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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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How will SpaceX Starship deploy its payload?

Most modern orbital launchers like the SpaceX Falcon9 have their payload at the front covered by a fairing which splits in half, ejecting the fairings and exposing the payload for deployment. With ...
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How much fuel would the Starship need to LAND 100,000kg on Earth?

The SpaceX's Starship is in orbit, empty payload. Magically, 100,000kg of payload appears inside the ship, setting aside all the logistical questions of how it got there. Now it needs to deorbit and ...
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Why doesn't the Merlin 1-D use higher LOX to RP-1 mixture ratios?

So I've been screwing around with CEARUN (https://cearun.grc.nasa.gov/), which is the chemical equilibrium with applications program created by NASA. I've been using it to calculate theoretical ISP's ...
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What are the consequences of Vertical vs Horizontal integration for SpaceX?

One of the issues the Air Force has with using SpaceX as a launch provider is that their payloads are designed for vertical integration. That is, the booster stands on the pad upright, and the ...
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DId the Falcon 2nd stage turn around [UPDATED] and point “backwards” before the Orbcomm-2 deployement started?

It looks to me like the camera used for the deployment part of the Webcast shown on YouTube is located near the "bottom" of the payload area (closer to the engine & tanks) - in which case, did ...
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How does this fast-slewing dish track moving spacecraft?

Very nice video of the antenna, but now some of the interesting bits are covered. At least the music is enjoyable! Elon Musk's recent tweet shows a video clip of a ...
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782 views

What is the value of the cross-track angle between the two designated CRS-4 first stage recovery zones?

For the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch on its Dragon/CRS-4 cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station, according to Spaceflight 101, two downrange safety zones have been identified: The SpX-...
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Is helium used to power the Falcon 9 grid fins?

Is helium used as a hydraulic fluid to power the grid fins? Or for engine gimbaling? What are the pros and cons of using helium instead of hydraulic fluids?
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How did the Roadster get high enough to take a whole-Earth picture?

According to telemetry as seen in videos of the event, the car was ejected from the Stage 2 rocket at 114km above Earth. Anything less than 160km will immediately enter a rapidly decaying orbit and ...
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1answer
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How does SpaceX's Dragon get to the ISS?

How does SpaceX's Dragon capsule get to the ISS? Does Dragon use the onboard Draco thrusters in order to raise its orbit to the station or does the second stage of the Falcon 9 perform the majority of ...
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234 views

SpaceX 2nd stage or tumbling satellite? WSW to NE over FL

Around 2040 EST We viewed an irregularly flashing object flying from WSW to NNE (roughly) from Jacksonville FL. Is the SpaceX 2nd stage still up there and if so, would it be tumbling and visible? Is ...
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The changes of a throttled Merlin-1d engine

With Merlin-1d being able to throttle down from its full thrust potential, this post about its throttle capability does not mention much of its change in performance. On the Wikipedia page of Merlin-...
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369 views

Why has SpaceX changed Starship from carbon fiber composite to stainless steel?

Recently, there was news that SpaceX changed the material used for the BFS/Starship (upper stage of the BFR) from initially planned carbon fiber to metal which seems quite counter-intuitive as carbon ...
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Has SpaceX re-used a first stage twice yet?

SpaceX has re-used a first stage once, several times now. Has it re-used the same first stage twice yet? If not, has a particular mission been named that will be the first second re-use?
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Why is SpaceX not creating its own launch vehicle for small satellites?

With a (predicted) $5.5 Billion dollar market, why isn't SpaceX trying to build its own 'mini launch vehicles'? With the brand and the technology they have, they can easily capture a huge chunk of the ...
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Would this chair support astronaut during launch in Crew Dragon

Recently reporters were allowed to take pictures of Crew Dragon and the SpaceX flight suit. Among them is this picture: I was under the impression that: Chairs needed to be custom molded / adjusted ...
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Why does the SpaceX reusable launcher use vertical rather than horizontal landing?

