Questions tagged [reuse]

Questions regarding the reuse of parts or equipment.

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How many times has SpaceX reused Falcon 9 first stage until now? [closed]

How many times has SpaceX reused Falcon 9 first stage until now? Not about the possibility. I want to know the current progress with the Falcon 9 first stage.
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Why can't the Falcon 9 first stage touch the water? [duplicate]

SpaceX is spending considerable effort to catch the Falcon 9 first stage onto a giant drone ship. I am aware that salt water ruins almost everything in the long run, but the first stage is a composite ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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Two-Stage Fully-Reusable Shuttle

In chapter 6 of SP-4221 "The Space Shuttle Decision" they are talking about the fall of the "Two-Stage Fully Reusable Shuttle". In one paragraph they talk about how this Two-Stage ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Could Falcon 9 be Caught by the Orbital Launch Tower?

Would it be possible to catch Falcon 9 with the orbital launch tower by its current grid fins or load points that could be added? If they can do this and then remove the landing legs, would mass ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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What is the lowest the cost of launch can get to?

The cost of launch has been dramatically reduced by companies such as SpaceX building parts in house. Once that lowered the cost of launch as much as it could, they moved onto reusing the first stage, ...
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10 votes
3 answers
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Why do CH4 (Raptor) engines produce less soot than RP-1 (Merlin) engines?

SpaceX's Merlin engine, which burn RP-1 and LOX, has soot visible after the first stage lands. Many articles on the web says SpaceX's Raptor engine, which burns Methane and LOX, is clean. ...
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1 vote
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Rocket Lab Archimedes engine injector and reusable charecteristics [closed]

From what has been said, the Archimedes engine isn't particularly ambitious WRT its ISP, however Rocket Lab have said it would be highly reusable, which is interesting. Does anyone know of any special ...
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8 votes
1 answer
674 views

CZ-4B Grid fins

In nov 2019 and sept 2020 the CNSA launched CZ-4B Y38 and CZ-4B Y41. Based on different images I noticed that this Long March 4B had grid fins. On CZ-4B Y41 the grid fins from Y38 were reused making ...
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14 votes
1 answer
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What is the heat shield refurbishment procedure for a crew Dragon capsule?

How, specifically, is the heat shield replaced or refurbished? More precisely... How do they know it will work for the next mission? :-P
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6 votes
1 answer
303 views

Keep a 2nd stage in orbit and refuel [closed]

Why does SpaceX not develop a second stage that can be used to meet with a first stage to pick up payload and refuel, thus transporting goods to orbit repeatedly instead of being used only once?
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22 votes
2 answers
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Do Falcon 9s get a thorough wash or a fresh coat of paint (they look clean pre-reflight)?

Before/during reflight, the boosters look white and clean, but after, they don't. I'm not sure if that's soot and/or burned paint. I looked but it doesn't seem to have been asked before. RE Is Falcon ...
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Does Starship reuse actually serve a purpose for Mars, or only LEO/Earth-to-Earth?

(In this question, Starship refers to the reusable 2nd stage, not the full stack w/ Super Heavy). I was thinking about it the other day, and I realized that I'm not sure a reusable Starship actually ...
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29 votes
6 answers
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Isn't Starship way too big?

The Shuttle was designed with a huge payload of 20 tons. This was supposed to not be a problem since: the reusability would drive down costs until satellite operators dropped expensive space hardware ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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How did the SpaceX come up with such a disruptive design in the Falcon 9?

Because of the answers to Why has a rocket system like Starship never been proposed before? , now I need to ask something I'd always taken for granted. If Falcon 9 wasn't revolutionary for technical ...
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How does Starship/Superheavy system compare with the hypothetical successor of Soviet Energia/Buran system, "Uragan"?

The both were meant to be fully reusable and have comparable scale.
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10 votes
1 answer
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How were STS SRBs disassembled

What was the process for disassembling the SRBs following their recovery? Was it broken down to the field or factory seal level of segments, and how was it taken apart?
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31 votes
8 answers
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Why not land SpaceX's Starship like a plane?

