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Questions tagged [spacex]

Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, or SpaceX, is a private space exploration company. It was the world's first privately held company to successfully launch a cargo mission into space.

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1answer
85 views

What are the bottlenecks stopping SpaceX from launching more frequent batches of Starlink?

If Starlink truly has a large financial potential for SpaceX, how come they are not launching a batch of these satellites every day? What are the bottlenecks?
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Can / should the Starlink satellites be blackened?

So that they are not as visible? I assume the SpaceX engineers have considered this option.
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105 views

Falcon 9 Type Rocket with Raptors

I've seen the question "Why don't SpaceX just use Raptors in the F9 now since their better" asked here and there, and I understand why it isn't possible to do that- they're not a drop-in replacement ...
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1answer
70 views

Dragon capsule thrust requirements

SuperDraco engines installed inside Dragon capsules assume launch escape capability, propulsive landing, reaction control system and main propulsion. Launch escaping and propulsive landing seem to ...
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Power supply for StarShip?

Early renderings of the Mars Colonial Transport showed 2 fan shaped solar arrays deployed while in space. I haven seen any depictions of the StarShip with a solar array either in orbit or standing on ...
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0answers
190 views

Does SpaceX's Starship have aerodynamic problems due to its thin skin?

Looking at the Starship it looks bumpy, like the skin is buckling in places. Is that a problem? If so, how big a problem? If not, why not? I'm thinking specifically about aerodynamic problems here,...
4
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1answer
140 views

Who built Starlink's electric propulsion systems?

Wondering who actually built the Starlink propulsion systems? Did SpaceX develop this technology in-house, outsource or acquire a company that had the IP and bring this back in-house? Very curious ...
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3answers
5k views

Why is the Falcon Heavy center core recovery done at sea?

Why does SpaceX attempt sea recoveries of the Falcon Heavy center core instead of staying at altitude and performing a land based recovery at a different site?
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1answer
159 views

What is the expected date for the first Starship 20km test flight?

What is the expected date for the first Starship test flight which is aiming for 20km flight? Is there any news about it? Initially, it was 11th October but after September 27 presentation it is ...
3
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1answer
200 views

Why do two Starships dock in such a manner their heat shields face opposite sides?

In the Starship Launch Animation, first, a crewed Starship launches and reaches orbit. Then the fuel tanker Starship rendezvous with the former and docks like this for orbital re-fuelling. It can be ...
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4answers
282 views

Why don't we use sound suppression system when rocket lands propulsively?

We know that the sound suppression system (water deluge system) is used to protect the launch vehicle from the acoustic energy produced by the engines. For most of the expendable launch vehicles, it ...
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1answer
2k views

What does 'Rocket is in self align' mean?

I've noticed during SpaceX streams (this could happen with other LSPs but I've only noticed it with SpaceX) that shortly after the vehicle goes to internal power the controller says "Vehicle is in ...
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How has the brightness of SpaceX's Starlink constellation changed since May?

Shortly after the launch, before full orientation of the solar panels and raising of the orbits, the Starlink satellites were surprisingly bright and easily seen with the naked eye. Back then, I heard ...
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What are SpaceX's Starship's header tanks?

In the Everyday Astronaut video A conversation with Elon Musk about Starship after about 13:00 Musk shows Dodd a cell phone video that he shot in the top(?) of the ...
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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 ...
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0answers
129 views

Could SpaceX's Starship's landing and restart process work on Titan?

Gravity on Saturn's moon Titan is much weaker and the atmosphere is far denser than either Earth's or Mars's, which Starship seems to have been designed for. Could an unmanned starship do an Earth-...
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212 views

What are these things in Elon Musk's tweeted Starship video?

I don't understand what I'm looking at in the video of this Elon Musk tweet. The text says: Just leaving SpaceX Starship build site in Boca These are reminiscent of funhouse mirrors. What are ...
6
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1answer
319 views

What will the role of a pilot be on the SpaceX Starship?

I suspect that near Earth, everything will be remotely automated. But for lunar operations, the latency of communication may necessitate SOME local human interaction, and it seems Mars operations ...
6
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2answers
316 views

Is SpaceX's Starship single stage to orbit?