As alternatives to vertical retro-engines landing: horizontal landing using wings, already discussed in Why is it preferable for SpaceX to land their booster vertically rather than fly it down with ...
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What will be “unique” about upcoming SES-9 GTO transfer profile by SpaceX?

In the SES-9 mission press kit, SpaceX mentions: "Given this mission’s unique GTO profile, a successful landing is not expected." What is considered "unique" about this transfer orbit's profile? ...
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Why can't SpaceX Starship perform the same landing procedure as the Falcon 9 does?

I know... Elon Musk calls the redesign of the BFR "unintuitive". I'm just trying to get ahead of the Starship introduction and hop test presumably in March/April timeline. But isn't it better to use ...
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Where can I find the TLE of ExseedSat 1, India's first ever private LEO satellite?

On 3rd December 2018, a private Indian company Exseed Space launched it's first ever satellite into space called ExseedSat 1. But I couldn't find the TLE for this satellite. I looked it up on n2yo ...
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should spacex have 2 versions of the BFS (sub-orbital city and orbital BFR)? [closed]

The Big Falcon Ship (BFS) has been renamed to Starship. The Big Falcon Booster (BFB) has been renamed to Heavy Booster. Will the sub-orbital version of BFS Starship for Earth to Earth missions, be ...
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How many engines are restarted for landing the falcon boosters

For landing the boosters, it is clear that SpaceX is using the center engine, but I suspect that igniting one engine will not be helpful. If they aren't igniting all the 9 engines, how are they ...
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How far south can one see a rocket launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida?

I'll be in Miami this Thursday 30th of March and there is a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch from LC-39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida (if it's not delayed). I won't be able to drive north to be on ...
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368 views

How does SpaceX plan to deal with boiloff on the trip to Mars?

Both BFR booster and BFS are to run on Raptor engines, fueled with liquid methane and liquid oxygen - cryofuels. The trip to Mars will take at least a couple months, and BFS requires fuel for powered ...
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How much fuel does the Falcon Heavy use? What is the price RP-1?

Does anyone know how much fuel the Falcon Heavy can hold, the RP-1 fuel and liquid oxygen as oxidizer, and how much of that will it use to get to a certain point? I don't know how i would calculate ...
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Why can't Falcon Heavy accelerate deep space payloads as fast as Atlas V and Delta Heavy?

A Falcon Heavy with an expendable core costs $95M and lifts 2.5x as much to GTO as the Atlas V. It's Pluto injection orbit payload is nearly half of the Atlas V's GTO payload. In the answer to this ...
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Does the 90 million cost for the Falcon Heavy include everything?

SpaceX says that it costs them 90 million each time to launch a Falcon Heavy, does this include fuel? If I where to purchase a Falcon Heavy launch, how much would it cost me to launch it, buying my ...
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What is the maxium weight the falcon heavy can take to mars

I am doing a project on asteroid mining and I was wondering how much the falcon heavy can take into space, I have seen the Wikipedia page. it says it can take a max of 16.8 metric ton. but at what ...
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How much payload can Falcon Heavy Reusable lift?

I can only find figures for the Expendable configuration - 63.8 metric tons. The Wikipedia article says The partially reusable Falcon Heavy falls into the heavy-lift range of launch systems, ...
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133 views

Could SpaceX's grid fins be controlled by electric motors instead of hydraulics?

There have been a few instances of landing failures related to the grid fins and their hydraulic control - one where the hydraulic fluid ran out, and the latest one where a hydraulic pump stalled. ...
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1answer
135 views

Why was the water-landed Falcon 9 B5-B1050 towed backwards for retrieval?

The rocket was apparently recovered by attaching a towing line to the heavy, lower end (with the engines) and pulling at backwards. This seems counterintuitive to me, as this pushes the water into ...
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Potential improvement to BFR or New Glenn if equipped with aerospike exhaust on their engines?

Aerospikes basically tackle the issue of the variability in required expansion ratio for a rocket engine to be efficient at a given altitude. A recent example though mired in legal issues is a small ...
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Why did they not use the Flight Termination system on CRS16 booster?

