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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6
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1answer
1k views

What is the maximum velocity at which Soyuz TMA-M may transit through Earth' atmosphere at reentry without a heat-shield?

A quick follow-up to Re-entry Heat Shield Alternative Instead of looking for an alternative to heat-shield, I'd like to draw from analogous naval tactics I heard about; Back in the 1950's to 1960's, ...
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Re-entry Heat Shield Alternative

Why is it that Controlled Re-entry Vehicles (like the most recent Orion & Dragon) do not use a strong magnetic field during re-entry to "shield" the blunt shaped end from plasma ? Reasoning: ...
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2answers
283 views

Are there any techniques of heat shielding an irregularly shaped object?

NASA is planning to bring an asteroid into a lunar orbit. As I understand, it's a tremendous task, even when using high specific impulse ion drives. It seems nearly impossible to safely land one on ...
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1answer
319 views

How can spacecraft be reusable for new missions? [closed]

When a spacecraft enters earth's atmosphere, it is totally destroyed and comes down as a single probe, so how can a spacecraft be reusable for new missions? The Soyuz spacecraft is launched on a ...
29
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1answer
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Why are spaceship capsules frustum shaped?

Why do spaceships have a frustum (portion of a cone) shape like e.g. the pressure capsule of the SpaceX Dragon on the image below?     I think there is some engineering stuff behind ...
10
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1answer
935 views

Communication Blackout

All the atmospheric entry missions endure a communication blackout. What parameters except plasma penetration frequency affect the blackout time and how ? Also, Comm Blackout states that space ...
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Why can't space agencies “splashdown” command modules on solid surfaces? [duplicate]

So, I'm watching NASA's Orion splashdown coverage and I thought of something. The Navy is taking an awfully long time to recover the Orion command module. If braking engines (see Soyuz reeentry ...
6
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1answer
246 views

Temperature of the area behind a reenty vehicle

The area in front of a vehicle re-entering the atmosphere is elevated mostly because of the high pressure of the shock wave leading it. Given the space immediately behind the vehicle is not being ...
6
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1answer
339 views

Can the Orion be reused in space?

Orion is designed to land in the ocean and is therefor not reusable after landing (only some internal systems will be reused). But can Orion be reused while in space? What would the main issues be? ...
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Have liquid cooling systems been tested for reentry surfaces?

A tough exterior of heat-dissipating material is generally used for reentry modules. I am wondering if there have been any attempts or experiments at using liquid cooling systems as thermal protection ...
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Why will the Orion system land on water, while the Soyuz lands on land?

I wonder why the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle will only allow ocean landings while the Soyuz spacecraft is capable of landing on land? Also, what mode of landings does the Chinese space program ...
9
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1answer
579 views

Re-entry from Moon vs. re-entry from low Earth orbit

What is the difference between re-entry from the Moon and Re-entry from low Earth orbit?
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644 views

Would a smaller re-entry vehicle better handle very high re-entry speeds?

"Inspiration Mars" has the idea to use a free return trajectory for a crew of two rounding Mars. While attractive in some ways, this free return trajectory has the disadvantage of ending up with a ...
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Why is it not possible to deorbit in a shallow glidepath?

The fiery re-entry of spacecraft has been a staple of spaceflight since the beginning, making ablative heat shielding a necessary component of any craft wishing to return to Earth intact. This is the ...
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3answers
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Why don't 3-parachute descent systems collide and collapse?

The Orion reentry vehicle will have a parachute system. Like Apollo, they'll have 3:     Orion Parachute Drop Test on May 1, 2013 A model of NASA's Orion spacecraft glides ...
8
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1answer
285 views

What is the maximum mass for a reentry capsule that can be recovered in the air?

Landing rockets take away precious mass from the space system mass budget. Recovering capsules in the air from helicopters and planes equipped with hooks and winches has a long tradition since after ...
16
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1answer
552 views

Is there an explanation for repeating Soyuz accidents involving misfiring of explosive bolts?

In the Soyuz program, quite a few accidents have been caused by malfunctions of the explosive bolts: Soyuz 11: Explosive bolts designed to fire sequentially fired simultaneously instead, causing a ...
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2answers
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What is the outside of the Soyuz capsule covered in?

When you look at a Soyuz, it seems like the descent and orbital modules are covered in some kind of fabric-like material. You can see wrinkles and it does not look like traditional metal as you might ...
13
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1answer
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How is the periscope port on Soyuz spacecraft secured for the atmospheric reentry?

Soyuz Backup Periscope (ВСК-4) is used in Soyuz spacecraft to align itself for orbital corrections, deorbit burn, and rendezvous with the International Space Station. Here is a cute closeup photograph ...
9
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2answers
963 views

What influenced the shape of the Soyuz descent module?

