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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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What are the challenges of turning a rocket stage around and firing its engines into a supersonic wind?

So I went to the link in a recent question and discovered SpaceX turns its first stage around while it is going, what, several km/s in the upper atmosphere, restarts 3 of the engines and fires ...
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What is Retropropulsion?

In a recent news NASA, SpaceX Share Data On Supersonic Retropropulsion My question is what is Retropropulsion?
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Can Dragon, or Dragon V2 be used to boost the ISS orbit?

One of the roles that Progress (and ATV) fulfill at the ISS is station reboost. This works because they can dock at the back of the Zvezda module, and boost inline with the station. I cannot find a ...
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How does SpaceX manage parallel processing at the LC-40 Complex?

After the SpaceX CRS-4 launch of Dragon on F9, Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX head of launch operations is quoted as saying: Koenigsmann said that shorter gaps between launches should become more routine ...
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Other than then N-1 (30 engines) has there been a single stage of a rocket with more engines than a Falcon 9?

The Saturn V had 5 engines (F-1) on the first stage, five engines on the second stage (J-2). The N-1 had 30 engines on its first stage (NK-15). The Falcon 9 (1.0 and 1.1) have 9 Merlin 1 engines on ...
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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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What are the benefits of saying a commercial space development program is funded privately?

I'm just curious why this is important to SpaceX. The reusable launch system that SpaceX is developing was supposedly not funded by any of NASA's contract. What benefits would this give to SpaceX? ...
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Does the ISS team plan cargo flights when at half crew on purpose?

A number of times now, the cargo vehicles (Dragon, Cygnus, or HTV) seem to have arrived while the station was between crew switchovers. With indirect crew handovers, three crew depart in a Soyuz, ...
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Does the Falcon 9 v1.1 form a shock diamond when in flight?

How does the Falcon 9 v1.1 form this exhaust pattern with its nine Merlin 1D engines? Is it a bigger, rougher shock diamond? I am trying to learn more about how one could form with a cluster of ...
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How far downrange would a reusable Falcon 9 first stage land (without fly-back)?

Let's imagine a rocket like the Falcon 9 recovers its first stage via a soft landing, but doesn't attempt a return to the launchpad. For the sake of argument, let's imagine that there are no ...
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What missions could be done with Orion on Falcon Heavy?

Orion is being developed in tandem with the SLS. But Falcon Heavy is scheduled to fly earlier, early 2015, and be cheaper. So I wonder what kind of missions Orion could do with FH. Could it for ...
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Numbers for Falcon 9 booster MECO scenarios?

I hoping to look at learn more about Main Engine Cut Off (MECO) for various scenarios. 5 quantities I want are: 1) Booster mass at lift off. 2) Booster mass at MECO 3) Booster velocity at MECO (...
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Why is SpaceX testing Pad Abort at LC-40 (CCAFS) but Max-Q abort at Vandenberg?

Per SpaceNews article SpaceX has set November 2014 for a Pad Abort test from LC-40 in Florida, and January 2015 for a Max-Q abort test from Vandenberg Airforce Base in California. They have only done ...
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Why is it preferable for SpaceX to land their booster vertically rather than fly it down with wings?

SpaceX lands their booster rocket vertically, this seems complicated. The space shuttle landed with wings which seems more simple. Why is it preferable for the rocket to land vertically as opposed to ...
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SpaceX Falcon 9 Reusable first stage propellant for return

How much propellant is required to return the Falcon 9 Reusable's first stage after separation?
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Where is SpaceX planning to land their booster rockets for Mission 14 and 15?

SpaceX has stated "Flights 14 and 15 will attempt to land on a solid surface with an improved probability of success." Are they going to land at the Cape, or some other solid surface?
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What went wrong during the OG2 Mission 1 launch attempt on June 20th 2014?

Yesterday (June 20, 2014), SpaceX intended to launch a Falcon 9 to bring 6 satellites of the Orbcomm OG2 satellite constellation into orbit. However, the launch was first postponed for an hour and ...
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Will the SuperDraco powered Dragon be able to “jump” on the Moon or Mars?

Does the Dragon reusability concept of SpaceX include the ability to reactivate the engines after landing to make a "jump" to a new soft landing location some kilometers or so away on the surface? Is ...
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Will SpaceX open up space to the public?

Soft ball question here: Does anyone know if SpaceX will be open to taking non-space agency/military personnel into space? And if so, in what capacity will they allow? And any estimates on the price? ...
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What boosters/launchers conduct hot fire tests before launch?

SpaceX has a practice of a hot fire test before the real launch. This gives them a chance to test any number of things, similar to launch, to identify possible issues. They test: Fueling Launch ...
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How is SpaceX going to land their Falcon first stage?

SpaceX's attempt at a reusable first stage rocket sounds amazing, but how they're going to get it to land back on the launchpad is beyond me. Assuming that the first stage will separate with a speed ...
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What is SpaceX's stance on Mars One?

The Mars One website lists SpaceX as a supplier for their launch vehicle and that they did receive a "letter of interest" from them along other suppliers. Mars One cofounder Bas Lansdorp has visited ...
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SpaceX launch site - why all the cables are needed around top of the rocket [duplicate]

On the SpaceX launch site (slc-40 launch pad) there are lot of cables suspended around top of the rocket (between four white rods). What is the function of them? Why no such cables is used on other ...
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What is the planned date for the Falcon Heavy Demo launch from Vandenberg AFB?

According to Wikipedia and SpaceX, this demo flight is scheduled for 2014. A group of us from San Diego want to come and watch the launch from a distance. Is there any scheduled date for the launch? ...
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Are the Falcon 9 landing legs aerodynamic surfaces as well?

