Questions tagged [structural-design]

Questions about aerospace structural design including topics such as design constraints, loads, materials selection, manufacturing, assembly methods, failure criteria, and stress analysis.

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13
votes
1answer
223 views

Why do some struts used in aerospace vehicle structures taper at the ends?

This ISS truss segment S6 (in the Space Station Processing Facility) shows quite a few examples. (Personal Photo) I've also seen them in the shuttle Orbiter midbody and aft compartment. It would ...
11
votes
2answers
297 views

Why are balloon tanks used by so few rocket designs?

Balloon tanks, first used on the MX-774 sounding rocket (the direct, though distant, ancestor of the Atlas family of missiles and launchers), are structurally stabilised by internal gas pressure, ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

Why are stages not connected by the engine nozzle? Why are interstages used?

First, a clarification: I understand the aerodynamic reasons that interstages are used, and I understand that the shockwaves that would be generated without an interstage would wreck the rocket. My ...
8
votes
0answers
171 views

How much does the ISS “banana” or flex under the constantly changing conditions of solar heating?

This answer to Do antennae on the ISS have to constantly move to maintain data links? discusses some of the challenges precisely pointing an antenna mounted to the ISS exterior. While the ISSs orbit ...
6
votes
1answer
134 views

Why are the SpaceX Starship, “rings” the width that they are?

Why are the SpaceX Starship, "rings" the width that they are? Wouldn't creating the rings from SS that's twice as wide reduce the welding by half?
5
votes
0answers
81 views

Did any rockets have 5- or 7-fold symmetry?

Have any rockets ever been made with fivefold or sevenfold symmetry? Five or seven (or larger prime numbers, or multiples thereof) identical engines or boosters equally spaced around the center. (...
2
votes
0answers
79 views

Are all interstages load-bearing?

There have been a lot of flown orbital rockets. All of them* are multi-stage. Most of those used interstages where staging wasn't parallel. Did all of those interstages bear the entire load of ...
2
votes
0answers
47 views

What is the load path for thrust in a rocket engine? [duplicate]

This may be a duplicate of this question but I wasn't sure if I could hijack that one to clarify or regenerate interest there. What is the distribution of axial force in a combustion chamber? My ...
1
vote
2answers
192 views

Best shape for Orion nuclear pulse-propelled ships?

I have been doing research on Project Orion. There was this big expensive canceled NASA program to build armored spaceships that had to be blasted into space by exploding nuclear charges underneath ...