Questions tagged [reuse]

Questions regarding the reuse of parts or equipment.

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66
votes
9answers
38k views

Why would SpaceX not use parachutes for the final descent of the first stage?

According to what I've read, SpaceX tried to use parachutes to recover the first stage of the Falcon 9, but it did not survive reentry. Now they plan to use 2 separate rocket burns to land: Reentry ...
20
votes
7answers
17k views

How stable would a Falcon 9 first stage be after it has landed on a drone ship?

Presumably, the booster would be a very light, very tall tube (Most of the fuel spent) standing on 4 fairly small legs on a ship in the middle of the ocean. It would also still contain some LOX and ...
14
votes
5answers
7k views

How is SpaceX going to land their Falcon first stage?

SpaceX's attempt at a reusable first stage rocket sounds amazing, but how they're going to get it to land back on the launchpad is beyond me. Assuming that the first stage will separate with a speed ...
18
votes
2answers
6k views

Falcon 9 fairings cost and reusability

I read that SpaceX is starting to work on fairings reusability. I couldn't find any information, so I would like to know more about them. In particular, I remember a quote from Musk saying that ...
33
votes
6answers
20k views

Why did SpaceX attempt to land the booster on a barge instead of somewhere on land?

I understand the benefits of reusability for the rocket booster. But I don't understand why they're landing it on a barge. I've read tons of articles about this but not one has even hinted at an ...
18
votes
4answers
4k views

SpaceX first stage landing: Why not use an elevated net above the landing platform to catch the rocket?

The rocket would keep same descent system as now (no parachute). But instead of landing on feet, it would have long grid fins on its top that would be catched by an elevated cable net. The previous ...
10
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1answer
2k views

Why the strange bands of soot of the landed F9 first stage?

If you look at the daylight photos of the landed first stage of the Orbcomm G2 Falcon 9 mission, there is all sorts of soot covering stuff in interesting patterns. What elements of the soot pattern ...
18
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2answers
6k views

How will SpaceX achieve landing of the Falcon 9 first stage?

What mechanisms and technologies will be used to control the descent and movement of the falcon 9 rocket's booster stage on its way to the landing pad?
17
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2answers
2k views

Has SpaceX re-used a first stage twice yet?

SpaceX has re-used a first stage once, several times now. Has it re-used the same first stage twice yet? If not, has a particular mission been named that will be the first second re-use?
10
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5answers
5k views

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: ...
44
votes
4answers
11k views

Why can't Falcon 9 fairings touch the water?

SpaceX is spending considerable effort to catch Falcon 9 fairings into a giant net on a ship. I am aware that salt water ruins almost everything in the long run, but the fairings are a composite ...
21
votes
2answers
9k views

How did the Falcon 9's 1st stage return back to Cape Canaveral?

SpaceX's original plan was landing the 1st stage to a landing ship, that waits far away from the launch site, and it was like this: But tonight, the rocket's first stage landed at Cape Canaveral. ...
20
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the two bright objects separating from the Falcon 9?

On the recent Iridium 1 launch the separation of the first and second stages can be seen at T+3:50. In the following screenshot we see the second stage burning at the lower left of the frame and the ...
27
votes
4answers
10k views

Why is SpaceX building the Big Falcon Ship before the Big Falcon Rocket?

I believe that SpaceX is planning on building the BFS (Big Falcon Spacecraft) before the BFR (Big Falcon Rocket), which serves as the first stage for the second-stage BFS. Does anyone know why they ...
19
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1answer
2k views

Is Falcon 9 repainted before reuse?

Before reusing the first stage of Falcon 9, is it repainted? If yes then why?
17
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1answer
930 views

What are the challenges of turning a rocket stage around and firing its engines into a supersonic wind?

So I went to the link in a recent question and discovered SpaceX turns its first stage around while it is going, what, several km/s in the upper atmosphere, restarts 3 of the engines and fires ...
15
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6answers
10k views

Why can the Falcon 9 be reused while the SLS cannot?

