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 and a crewed mission into orbit. See wiki for related tags.

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1answer
3k views

Cost per launch to ISS: Starliner vs Crew Dragon

What is the cost to NASA per launch to ISS of Starliner vs Crew Dragon? The Crew Dragon flights uses the SpaceX Falcon 9-FT with the first stage reusable, along with the partially reusable Crew ...
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What is the heat shield refurbishment procedure for a crew Dragon capsule?

How, specifically, is the great shield replaced or refurbished? More precisely... How do they know it will work for the next mission? :-P
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Spacex NASA GOES-U 2024 contract to use Falcon Heavy?

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-awards-launch-services-contract-for-goes-u-mission Why would they use Falcon-Heavy instead of Falcon-9 FT for the GOES-U 2024 satellite launch? Falcon-9 FT has ...
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Why does the Crew Dragon seem to rely primarily on a low bandwidth downlink for voice communications?

What are the particular reasons that the Dragon Capsule is not communicating via Starlink, or that it seems that the audio and video downlinks from the Dragon Capsule are on separate streams?
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When docked, do Dragon solar panels contribute to ISS mains power?

What it says on the tin. Does a docked Dragon trunk section contribute to the ISS's batteries? I'm aware it would probably be minimal though due to orientation and occlusion of the panels, and when ...
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Will the International Space Station be able to see the Falcon 9 (Inspiration4 launch)

Will astronauts aboard the International Space Station be able to see any part of the Inspiration4 flight of the Falcon 9 during launch and/or during orbit?
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2answers
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What is the theoretical smallest size limit for a phased array antenna that can reach LEO?

Now that one provider is operating a phased array ground-to-satellite internet comm system, others will follow. A frequently asked question is "When can we use Starlink with a sat phone?". ...
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How does a returning Falcon first stage decide when to end its re-entry burn?

When a Falcon 9 first stage is returning to Earth to land, it performs a brief re-entry burn in order to slow down. My question is, what criteria does the first stage control software use to decide ...
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Do forward thinking launch providers like SpaceX, Blue Origin or Virgin Galactic fund any carbon nanotube research?

Elon Musk has indicated (ex.: Tweet) that he has little interest in carbon nanotubes (CNTs) with respect to the concept of an orbital elevator, claiming in essence that the development is simply not ...
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Why do recent launch vehicles like that of Space X and Rocket Lab have far fewer umbilicals than before? What has changed?

Launch vehicles using mobile launch pads have many umbilical connections, whereas the ones using TEL launch structure with strongback, don't. Why is that? As seen in the picture, Electron has just one ...
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Why will the final version of Starship be almost empty after its first launch?

It has been announced that SpaceX Starship SuperHeavy will need 16 launches with the tankers to refuel Lunar Starship. Why is the Starship going to be empty after reaching orbit, since the booster is ...
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Which Falcon-9 launches were of a Falcon-9R rocket?

I have heard about Falcon 9 1.1 and Falcon 9 FT, but what is a Falcon 9R? If I understand correctly R = "reusable" which seems to apply to a lot of them. Are the Falcon 9 FT rockets launched ...
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How can the Starship booster stand vertically without falling over?

How can the Starship booster stand vertically without falling over? In my day to day experience, similar long objects (simple objects that can be easily found in thehouse) tend to fall easily with a ...
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How did SpaceX carry out livestreams initially? [closed]

The thing that probably captivated many of us here were the videos of the Falcon heavy boosters landing back perfectly. How would one build a similar setup?
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Why SpaceX have only one planned potential launch of F9 on their July manifest?

Why SpaceX have only one planned potential launch of F9 on their July manifest. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Falcon_9_and_Falcon_Heavy_launches It show only one potential F9 launch from ...
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How could Starship "deep space variants" improve payload performance by "orders of magnitude" (Elon Musk)?

Replying to Scott Manley's tweeted table of payload mass for a given geocentric C3, Musk tweeted: We could stretch the Falcon Heavy upper stage & increase this a lot, but FH already covers all ...
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282 views

Does the US government plan to issue "Astronaut Wings" for anyone passing 80 km forever?

Related and potentially helpful here: What kind of badge will tourists who performed a sub-orbital spaceflight receive? but here I'm asking specifically about the US government's future plans. The BBC'...
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Is or was STARGATE really being used for SpaceX launches at Boca Chica or otherwise?

