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 was Dragon sent to the isolation room?

I'm asking about this photograph that was published on SpaceX Flickr photostream, which I also noticed in a few recent articles (e.g. this one) about the upcoming Crew Dragon pad abort test: SpaceX ...
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JWST observing cherry red Tesla roadster

Assuming both launches are successful, if JWST tries to solve Tesla's cherry red body paint light spectrum, what would it tell about it's composition? Could it be confusing if it was an unknown object?...
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What was the distant bright light in the SpaceX webcast of Orbcomm OG2 deployment?

As I was watching the SpaceX launch today on YouTube, I have noticed a bright distant light as the satellites were being deployed. What was that light? Also, after each deployment there was something ...
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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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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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Does Mars One actually do anything?

I see SpaceX making a lot of technological advancements that will eventually lead to Mars settlement, such as development of affordable and reusable rockets. They're actually getting a lot of things ...
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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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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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What damage/repairs have to be done to the launch pad every time SpaceX launches?

As SpaceX is a company that is very focused on rapid reusability, low-cost operation and a philosophy of "the best part is no part", what repairs have to be done to the towers and general ...
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Why is it even desirable for a spacecraft to land without a parachute?

In this SpaceX promotional video, they indicate their plans to land a crewed capsule without a parachute, using landing thrusters. I know that Soyuz does this too, though in combination with a landing ...
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Why will the BFS reenter broadside rather than engine first?

Musk has stated that they added the delta wing to the BFS design because; from one flight to the next the ship may have differing payloads and differing fuel loads. These changes shift the center of ...
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How did Falcon 9 deploy 11 satellites?

Falcon 9 Flight 20 has successfully deployed 11 ORBCOMM satellites into orbit. I can easily imagine a rocket deploying 1 or 2 satellites. But how did Falcon deploy 11 satellites in a single flight? ...
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Why didn't they launch the Falcon Heavy to be injected into Mars orbit?

With SpaceX's mission of getting a human colony, why would they launch the roadster into the astroid belt and not actually attempt to inject it into mars orbit?
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Did the fairings from the Falcon Heavy test flight get recovered?

According to the flight plan that Elon Musk posted on Twitter, there's a section listed as 'Fairing Recovery', was this section successful? Did the Fairings get recovered?
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Is the Falcon Heavy booster much simpler to land than the Falcon 9 first stage?

Given the fact that the Boosters of the Falcon Heavy will separate much earlier during ascent (and hence at much lower speeds), there should be a notable difference in the complexity (and thus chance ...
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Was SpaceX's launch of Formosat-5 more vertical than normal for any particular reason?

Reading both the abstract and the plain language summary of the recent paper published in the journal Space Weather Gigantic Circular Shock Acoustic Waves in the Ionosphere Triggered by the Launch of ...
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How strong and “hot” is the wind on the payload after the fairing is deployed at ~110km?

In the question What makes 21st century fairings so valuable that they'd potentially be recovered and re-used? I said: 21st century fairings are much more than passive rooftop boxes to "keep the ...
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What is the two little black side tanks seen at starship?

What is the content of the two little black side tanks at the SpaceX Starship SN3? And what it's used for? The picture is of Mk1 then SN1 (tanks on left side) then SN3 (tanks on middle front). Here ...
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How long can Crew Dragon stay at ISS?

It appears that the first manned Crew Dragon flight to ISS may be extended due to there being only one US astronaut there. NASA is also trying to determine how long Dragon's first crewed mission ...
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What do the Teeth on the SpaceX Falcon Mod4 do?

Can someone explain the purpose of the 'teeth' seen in the last picture of this answer? Do they have a specific name? They look too far up to be used to grab anything since the rockets land ...
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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 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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Cause of apparent plume deflection on SES-10?

While watching the SES-10 flight, starting a little after T+1:30, I noticed that the direction of the first-stage exhaust plume started to diverge from the alignment of the rocket body. The ...
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Why would a mission to Sun-Earth L1 have an instantaneous launch window?

I was watching the webcast for Falcon 9 Flight 15 (launching DSCOVR) when they scrubbed their first launch attempt due to some issues during the terminal countdown. Before the scrub, the narrator ...
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If a living person had been inside Starman's suit, would the launch have been survivable?

The spacesuit in the falcon heavy test launch was a genuine test article. Assuming the suit performed nominally could a person have ridden the roadster into space?
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What is this jet of material spraying out from Stage 2 during the SpaceX PAZ mission?

