Questions tagged [rockets]

Questions regarding the boosters or thrusters used to propel man-made objects. For rockets firing opposite the primaries, see [retrorockets]. See wiki for other related tags.

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What is the maximum weight a raptor 2 engine can lift up at sea level on earth?

Regardless of target orbit, how can I calculate the maximum weight one engine can lift? If the raptor's TWR is 140 and its Thrust is 1.81 MN then: W = F / TWR = 12,900 N ==> m = W / g = 1.3 tons ...
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17 votes
3 answers
3k views

What is the best chemical rocket fuel from a purely specific impulse standpoint?

A variety of different rocket programs use a variety of different fuel types. Researching this, the main fuel combinations I saw were: RP-1 / LOX (SpaceX's Falcon rockets, early stage Atlas and Saturn ...
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11 votes
1 answer
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Does the debris from the re-entry of Long March core stage ever reach the surface?

It's common for SpaceX to de-orbit the second stage over the ocean (since they still have fuel for controlled re-entry,) but for the Long March core stage that is not the case. Meteorites have hit the ...
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15 votes
1 answer
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Is it possible to turn rockets without fuel just like in KSP

When playing KSP if you click a Key (A,S,D,W) then the rocket turns without using fuel. I thought that a rocket needed RCS to turn. Is it even possible to turn a rocket in space without using any fuel?...
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13 votes
1 answer
2k views

Does NASA have any rocket options to replace ISS segments?

Roscosmos has announced their ISS partnership will end in 2 years This might have been seen as an indication that the new administration at Roscosmos was in a more cooperative mood. Any such hopes ...
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1 vote
4 answers
126 views

Selecting an optimal Isp / what makes an Isp too high (mostly for high Isp)

When, and why, is it possible to have an Isp (usually of an ion or nuclear engine with Isp far beyond the limits of chemical fuel) that's too high? What makes the Isp too high, and (other things being ...
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2 votes
2 answers
108 views

Restartable Solid Rocket Motors Through Expanding Throats?

I recall seeing diagrams on a solid rocket motor that could "blow" itself out through suddenly expanding its nozzle, leading to the propellant no long burning or producing any thrust. First ...
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9 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is a rocket engine spin up test?

Recently I came across internet about SpaceX's Booster 7 explosion in a ball of fire during an engine spin up test. I searched Google about rocket engine spin up test but I got no hit. What is a ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Matching reference thrust to engine given certain parameters

I am running a simulation where a reference thrust value is meant to be matched by a liquid engine which I know the following information about: $"F_{vac}=100000"$ N, $I_{sp}=364$ sec, $D_e=1.01$ m, $...
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7 votes
1 answer
981 views

Is there an ultimate break-even point with rocket nozzle length or expansion ratio in a vacuum?

I know that in an atmosphere, you don't want your expansion ratio to be too high, or it will cause some big problems, and that vacuum engines are restricted by the space they have to fit in, but if we ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Dataset of Rocket Launch Data

I needed actual data of any space rocket for a project that I am doing. Information regarding Altitude or trajectory Thrust Sp. Impulse etc was needed at each step of time. It would be great of the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What is the difference between a Trans-Mars Injection and a Mars Transfer Orbit?

So I'm using this transfer orbit calculator and when simulating a transfer from LEO to Mars, in the delta-v breakdown, appear two different values: TMI (Trans-Mars Injection), at around 3000 m/s, and ...
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1 vote
0 answers
62 views

Liquid propellant rocket engine igniter [closed]

I have a project in which I will have to design a rocket engine igniter. It is for the big scale rockets for space missions. But, there is no information available on the internet regarding the ...
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4 votes
0 answers
127 views

What is the largest number of rocket engines ever successfully used on a single craft as of 2022?

A fully stacked Starship was rolled to the pad this week for testing. The byline caught my eye, though (emphasis mine) SpaceX moves a massive rocket with 33 engines to its launch pad for tests No ...
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11 votes
1 answer
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What's the typical temperature of a reactor core in a nuclear thermal rocket?

I am curious of the typical temperature of a nuclear fission reactor in a NTR and I heard that increasing temperature could increase Isp but couldn't find any useful data online. Please provide viable ...
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1 vote
1 answer
233 views

Why does igniting propellant provide more thrust?