All US boosters (I assume other nations as well) have flight termination systems. The goal is to try and stop an out of control booster (Big vehicle, full of explosives/fuel/oxidizer) from causing ...
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If the CRS16 booster was out of control, how did it abort to water?

The CRS-16 missions first stage, seems to have had a stuck grid fin. Apparently a hydraulic pump failed. It was spinning fairly wildly and clearly did not try to land at the pad as it was scheduled. ...
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What is the circular item that fell off of the returning booster during the CRS-16 mission?

During reentry of the first stage booster on the Dragon Resupply Mission (CRS-16), there was a ring-looking item that floated away from the booster. I would imagine it is some sort of ice debris, but ...
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What are these flames on the Falcon 9 booster?

When Falcon 9 was on its way to ascend, flames appeared around the bottom of the booster. What are they? It seems to begin around about 20:36 in the video, ...
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How does ITAR affect SpaceX's display of the Orbcomm first stage outside their headquarters?

There was a time, where people touring the SLC-40 facility were not allowed to take pictures of the engine end of the first stage for ITAR reasons. It appears that has relaxed since I have seen lots ...
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What are some drawbacks of Automated Flight Termination Systems (AFTS) sometimes called Automated Flight Safety Systems (AFSS)?

I often read about how AFSS is the the next big part of the range of the future, and how it is a tremendous improvement upon the current system. But I never really read about the drawbacks. No ...
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Loading the LOX into Falcon 9 V1.1 and Falcon 9 Full Thrust

It is clear from the spaceflight101.com that there is difference in Launch sequences of Falcon 9 FT and Falcon 9 V1.1. Clearly, Spacex has found a way to load the tank in 30 minutes (falcon 9 FT) as ...
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97 views

Do launch vehicle companies like SpaceX and RocketLab use magnetometers in their IMU units? If not, why?

I am aware that most launch vehicle companies use strapdown IMU systems, consisting of gyros and accelerometers. I was thinking if one could use a magnetometer and accelerometer to get data (like they ...
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How composite materials used in space tech? [closed]

guys, my name is Muhamed-Kanapiya. Now I am studying at Eurasian National University in Astana, and my specialization is Space vehicles and technologies. My master`s work about using composite ...
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1answer
142 views

How long does the refurbishment process of a Falcon 9 take?

When launching a reused Falcon 9, how much time would it take to refurbish a used first stage in order to get into working condition? NOTE: This question is different as it looks at the time between ...
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1answer
66 views

Actuators for gimbaling of engine in rockets and launch vehicles

For controlling the rockets to stay on course, continuous engine control is require which is done by using gimbal actuators. What type of gimbal actuators have been used on SSME, Rocketlab's ...
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155 views

What is SpaceX's parachute problem that NASA is concerned about in the NASA ASAP report?

The Washington Post's NASA to launch safety review of SpaceX and Boeing after video of Elon Musk smoking pot rankled agency leaders says: Earlier this year, Boeing had a propellant leak during a ...
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Details about the BFR abort procedures?

What kind of emergency procedures will the BFR have during landings? I can see an abort to an alternate landing zone but what about when you have a an emergency ten seconds after engine shutdown?
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How much noise would the BFR make at launch?

In addition to multi-planetary travel, SpaceX has plans to use the BFR for intercontinental travel. However, would the sound generated by the BFR's launch disrupt local communities and therefore make ...
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2k views

Will it be possible to see BFR approaching the moon from earth, with naked eye?

The title pretty much sums it up. I'm not old enough to have experienced any of the previous manned moon landings. Given that Big Falcon Rocket will go around the moon in 2023, I'm wondering if one ...
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4answers
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Is it possible to track an object as small as the Tesla Roadster around the Solar System

I have heard that we will soon lose track of the Tesla Roadster launched with the Falcon Heavy test launch. Yet, we know where Voyager is out beyond the Solar System and we followed other satellites ...
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What is the mysterious cube shaped object observed in the Falcon 9 launch? [duplicate]

For today's(November 15 2018) Falcon 9 launch, at around T+ 06:04 into the mission, we can see a cube shaped object flying near to Falcon 9 first stage. This ...