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
4k views

Why do SpaceX expect the Falcon 9 rocket to explode during the in flight abort test?

This article - https://futurism.com/spacex-blow-falcon-9-rocket-launch/amp - states that after 88 seconds, the first stage engines will shut down, and an automated abort command will be sent to the ...
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What is the mysterious object flying by in this SpaceX video?

In the last second of this video tweeted by spaceX, you can see an object fly by on screen. Did this come from the SpaceX ship, or is it foreign space junk? If it turns out to be the latter, is that a ...
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1answer
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Comparing Long March 5's CZ-5-300 RP-1/LOX booster to Falcon 9 first stage; similar Isp's but very different relative volumes

Wikipedia's CZ-5-300 and Falcon 9 Full Thrust provide the following rough figures. ...
4
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1answer
110 views

Has FCC jurisdiction for all the world for SpaceX's Starlink position?

These days, you can read in the news that SpaceX requested FCC for permission to change the orbit of the Starlink satellites already in orbit. Now... from my understanding, the Starlink satellites ...
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What happens between Payload deployment and the ISS docking

When SpaceX is livestreaming their CRS missions they usually end up by separating the payload from the second stage with an altitude at about 200 km. But I am wondering how the payload gets up to the ...
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SpaceX Dragon Maximum Return Payload

For one of my university courses, we were asked to assess the viability of an asteroid exploitation mission. Assuming that we can somehow mine and refine the material (platinum in this case), we still ...
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2answers
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How do the Starlink satellites shine?

As we can see the Starlink satellites with the naked eye as they pass by. I was wondering about what makes them visible. Do they have large mirrors that reflect the sunlight making them look as if ...
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53 views

What is the surface area of Falcon 9 payload fairing?

what is the external surface area of the payload fairing of the Falcon 9 ?
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983 views

What is the density of supercooled LOX at −206 °C, as SpaceX uses it

I want to calculate the size in cubic meters of Starship's propellant tanks. The only figures for LOX I can find are at −183 °C. 1141.7 kg/m³ at −183 °C. Could somebody please calculate it at −206 °C,...
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1answer
57 views

Two line element set

I was wondering where I could find the TLE of a satellite ( I am looking for CASSIOPE). I went into this link - https://www.n2yo.com/satellite/?s=39265 but it has only got the most recent updated TLE. ...
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1answer
76 views

Space Debris and Megaconstellations: plans for ~1000kms altitude orbits

SpaceX's Starlink and other mega-constellation plans highlight safe de-orbiting features but does this also extend to altitudes higher than 1,000 kms? My concern is whether these smaller sats will ...
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1answer
107 views

Can pressure fed engines augment Starship's landing on the Moon?

Can a pressure fed engine be powerful enough to augment the landing of Starship on the Moon? How much thrust is needed to land SS if it’s brought to zero velocity at an altitude of 10 meters? A ...
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How does the SpaceX Dragon nosecone separate?

SpaceX's Dragon uses a nosecone to protect the docking port during ascent. The nosecone seems very large. 1/3 of the capsule's height large. And yet, it separates while the second stage engine is ...
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472 views

How fast could the Tesla Cybertruck drive on Mars?

Elon Musk said "Tesla Cybertruck (pressurized edition) will be official truck of Mars". Lets estimate its driving on flat sands to achieve some sort of maximum performance at 0.38 g, 0.07 bar and −70°...
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1answer
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Cryogenic systems in kwajalein Island- Spacex- falcon 1

Is the LOX (liquid oxygen) required for the falcon-1 launch transported or produced? If transported, how? If produced, did they set up a cryogenic oxygen plant in Kwajalein?
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Satellite spotting

My normal activity in early morning and evening is to count how many satellites I can spot which is between 5-7. At 6 am on 22nd November I counted 51 all in single file some 3 abreast; it was ...
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3answers
884 views

Why is one Starlink satellite not following the adjacent one in this image?

The following image shows trails of SpaceX’s Starlink satellites as seen in the sky above the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) in Chile: Image Source: SpaceX’s Newly Launched Starlink ...
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1answer
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Why did the SpaceX Starship MK1 prototype pop?

During a pressurization test on November 20th, 2019, SpaceX's Starship MK1 prototype "popped" at the SpaceX facility in Boca Chica TX. Do we know what caused this apparent failure? Some claim that ...
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5answers
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Why is SpaceX not also working on a smaller version of Starship?

SpaceX is planning to retire Falcon 9, which would leave it with only Starship. While a Starship launch is expected to be cheaper than a Falcon 9 one, a downscaled Starship launch would be cheaper ...
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1answer
166 views

SpaceX's Starlink and astronomy

I was reading articles about Starlink and some concerned astronomers that SpaceX Starlink will lead to more space junk and eventually the death of ground based astronomy. I am just wondering how ...
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140 views

What is the difference between a “Suicide burn” and a “Hoverslam”?

As far as I can tell, the terms Suicide burn and Hoverslam have both been invented rather recently (with SpaceX themselves coining Hoverslam and the Kerbal Space Program loosely credited with Suicide ...
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1answer
167 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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165 views

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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135 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 ...
4
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1answer
78 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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199 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,...
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283 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
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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?
3
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1answer
187 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
212 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
312 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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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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1answer
277 views

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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138 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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1answer
222 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 ...
7
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1answer
402 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 ...
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2answers
377 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? [duplicate]

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
219 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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1answer
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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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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
109 views

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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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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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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1answer
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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
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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 @...