I get the reasoning behind designing Starship to land upright. It doesn't require landing gear and the turnaround is expected to be much faster. But I'm beginning to question that logic. I think the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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How long is Falcon 9 suicide burn?

My question is How long is a Falcon 9 suicide burn? I assume the answer might vary between rides, depending on the payload lifted and its destination orbit so the time might not be the same for a ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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What's the benefit of making boosters land nicely (SpaceX) instead of parachuting them at sea (Space Shuttle) [duplicate]

SpaceX boosters return by landing nicely thanks to an elaborate guiding system. This requires, well, a guiding system (so, more electronics, more opportunities for failure and massive engineering ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Starship deceleration during belly flop?

Was just wondering what level of deceleration did they get during that belly flop manouver? Updated: Hiya, you're all correct, and I was a tad vague in my question! What I'm after is the vertical ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Does Falcon 9 perform static fires before every launch?

Before launching every Falcon 9 rocket, is SpaceX performing a Wet Dress Rehearshal (WDR) and a static fire? If not before every launch then is it doing it before every first launch of a new booster? ...
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6 votes
1 answer
284 views

Which RS-25s are on the Artemis 1 rocket?

The SLS core to be used for the Artemis 1 flight will use four RS-25 engines. These reusable engines were used on the Space Shuttle Orbiter previously. Is there a listing of which SSMEs are planned ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Will there be any additional benefits of reusability for the space tug?

We are now seeing certain advantages of the reusable use of different rocket stages. Decrease in price (perhaps not so much yet), increase in launch reliability, etc. Are there any other benefits of ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Does the SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage fleet, fly in order?

SpaceX by the end of 2020, made it very clear that they have solved the first stage reflight problem. Two cores have flown 7 times. Several are over 4 flights. At the beginning of 2021 they have about ...
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24 votes
4 answers
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Are SpaceX Falcon rocket boosters significantly cheaper to operate than traditional expendable boosters?

The title pretty much sums it all up. I remember somebody once remarked about the space shuttle program that “the space shuttle was originally designed to be a space truck. But the shuttle is to ...
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0 votes
1 answer
273 views

Why isn't the engine's Case-Throat-Nozzle reusable in Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo?

I raed on https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/engine-powering-future-civilian-spaceflight-enters-collections-180971493/ (mirror): RocketMotorTwo is a hybrid rocket motor that ...
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3 votes
0 answers
120 views

Was the Martin Spacemaster a feasible design for a fully reusable launch system?

The first time I saw this design was in this post and I was intrigued. The Martin Spacemaster from ~1970. What a cool design! Lots of SSME's, fully reusable, asymmetrical cockpit, and air breathing ...
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4 votes
0 answers
117 views

Which components are non-reusable after a sub-orbital spaceflight with Virgin Galactic?

I wonder which components are non-reusable after a sub-orbital spaceflight with Virgin Galactic. What I have found so far: https://www.virgingalactic.com/learn/ (mirror): With the exception of the ...
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4 votes
0 answers
99 views

Does Falcon-9's second stage "blow" into the first stage's top intentionally? [duplicate]

Every time I watch Falcon-9 moments like that at , I wonder: Is it really intentional that the main engine of stage 2 after startup blows directly into stage 1´s top, ...
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19 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is Falcon 9 repainted before reuse?

Before reusing the first stage of Falcon 9, is it repainted? If yes then why?
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3 votes
1 answer
184 views

Are any parts of Sokol suits re-used?

The Sokol spacesuit is the Russian launch and re-entry suit. They appear to be custom-made for each cosmonaut, with mission patches and nametags sewn on to the suit. Even if the suit as a whole is ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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How long it takes for the Falcon 9 payload fairings to reach the sea?

The payload fairings of Falcon 9 are released at about 3:15 min How much time they need to fall and reach the sea? And what is their maximum speed while reentry?
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  • 2,454
1 vote
1 answer
102 views

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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6 votes
0 answers
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How much cheaper are pressure fed engines compared to other cycles (e.g. staged combustion, gas generator, electric pump-fed)?

