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Questions tagged [rockets]

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

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Why rockets are not tossed up before launch [duplicate]

Ok, I understand the nature of my question but anyway why the rockets are not tossed up before launch. It could introduce a huge handicap for a rocket in terms of reduced distance it has to travel, ...
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How to reach a target apoapsis with a gravity turn?

Ok, here I go. I have as a project to simulate the launch of a payload by a rocket into polar orbit. Since original question was too big, let's get it into separate parts. First of all, trajectory ...
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3answers
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Use of different fuels for stages of Saturn V

Why were different fuels used for different stages of Saturn V? I read that the first stage used kerosene (RP-1) and LOX combination, but liquid hydrogen and LOX for the second and third stages. With ...
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1answer
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Using weather patterns as a primary criteria, would South America be an ideal place to launch rockets?

I was looking at a map of historic hurricane travel the other day and noticed that South America doesn't really get them. Florida gets a lot of hurricanes. Texas gets them too. It also occurred to me ...
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Why does the Delta 4 Heavy look burned? [duplicate]

When I was looking at pictures of the Delta 4 Heavy rocket, I noticed that closer to the engines, the rocket looks black instead of the orange color it has right after launch. It looks burned to me. ...
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2answers
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Has there been any nuclear thermal rocket test program after NERVA?

Has NASA tested any nuclear thermal rocket engine after dropping the NERVA program? Is there any current ongoing mission to use nuclear power to make a rocket fly?
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91 views

Why are exhaust nozzles in space shaped the way they are? [duplicate]

Why are nozzles in space shaped like a cone and not like a tube ensuring all the exhaust is directed strait?
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4answers
5k views

How much bigger could Earth be, before rockets would't work?

hint: Apparently the Tsiolkovsky rocket equation does not actually say that you can launch a conventional rocket into orbit around an arbitrarily large and massive body. Question: "How much bigger ...
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1answer
147 views

Was New Horizons launched on a copper rocket?

Screenshots below are from Brian May's new music video Brian May - New Horizons (Ultima Thule Mix) [Official Music Video] The beginning shows the launch of a rocket. I can't tell for sure if this is ...
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5answers
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Could rockets launched from the ground use wings in the stages?

Could a slower or smaller rocket take advantage of lift if all the stages had wings? Could the stages reduce splashdown impact forces by using a spinning seedpod-like design (as shown in the image ...
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2answers
1k 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?
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3answers
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Why is SpaceX not creating its own launch vehicle for small satellites?

With a (predicted) $5.5 Billion dollar market, why isn't SpaceX trying to build its own 'mini launch vehicles'? With the brand and the technology they have, they can easily capture a huge chunk of the ...
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If the Alcubierre Warp Drive was used to travel to Alpha Centauri, how much time would pass on Earth?

If the Alcubierre Warp Drive was used to travel to Alpha Centauri, how much time would pass on Earth? Per this article, it would take merely days to travel there. Say a ship travels there, spends a ...
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1answer
427 views

How does the efficiency of the Rocketdyne F-1A compare to the F-1?

The Rocketdyne F-1 was to be updated with a new turbopump and gas generator assembly, without other major component redesign. This was to result in a thrust increase from around 1,522,000 pounds force ...
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1answer
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Can I able to use RP 1 and LOX in metal tin small size rockets? Is that possible? [closed]

I love rockets. Planning to build a tin rocket but not with water and air pressure. I would like to build a small metal tin rocket using fuel as RP 1 and oxidizer as LOX. I know this is too hazardous ...
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0answers
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What is the best fuel for bottle rocket? [closed]

I want to modify my firework bottle rocket to fly a mile high. What will be the best fuel for this? Could fuel used in space rockets be scaled down to work in a large bottle rocket?
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1answer
91 views

Is a Kármán Rocket Possible? [duplicate]

Why are the rockets not razor sharp, skinnier and taper off at both ends farther to cut through air better? Would making a rocket more aerodynamic allow it to be more efficient flying as a "Kármán ...
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1answer
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What causes those curtain-like hot and cool spots in the 2nd stage nozzle of this Electron ELaNa 19 launch?

