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 was the leeward surface temperature of the Apollo Command Module during reentry?

From the Apollo Experience Report: Thermal Protection System, there is a diagram that shows the surface temperatures of the Command Module at various points (image was obtained from this answer). It ...
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Which deorbit trajectory minimizes reentry heating?

Atmospheric reentry, as I understand it, is a balancing act between minimizing delta-v needed and not burning up or breaking up in the atmosphere. The higher the velocity on reentry, the greater the ...
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Is there any video footage of a full reentry?

Did any orbital craft ever fully film its reentry into the atmosphere, either as long as the camera worked or until the craft landed if it could? The Space Shuttles had a front camera that showed live ...
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How much do on-demand, artificial meteor showers cost these days?

On-demand, artificial meteor showers are discussed in Artificial Shooting Stars - how could this possibly work (economically/technologically)? Why would a box full of 1cm balls released into LEO be ...
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Falcon 9 landing stages

I know the first stage of Falcon 9 separates at about 2:30 min and it lands at about 8:30 min But what are the distinct stages of the descent? Like deorbit burns, grid fin deployment, leg deployment ...
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Why not bring a rocket to idle velocity for less violent and safer re-entry? [duplicate]

Since kinetic energy have to be converted into heat during re-entry, the re-entry into the earth's atmosphere seems very violent. Why most rockets or crew re-entry modules plunge into the earth's ...
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What caused STS-129's low energy condition on the HAC?

I've never heard anyone comment on the trouble STS-129 seemed to experience during the Heading Alignment Cone (HAC) phase. I was hoping someone who was involved with the program might know why it ...
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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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What impact will the de-orbiting of thousands of satellites have on the atmosphere?

With the creation of mega satellite constellations like starlink, there are several thousand satellites being launched each year. This means that as these satellites go out of order in a few years, ...
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Why will OGO-1 reenter from an elliptical orbit rather than circularize first?

According to all the sources cited in Why does OGO-1's trajectory and imminent reentry come from sky surveys and NEO tracking rather than normal satellite tracking? OGO-1 is in a highly ...
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Is there such thing as plasma (from reentry) creating lift?

The following was claimed on the aviation site: In 1981, after years of development and testing, Columbia made its maiden voyage into orbit. Unexpectedly, on re-entry, the nose pitched up much higher ...
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Why does OGO-1's trajectory and imminent reentry come from sky surveys and NEO tracking rather than normal satellite tracking?

Space.com's 56-year-old NASA satellite expected to fall to Earth this weekend says: "OGO-1 is predicted to re-enter on one of its next three perigees, the points in the spacecraft's orbit ...
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Any imagery from Shuttle Columbia's SILTS pod on the internet?

(Inspired by this question) One of the distinguishing features of Shuttle Columbia was its Shuttle Infrared Leeside Temperature Sensing (SILTS) pod. This was an experiment that took infrared imagery ...
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Why does Earth's atmospheric density have a big “knee” around 100 km? Is there a good analytical approximation?

I've used a quick very rough approximation of the drop of atmospheric density with altitude in this answer and in this answer by using a single exponential and scale height parameter, but that's not ...
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Artificial Shooting Stars - how could this possibly work (economically/technologically)?

update March 2018: I just saw this in Buzzfeed (Google sent me there, I don't normally read it): Rich People Will Soon Be Able To Buy Fake Meteor Showers On Demand @Antzi mentioned below the question ...
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Is there an official flight profile of the reentry of the Dragon spacecraft?

I wonder whether there's an official plan of the reentry and landing of either the former Dragon spacecraft or the Dragon V2/Crew Dragon, with details like altitudes, velocities, burn length and ...
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Could a rocket's reentry capsule be slowed down by a centrifugal flyweight governor system? [closed]

I am wondering if a rocket's reentry capsule could be slowed down by a built-in centrifugal flyweight governor system that would make use of an air pressure differential to create an opposing force to ...
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Two-step reentry from Moon/Mars

There are a number of questions addressing the desirability and/or feasibility of a slower reentry from Earth orbit in order to reduce thermal load. At least most of them run into the problem that ...
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Would Dragon reenter safely if the nose cone stayed open?

If its 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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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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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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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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Is this smoke from Expedition 53 returning Soyuz capsule?

I was clicking through YouTubes and came across the NASA Video ISS Expedition 53 Landing in Kazakhstan (also here). I don't recall seeing such prominent and continuous smoke from returning Soyuz ...
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Soyuz has a Space Periscope?

The image Photo ID: ISS049-E-003166 can be found in Flikr and Wikimedia Commons as well as in Spaceflight Now. There is a long (perhaps 1 meter?) green structure that is sticking out from the side of ...
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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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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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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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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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Can a reentry be done slowly?

The usual approach to reentry is fast and hot. There's a lot of energy to be lost, and doing it quickly has some advantages: You can dump energy into hypersonic air, and then leave that heat behind ...
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Nature of “the silky black 'highly flame-resistant felt'” on Block 5 Falcon 9's, and its intended functions?

The Teslarati article SpaceX Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket’s drone ship return captured in stunning detail [gallery] and accompanying photo spread shows many interesting details of "SpaceX’s first West ...
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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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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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What (the heck) is this purple donut in the video of the Falcon 9 fairing's atmospheric reentry?

This SpaceX tweet (found in CNET's SpaceX camera captures incredible view of rocket part returning to Earth) shows a video taken by a camera in one half of the fairing on the recent STP-2 mission and ...
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How do I calculate re-entry velocity when decaying from a circular orbit?

I am trying to find the velocity of an object during re-entry so that I can calculate the peak heat flux but I'm a bit stuck. I know how to find the velocity of the original, circular orbit (300km) ...
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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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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 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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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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Which crewed spacecraft provides the gentlest decent and/or landing?

Landing with a Soyuz capsule is often compared to being in a car accident1, it's pretty violent on touch-down. On the other hand, I imagine the Space Shuttle's touch-down to be a little like a rough ...
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How much reentry speed did the Shuttles shed by doing a series of sharp turns?

Jerard Puckett mentioned in The Pod Bay yesterday that Shuttles did S-Curve maneuvers back and forth across their reentry trajectory to shed speed. After a bit of looking, I found some reference 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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When does an aerobraking space craft create a sonic boom?

There are a lot of variables with the speed of sound, a sonic boom is created when all of those variables meet. the speed of sound, a critical speed known as Mach 1, and is approximately 1,225 km/h ...
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Why do spacecraft enter the atmosphere violently instead of a smooth spiral?

Why do spaceships almost make a straight line in the atmosphere when coming back to earth? This makes the ship undergo high stress and temperature. Why don't they make a spiral trajectory so that they ...
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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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At what altitude does a spacecraft slow down?

So as far as I understand, at 100km atmosphere exists, although very faint. Could someone approximate the speed of a sphere at 50km altitude after re-entry from a high orbit? It might sound as a wierd ...

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