The original Vostok and Voshkod space vehicles were mostly spherical shapes. The Americans went with vaguely conical/capsule shapes. But Soyuz from the beginning has had a sort of gumdrop shape for ...
8
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660 views

Proportions of a reentering spacecraft as compared to fuel mass

Call this a thought experiment. Spacecraft to Earth orbit and beyond are traditionally launched by means of one or more rocket engines. The fundamental principle is that a rocket moves by expelling ...
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3answers
12k views

How does skipping off the atmosphere work?

I searched the web and found a couple entries on Wikipedia (Skip reentry & Atmospheric entry) that kind brush at the topic. The article on Stone skipping has some science and physics involved (...
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1answer
552 views

How does the surface area of a heat shield impact the ideal angle of attack for reentry?

The Apollo command module had a diameter of about 12.8 ft (which I assume is pretty close to the diameter of its heat shield). However, the heat shield for the new Orion spacecraft is a little bigger, ...
16
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1answer
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At what angle did Apollo 13 need to reenter?

The Apollo missions, like most all missions since, used a heat shield to keep from disintegrating in the atmosphere. This approach had its flaws, however. For one, if your approach was too shallow, ...
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3answers
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Has any spacecraft had a way for the crew to escape during reentry?

All manned spacecraft to date have come back to Earth eventually, and when they do it's through a flaming ball of plasma. It seems too probable that this plasma would have a way of breaking things ...
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Why is it so difficult to predict the exact reentry location and time of a very low earth orbit object?

Many artificial satellites are going to do a destructive reentry in the atmosphere and some will reach the ground, constituting a significant threat (e.g. GOCE, UARS). Often I heard that for those ...
6
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1answer
168 views

Is GOCE designed to break up in the atmosphere?

Soon, ESA is planning to deorbit GOCE, letting it burn up in the atmosphere. It seems this has been the plan for a long time - so why won't the satellite be completely annihilated into pieces small ...
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3answers
392 views

How can all of GOCE's pieces land in a 20 square yard area?

I was reading this article, and noticed this statement: The chances that a chunk of GOCE or any other space debris will injure anyone are tiny, but not zero. Floberghagen said the debris will ...
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What was Apollo 11's reentry speed at parachute deployment?

What was the velocity of the Command Module after it had penetrated through the Earth's atmosphere at the point where the parachutes were deployed?
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1answer
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Did any Apollo missions have backup parachutes?

NASA's Apollo modules, the ones that went to the moon, had a fairly standard-for-the-time reentry method: Hit the atmosphere at the right angle, deploy a parachute after things are done burning up, ...
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2answers
308 views

Any other advantages to passive atmospheric reentry besides reaction mass economy?

From Vostok 1 to date, atmospheric reentry has been essentially passive. Passive here means that retrorockets are used to de-orbit, and then aerobraking is provided by the atmosphere. In contrast, ...
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What is feathering?

I heard that Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo just tested something called “feathering”. What is it? How come I didn't hear about the shuttle doing this, it is unique to Virgin Galactic's ship?
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What are the end-of-life options for large classified satellites?

The Delta IV Heavy recently launched NORL-65 to a low Earth orbit. Some of these missions will be in the range of 390 km altitude with circular orbits. Plus, the Delta IV Heavy is a big rocket, with ...
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1answer
475 views

Post Space Shuttle, is NASA going from touchdown back to splashdown?

I have been reading a bit about the Orion spacecraft. I see they just did some sea recovery testing. It seems like in the post Space Shuttle era, NASA is going backwards. Is this a one off solution, ...
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3answers
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Could you take a Cessna from the ISS to Earth?

The shuttle had a empty gross weight of 172,000 lb (78,000 kg), and the only feasible way shedding the 27,724 kilometres (17,227 mi) per hour, of the relative speed of the ISS is Aerobraking. A four ...
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3answers
799 views

Use of steerable parachutes for re-entry

Apart from testing Rogallo wing for Gemini capsules are there any cases of use of steerable parachutes/wings for final phase of re-entry of space vehicle? When landing in big steppe or ocean it doesn'...
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What were the differences between Space Shuttle's and Buran's reentry guidance?

Assuming unpowered flight, what were the significant differences between the STS orbiter and the Buran in: re-entry trajectory? re-entry guidance? navigation during re-entry (inputs and algorithms - ...
9
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1answer
421 views

Did Curiosity rover communicate to the ground station during its descent phase?

During descent phase and entering Mars' atmosphere, was the rover's descent controlled by the Earth based ground station, or by the rover itself? What are the technical challenges, when communicating ...
6
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1answer
175 views

Can the rate of descent be measured with a laser?

Can a laser be used to measure the rate of descent of a re-entry probe during its re-entry into a planet's or satellite's atmosphere? Are there any probes that used a laser to measure its descent?
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How possible are 'space jumps'?

Have you seen the first of the two new Star Trek movies? Kirk (Chris Pine), Sulu (John Cho) and a red shirt perform something really awesome in this film: They jump from space down to a planet, ...
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Why is it that during reentry phase a capsule cannot communicate with mission control?

During reentry phase into the Earth's atmosphere the heat produced by air friction does not allow any communication with the surface. Why does the heat interfere with electronic frequencies and ...

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