Questions tagged [rocket-explosion]

Questions about rockets exploding, either on the pad or in flight. Includes "fast-fires" and other "rapid unscheduled disassemblies" due to prompt, accidental release of stored energy.

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Speed of propagation of unconstrained detonations in atmosphere

SN4 SpaceX's test tank went boom. It was a mixture of methalox (methane + oxygen). When it exploded it caused a shock front, what was the speed of this explosion? Do all shock-waves like that travel ...
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1answer
149 views

How SpaceX plans to deal with possible methane buildup around Starship?

Starship is going to be fueled with methane/oxygen cryogenic liquids. Prior to launch vehicle will spend some time fully loaded on the launchpad. Although methane is lighter than air at normal ...
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Is the risk of explosion-induced damage to operational spacecraft in GEO actually reduced substantially by raising Spaceway-1 by 300 km?

Engadget: DirecTV satellite is at risk of explosion due to battery issues Space News: DirecTV fears explosion risk from satellite with damaged battery say that the spacecraft must move 300 km above ...
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1answer
250 views

How did JPL detonate a liquid oxygen methane mixture with light?

This answer to Pre-mixing cryogenic fuels and using only one fuel tank quotes John D. Clark's Ignition! Chapter 11: The Hopeful Monoprops, and the quote includes the line: How he avoided ...
8
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3answers
992 views

Rocket explosion compared to kT of TNT; has one ever knocked something over at a distance?

The energy equivalent of 1 gram of TNT is about 1 kcal or large Calorie. For reference, 1 gram of carbohydrates gives us almost 4 Calories of energy (if we are lucky enough to use it and not store it)....
13
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1answer
3k views

Why did Crew Dragon switch to burst disks instead of multiple check valves?

SpaceX is known for preferring reusable parts whenever possible. Before the crew dragon incident, where a leaking check valved resulted in a plumbing explosion, it was determined that the check valve ...
3
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2answers
235 views

Super Heavy explosion, how much TNT equivalent would that be?

If the Super Heavy booster explodes, fully loaded, how strong would the blast yield be? How far would the shock wave reach? How does this compare to the N1 RUD's and to other non-nuclear explosions? ...
4
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2answers
129 views

Are second stage RUDs less common than first stage ones?

When I'm watching SpaceX launches, my biggest concern is to avoid a big boom. Specifically, an explosion that would threaten the astronauts who will eventually ride the Falcon 9. So around stage ...
3
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1answer
165 views

How to judge the compatibility and veracity of Scott Manley's explanations for the SpaceX AMOS-6 anomaly?

I was recently caught off-guard by a proposed explanation for a SpaceX malfunction which seems to have turned out to have been a joke at probably my expense and no-one else's, meaning I completely ...
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2answers
465 views

How could a hydrazine and N2O4 cloud (or it's reactants) show up in weather radar?

Question: How could a hydrazine and N2O4 cloud (or it's reactants) show up in weather radar? Tweet: This is what an ‘anomaly’ looks like on weather radar. Tweet (with GIF): Dragon's static fire ...
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1answer
178 views

What rocket system launch contained the highest amount of propellent potential energy?

In regards to rocket launches, what rocket launch contained the most potential energy (joules/btu/etc.) in its thrust propellant to achieve is basic mission? I'm not as much concerned with ...
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276 views

How do HMX-fuelled rockets launch without exploding?

Unlike most civilian solid-fuel rockets, which use ammonium perchlorate/aluminium fuels with a rubber binder (known in the industry as ammonium perchlorate composite propellant, or APCP for short), ...
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1answer
216 views

explosive force equivalent

i've seen 1 link that would direct me to a site that gave an equivalent of what would happen if a SATURN 5 let go on the pad, but not the Shuttle, was wondering what the force equivalent would be if ...
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Explosion at the launch pad and safe distance from it

As the rocket explodes at the launch pad, heat wave, sound wave and debris spread around the launch pad. So in case How the safe zone is determined in the case of explosion of the rocket at launch ...
4
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1answer
279 views

What was the cause of the second explosion in SpaceX's pad “Fast Fire”?

This is well after the first and second stage were gone, so I suspect it was something about the pad itself that resulted in the second explosion event. Any ideas?
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2answers
589 views

How can the elements involved in loading a LOX tank be involved in an explosion?

Since SpaceX has isolated the AMOS-6 Falcon 9 pad explosion to the upper stage LOX tank during fueling, it seems useful to consider in general terms what was happening at the time and what materials ...
10
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1answer
561 views

How should one analyze the video of the Antares CRS-3 explosion to find the clues to the cause?

From the raw video of the event (which just happened), a trained eye can narrow the possibilities, given good general knowledge of the rocket. What in the video indicates which systems were involved, ...