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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Why have SpaceX skipped the SpaceX Starship SN12, SN13, and SN14?

Something has happened to the SpaceX Starship SN11. (For full details and answers regarding SN11, check out the question What happened to the SpaceX Starship SN11?) Elon Musk recently posted this ...
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Now that they can land a Falcon 9, what will they do with it?

As most of you, I am super stoked by the amazing success of SpaceX with their Falcon 9 first stage landing back on land! We also know that they have a huge backlog (over 50 flights) and are building ...
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For the Starship SN8 flight, did they lose engines in flight?

Watching the first (only?) test flight of SN8 we saw them start flying with three Raptor engines firing and then one looked like it flamed out, with lots of fire inside the engine bay. Then later a ...
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What is the cost breakdown for a Falcon 9 launch?

I don't know if this was already asked, but I'm very curious about the cost breakdown of a Falcon 9 launch.
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Falcon 9 launch process - perception of launch speed

One of the things that drew attention from my local group of rocket-watchers with the Falcon 9/Crew Dragon launch is the perceived speed of the actual launch process. We have been conditioned for ...
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Does launching a device into orbit change earth's orbit?

Does launching a space shuttle or rocket change the earth's orbit? After all, to get momentum in space you need to throw something out.
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How can a 9-engine Falcon rocket be cheaper than single engine rockets?

From what I understand, the engine is usually the most expensive part of each rocket, excluding payload. I'm struggling to understand how SpaceX can have one of the cheapest launchers on the market ...
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Why did SpaceX retire Falcon 1?

Why did SpaceX retire Falcon 1? Wouldn't it have been more cost effective then Falcon 9 for lighter missions?
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How can Elon Musk's Tesla actually reach Mars orbit?

So the payload of the maiden Falcon Heavy flight will be... Elon Musks's Tesla This is one part publicity stunt (it's going to be playing David Bowie's Space Oddity, if for nothing more than the ...
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How does SPACEX capture such images?

I was watching Today's launch test by SpaceX and had a question pertaining to the method used for imagery of objects mid-air! Other than on-board cameras, what techniques do NASA and SpaceX follows ...
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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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Was Amos 6 insured for pre-launch operations?

The Falcon 9 rocket, complete with the Amos 6 payload, just blew up (Or RUDed) on the launch pad. I believe the standard language for most launch insurances is that it is only covered after "...
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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 ...
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How can the reusable Falcon 9 succeed when the reusable Space Shuttle failed?

Space Shuttle was designed to be partially reusable but was later shut down because it turned out to be very expensive to run compared to disposable spacecraft. Now Falcon 9 is suddenly reusable to a ...
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Why was the SpaceX abort test not initiated by real booster failure?

Today (2020-01-19) SpaceX had a successful flight abort test. As far as I can understand, at a specific altitude, Crew Dragon fired its engines and escaped from the rocket. This test looks like a ...
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What is a thrust puck on Starship?

Elon Musk recently mentioned a Thrust Puck on Twitter, "We’re stripping SN2 to bare minimum to test the thrust puck to dome weld under pressure, first with water, then at cryo." He also mentioned ...
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Does anyone who works at SpaceX know the paths of classified payloads?

As SpaceX has launched both NROL-76 and OTV-5, does anyone at SpaceX know the trajectory of the vehicle, or is the falcon upper stage under the direct control of the Air Force?
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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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SpaceX's 4,425 satellite constellation - what's the method to the madness?

The BBC article SpaceX aims to launch internet from space discusses the SpaceX proposal for a dense array of over 4,000 LEO satellites for global internet coverage, and links to SpaceX non-...
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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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Is Starman in the Tesla Roadster a real human?

I first need to know if starman is a real human or a robot. If he is a real human, how does he live? How many years can he live in that car?
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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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Why is NASA building its own rocket for the moon mission when it could use SpaceX's?

I read in this article that NASA is building its own rocket for the moon mission. Why would they build their outdated and inefficient rocket, when they could instead use a SpaceX rocket and use their ...
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Can someone explain the SN10 landing failure in layperson's terms?

The things I can't understand from what Elon tweeted are: "engine was low on thrust due (probably) to partial helium ingestion" There are only tanks for liquid oxygen and CH4 - where did ...
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Are SpaceX Falcon rocket boosters significantly cheaper to operate than traditional expendable boosters?

The title pretty much sums it all up. I remember somebody once remarked about the space shuttle program that “the space shuttle was originally designed to be a space truck. But the shuttle is to ...
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How are the SpaceX Falcon 9 Mod 3 and Mod 4 grid fins different?

Elon Musk tweeted "Flying with larger & significantly upgraded hypersonic grid fins. Single piece cast & cut titanium. Can take reentry heat with no shielding." These have been commonly known ...
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Will a Dragon v2 ever bring 7 astronauts to the ISS?

