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Questions tagged [rockets]

Questions regarding the boosters or thrusters used to propel man-made objects.

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Just how pointy does a rocket's nose need to be?

There are some beautiful images of the Qu8k rocket launch on this web page and I show a few below. There's a video (below) and the PDF Qu8k Final By Derek Deville, November 27, 2011 The stainless ...
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20 views

Why isn't there a rocket to launch a single cubesat?

I find the business model for RocketLab interesting. It is said that they fill a niche in the market by using smaller rockets. And it is true, in comparison to e.g. Falcon 9's payload of 9,500 kg, ...
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1answer
135 views

Why we don't use cyclotron for ion thrusters?

We know that the advantage of thruster is high efficiency and 'everlasting' propulsion. Which It can not provide a sudden huge propulsion during launch like chemical fuel is its biggest problem. I ...
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How does the inter-propellant seal works in kerosene/LOX and UDMH/NTO rockets?

I get that the inter-propellant seal on the SSME LOX HP pump is simply a series of cascading regular seals trying to eliminate bleed-through by venting and letting boil at each stage, so that when ...
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How much more hardware is needed in a cross-fed CBC rocket than a non-cross-fed one?

Is it just a matter of adding a multi-in fuel manifold?
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351 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 ...
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Why is SpaceX's Raptor's design so simple in comparison to SSME?

What is especially striking to me is how simple Raptor is in configuration compared to SSME. The Raptor doesn't have an LP fuel or oxygen pump. What's even more surprising, if we are to compare the ...
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Is it possible to create different colors in rocket exhaust?

Would it be feasible in any rocket engine (liquid or solid) intended for flight above the atmosphere to add one of the following elements: barium, lithium, sodium, copper, or calcium to create ...
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1answer
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Is the gyroscopic effect created by high rpm turbo-pumps an issue for rocket attitude control?

Is the gyro effect taken into consideration in the control strategy or is it somehow mitigated?
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1answer
193 views

Why is LOX on top in the Space Shuttle external tank instead of the other the way round? [duplicate]

Why is oxygen placed on top of hydrogen? Does this have anything to do with letting the warmer and not the colder liquid have a non-spherical bulkhead and thus more surface area to reduce boil-off?
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1answer
108 views

How is the height of a rocket measured?

How is the height of rockets measured? For example, the Saturn V is 363 feet tall, but is that 363 ft from the tip of the launch abort tower to the bottom of the engine bell or is it from the tip of ...
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201 views

Why did the Americans abandon kerosene after F-1 while the Soviets continued to develop it to very high sophistication?

What is the reason behind America's switch to LH2/LOX, and (USSR's) Russia's decision to stay with it and develop it to spectacular technical sophistication such as the Oxygen-rich staged combustion ...
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1answer
88 views

What kind of methane-fueled rocket engines exist?

I have heard of methane being a strong contender for Mars and beyond. Methane is a cryogenic fuel and is said to have a high specific impulse, and work with closed- and open-expander cycles. I have ...
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When Falcon 9's stage 2 engine fires up, does the flame of the engine affect stage 1 in any way?

Are there any specific design considerations that are made over nonreusable, traditional rockets to tolerate the blast from the stage 2 engine? As shown in this moment:
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1answer
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Is Cryogenic Rocket Fuel Still Liquid When It Flows Through a Regeneratively-Cooled Nozzle?

For a rocket engine that runs on (deeply) cryogenic fuel like LH2, e.g. SSME, is the fuel kept liquid throughout the entire length of the regenerative cooling circuit in the nozzle? Or is it allowed ...
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3answers
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Stability of rocket during flight; why does the lift force change direction when the center of pressure moves?

I am currently learning about fins and the role they play in the stability of a rocket during flight. I came across a relatively minor problem. Here is one of the resources I'm looking at: http://www....
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Books on Vertical-Landing Vertical-Takeoff (VTVL) of Rockets? or Rocket Design in General?

I am working on a rocket control system design and I am trying to understand the the fundamental principles and concepts to design an efficient controller for recovering and landing the rocket, ...
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1answer
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Which components do we calculate for center of pressure? Where is the distance of components while computing the cp and cg of a rocket?

everybody! I have 4 questions about center or pressure (cp) and center of gravity (cg) of a rocket system. Questions 1) While computing the center of pressure of rocket system, which components do ...
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224 views

How much of a rocket's energy is used to achieve altitude vs horizontal velocity?

Given how it is significantly easier to achieve suborbital spaceflight, I was wondering about how a rocket spends its energy budget. If you magically could launch a rocket from 0 km/s but from an ...
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2answers
135 views

Why use thrust control systems rather than fins?

Why do large professional rockets like those from SpaceX use thrust control systems to steer the rocket instead of fins? I know they both work, but it just seems that the thrust control requires more ...
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71 views

Lightest possible orbital rocket - being launched from high altitude

Iv'e been looking into micro-satellites launches on small rockets - from what I could find the lightest rocket to deploy a satellite into LEO is the SS-520-4 which had a weight of 2600kg. If ...
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187 views

how 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 ...
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1answer
76 views

High altitude balloon + rocket [duplicate]

I heard that most of a rocket's power is used to get out of the atmosphere. So I was wondering if it would it work to send a very low powered rocket (maybe even something that was simply shot using ...
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1answer
68 views

Ambient pressure for vaccum nozzle design

How do i find out the ambient pressure for designing a vaccum rocket engine? I am using the propellant combustion charts from the braeunig website.propellant charts website But i cannot figure out ...
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1answer
201 views

Super Capacitor Stages

Could this super capacitor be up scaled to be of use in the lower stages of a rocket? Here is the only information I found online on this? Related: Could rockets ...
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1answer
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What channel does a launch vehicle telemetry system see? Is it AWGN?