Here is a GIF that I made of the recent Electron Launch from frame grabs in the Rocket Lab video ELaNa 19 Launch - 12/16/2018 It is about 4M, so it won't fit in SE's normal image import. Frames are ...
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2answers
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Launch Accelerations: Values, history

This topic: What G-forces do different launchers cause? indicates that current satellite launchers are limiting peak acceleration to about 4g. I'm pretty sure the STS (Shuttle) did the same. My ...
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0answers
33 views

Conditions and sensors that can be used for parachute deployment?

I'm looking for an explanation on ideal conditions/considered factors when a parachute is deployed (particularly in large competition rockets). Also what sensors should be used to measure these ...
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1answer
117 views

How much propellant is needed for a 1G continuous trip to the moon?

I've seen some calculations of the energy requirements of 1G propulsion, which are obviously huge, but at least theoretically achievable...but what about propellant? Somebody check my math, but it ...
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3answers
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What are the differences between SLS and Ares V?

SLS is to a large degree a continuation of the canceled Ares V, basically the STS without the orbiter. But what changes in design were made from Ares V to SLS? What were the reasons for those changes? ...
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What's the largest single object payload ever lifted into space?

I am aware that the Saturn V is the largest rocket ever built and was capable of lifting more weight into space than anything that exists today. Modern rockets often carry several satellites up at ...
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1answer
81 views

Is there enough energy in a rocket nozzle for fission?

How much more energy does the rocket exhaust atom have to have to be before fission can occur to create more thrust? Which exhaust byproduct atom would be the easiest to split? I understand in ...
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0answers
936 views

Potential improvement to BFR or New Glenn if equipped with aerospike exhaust on their engines?

Aerospikes basically tackle the issue of the variability in required expansion ratio for a rocket engine to be efficient at a given altitude. A recent example though mired in legal issues is a small ...
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1answer
277 views

What happened to the Atlas IV?

I was recently reading up on the Atlas rocket family, and I noticed that for some reason the numbering went from the Atlas 3 straight to the Atlas 5. Why did they skip number 4? I am familiar enough ...
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2answers
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How good was the precision of German V2 rockets?

I read somewhere that only 2/3 of the V2 rockets reached their target - but how good was their precision when they reached the target? ±100 m? ±1 km? ±10 km?
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3answers
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How is the CG of rocket found after the complete assembly

Using CAD modeling, the center of gravity of a rocket can be easily predicted. But in reality, after the assembly, the CG will not be exactly at the place given by the model because of difference in ...
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0answers
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How large are the advantages to building a Martian spaceport on Olympus Mons? What are the disadvantages?

There are several questions and answers here about a potential advantage to launching from substantially higher altitudes, usually the answers are that while indeed there is some advantage, it is ...
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2answers
756 views

A cryo tank within another cryo tank…is it a sound engineering concept?

Here's the idea: A large spherical LH2 tank is placed inside a spherical LOX tank. The reason I thought of this is so the inner tank doesn't need to be insulated. It doesn't need to be a double-...
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1answer
96 views

Do launch vehicle companies like SpaceX and RocketLab use magnetometers in their IMU units? If not, why?

I am aware that most launch vehicle companies use strapdown IMU systems, consisting of gyros and accelerometers. I was thinking if one could use a magnetometer and accelerometer to get data (like they ...
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1answer
2k views

How can a rocket approaching the Karman Line then return to earth faster than 53 m/s terminal velocity?

In the book, How to Make a Spaceship: A Band of Renegades, an Epic Race and the Birth of Private Spaceflight the opening chapter details the June 2004 attempt to take SpaceShipOne to the Karman Line. ...
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Why doesn't a regeneratively cooled engine crack due to differential expansion induced by thermal gradients?

A liquid rocket engine with regeneratively cooled chamber walls and nozzles would definitely be one among those components experiencing the steepest thermal gradients (Chamber wall inner - $3000 K$ ...
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1answer
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Why NASA hosts many of their reports public, while ESA/JAXA/ Roscomos doesn't?