In reading about SLS, I learned that the reason they won't reuse their rocket is that the weight of the parachutes to enable recovery is too much of a sacrifice. How is the weight of the hardware and ...
13
votes
3answers
7k views

Were Space Shuttle External Tanks recoverable and reusable?

During the launch of STS vehicle, the two stage 0 Solid Rocket Boosters (SRB) were jettisoned and recovered after they gently parachuted into the ocean: But what happened with the STS External Tanks ...
5
votes
1answer
319 views

Are LiPo batteries more suitable for 1st stage electric power than Li-ion batteries?

I've just ran across two mentions in Scott Manley's videos of LiPo batteries (Lithium-polymer) in first stage launch applications. These involve power levels of megawatts. Why The Electron Rocket May ...
14
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3answers
2k views

Could Falcon 9 splash down IN water?

Why don't they let the Falcon 9 splash down IN water, and then recover it? Wouldn't this reduce both fuel use & potential damage?
14
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1answer
1k views

Could an EVA Suit meant for Mars be used for EVA on another celestial, or vice-versa?

A quick follow-up to What is the power requirement of a spacesuit? The Apollo 11 crew were in a vacuum out on Luna; their space-suits fulfilled the purpose of a basic space-suit about which Wikipedia ...
11
votes
1answer
451 views

Falcon 9 second stage impact on first stage trajectory

In this video, you can see the Falcon 9 first stage flying through the second stage's plume post-separation. I would assume that this would alter the first stage's trajectory -- potentially causing a ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Software to simulate / optimize ascent trajectory

I read the previous question on this site about astrodynamics software and I have tried STK (free version) and GMAT, but I could not find software to simulate and optimize a launch trajectory. Is ...
6
votes
2answers
380 views

Could Falcon 9 take off without launchpad

As far as I'm currently aware, the Falcon 9 block 5 does not have the capability to retract it's landing legs once they're deployed, however: If F9 landing legs had the ability to retract themselves (...
6
votes
1answer
282 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
667 views

Were there problems with the Russian Buran space shuttle's reusability?

The Soviet space shuttle Buran launched and landed (unmanned, because it could) once very successfully. I would think it would be a very valuable industrial asset for the bankrupt Russian Republic ...
4
votes
4answers
839 views

Space Shuttle and SSME Servicing Procedures for Re-Launch

There's been a lot of discussion about SpaceX's ~30% price reduction from re-use of the first stage, which got me to wondering: why exactly was the Space Shuttle so expensive to service and prep for ...
4
votes
1answer
210 views

Satellite retrieval, fix and deploy possible remotely?

Is there any satellites that are designed to come back to Earth for repairs or upgrades and then be deployed again? Would there be any benefits to creating a capsule or inflatable heat shield to go on ...
-2
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1answer
343 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
votes
3answers
5k views

Did the Challenger SRBs fail due to design for reuse?

All that I know about the Challenger tragedy was that some o-rings failed in the reusable solid rocket boosters (SRBs) due to the low temperatures that day. I'm curious if such an accident would have ...
55
votes
1answer
6k views

Why use water tanks from a retired Space Shuttle?

In 2015, technicians entered the retired Space Shuttle Endeavour to remove the water tanks, with the goal of reusing these tanks on ISS. The space shuttle Endeavour is retired and on display at the ...
29
votes
1answer
2k views

What work needs to be done before reusing Falcon 9?

In this article Elon Musk said that first stage of Falcon 9 which landed on the barge in April will be reused in June. Launching and landing wears material down, what parts need to be replaced and ...
29
votes
6answers
10k views

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 ...
22
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3answers
4k views

How does SpaceX plan to achieve reusability of the Falcon 9 *second* stage?

Update 08 April 2017: Elon Musk tweeted an indication that they're revisiting the possibility of second stage recovery, so this question is again relevant, and the details of the new solution may be ...
30
votes
3answers
7k views

Why won't they recover the Falcon 9 from CRS-14?

