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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Tiangong-1 reentry impact place probabilities

Following all the news concerning Tiangong-1, I have seen the following plot made by the Aerospace Corporation where Blue area: null probability of impact Yellow area: high probability of impact ...
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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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Can we see the Russian Progress 59 spacecraft burn up on reentry?

Progress 59's orbit is decaying and it will soon reenter Earth's atmosphere. Will it be possible for observers on the ground to see it burn in the skies as it falls towards the Earth?
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Could the current dragon v2 heat shield withstand a reentry from the moon?

I wonder if the Dragon V2 heat shield could withstand the extreme speed of a reentry from the moon. Or is it only capable of LEO flights?
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What aspects of reentry heating 'scale as the 8th power'?

Elon Musk just commented in the post Falcon Heavy Test Flight press conference that reentering at interplanetary velocities means dealing with 'some of the heating things that scale to the 8th power'. ...
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Does atmospheric entry shake the craft?

Does atmospheric entry shake the craft or does the process force the craft to fly in a straight line without causing vibrations? Sci-fi movies and all have the craft shake very slightly. It would ...
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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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At what altitude does transonic compressibility become a non-issue?

I know that on the forthcoming SpaceX attempt at sea landing the first stage, they have added hypersonic fins to the first stage. I was curious as to what altitude transonic compressibility is an ...
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Dangle a cable down to earth - fundamental Physics question

If I had the material that had the tensile strength, would it be possible to have it dangle from the lowest most practically possible geostationary object down into the atmosphere? Would it not ...
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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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Is there real footage of Tiangong 1 reentry?

There are a couple of videos on the net showing some reentries and claiming them to be Tiangong 1. Is any of them authentic? I could not find any footage on the websites of the major space agencies (...
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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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What was the earliest piece of debris to survive reentry?

Most orbital debris eventually re-enters the atmosphere. The vast majority of this burns up on re-entry, and only a small proportion of what's left lands on the surface. Of that small proportion, the ...
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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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Why is there a need for getting rid of ISS trash using the empty ATV and similar vehicles

Why is trash from the ISS sent down in some of the cargo vehicles. Would it not make more sense to dump it overboard in the downward + retrograde direction (as described here) and use reusable cargo ...
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Bounce off the atmosphere at reentry?

I am just watching Space Race part 3 and the cosmonauts just got their first view of Wostok. The scientist who designed the retrorockets told the soon-to-be spacemen that the rockets would have to be ...
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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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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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What are the requirements differences between Escape Suit and EVA Suit?

I read up articles on both types - EVA suits meant for spacewalks, and Escape Suits used in launch and reentry - but other than bright orange color for ACES making it easy to find and the fact that ...
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Why are Tiangong-1's Apogee and Perigee Graphs Wobbly?

The apogee and perigee graph of the Tiangong-1 space station, about to re-enter and break up Real Soon Now, is depicted in this graph (source: Wikipedia): Why are the graphs wobbly? Is it because the ...
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Could the Shuttle boosters crash into each other?

I watched a few videos "from the boosters" of their suborbital flight with the Shuttle, and what I noticed is that after the boosters were jettisoned there was a phase of flight that was quite chaotic ...
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Why is the Karman line for Mars defined higher than for Earth?

In an answer to a similar question, the Karman Line for Mars is stated as being at 125km compared to 122km for Earth. However, Mars has an atmospheric pressure about 1/10 that of Earth, its ...
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What does this SpaceX tweeted photo show and what causes the pure red and blue color?

This May 4, 2019 SpaceX tweet says More photos from Falcon 9’s 40th successful launch from Pad 40 in Florida and 39th first stage rocket booster landing to date → http://flickr.com/spacex and ...
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Is the location and time of a scheduled re-entry (e.g. Soyuz) announced in advance?

I’m aware of NOTAMS (notice to airmen) which are issued for launches of rockets, as for example mentioned in this answer. The same seems to be the case for deorbiting second stages (see here and here)....
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Testing of rocket heat shield on Earth

One Space Shuttle was destroyed due to failure of the insulation tiles. SpaceX is reportedly using another technology, which replicates sweating , for wearing off the reentry heat. How is the ...
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Was splashing down on the USSR-controlled territory a possibility for Apollo missions?

From what I understand, the planned landing areas for Apollo command modules were pre-programmed beforehand and happened in the South Pacific. Was there any remote possibility of an emergency ...
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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 ...
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Nose cone of Dragon 2 closes only after deorbit burn

The Dragon v2 capsule opens its nose cone right after it separated from the Falcon's second stage. It is then open for the whole flight until after the deorbit burn. So there appears to be a good ...
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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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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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How could the proposed floating base in the atmosphere of Venus receive supplies?

I'm a big fan of the floating aerostat concept developed by Geoffrey Landis for colonizing Venus. But how would you supply a floating base? It would be an awfully small target to aim a vessel at. The ...
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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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How to get processed asteroid metals back to Earth in a safe manner

How would you get precious metals (like platinum, lithium, uranium, etc) from an asteroid safely back to Earth? First, assume we don't need the metals in space for in-space manufacturing. Second, ...
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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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Would a dimpled heat shield reduce heat transfer during reentry?

Would a large ceramic golfball absorb less heat on reentry than a standard sphere? From aerospaceweb.org: The difference in the flowfields around a smooth sphere and a rough, or dimpled, sphere ...
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Mathematics used for SpaceX first stage re-entry burn guidance?

I thought it would be fun to make a basic simulation of a first-stage fly-back of SpaceX's Falcon 9, but was wondering what mathematics is used to perform something like this. Looking at this page: ...
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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 ...
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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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Why does in-flight mission abort often ends in ballistic high-g reentry?

I am seeing a lot of references to the “ballistic reentry” mode of the crew return vehicle in relation to the abort during the powered ascent stage. In partiulat, the recent crewed Soyuz MS-10 abort ...
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What are reentry speeds of space vehicles?

I found here that the entry speed of meteors reach 48 km/s. I mean just before hitting atmosphere. What are reentry speeds for space vehicles like the lunar command module? What about soyuz ...
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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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Could Dragon 1.0 be used as an emergency Earth return vehicle

In a completely hypothetical scenario, say both of the Soyuz vehicles docked to the station were damaged/destroyed, but there was a Dragon 1.0 on the station left intact. Although i don't believe it ...
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How does a Falcon 9 booster know how far away the ground is?

In the latest landing video, it seems the Falcon 9 just hovered for a moment above the ship. That being said, it begs the question, how does the booster know where the ground is? Does it purely work ...
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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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Challenging the Kármán line from above

The initial conditions of the thought experiment is (very) LEO / reentry. capsules, space shuttle and other spacecraft can generate lift in upper atmosphere during reentry, in order to reduce ...
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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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