This spray seemed to be there throughout the entirety of the Stage 2 burn but was especially visible once Stage 2 cutoff had happened. As that nozzle uses radiant cooling, it can't be cooling fluid, ...
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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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Did anyone ever launch a rocket, filmed by another rocket in mid air?

I recently analyzed some SpaceX launch footage (a Starlink deployment on September 3). I noticed a switch in camera perspective at T+00:02:20: from cameras on the ground to those attached to the ...
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Why can the Falcon 9 be reused while the SLS cannot?

In reading about SLS, I learned that the reason they won't reuse their rocket is that the weight of the parachutes to enable recovery is too much of a sacrifice. How is the weight of the hardware and ...
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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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Why does the Falcon 9 FT have a higher payload capacity to GTO than a Zenit-3SL?

The Zenit-3SL has a slightly higher thrust for both 1st and 2nd stage and is launched from the Equator. However, the Falcon FT(expendable) has a higher payload to GTO and its diameter is 3.7m compared ...
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Why does starship flip vertical at the last moment instead of earlier

In the test flight of SN9, it appeared that 1 of 2 engines did not relight upon landing. Why is the transition to vertical not done at a higher altitude where a backup engine could be lit if needed ...
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Is the supercooled LOX used in Falcon 9 Full Thrust a first?

One of the changes made to the Falcon 9 v1.1 Full Thrust was using supercooled liquid oxygen at 66 K (-340 F) as well as chilled RP-1. I've seen various claims that this is a first in the industry. ...
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Is SpaceX doing any science with the Roadster and/or spacesuit?

I know that the putting the Tesla Roadster into orbit was primarily a publicity stunt. However, the thought occurred to me that it would also be an opportunity to do some science and/or gather data ...
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How much of Dragon might have survived the explosion of CRS-7 and for how long?

At June 28th 2015, the SpaceX flight CRS-7 failed when the Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket exploded minutes after liftoff. Shotwell said twice during the press conference that Dragon capsule was transmitting ...
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What makes Falcon Heavy with 3 booster 4 times more capable than single booster F9?

Falcon Heavy is expected to take 4 times more mass to LEO than Falcon 9 (53 instead of 13 tons). Are bigger rockets generally about 4/3 times more capable per fuel mass and engine thrust? It doesn't ...
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What NASA documents did SpaceX use to design their engines?

I've watched this (excellent) panel discussion titled 'Our Future in Space'. Bill Nye says at 22:48 that SpaceX got their engine design from work done by NASA, which they developed into a working ...
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What is the cause of this Falcon 9 first stage “dance” after landing?

Recently I watched a video on YouTube by Scott Manley: How To Do A Hoverslam - Things Kerbal Space Program Doesn't Teach. It deals about landing burns of Falcon 9 first stages. It features short clips ...
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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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NASA cost estimating and Falcon 9

I have found this interesting report Commercial Market Assessment for Crew and Cargo Systems Pursuant to Section 403 of the NASA Authorization Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-267), published in April 2011. In ...
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How do I find out how far Falcon Heavy's Starman is from earth right now?

I cannot find out how far from earth Starman of the Falcon Heavy is right now, or at any time for that matter. How would I find the distance?
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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 effective are Falcon 9 1st stage grid fins in the last few seconds before landing?

This answer discusses the three methods that the Falcon 9 1st stage uses for attitude control during re-entry and landing. They are: cold nitrogen jets, "hypersonic" grid fins, and thrust vectoring of ...
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Is Starship aerodynamically stable when travelling nose first?

Is Starship aerodynamically stable when traveling nose first, or does it require constant gimbaling from the main engines to keep it pointing nose first? Is this part of the explanation for why Space ...
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Starlink's autonomous collision avoidance

On their website, SpaceX claims that Starlink satellites are able to conduct autonomous collision avoidance manoeuvres using alerts from the US Department of Defence. This seems very reasonable, given ...
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Has SpaceX ever done a hot restart of a 2nd stage?

Another question highlighted this SpaceX commentary for the GRACE-FO launch: Now in order to fly an efficient trajectory for both of the payloads, we’re actually now running the second stage engine ...
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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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How much did all the space agencies spent on rockets launching and space exploration? What are the benefits for me and you? [closed]

I thought about how much does one rocket cost to build and launch and it came up with roughly $500 million including everything. That made me pause and wonder for myself what it is that's out there ...
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Why do they put a timeline on the SpaceX launch videos?

I have never noticed the SpaceX rocket launch videos include a timeline. This image is from the Falcon Heavy launch with the Tesla car in it.
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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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