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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
41 votes
2 answers
73k views

What is the vapour/smoke that comes from a rocket before launch?

While a rocket is waiting on the platform during the final countdown, it often seems to have clouds of steam or something similar escaping from it. Is this normal, and what are these clouds?
user avatar
  • 13.4k
17 votes
1 answer
2k views

How do rockets prevent rear-ending after stage seperation?

On the third flight of SpaceX's Falcon 1, the following failure occurred according to one narrative. We turned off the first-stage engine and then proceeded to separate the vehicle stages; however, ...
user avatar
  • 16.1k
13 votes
5 answers
6k views

Can a rocket motor be shut off after ignition?

After ignition, if any problems occur such as fuel leakage, can a rocket motor can be shut off?
user avatar
20 votes
2 answers
8k views

How does a single rocket place multiple satellites into orbit?

Nowadays, many rockets transport more than one satellite in orbit. But how does a single rocket place multiple satellites into their orbits? Do all rockets which place multiple satellites into orbit ...
user avatar
  • 18k
4 votes
1 answer
86 views

How is rocketry funding divided by sources throughout the ages?

It can be argued that first rocket in history was a steam powered pigeon in 400 BCE. Around 1200 CE, the Chinese were using rocket powered weapons of war. Beginning around 1960, both the Americans and ...
user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
272 views

Are payload and impulse the sole criteria to decide the engine?

There do not appear to be a definite number of stages to launch a craft. Amongst others entries under the 'launch', 'spacecraft-development' tags mention as many as 4 stages. Engines and fuel vary too....
user avatar
  • 13.6k
31 votes
3 answers
18k views

Why are hydrogen-fluorine fuels not used for rockets more frequently?

Many rockets use hydrogen- and oxygen-based propellants as fuel. Why are hydrogen-fluorine fuels not used? It has a specific impulse of 390 seconds, higher than hydrogen-oxygen combustion (360 ...
user avatar
  • 18k
15 votes
2 answers
2k views

Do all rockets get fueled during the countdown?

Does rocket propellant (solid or liquid) get added to the rocket during the final preparation of the launch (count down) in all cases? If so, why is it filled at the final instant?
user avatar
  • 18k
15 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why are satellites and other payloads always placed at the top of rockets?

In all rockets that launch satellites to orbit, the satellite is always placed at the top. Why are payloads always placed at the top of rockets?
user avatar
  • 18k
12 votes
3 answers
5k views

Are all rocket launch sites surrounded by water bodies?

Are all rocket launch sites surrounded by water bodies (such as sea)? If so, what is the purpose of having a rocket launch site near a water body?
user avatar
  • 18k
114 votes
4 answers
19k views

What is the purpose of having a countdown during a rocket launch?

Every rocket launch has a countdown. But what purpose does it serve?
user avatar
  • 18k
14 votes
2 answers
18k views

Efficient types of nozzles used in rockets

Is there any other type of nozzle other than common convergent-divergent nozzle (see picture below) which is used in many rockets?             ...
user avatar
  • 18k
13 votes
2 answers
899 views

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?
user avatar
  • 18k
16 votes
11 answers
16k views

Highest number of satellites launched on a single rocket

What is the highest number of satellites that have been launched on a single rocket? What were the number of stages used in that launch? (It may be from the past or a future mission)
user avatar
  • 18k
15 votes
1 answer
725 views

Highest stage counts in actual launchers?

I was reading about the Minotaur V that Orbital Sciences is readying for launch from Wallops Island, VA before 2014. (I really do not trust launch dates). It is a Minotaur IV+ with a fifth stage. ...
user avatar
  • 76.7k
25 votes
1 answer
4k views

Do all launches include self-destruct mechanisms?

Do all launches involve self-destruct mechanisms? How do they usually work? Is it just the boosters that are required to self-destruct? In the case of the space shuttle, how about the external tank? ...
user avatar
  • 6,017
10 votes
3 answers
5k views

What was the first attempt in history for space exploration?

Before the space race or modern technology of 20th century, what was the earliest point in history that space exploration was attempted? If available, I'd love to read the documentation.
user avatar
37 votes
4 answers
15k views

Effect of atmospheric drag on rocket launches and benefits of high altitude launch sites

What is the approximate influence of atmospheric drag on the cost of rocket launches? Is it beneficial to have launch sites located at higher altitudes? Cape Canaveral is at sea level, but I've ...
user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
3k views

What are the disadvantages of parachute+airbag for atmospheric landing, versus rocket-based?

After Sojourner success, repeated by Spirit and Opportunity, it seemed like we had developed a fail-proof system for atmospheric landing for our probes: there's very little that can go wrong with the ...
user avatar
  • 52.7k
15 votes
4 answers
1k views

Vertical-takeoff, vertical-landing (VTVL) vehicle falling orientation

The SpaceX Grasshopper vehicle (formally a VTVL vehicle) tests have been increasing the height that their tests can climb to before doing the vertical landing. Throughout all these tests it keeps ...
user avatar
  • 16.1k
13 votes
1 answer
1k views

What are the differences between the Falcon 9 (1.0) and the Falcon 9 (1.1 or F9R)?

With the change at the 6th launch from the original Falcon 9 design for the first five launches, to the new design, either called Falcon 9 v1.1 or Falcon 9R, it would be useful to understand the ...
user avatar
  • 76.7k
8 votes
1 answer
163 views

How are current spacecraft tested for their impact durability?

I imagine the lift-off process itself puts a large amount of stress and strain on the rockets materials. With the amount of debris up in space there is always the risk of rocks to collide with the ...
user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
707 views

Can a projectile fall into a low Earth orbit?

One of the problems with space flight is the speed required to achieve orbit; 17,500 mph. One of the ways I've always thought to achieve this was to launch at a low speed to a very high altitude then ...
user avatar
17 votes
3 answers
3k views

In a cryogenic fuel rocket, at what pressure is the fuel injected into the engine?

The pressure in the Space Shuttle's main engines must be very high to get the vehicle off the ground (with the SRB assist, of course). With such high pressures inside the engine, how do you inject ...
user avatar
18 votes
6 answers
6k views

Methods for propulsion other than rockets for leaving Earth's atmosphere?

Due to the large amount of energy required, the standard method for leaving the Earth's atmosphere is rocket propulsion. Is there any other methods in development that don't involve rockets? E.g. ...
user avatar
  • 1,095
28 votes
4 answers
3k views

What will be NASA's successor to the Saturn V rocket?

The Saturn V rockets were the "tallest, heaviest, and most powerful rocket ever brought to operational status and still holds the record for heaviest payload launched and heaviest payload capacity to ...
user avatar
  • 2,144

1
19 20 21 22
23