My confusion stems from the relationship between thrust and the pressure distribution in the thrust chamber. For a given chamber pressure the wall static pressure along the nozzle is a function of ...
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5 votes
1 answer
140 views

basis for designing fins of a space launch vehicle

What was the basis for deciding the size, shape, location and number of fins for the Saturn V (or any other rocket for that matter)? Does it have any calculations or were they designed based on ...
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6 votes
2 answers
1k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using either liquid hydrogen or liquid methane based rocket fuels?

I am working on a near-hard scifi story that mainly involves travel across a single widely populated solar system. I imagine that realistically there will probably be a wide variety of ship designs, ...
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3 votes
2 answers
161 views

How would building rockets on other planets and moons influence their design?

John D. Clark's Ignition! says that a frequent problem with choosing propellants has been that they can be very challenging or dangerous to handle, or that they have a high melting point or a low ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Horizontal vs Vertical Takeoff

What is the reason that some space planes take off with the help of a rocket and others take off with nothing but their own engines. For example the X-37 uses an additional rocket while the VSS Unity ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Why aren't clusters of F-15 or SR-71 engines used for a boost stage for rockets? [duplicate]

A cluster of say 8 F-15 or SR-71 engines in my mind could make a viable first stage for a small rocket. Second they can land the stage back to the ground and if my guess is right they could go to up ...
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7 votes
4 answers
3k views

What is "aerospace grade"?

I recently asked this question. There, I was also linked to this other question. Both, however, could benefit from the answer to one fundamental point. What is "aerospace grade"? If ...
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18 votes
6 answers
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What makes aluminum aerospace grade?

So what is aerospace grade aluminum? Aerospace grade and regular aluminum or both aluminum. Do they have a different composition or strength? What makes one aerospace grade?
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1 vote
1 answer
304 views

How many times has SpaceX reused Falcon 9 first stage until 20th May 2022? [closed]

How many times has SpaceX reused Falcon 9 first stage until now? Not about the possibility. I want to know the current progress with the Falcon 9 first stage.
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0 votes
0 answers
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How do I convert from one local NED frame to another?

A little bit of background in case you are interested. I am running a re-entry simulation, and I am dealing with two different reference frames. The one with the higher fidelity dynamics is in the ...
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18 votes
5 answers
11k views

Why doesn’t NASA build its rockets using graphene?

Graphene would be a great material to build a rocket out of. Graphene is extremely thin. One single atom thin layer of graphene can withstand 15 000 000 pascal . A square meter of this material only ...
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8 votes
1 answer
985 views

What is the purpose of the shrouds surrounding these rocket engines?

While researching the purpose of some rocket engine components, I came across several images of perforated shrouds surrounding the combustion chambers of rocket engines. I was highly curious about ...
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1 vote
1 answer
161 views

What is the point of having a central rocket engine when it receives performance losses?

Recently I asked this question about center engine performance and received an excellent answer from @OrganicMarble. The first sentence of the answer is If anything, the flow field interactions hurt ...
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-3 votes
2 answers
259 views

Why isn't oil used for rockets? [closed]

Most people know that when you add oil to a fire, it grows rapidly and becomes more powerful. So, why isn't added into the propellant just before it comes out of the engine?
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5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Resources on Coking?

I'm trying to do some background research on the coking process that occurs in rocket engines, but haven't found any resources that fit what I'm looking for. To be more specific, I'm just looking for ...
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1 vote
2 answers
179 views

Has asparagus staging (fuel crossfeed) ever been studied by a space agency?

There are two known examples of fuel crossfeed: The Space Shuttle and the Atlas. The Space Shuttle had fuel lines running from the ET to the main engines. Meanwhile, the Atlas fed fuel from a main ...
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3 votes
1 answer
119 views

Insights about launch vehicle engine configuration

When dealing with launch vehicles (specifically heavy lifters), there have been a number of different mindsets in terms of engines. The Saturn V used some absolutely massive engines, which was great ...
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2 votes
0 answers
68 views

RCS thruster temperature

How fast does an RCS thruster heat up if it's fired continuously? Will it stabilize at a maximum temperature? Does it need to be shut off before it melts itself? What would that temperature be if so? ...
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47 votes
1 answer
5k views

What safety protocols did this Pythom Space rocket crew ignore?

