
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What are the challenges in recovering Falcon 9's second stage this way?

The Falcon 9's second stage is currently disposed of each flight. I know there have been some concepts by SpaceX on making it reusable, but evidently they have not yet done so. From my understanding, ...
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Can Crew Dragon land with more people than it was launched with?

For example, Crew Dragon recently delivered two astronauts to ISS and there are at the moment 5 astronauts on board ISS. Assuming [pick your own disaster scenario] happens and all 5 astronauts had to ...
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Can you accurately control the reentry point by deorbiting with ion propulsion?

With decaying orbits, the point of reentry depends heavily on solar activity, and is very hard to predict or control. When there are things that could survive reentry and potentially be harmful, or ...
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Is it realistic to assume the Chinese Long March 5b “just missed New York”?

The Chinese successfully launched a Long March 5b... that apparently fell off the West Coast of Africa On Monday, a massive, out-of-control Chinese rocket fell out of the sky off the west coast of ...
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How do we control a Reentering Capsule in the denser part of the atmosphere?

My question is: How do we control a Reentering Capsule in the denser part of the atmosphere? How does the aerodynamics of the Reentry vehicle workout? In other words, how does a reentry module ...
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Why was ISRO's CARE reentry demonstration at 5300 m/s so slow?

This community wiki answer to What are some details of ISRO's Gaganyaan Mission currently says: Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment (CARE) was launched on 18 December 2014 at 04:00 UTC. ...
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What are some details of ISRO's Gaganyaan Mission?

What are the some design features of Indian Human spaceflight Programme's Gaganyaan capsule? How much of the testing is done and what are its future plans?
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How much heat is reabsorbed by a high-speed object?

I have been playing around with an app to demonstrate high speed objects entering earth's atmosphere. I am using the drag equation to approximate how much kinetic energy gets converted into heat at ...
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Which theory does this reentry heating rate equation come from?

The paper by Wang et al. at Scitech 2018 uses the following constraint on the rocket heating rate (equation (3) in the paper): $$k_Q \sqrt{\rho} V^{3.15} \le \dot{Q}_{max}$$ (screen shot) I am ...
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Capsule heat shielding made of Aerogel?

I was reading about crew capsules and the reentering into earths atmosphere. Since this generates loads of heat that the crew and capsule needs to be protected from heat shielding is used. I read this ...
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Would a spacecraft landing on Io need a heat shield?

Io is Jupiter's only moon with a considerable atmosphere. Its atmosphere is extremely thin (up to 40 nbar) which obviously is too thin to use a parachute. However a spacecraft would maybe need a heat ...
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Apollo Command Module heatshield tube - what was it for?

I went to the Science Museum in London last year, where I saw (amongst many other wonderful things!) the Apollo 10 CM, Charlie Brown. Looking at the heat shield, I saw two circular indentations with a ...
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How to calculate the lowest possible altitude a satellite can orbit at due to aerodynamic heating if provided with a sufficient propulsion system?

If a satellite is equipped with a propulsion system which is enough for compensating the local drag and maintaining the orbit, then aerodynamic heating would be the limiting factor for attaining the ...
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Did the astronauts seated on the space shuttle mid-deck have responsibilities during reentry and landing?

Space Shuttle mid-deck, it doesn't look like there is much for the astronauts there to do. I recognize this photo was not taken during a mission. I couldn't find an image of the mid-deck during ...
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Could one skydive from a space capsule that just had a parachute failure during re-entry?

Say you're in a space capsule. The space capsule has mostly survived re-entry, but the capsule's parachutes fell off. If you had a regular skydiving parachute with you, is there any way you could ...
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What parts of the ISS would impact the Earth with a substantial amount of kinetic energy?

There are several posts and comments about the parts of the ISS striking Earth on re-entry. Here is one example Would the ISS actually burn up completely? It's pretty big. No, the Mir was much ...
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How long would a plasma trail last during a lander's Mars atmospheric entry?