It's well known that pressure fed engines are mechanically simpler, and therefore cheaper than pump-fed cycles (although pressure fed has worse performance). However, I haven't found any sources that ...
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9 votes
2 answers
2k views

What happens to payload fairings of GEO launches?

Say you launch a satellite into GEO using Falcon9 The 1st stage returns The 2nd stage is moved into graveyard orbit. But what happens to the payload fairings?
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3 votes
1 answer
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Does RUAG Space recover and reuse Ariane 5 and Atlas V payload fairings after splashdown?

RUAG Space is the company that manufactures payload fairings for the Ariane, Vega, Atlas V (500 series) and the upcoming Vulcan. Back when Spacex started trying to catch the fairing without it hitting ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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How many times can Falcon 9's payload fairings be reused?

Falcon 9's first stage can be reused 10 times or even 100 times. But how about its payload fairings?
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  • 2,454
3 votes
2 answers
615 views

Did SpaceX ever reuse payload fairings?

Did they ever reuse the payload fairings of the Falcon 9? There are a few related questions about maximum reuses and fastest refurbishment that might be asked later I guess
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1 vote
1 answer
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Plasma magnet drive for reusing stages

From what I understand, one of the reasons why it's impractical to recover upper stages of rockets is that they're traveling at high speeds, and methods of making them bleed off that speed (such as ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Does a published account of the economics of Russian debris shipbreaking exist?

Most Soviet and Russian rockets are/were launched from an inland site, and spent booster stages crash on the ground in sparsely populated (and frequently impoverished) rural areas. Since the fall of ...
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3 votes
1 answer
225 views

What about recycling used lithium hydroxide on the Moon?

Lithium hydroxide was used to remove exhaled carbon dioxide from breathing gas during the Apollo mission. Is there any research done how to recycle used lithium hydroxide on the Moon? Separating the ...
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11 votes
1 answer
132 views

What factors do (or are expected to) limit reuse of a Falcon 9 block 5 first stage?

SpaceX have claimed (reported here) that the Falcon 9 Block 5 first stage should be reusable up to 10 times without significant refurbishment, and up to 100 times in total. What factors are expected ...
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8 votes
0 answers
253 views

Will SpaceX paint over the NASA Worm on booster 1058 for its next flight?

For the Dragon Crew mission SpaceX flew a brand new booster (how declasse) B1058 and painted it with the old style NASA Worm logo. SpaceX owns the booster and is most likely to fly it many more times ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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How does re-usable boosters by SpaceX return back and land on the deck 'Of Course I still Love You'? [duplicate]

The idea was to bring back the rockets/boosters safely and re-use them for next time. How SpaceX was able to achieve this? Intuitively there have to be multiple sensors recording and computer ...
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4 votes
0 answers
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Atmospheric retro-propulsion performance of aerospike nozzles?

I’m thinking about the use of single toroidal aerospike engine for a reusable upper stage with propulsive landing capability and this question came to mind. Do aerospike nozzles even capable of retro ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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What plans were made for Buran post-flight processing?

U.S. Space Shuttles underwent considerable post-processing after each flight. Gases, liquids, and payloads were removed; engines were refurbished; thermal tiles were repaired; and everything was ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is present-day plumbing technology enough to make refueling of hypergol rockets safe? What about only in space?

Sadly, all of the currently commonly used chemical rocket fuels that are either hypergolic or storable are horribly toxic/corrosive/explosive. RP-1 is so safe you can pour it out of a gas can, but ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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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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  • 7,726
6 votes
1 answer
297 views

How do ships catch fairings? Can fairings steer or do the ships do all the work?

A comment in The Pod Bay says it all: ...fourth Starlink payload launched. Booster landed on OCISLY. (Has now launched three times, LC-39A, SLC-40, SLC-4W once at each launch pad they own!) And they ...
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2 votes
2 answers
499 views

Why was the reusability of the SSMEs so poor, and why was this considered acceptable given their purpose to launch a reusable vehicle?

The Space Shuttle Main Engines operated for around 8.5 minutes in every Shuttle launch, yet were removed from the orbiter after each flight and went through an overhaul, parts often being traded from ...
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