A recent Space.com article says: We should see the (Space-X Starship) Mk1 in action soon. SpaceX aims to fly the vehicle to an altitude of about 12 miles (20 kilometers) in October, then ...
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Has SpaceX made any commentary on StarLink posing a threat to astronomy?

As an amateur astronomer I've always wondered how detrimental 1,000 StarLink satellites could be to viewing the stars from an Earth-bound location. Apparently, according to this article, it is a lot ...
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2answers
193 views

How quickly can the Starlink spacecraft respond to an impending collision?

update: The word "refused" might be inaccurate: CNET: ESA's near collision with SpaceX Starlink satellite blamed on a 'bug' Ars Technica: SpaceX satellite was on “collision course” until ESA ...
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236 views

Why did August 28th, 2019 Starhopper's test roll so much to the left?

The last Starhopper test flight included a left roll of roughly 160°. It seems to have tried stopping the roll shortly after apogee using RCS thrusters, and once again shortly before touchdown. ...
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5answers
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Why doesn't Starship have four landing legs?

A counterpart to the question Why doesn't the Falcon-9 first stage use three legs to land? This excellent answer states that the first stage of the Falcon-9 uses four legs because four legs are ...
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4answers
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Why did Starhopper's exhaust plume become brighter just before landing?

In 2019 Aug 27's test flight, during the final 8 seconds before landing (T+00:45), Starhopper's plume was suddenly much brighter. Why? The Raptor's thrust can't ...
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1answer
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When will the first Falcon-9 send something to the Moon? Will it be iSpace's HAKUTO-R?

The Teslarati article SpaceX customer iSpace updates Falcon 9-launched Moon lander, rover plans says Japanese commercial space company iSpace has provided an updated schedule for its first private ...
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5answers
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Why doesn't the Falcon-9 first stage use three legs to land?

The immediate thought that would probably come into your mind would be "Because 4 legs is more stable than 3." However that is not always true. 3 legs offer the same or in some cases more stability as ...
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2answers
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What is the closest distance SpaceX's Tesla Roadster (Starman) will ever be to Mars?

Elon Musk's own personal Tesla Roadster launched on the Falcon Heavy in November 2018 and unfortunately overshot the orbit of Mars. This short animation shows the trajectory of SpaceX's Roadster. It ...
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SpaceX rideshare missions: how many smallsats fit?

SpaceX has just announced their new smallsat rideshare program. Is it known how many satellites can be launched at once? Any estimates?
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1answer
414 views

Humanoid silhouette on SpaceX's Starhopper; what does it represent?

update: The silhouette now has a page in Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hughmann_for_scale.svg The images below are from a NASA Spaceflight forum post and can be seen in @...
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1answer
177 views

What causes this diamond to appear from a single Raptor engine firing?

As seen on this video posted by Elon Musk https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1154629726914220032?s=19
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1answer
106 views

Could Spacex build a starhopper (starship prototype) at Vandenburg, CA launch site?

I know Spacex is building a starhopper (starship prototype) in Texas and Florida. Could they also build a starhopper prototype at the Vandenburg, CA launch complex? I know Vandenburg is better for ...
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2answers
443 views

How will SpaceX's Starship accommodate its 100 passengers from the effects of micro-gravity?

According to this Wikipedia article, Starship will take on average 115 days (3.8 months) to get to Mars and 150 days maximum (4.9 months). with an average trip time to Mars of approximately 115 ...
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8answers
4k views

How much did all the space agencies spent on rockets launching and space exploration? What are the benefits for me and you? [closed]

I thought about how much does one rocket cost to build and launch and it came up with roughly $500 million including everything. That made me pause and wonder for myself what it is that's out there ...
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112 views

Orbital insertion accuracy for SpaceX payloads

What is the orbital insertion accuracy of SpaceX for positioning its payload (for example satellites)? How close do they get to the requested or target orbital parameters? I tried to research this on ...
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What's this purple donut in the video of the Falcon 9 fairing's atmospheric reentry?