With the CRS-3 (SpaceX-3) launch of a Falcon 9 v1.1 with a Dragon capsule to the ISS the F-9 will launch with landing legs for the first time. Elon Musk Tweeted an image of the legs mounted on the ...
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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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What was SpaceX's original vision for booster reusability?

An article from 2007 made the following statement: SpaceX is in many ways the exact opposite of Kistler. It's run by Internet wunderkind Elon Musk, does almost all of its work in-house with a staff ...
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What is the intent of attaching legs to the rocket?

SpaceX Adds Landing Legs to Falcon 9 Rocket for Next Launch Still thinking why they added legs to the rocket's first stage? What are the advantages of attaching the legs to the rocket? Does that ...
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What is the alternate hangar SpaceX has available at the Cape?

In the web cast for the Falcon 9 Flight 8 launch campaign they showed an alternate hangar where spacecraft can be prepared and fueled, before being brought to the SpaceX hangar on LC-40 for ...
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Is the LC-40 SpaceX Transport/Erector updated for Falcon Heavy already?

When I was watching the F-9 Flight 8 they showed some footage of the launcher on the pad. I grabbed this screen grab that looks like they might have added to the T/E as as shoulders for the F-H ...
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What is “downrange distance”?

On the SpaceX mission I hear periodic "Downrange distance: N kilometers" for various values of N (initially 1, then 3, then 383, 920, 1500...). What is the meaning of this value?
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On a Falcon9 launch at T-13 they poll all stations, what are all the stations they poll?

While listening to the webcast for flight 8 of Falcon 9 (Thiacom-8 mission), they did a poll of all controllers/stations at T-13:00. I could guess a number of them, but wondering what the full set ...
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Why is SpaceX considering Methane as fuel for their next engine, the Raptor?

Currently, SpaceX has developed the Merlin 1 family (1B (Falcon 1), 1C (Falcon 9 v1.0), 1D (Falcon 9 v1.1/F9-R/Falcon Heavy), vacuum versions and sealevel versions) which are LOX/RP1 based. (75-...
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What are the basic concepts of the SpaceX Falcon 9? [closed]

Is the Falcon 9 a launch vehicle or a spacecraft? What are the key design features and why did NASA decide to use it for cargo instead of its own spacecraft?
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Was any first stage recovery system tested on SpaceX Falcon 9 flight seven?

My son really was upset he missed the launch live, so we re-watched the video at breakfast and I noticed starting at 3:27 in the video a few seconds after MECO, and stage separation, you can see the ...
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How does SpaceX ignite their engines?

Based on the aborted launch on Thanksgiving 2013 of the first Falcon 9 v1.1 from Florida, we know that an issue occurred where oxygen got into the ground based TEA-TEB sources. I understand that TEA-...
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Why aren't SpaceX controllers allowed to abort during the final 10 seconds?

During yesterday's aborted SpaceX launch, someone was giving instructions to the controllers about abort procedures: To abort the launch, a controller will say 'abort, abort, abort'.... controllers ...
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What are the towers around the SpaceX launch pad used for?

I noticed four(?) towers around the SpaceX launch pad during yesterday's aborted launch Image credit NBC News What are the towers used for? Tracking? Radio communications?
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What caused SES-8's Falcon 9 launch computer to abort at T+2 seconds?

SES-8 had its launch aborted at T+2 seconds. What, exactly, caused the flight computer to decide the engines weren't ready?
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What is involved in clearing air space for an orbital launch?

When the Nov 25th, 2013 SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 launch was scrubbed on a Monday, next launch opportunity was reported as Thursday (Thanksgiving) since the Tues/Wed days are the busiest day in the year ...
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Why is the SES launch going to an apogee of 80,000 km?

Why is the apogee of the Falcon 9 SES launch going clear out to 80,000 km? GEO is only 36,000 km or so, it seems like a waste to go so far beyond it.
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Why did the US lose almost all commercial launch opportunities?

With the launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 V1.1 Nov 25th (Assuming it succeeds), it will apparently be the first US Commercial launch (I assume to GEO, since Orbital, with all the commercial small sats ...
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When SpaceX claims to build 4 engines/week, which engines do they mean?

In this Tweet (dated 11 Sept 2013) Peter de Selding reported that Gwynne Shotwell of SpaceX said: SpaceX's Shotwell: We're building 7 Falcon 9 fairings/yr now, 15 in 2014, & 4 engines/week ...
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Falcon 9 1.1 demo flight (flight 6) - Was the second stage burn meant to test deorbit?

On F9 flight 6, the first demo of the V1.1 configuration, the putative rationale for the extra second stage burn was to demonstrate relight capabilities for Geosync, and really, any orbit that ...
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What are the mystery Falcon 9 v 1.1 objects?

There are 20 objects in orbit associated with the Falcon 9 v 1.1 launch. So far only 1 has been identified. 5 were payloads of the launch, plus the booster and some debris. Bottom line, 11 objects ...
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What went wrong, Falcon 9 1.1 first flight with first stage landing attempt?

They are reporting that the three engine relight in the upper atmosphere worked. But the relight of a single engine, lower down for pretend landing on the water generated too much torque and the fuel (...
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Did the ISS have to adjust its course when the SpaceX Dragon capsule was detached?

We had this question which discussed if space craft had to be corrected in their orbits from the movements from the people inside. (No as their net movement cancels each force out) Following on from ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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What portion of SpaceX's revenue comes from private sources?

SpaceX is often called a "commercial" company and participates in NASA's Commercial Crew Program. In SpaceX's early days, all of SpaceX's revenue came from non-government sources. But today, SpaceX ...