The 2015 answer to For SpaceX's Texas launch site, what kind of range radar/tracking will they have? links to The Spacecraft Tracking and Astronomical Research into Giga-hertz Astrophysical Transient ...
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Keep a 2nd stage in orbit and refuel [closed]

Why does SpaceX not develop a second stage that can be used to meet with a first stage to pick up payload and refuel, thus transporting goods to orbit repeatedly instead of being used only once?
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How do SpaceX intend to transport their starship/super heavy?

One of the design constraints of the Falcon 9, its skinniness, is to allow it to be transported by truck back to the launch site. Falcon 9 is 3.7 metres in diameter, whereas Starship and the super ...
2
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1answer
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Puzzler; what can we learn about the distance and direction of Earth from this cool SpaceX-tweeted image of Earth and a vacuum nozzle?

The 18-June-2021 Spacex-tweeted below says: View from Falcon 9's second stage Merlin Vacuum engine There is information out there about the approximate exit diameter and length of the nozzle and ...
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Just how "unreasonably gigantic" was the exclusion zone for the scrubbed SpaceX's Transporter-2 Mission first attempt?

Watching Transporter-2 Mission, currently after 15:02 in the video (after an extended hold at T-00:00:11) I heard a voice say: ...
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Do space transportation firms such as SpaceX receive a financial compensation if a launch is cancelled because of an airplane entering the launch zone

I read on https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/06/spacex-to-launch-second-rideshare-pressuring-small-launch-industry/ (mirror 1, mirror 2): The countdown clock got to T-11 seconds on Tuesday ...
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Which Launching State HASN'T breached its obligations under the 1976 Registration Convention?

(the wording of my question above is voluntarily provocative, but the actual question below may be even more) The context: The 1976 Registration Convention is part of a set of Treaties that ...
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1answer
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SpaceX live broadcast of booster & boat's eye view of the GPS III Space Vehicle 5 were both uninterrupted; have they make some upgrades to the system?

This answer to Why does the video feed always fail during Falcon 9 landings? shows that SpaceX seems to be "getting better at" or "less shy about" broadcasting continuous live ...
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What exactly are "launch tables" and "dog bones" in the context of SpaceX's Super heavy-lift launch vehicle?

@geoffc's Pod Bay comment and link Great aerial photo of launch table with the 'dog bones' being installed. So curious how this will all play out! https://twitter.com/RGVaerialphotos/status/...
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Is there a record for unbroken series of "successful launches" by some objective criteria? Who has it now? What has to happen for it to change hands?

From the (I'd say) historic and pivotal hearing Wednesday, March 5, 2014 Defense Subcommittee (Chairman Durbin) Time and Location: 10:00 a.m., in Room SD-192 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building ...
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1answer
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Does NEPA currently categorically exempt satellite systems? Is there any legal basis to Viasat's request for the FCC to consider light pollution?

Space News' Viasat asks FCC to halt Starlink launches while it seeks court ruling says: Viasat formally asked the Federal Communications Commission to stay an April 27 license modification that ...
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3answers
343 views

Would it be possible to alter the orbit of one satellite, with the exhaust plume of a rocket sufficient to deorbit it?

SpaceX plan to launch Starships towards Mars; many of them. This will involve burning hundreds to thousands of tonnes of propellant in low(ish) orbit, since each may require several refueling steps. ...
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Can we afford to increase rocket launches when we are are in desperate need to cut down emssions? [duplicate]

I love SpaceX and what they are doing with rockets and reusability, but their work is also going to exponentially increase the demand for new launches to orbit. If we are ever going to create a self ...
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Are Starlink satellites flaring?

The "Old and Busted" Iridium satellites flared like crazy because they had big flat metal surfaces for their phased array antennas (that were certainly so shiny completely by accident and ...
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What standard was used by NASA to certify the Dragon capsule controls as safe for crewed flight?

After watching the livestreams of Crew-1 and Crew-2 missions, I was curious about the certification the capsule had to go through, especially with the new control panels which seem to be largely ...
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What material on windows of space vehicles?