What is the kind of channel seen by a communication system (for telemetry data) on-board a launcher during various phases of launch. Is it a fading channel or AWGN channel? (Additive white Gaussian ...
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275 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 ...
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3answers
224 views

How good is Stratolaunch vs Falcon9 as a first stage?

With the Stratolaunch flying this week I was interested in seeing how good it was compared to a Falcon9. I figured comparing energy contribution would make sense. The stats as best I can find: ...
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What is the physics behind a rocket landing on a celestial body with an atmosphere?

I would like to know the different physics concept I would need to land a rocket being in orbit. I know the timing is important to leave it, how can one find this out ? Then how to compute the ...
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1answer
145 views

Can Amateur Rocketeers use Liquid Nitrogen Dioxide as oxidizer?

I was reading similar question as mine here. But no one talked about Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2). Its boiling point is 21C. So easy to store. But how easy it is to handle compared to Hydrogen Peroxide or ...
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1answer
134 views

NASA Apollo 11 fuel used to land on the moon [duplicate]

To land on the surface of the moon required the lander to descent onto the lunar surface. How much rocket fuel was used to descend to the surface of the moon?
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137 views

SpaceX Falcon 9 Heavy Launch 4/11/19

Will it be possible to see the launch from the Dominican Republic as to goes into space? Staying there the next few days/nights. What is the track out of Cape Canaveral?
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What would be the performances of chlorine trifluoride as an oxydizer?

Inspired by this comment Assume that a particularly deranged moustache-twirling villain with way more time and resources than is reasonable decides to build a satellite-launching rocket using ...
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What is the difference between “Air-augmented rocket propulsion” and “integral rocket-ramjet propulsion”?

While going through the topic called "Combinations of Ducted Jet Engines and Rocket Engines" in Chapter 1 of Sutton & Biblarz's Rocket Propulsion Elements, 9th Ed I found the section below. Line ...
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2answers
98 views

Most preferred coordinate system for Launch vehicle trajectory

To integrate the equations of motion for a launch vehicle trajectory to the orbit, which is the best coordinate system to consider of the following two: Rectangular with Earth-centered inertial frame ...
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1answer
71 views

What is the nozzle extension of merlin engine and rutherford engine made of?

It is clear from the pictures, that the nozzle extension of Merlin and Rutherford vacuum engine aren't actively cooled. What is the material of construction for those nozzle extension to withstand ...
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1answer
99 views

What is happening with Zero2Infinity and the Bloostar?

I'm reading about the unconventional technology of Zero2Infinity's balloon-launched Bloostar rocket. It looks a bit like a jellyfish shooting through the sky. But it's hard to find much information ...
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108 views

What is holding SLS back from launching?

I'm kind of confused on this point SLS has engines, a tank, side rocket boosters, a capsule, and seemingly all of the pieces. What is the major technical issue right now that is keeping SLS from ...
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1answer
112 views

Could rockets benefit from Reaction Engine's Air-Breathing Rocket Engine in terms of payload?

While I get that one is a vertically launched rocket and the other is a space plane, is it even wildly possible that there could be a vertical intake version of the SABRE engine? Maybe it can be used ...
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Could a “nuclear turbo-jet” be built?

Being familiar with jet engines myself, I wonder whether a similar device could be built to provide high $I_{\text{sp}}$ and high thrust in vacuum and space. Using the tried-and-true turbojet formula ...
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What is the minimal distance of clearance in the direction of flight path for a rocket?

Usually the rocket launch sites are placed on a coast or a place where there's basically no civilian buildings in the direction of flight path. Is there a standard/regulation on the minimal ...
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1answer
54 views

What differences exist between the pressurants and their associated systems between a pressure fed and pump fed liquid rocket engine

There is an apparent need to have pressurants in both pressure fed and pump fed systems. However, since pump fed systems can create the necessary pressure, they can work with less pressurants and ...
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0answers
58 views

How is this engine put together? [duplicate]

I'm going through How to DESIGN, BUILD and TEST SMALL LIQUID-FUEL ROCKET ENGINES and am confused how their sample engine is physically built together. This is a picture of their assembly where the ...
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How to create a new reactant Ammonium Dinitramide NH4[N(NO2)] in NASA CEA?

Ammonium Dinitramide(ADN) is a compound used as a green propellant for spacecraft propulsion applications. ADN-blends like LMP103S and FLP-106 are currently under development. However, performing a ...
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Why are hexa airfoils used on rockets despite having more drag that diamond airfoils?

I was doing a study on airfoils shape for a rocket. I tested the diamond and the hexagonal airfoil with Missile DatCom, RasAero and the Shock Expansion theory and from my results it seems like the ...
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0answers
123 views

Falcon 9 Landing Speed

I wanted to know what the fastest speed is that a Falcon 9 can land at and thus the max force the landing legs can withstand. I assumed the mass when landed is 26,000 kg (I once heard that somewhere). ...
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Highest stage count that are used one right after the other?

Two questions inspired this question: Highest stage counts in actual launchers? Answer: Saturn V six stages to the Moon Does a high staging number have diminishing returns? Is there a way to address ...
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2answers
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Could a fat rocket be used on Mars?

Since Mars' atmosphere is around 2% the density of Earth's then could a much wider rocket achieve orbit? Could the rocket be in the shape of a capsule or an optimal shape for reentry on Earth?
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Cooling jacket calculation issue [duplicate]

I'm going through How to Design, Build, and Test Small Liquid-Fuel Rocket Engines. The reference explains how to calculate the water flow gap for the cooling jacket that surrounds the combustion ...
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1answer
57 views

Globally extensive overview of rocket startup companies

Is there any known report, website or other source from where one can get a comprehensive overview of almost all startup companies related to space rockets or hardware that's dedicated to space ...