There are abundant resources available online in NTRS about the hard earned knowledge of rocket science. But NASA makes them available for free for all. But there does exist some classified ...
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2answers
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Why are LOx plumbing not insulated?(ref: Huzel and Huang)

In the book Modern Engineering for Design of Liquid Propellant Rocket Engines, the following excerpt appear in chapter 9 - Interconnecting Components and Mounts: The liquid-oxygen lines were not ...
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How are the liquid propellant umbilical cord protected from the exhaust?

The launch pad umbilical cords supply propellant to the rocket, and will definitely have some remaining at the time of liftoff. I remember the Saturn V footage wherein a heavy protection door slams ...
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2answers
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Other than He and N as pressurizing gases

To pressurize the liquid propellant tanks Helium is most widely used and after that Nitrogen. Helium is quite costly and Nitrogen is economic but it messes with the O/F ratio of the engine (ref). So, ...
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1answer
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At which stage of rocket development does systems engineering become critical/useful? [closed]

Rockets are complicated system and the interaction of the sub-systems are even more complicated. But different subsystems tend to be developed parallels without much interaction but does so when ...
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0answers
58 views

Pressurization line (Helium to LOX tank line) chilling while pressurizing LOX tank

I have read that in rockets and launch vehicles Helium is used for the pressurization of propellant tanks. What temperature Helium is stored at? If Helium is stored at room temperature then while ...
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0answers
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Problems with shutting off “torch igniter” during the operation of combustion chamber

With reference to the presentation pp 76, where SSME's Augmented Spark Igniter is said to have their flame "On" even after the main combustion chamber ignition, is to prevent the blowback from the ...
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1answer
146 views

Could a gyrojet firearm be used in space or has it?

Saw a cool article about gyrojet weaponry and was thinking that these guns could probably be pretty useful in space. Mainly I was thinking more of a space grappling hook than space weaponry. 380 m/s ...
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2answers
892 views

Water Powered Rocket to Orbit?

We all have seen basic water rockets, where pressurized air pushes out water creating downward force. Is it theoretically possible that a water rocket could create enough force, for a long enough ...
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1answer
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What function did the ribbed portions of the Saturn V exterior serve?

I would like to know what function did the ribbed portions on Saturn V exterior serve, such as the the intertank section and forward skirt on Stage 1. Thank you!
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1answer
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How are rocket nozzles made?

How are rocket nozzles made?? Is it a huge chunk of metal that they cut down or is it a "pipe" that they reshape? Or something else??
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0answers
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Maturity of interplanetary rockets technology with known fuel supply is close?

Considerably, the scale of current jet propulsion rocket technology to leave Earth is closely connected to the target delivery mass, mission goal and the required fuel quantity to lift and deliver ...
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1answer
228 views

Tsiolkovysky's Rocket Equation

As we know the rocket equation, $$ \Delta v = v_e \ln\left(\frac{m_i}{m_f}\right) = I_{sp} \ g \ \ln\left(\frac{m_i}{m_f}\right) $$ So do $I_{sp}$ and the mass ratio have an inverse relation, or is ...
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1answer
2k views

Why do the Russians use these fence-like interstage fairings?

When we look at various Russian rockets we often see a metal structure looking like a kind of garden fence separating some stages. To my knowledge, only the R7 family (Vostok, Voshkod, Soyuz) and N1 ...
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2answers
547 views

Why is there such a large range of stage numbers, including fractional stages?

Falcon 9 clearly has two stages, but the smaller two-stage Electron has a "kick-stage" so some might call that 2.5. The question Quantitative benefits of Atlas II's engine-dropping or 1.5 staging? and ...
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4answers
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Why are the bottom of most stages flat?

When looking for rocket engine images, I noticed that the bottom of the stages are almost flat. That does not seem aerodynamic. I understand this is not a primary concern for upper stages (mainly ...
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0answers
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Trying To Understand This Characteristic Velocity To Force Problem

Having problems trying to solve part b of this problem. Rocket Propulsion Elements 8th - Chapter 2 A jet of fluid hits a stationary flat plate in the manner shown below. (a) If there is 50 kg of ...