Submarine windows are designed to withstand extreme pressure differentials, and at least on private submarines, those are generally made of thick acrylic. I want to say space vehicles like Crew Dragon ...
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What was the thin, black object that was moving around the engine bay of SpaceX Starship SN15?

SpaceX Starship SN15 flew and landed successfully but, A few minutes into the flight, a long, thin seemingly black object was seen moving around the engine bay What was this object? What is it used ...
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What was the cause of the fire on the SpaceX Starship SN15

SpaceX Starship SN15 had a successful test flight and touchdown but a few minutes after it landed, a small fire was seen to break out next to the Fins. Why did this break out? What was the cause of ...
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Why does the signal get lost every single time a Falcon 9 booster or Falcon Heavy booster lands on a droneship? [duplicate]

SpaceX reuses the Falcon 9 boosters and they sometimes fly back from space and land on land or sometimes at sea. In the sea landings, they land the booster on a floating drone ship(mainly, Of Course, ...
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4answers
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Why RP-1 and not Methane for Falcon 9's Merlin engines?

I've seen methane described as the best of both worlds---the worlds being hydrogen's energy density + pain-in-the-ass factor and RP-1's lower energy density + ... ease of use? And this has me ...
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Dragon RCS: Four controlled degrees of freedom... or six?

Would Dragon's RCS clusters allow it to translate cleanly left-right and backward-forward, like a crab? Or are they meant only for roll/pitch/yaw control + longitudinal (up/down) translation, like an ...
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Crew Dragon: How thick is the skin?

Auto body panels are about 20-gauge, or just under 1 mm thick. This is fine for many reasons: thin panels are light for good fuel economy and crumple easily for shock absorption without unnecessary ...
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2answers
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How does a command sent to a rocket or rover look like?

I think the answer is quite clear. Let's say when Mission Control decides to let Perseverence move forward for 3 seconds with a speed of 10 (whatever..) What syntax would this command have? Im ...
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1answer
121 views

Why are some Starlink launches announced as instantaneous and some not?

I have not been able to find information online to chart out the SpaceX Starlink launches to see which have announced instantaneous launch windows and others are not announced as such, leading to my ...
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1answer
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Was someone killed in the SpaceX Starship SN10 explosion? [closed]

At timestamp 2:44 in this video: There can be seen something that looks like a person on fire running and then falling to the ground. Was someone killed or injured in ...
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2answers
629 views

Does Starship reuse actually serve a purpose for Mars, or only LEO/Earth-to-Earth?

(In this question, Starship refers to the reusable 2nd stage, not the full stack w/ Super Heavy). I was thinking about it the other day, and I realized that I'm not sure a reusable Starship actually ...
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Why are Starship landings so difficult when SpaceX has landed so many boosters?

Per Wikipedia, SpaceX has landed boosters successfully 79 out of 90 times. Yet Starships seem to be reliably exploding upon landing. What is so different about the two that Starships are so much more ...
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Isn't Starship way too big?

The Shuttle was designed with a huge payload of 20 tons. This was supposed to not be a problem since: the reusability would drive down costs until satellite operators dropped expensive space hardware ...
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1answer
115 views

Do Falcon 9 grid fins lock up during reentry?

Do Falcon 9 grid fins lock up when extended during reentry? Or do they rely on aerodynamic forces to keep them extended once they're deployed? Could the fins flail down during the reentry burn when ...
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How big are the risks of Starship flipping during or after landing on the Moon?

Now that NASA has announced the selection of SpaceX to manufacture the Moon landing vehicle(s) for the Artemis program, I can't but notice how tall Starship is when compared to other concepts. Chances ...
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2answers
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Minimum reentry velocity ideal for a spacecraft returning to Earth

During the return trip from Mars or Moon, SpaceX starship can refuel it's propellant tanks before reentry. It can use these propellants for reverse thrust to bring the spacecraft velocity to near idle ...
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How problematic is debris for Starship storage/depots?

So with the recent announcement that Starship has been selected as NASA's HLS (which is pretty radical), it's raised a question in me that been around for a while. For HLS; a Starship storage(depot) ...
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3answers
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Evacuating the ISS but wait, there's only one Spacecraft?

I was doing some research regarding the Soyuz as I'm currently planning a summer project in which I would build a close replica of a Soyuz when the question popped into my mind, "What would ...

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