Questions tagged [reuse]

Questions regarding the reuse of parts or equipment.

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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 ...
4
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2answers
390 views

Have there been any examples of re-usable rockets in the past?

I am writing a piece about re-usable rockets and I'm wondering, apart from SpaceX, have there been any re-usable rockets in the past, success or 'failure', as in didn't perform as expected. Obviously ...
5
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3answers
408 views

Will the New Glenn have grid fins? Why or why not?

The January 2019 Blue Origin video New Glenn: The Road to Space shows the rocket with static fins at the bottom and four articulated fins near the top of the first stage. Is this just notional, or ...
5
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1answer
308 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 ...
2
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1answer
240 views

Most challenging aspects of a reusable satellite scheme like this?

What would be the most challenging aspects of a reusable satellite scheme similar to the one shown in this video? For the kilo-constellations (e.g. SpaceX's StarLink with 4,500 to 7,500 satellites) ...
6
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2answers
375 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 (...
7
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1answer
641 views

how much reusable are electric pump fed rocket engines like Rutherford Engines of Electron rocket?

In electric pump fed rocket engines, propellants are pumped by two electric motors. So there is just one combustion chamber and that is the main combustion chamber. I guess electric pumps are fairly ...
8
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2answers
2k views

What is the most expensive part of a rocket?

I want to say fuel is, but this Question Why isn't stainless steel used for rocket engines? has got me thinking about cost in the long run. What part commonly found on most rockets cost the most ...
4
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2answers
421 views

Is the BFB/super heavy likely to have an easier time landing than the Falcon 9 booster?

Despite the deep throttle of the Merlin 1D engine, the weight of the Falcon 9 booster is less than the force of a single Merlin engine firing at minimum throttle (See here). This means that the Falcon ...
4
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1answer
265 views

What's the shortest time to reflight of a Falcon 9 booster?

What has been the shortest time in between the landing of a Falcon 9 booster, and SpaceX reusing them on a different mission?
3
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1answer
288 views

What Apollo equipment could be salvaged from the Moon?

If humans returned to the original Apollo landing sites, what previously left-behind equipment could reasonably be salvaged as part of a future mission or colony? That is, is everything that was left ...
0
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2answers
101 views

When does reusable lower rocket stages become benificial?

Can lower stages of current rockets be replaced to reusable and more efficient boosters with parachutes? Would reusable rocket stages save money?
3
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0answers
55 views

Where are all the space capsules? [duplicate]

My understanding is that space capsules, at least until recently with the private companies, have been single-use. Including the Soyuz capsules that Russia keeps using. Which means there could ...
5
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1answer
369 views

Why was the water-landed Falcon 9 B5-B1050 towed backwards for retrieval?

The rocket was apparently recovered by attaching a towing line to the heavy, lower end (with the engines) and pulling at backwards. This seems counterintuitive to me, as this pushes the water into ...
5
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0answers
187 views

Purging process of a rocket engine

Does spacex purge Falcon 9 engines after landing ? If so, which gas is used for purging?
11
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1answer
1k views

Final results on Space Shuttle SRB reuse goal?

One of the stated goals of the Space Shuttle solid rocket boosters (SRBs) was their re-usability and cost savings from such reuse. I know that many of them were reused, but in the end, how successful ...
4
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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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0answers
63 views

How to make a orbital launch tube work?

Normal rockets would not work in a pressurized tube, but could a stage be made for the diagonal launch tube to save fuel and weight? Can the bottom stage be nuclear powered? Unlike the piston launch ...
10
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1answer
328 views

Are there proven economic advantages to rocket re-usability?

Of course, you save a lot of material, but I have heard some Russian rocket people say that that the main cost in rocket comes from the manufacture and testing. And for reusable rockets, you need to ...
4
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5answers
355 views

What if anything makes launching a recovered SpaceX rocket from a drone ship implausible?

Since SpaceX lands their rockets on drone ships (aka ASDS, barges), I'm curious what if anything would prevent rockets from being relaunched from the ship. Obviously the ship would need ...
6
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1answer
173 views

Is the atmosphere a positive or a negative for reusability?

Does the atmosphere provide a benefit or detriment in terms of fuel economy for rockets that take off and land back on Earth? We know that the atmosphere plays a large role in helping slow down ...
4
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4answers
349 views

How would the US military switch to re-usable rockets?

The Ars Technica article After 25 years, military told to move from “expendable” to “reusable” rockets gives me pause. The military rockets I'm aware of generally explode at end of mission by design (...
44
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4answers
10k 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 ...
9
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1answer
473 views

What makes it so hard to precisely land a fairing?

SpaceX currently tries to land their fairing halves on a boat with a net attached to it. So far they had no success but landed nearby, although quadrupling the net area. They first tried with this ...
9
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1answer
286 views

How is Mr Steven piloted when catching a fairing?

Mr Steven is the ocean-going vessel used by SpaceX in its attempts to catch re-entrant Falcon 9 fairings for possible reuse. How is this ship controlled during fairing catch attempts? Is she* manned ...
4
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1answer
521 views

Reuse statistics of SpaceX Dragon capsules?

The question about the rolled-up and deployable solar array How does ROSA unroll? (Roll Out Solar Array) begins: The upcoming SpaceX launch with the apparently first re-use of a dragon capsule will ...
9
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1answer
280 views

Why aren't the Ariane 5's SRBs reused?