This SpaceX tweet (found in CNET's SpaceX camera captures incredible view of rocket part returning to Earth) shows a video taken by a camera in one half of the fairing on the recent STP-2 mission and ...
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1answer
1k views

Is SpaceX propulsively deorbiting a Starlink satellite already?

The plot below shows that most of the SpaceX Starlink satellites have moved from circa 450 km to circa 550 kilometers already, using their argon-based ion engines. A few, along with four unidentified ...
6
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1answer
183 views

Why doesn't the SpaceX web-cast show the telemetry, (altitude and speed) for the first stage during recoveries?

On the YouTube videos of SpaceX launch operations, they show altitude and velocity for the 2nd stage throughout the flight, but after stage separation I have never seen telemetry displayed for the ...
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5answers
9k views

Why doesn't SpaceX land boosters in Africa?

Apart from the obvious answer that it'd take too long to get the booster back across the Atlantic, why doesn't SpaceX leave the main or centre booster in space a little bit longer and guide it to land ...
7
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1answer
215 views

Did the Falcon Heavy center core miss the drone ship or abort?

On the recent Space Test Program-2 Falcon Heavy launch, the center core crashed into the ocean. Unlike the test flight, however, it was not due to running out of TEA-TEB lighter fluid. From the video ...
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5answers
5k views

Reusable spacecraft: why still have fairings detach, instead of open/close?

Why do reusable rockets (e.g. SpaceX Falcon 9) still utilize detachable fairings? SpaceX keeps trying to find a way to recover the $6M fairings for obvious cost saving reasons, why not have them ...
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2answers
125 views

Are there payload lights turning on and off in orbit on SpaceX STP-2?

In the video of the SpaceX STP-2 Mission during satellite deployment after around T+01:21:35 there are some areas that abruptly blink brightly. It's too fast and ...
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2answers
459 views

Does flying two boosters close together affect efficiency?

When returning the side boosters of the latest Falcon Heavy launch to their landing site, their trajectories keep them right next to each other, and I noticed that a "wall" of vapor is visible midway ...
4
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1answer
143 views

Would SpaceX's Starlink constellation contribute inordinately to space debris?

I mean they already launched a large constellation of 60 satellites and have plans to launch many more; won't all this contribute inordinately to existing space junk, which is actually becoming a real ...
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1answer
145 views

How much of the recovery system does Spacex remove from a Falcon 9 when using it in an expended manner?

Falcon 9s have a limit to how many times they can be reused, and, for the last flight of a booster they don't make it land (in one piece), and instead use all the fuel to help the payload. That way ...
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2answers
288 views

Why does the F9 second stage roll back and forth during deployment of each RADARSAT satellite?

GIF Watching the SpaceX video RADARSAT Constellation Mission after T+ 52:00 we can see at least the first two satellites deploy. In each case, the second stage ...
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1answer
243 views

What are these four “debris” objects along with the Starlink satellites?

Celestrak has an updated system of categories for retrieving lists of current TLEs, and there's already one for Starlink, yay! Currently https://www.celestrak.com/NORAD/elements/starlink.txt contains ...
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How much do SpaceX's titanium grid fin geometrical parameters measure?

Does anyone know approximately what is the width, length, thickness and depth of the titanium grid fins used in the Falcon9 v1.1? I'm trying to make a 3D model on solidworks but can't find the ...
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1answer
157 views

What are Starlink's available momentum unloading strategies?

Today's Teslarati article SpaceX wants to offer Starlink internet to consumers after just six launches talks about the new website https://www.starlink.com/ shows several images from it, and tries to ...
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1answer
303 views

Delta-V of Starlink Satellites

The recently launched Starlink satellites are designed to use their HAL Ion thrusters to seek their own independent orbits, evade collisions, and de-orbit at the end of their lives. That's a lot of ...
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What is the function of this Merlin engine's tube, and why is it getting red hot?

In the video of the recent SpaceX Starlink launch, one view of the Falcon-9 2nd stage engine shows a cane-shaped tube that glows red hot at the "handle" end and seems to get hotter over time. ...