According to the upcoming livestream of SpaceX CRS-14 (resupply of ISS): SpaceX will not attempt to recover Falcon 9’s first stage after launch. Why not? Wasn't that the whole point of (among ...
23
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3answers
2k views

Were decommissioned Cold War missiles repurposed for peaceful spaceflight?

Those formerly on either side of the Iron Curtain can now admit that the Cold War had its plusses and minuses. The key minus, of course, is that the United States and the Soviet Union constructed ...
14
votes
7answers
5k views

Would reusable rockets render the idea of space elevators useless? [closed]

With the expected advances in reusable rocket technology within the next decade, will constructing a space elevator become meaningless? Or will it still be way cheaper, safer and convenient to use ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

What was SpaceX's original vision for booster reusability?

An article from 2007 made the following statement: SpaceX is in many ways the exact opposite of Kistler. It's run by Internet wunderkind Elon Musk, does almost all of its work in-house with a staff ...
8
votes
3answers
817 views

What difficulties will be faced modifying the Falcon 9 FT, so to have better and easier landings of the 1st stage from a GTO mission?

What difficulties will be faced making modifications for the Falcon 9 FT rocket, so in this way to make smoother, better and easier landings of the first stage from a GTO mission? For example ...
8
votes
1answer
762 views

Is it a problem that Falcon 9R landing legs are getting sizzling hot and catching flames during booster landing?

The videos of the test and live landings appear to show smoke and a few times flames coming from the landing legs. Will this be engineered out in later development or is it something else? Would it ...
6
votes
3answers
404 views

Would it have taken much to steady SpaceX's CRS-6 returning stage so it landed alright?

Looking at this pretty awesome video of the CRS-6 first stage almost making it back to the barge, it sort of seems that if something could have steadied it just a bit, it would have been okay. ...
2
votes
1answer
589 views

While descending from orbit, can a blimp glider skip an atmosphere to shed speed?

While descending from orbit can the air be thin enough for a glider type blimp to slowly shed speed? Could a blimp skim the atmosphere around a planet, slowly decreasing air speed, without the need ...
16
votes
2answers
5k views

Did the fairings from the Falcon Heavy test flight get recovered?

According to the flight plan that Elon Musk posted on Twitter, there's a section listed as 'Fairing Recovery', was this section successful? Did the Fairings get recovered?
15
votes
4answers
3k views

What objects have been sent to space twice?

Just out of curiosity, and because we hopefully are at the dawn of reusable launchers, what items have been sent to orbit from Earth, then landed on Earth and sent back to orbit? The space shuttles ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

What was the first time a "re-used booster" was used to put a payload into orbit?

In the excitement about SpaceX's Falcon recovery and relaunch development program, it's often forgotten in articles like this one that reusable spacecraft were in regular use far back in the 20th ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

What went wrong, Falcon 9 1.1 first flight with first stage landing attempt?

They are reporting that the three engine relight in the upper atmosphere worked. But the relight of a single engine, lower down for pretend landing on the water generated too much torque and the fuel (...
10
votes
2answers
703 views

Through what mechanisms would SpaceX test and examine the returned CRS-5 first stage?

A significant minority of the users over at the /r/SpaceX Reddit community seem to be of the opinion that SpaceX will attempt to reuse the Falcon 9 CRS-5 first stage provided it lands on the downrange ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Did CRS-6 landing fail because the steering fins are ineffective at low speed?

Images of the second attempt to land the first stage of the Falcon 9 on a barge, following its successful launch of CRS-6, show how it suddenly swung more than its cold gas engines could compensate ...
8
votes
1answer
663 views

SpaceX Falcon 9 Reusable first stage propellant for return

How much propellant is required to return the Falcon 9 Reusable's first stage after separation?
4
votes
1answer
862 views

Could a rocket first stage be rapidly reusable after landing in freshwater?

Landing a first stage rocket (F9R) in the ocean has been stated that it is corrosive and will damage rocket components, thus making rapid reusability impossible or too expensive to repair each ...