The Dragon v2 has 7 seats whereas the Soyuz only has 3. But the Soyuz uses all 3 seats for astronauts/cosmonauts to bring to the ISS. I suspect that Dragon v2 will bring 3-4 people to the ISS in one ...
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What's so special about SpaceX's Raptor rocket engine with 300 Bar chamber pressure?

What allows the Raptor engine to have a high chamber pressure of 300 Bar? Compared to other rocket engines which have been or that are now operational, it has the highest chamber pressure. What does ...
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What makes the Merlin vacuum engine so deeply throttleable?

According to the October 2015 revision of the Falcon 9 User's Guide, the Falcon 9's first stage Merlin 1D engines have a 70%-100% throttle range, while the second stage Merlin 1D Vac engine has a 38.5%...
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Where is the TEA-TEB stored for the Merlin engines onboard Falcon 9?

The Merlin 1D engines can restart up to four times, they use the pyrophoric mixture of TEA-TEB (Triethylaluminum-Triethylborane) to ignite the engines. My question is where is this stored in the ...
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Why isn't SpaceX constructing the Super Heavy launch mount on top of the water?

With SpaceX creating their launch facility in Boca Chica Texas, right next to the water, why would they bother building a huge launch pad to withstand the blast, as opposed to building it on top of ...
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Why did SpaceX choose to use Hydrazine over newer “green” propellants for Dragon 2?

Firstly, I understand the need to use hypergolics over cryogenics as part of Dragon 2's abort and landing sequence - they provide "instant on" thrust and are throttlable with very wide ...
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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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How does a spacecraft know that it is in orbit?

After a 5 year long journey in space, Juno finally reached and started orbiting Jupiter. How does the probe actually know that it is in orbit, so that it can send confirmation message like 'Welcome to ...
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Why does the Falcon 9 use RP-1/LOx and not LH2/LOx?

Why does SpaceX use RP-1 in the first and second stages of their rockets? In my view at least the second stage could use hydrogen as it currently is not being reused. I am aware that you have higher ...
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Why 31 engines for the BFR?

I understand the philosophy of using relatively many smaller engines so that a single engine failure has minimal impact on the mission (provided you can keep the shrapnel from shredding the others) ...
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How do the sizes of the various proposed manned capsules differ?

How do the overall dimensions, internal volume, mass of the various manned capsules being developed compare? ...
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Starman/Roadster in a=1.795 AU orbit, now what's the method to this madness?

The question SpaceX's 4,425 satellite constellation - what's the method to the madness? received an excellent answer explaining the rationality behind the madness plan. Elon Musk's tweet (spotted ...
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Could SpaceX land on the moon today?

Now that SpaceX has a bunch of flown Block 4 Falcon 9 rockets laying around, could they theoretically do a mission to the Moon with landing even if it's just a rocket with no payload? Does it work out ...
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Why are Falcon 9 main engines throttled down and up shortly after launch?

On the official webcast of SpaceX's Iridium-4 mission a "throttle down and throttle back up of the Falcon 9 first stage engines" is mentioned. Why would one throttle down at a crucial time ...
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Why does SpaceX have a launch window for a pad abort test?

SpaceX has announced a pad abort test for the Dragon crew capsule on May 5th. They have a 4 hour launch window for the test. There is no destination, so why would there be a launch window in this ...
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Why did the grid fin of the CRS-8/SES 10 booster burn?

After a successful reentry burn of the stage, around 10 seconds after engine shutdown, one of the fins glows red, then begins to burn. My question is why would this burn after the stage already ...
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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 SpaceX have any significant additional legal hurdles for flying private citizens around the moon?

SpaceX recently announced they are planning to fly two private citizens around the moon. I'm sure a normal space flight has all sorts of legal complications, but does the addition of 2 private ...
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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?
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Why isn’t the “JRTI” barge larger?

The barge that SpaceX's Falcon 9 was trying to land on is creatively called "Just Read The Instructions"(hereafter known as JRTI). I've been told that SpaceX is using the barge to avoid a land based ...
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Why is the SpaceX crew-1 mission more important than the previous one (demo-1)?

The previous one was also crewed (two crew) but it was called "demo" for some reason - despite taking astronauts to the ISS. How is the recent one different?
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What are these green text/line displays shown during the livestream of Crew Dragon's approach to dock with the ISS?

During the livestream of Crew Dragon's approach to docking, at 6:24 a laptop display is shown with lots of green text and a camera view of the International Space Station. What's going on?
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Does SpaceX use any of Falcon-9's camera data for engineering or status information, or are they “just for PR”?

I've previously asked Roughly how many self-viewing cameras are present in a Falcon 9 LEO mission? asking if it's closer to a dozen or a hundred on a log scale, because I have a hunch there's probably ...
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How does a simple construction keep a firing rocket on the ground?

Today I have seen this report of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket test firing. The force of a burning rocket is tremendous, and in the video we see an apparently simple construction keeping the rocket (or ...

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