In this video of the Orion reenty, ᴴᴰ Full Onboard Re-entry into Earth’s Atmosphere ● New NASA Spacecraft, the plasma trail appears to last about 90 seconds. Screenshot from video Considering how ...
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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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Loose items in Apollo CM during reentry?

Would there have been any danger to the astronauts or the equipment if a soft item, like a crumpled up napkin or tissue, was loose during the Apollo CM reentry, or did everything have to be secured?
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Atmospheric reentry drag and friction

What is the difference of air drag in ground level with let say moderate speeds like fast cars 200km/h to 400km/h with high speed vehicle reentry at high altitude where the air is so rarified. Making ...
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Is there a rule of thumb for the mass of thermal protection systems?

A lot of discussions of SSTOs and the potential for making upper stages re-usable hinge on the fact that thermal protection systems for reentry from full orbital velocity are pretty heavy (and ...
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During the MSL (Curiosity) Mars atmosphere entry, when was the last time the Reaction Control System used?

I understand that the Mars Scientific Laboratory used its Reaction Control System during its entry into the planet's atmosphere. At what altitude was the RCS last used? "Seven Minutes of Terror" ...
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Defining overshoot and undershoot boundary of entry corridor

I have been reading up on the mathematic of atmospheric entry. I have found different methods to theoretically calculate the corridor width but I don't understand how to define the overshoot and ...
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What Earth satellite remained in orbit the longest before reentering?

@BillGray's excellent answer in September 2018 mentions that the Soviet magnetospheric research satellite 1977-093A (NORAD 10370) was expected to reenter the atmosphere in 2019 due to effects ...
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SpaceX Dragon Maximum Return Payload

For one of my university courses, we were asked to assess the viability of an asteroid exploitation mission. Assuming that we can somehow mine and refine the material (platinum in this case), we still ...
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How much is a typical reentry vehicle decelerated by heatshield ablation?

Most spacecraft (or parts thereof) intended to survive atmospheric (re-)entry use an ablative heatshield, which, when exposed to the strong aerodynamic heating of (re-)entry, gradually ablates away, ...
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Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator and skip-entry to Mars

Has NASA studied whether the Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator could allow for a skip-entry*, or anything other than direct entry to Mars, to aid in a craft's deceleration? *Skip-entry or ...
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Is it harder to enter an atmosphere perpendicular or at an angle

I've heard that because Earth's atmosphere is so thick that some spacecraft can 'bounce' off the atmosphere if they don't enter at the correct angle. This leads me to believe that shallower angles ...
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Galileo Probe Altitude Data

I was reading about the Galileo Probe, but suddenly my imagination struck an obstacle. The probe was slowed from its arrival speed of about 47 kilometers per second to subsonic speed in less than ...
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How did the Corona (Key Hole) satellites film canisters deorbit?

The Corona Photographic Surveillance satellites transferred photos back to Earth by releasing a canister with the film, which would deorbit, re-enter, release a parachute and then a plane would ...
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Apollo CM heat shield burnt pattern around RCS thrusters

Looking through photos of Apollo CM capsules after reentry, I was trying to have a feel for how the heat was distributed on the sides of the capsule. By the look of surviving patches of Mylar tape ...
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Reentry without pressure suits in Apollo: was there a formal risk assesment?

In Apollo 11 Flight Journal the following is stated: The crew will make re-entry without suits or helmets on. Although this was a controversial decision on the first Apollo flight, Apollo 7, when the ...
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Did any of the Space Shuttles land through rain or rainclouds?

My web research resulted in figuring out that launching Space Shuttles in rain, apart from lightning, wind and turbulence related problems, wasn't permitted due to: brittleness of the heat shield ...
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How was the Vostok capsule stabilized for spin during descent, after the equipment/maneuvering module had detached?

The spherical Vostok capsule separated from the rest of the spacecraft when beginning descent. The center of gravity was "below" the cosmonaut's couch, so the capsule didn't tumble. But what prevented ...

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