The video below of Pythom Space's first rocket test has raised a few eyebrows The video prompted hundreds of replies on Twitter, including some from rather horrified rocket scientists. "We knew ...
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2 votes
1 answer
215 views

How much energy would be required to launch a 10km x 10km x 10km cube into LEO?

I know this is a bit of a ridiculous scenario, I am just looking for a very conservative estimate as to how much force would be required to get something orders of magnitude bigger and more awkard ...
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1 vote
1 answer
151 views

Cold Gas Thruster to space engineering challenges

I have seen this question. The natural extension of this question would be - could you lift a human or an equivalent payload to LEO with cold gas thruster only? For numbers, take 100 kg mass for the ...
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3 votes
0 answers
96 views

How to find the altitude of a rocket?

I know this may be a very simple question, but is there any formula from which I can estimate the altitude of a liquid fuel (model) rocket based on the propellant, oxidizer, mass, density, etc? I've ...
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1 vote
1 answer
128 views

Formula for Determining Time to Perform Delta-V Burn Given Propulsion System Parameters

Question is as stated. Determining how much delta-V one needs to change orbits is pretty straight forward with the rocket equation. However, I’d like to see if there’s a way to calculate delta-V from ...
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2 votes
2 answers
258 views

Why does Vandenberg have the most launches?

Why does Vandenberg SFB have the most launches? Is it related to location, when it was founded, something else, etc? It would make more sense for Florida to have more launches. It is illegal for ...
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6 votes
3 answers
1k views

What happens to the parts of rockets after they burn up?

For some first stages and second stages, and some failed launches, their fate is to burn up in the Earth atmosphere. Once the stage has broken into thousands of smaller parts, aerodynamics changes. ...
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3 votes
1 answer
194 views

Calculating the propellant needed for a trip from LEO to Low Mars Orbit at constant acceleration of 1g

I’ve been trying to calculate how much propellant a spaceship from Earth /LEO/ to Mars /LMO/ at constant acceleration of 1g would need. Here’s the data given: dry mass mf=100 t; g=9,81 m/s^2; Isp=...
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9 votes
1 answer
199 views

How exactly does depressurization work in a solid rocket motor?

How does the extinction process actually work in a solid rocket motor? Most people initially always read that once a solid rocket fuel is ignited there is no way to actually stop its operation until ...
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1 vote
1 answer
97 views

What is the equation to find how much fuel you need to reach a velocity? [closed]

Theoretically, I need to launch a rocket, and I need to find how much fuel I need to reach a velocity however I do not know the equation.
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3 votes
1 answer
502 views

What is the equation for fuel equals distance for a rocket? [closed]

Theoretically, I am trying to launch a rocket from space and trying to figure out how much fuel I would need to get to a certain distance.
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0 votes
2 answers
1k views

How do second stage rockets ignite their engines?

When launching, the fuel mixes and then ignites when it hits oxygen in our atmosphere. How does a second stage ignite once in the vacuum of space?
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33 votes
3 answers
5k views

Why all the 'dust' on liftoff?

To bring things back to earth (literally), why is there such a plume of what I can only imagine is dust on liftoff from launchpads on Earth? Every launch I see from Earth has a huge cloud shooting out ...
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  • 543
3 votes
1 answer
220 views

European orbital rocket companies?

Besides the obvious Arianespace (France) with Ariane 5/6 Avio (Italy) with Vega/Vega C I found a few other new companies that haven't launched yet (to my knowledge), such as RFA (Germany) Isar ...
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1 vote
1 answer
138 views

Using Chimborazo as a rocket launching platform

Please consider this. Chimborazo is a sleeping volcano at 01°28′09″ S 78°49′03″ W. Its peak is 6263 metres above the sea level and because it is very near of the equator, the peak is more than 2 ...
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4 votes
0 answers
100 views

What is the highest RPM achieved through a spin-stabilized rocket/spacecraft?

The title explains it all. I know that the Star 48 kick motor rotated at 60 rpm through its burn. I'd like to know the fastest a rocket/stage has spun during a launch, as well as the highest ...
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6 votes
1 answer
281 views

Can gas bubbles form in the fuel and oxidizer rocket engine pumps due to insufficient flow from the tanks?

In a staged combustion cycle rocket engine, the fuel and oxidizer are fed into turbo pumps which are in turn powered by a pre-burner. My question is how do they ensure that the fuel and oxidizer are ...
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