The Ariane 5 uses two solid rocket boosters (SRBs), which can be recovered by parachute if desired. However, unlike (for instance) the space shuttle SRBs, Ariane 5 SRBs are only occasionally ...
8
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3answers
2k views

Will reusable rockets be financially viable?

While the vertical landing of rockets by SpaceX is certainly a significant achievement, there seem to be many who say that reusability is not actually financially viable. Apparently, it is far too ...
17
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2answers
2k views

Why is the first stage from the Falcon 9 SES-12 mission not recovered?

Youtube video here At 4:13 minutes into the Iridium-6/GRACE-FO NASA Launch, the commentator mentions: The first stage is not going to be recovered, so there won't be any views from the drone ship ...
30
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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 ...
3
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1answer
171 views

Is a soot covered flight proven Falcon 9 lighter or heavier than a new falcon 9?

Since SpaceX now does not repaint or clean off the sides of the first stage booster prior to reuse, does this make the soot covered stage heavier or lighter? And is this difference in weight ...
12
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1answer
2k views

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 ...
27
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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 ...
10
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3answers
3k views

Are spacecraft single-use?

Are today's spacecraft and carrier rockets really for one use only (launch and landing)? And then they can't be used anymore?
5
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1answer
254 views

Can (or will) Block5 Falcon 9s be used on the Falcon Heavy?

With the Block5 version of Falcon 9 booster soon to be flying, will they be used for the Falcon Heavy, or will they remain a stand alone thing?
5
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1answer
181 views

Why is Mr. Steven in California and not Florida

Mr. Steven is the ship that is used to catch fairings. There is one of these thus far, and it is based to assist Vandenberg, not Cape Canaveral. Why are they choosing to test the fairing catching in ...
7
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1answer
303 views

Falcon 9 fairings stability on reentry

On the descent of the fairings into the atmosphere how is stability provided? Why does it not start to rotate in a uncontrollable fall but reenter gently without apparently damage on the interior ...
7
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2answers
301 views

Is SpaceX trying to catch two pieces of fairing with one boat?

During the Paz / Starlink demo mission (2/22/18), SpaceX attempted to catch the fairing before it splashed-down into the ocean. They failed to catch it by just a few hundred meters. My question is:...
15
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2answers
3k views

What is the cause of this Falcon 9 first stage “dance” after landing?

Recently I watched a video on YouTube by Scott Manley: How To Do A Hoverslam - Things Kerbal Space Program Doesn't Teach. It deals about landing burns of Falcon 9 first stages. It features short clips ...
28
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1answer
4k views

Why the soot pattern on the nosecone of Falcon Heavy side booster?

When a SpaceX booster is landed, we are used to seeing soot deposited all over it, usually in a specific pattern. You can read more about that in this question: Why the strange bands of soot of the ...
2
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2answers
1k views

Will SpaceX use a BFR Heavy mode, similar to the Falcon Heavy but with 3 BFR cores? [closed]

Big Falcon Rocket will need several (maybe 6) tanker missions to get enough fuel for a Mars mission. Does this mean at some point we may witness one BFR Heavy, made of three BFR first stages ...
49
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7answers
6k views

What technological breakthroughs were required to land booster stages?

It is only recently that SpaceX developed first stages that can land again, and be reused. The (until recent) non-existent landing of re-useable rockets is presumably, partially, due to a lack of ...
4
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1answer
344 views

Can Falcon Heavy side boosters/center core be reused as Falcon 9s?

Since the Falcon Heavy is just essentially 3 Falcon 9s strapped together, would it be possible to reuse them as Falcon 9s with some modification?
3
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1answer
2k views

Just how much of the Falcon Heavy is reusable?

I've been looking for just this one bit of info, in all the press: exactly how much of the Falcon Heavy is recoverable and reusable? Obviously not the fuel, but is all the hardware recovered? If so, ...
7
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2answers
2k views

Why did the Falcon Heavy core engines fail to reignite?

I realize that this is a hot take, less than twenty-four hours later at the time of posting, but is any technical detail known about why the core engines failed to restart, causing the crash?
16
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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?
8
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1answer
357 views

How will they lower the landed side boosters after landing, if there is a nose cone?

To lower/handle landed stages, SpaceX has a rig that connects to the inter stage and they use it as an attach point for the crane to lift/move it. The two cores landed in Florida after the first ...
14
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2answers
3k views

What was the point of the re-entry and landing burn of the first stage of the GovSat-1 launch?

Supposedly SpaceX did not intend to recover the first stage of the GovSat-1 launch. If so, what was the point of doing a re-entry burn and a landing burn, if they were just planning on dumping the ...
8
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2answers
1k views

What is the turnaround time for SpaceX's barges?

I believe that currently, SpaceX only has two landing barges - one in the Atlantic (Of Course I Still Love You (OCISLY)), and one barge in the Pacific (Just Read The Instructions (JRTI)). How long ...
7
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1answer
1k views

Was Sea Dragon second stage reusability ever plausible?

Many websites consistently claim that the first stage of the enormous Sea Dragon rocket was intended to be reusable. While recovering a giant booster from sea after a splashdown may seem tricky, it ...