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Questions tagged [sub-orbital]

Questions involving trajectories that reach space but do not attain orbit.

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How does launching suborbital payloads on New Shepard compare to sounding rockets?

Nine NASA payloads will be launched on the upcoming New Shepard mission (NS-10) into a suborbital trajectory. How does launching them on New Shepard compare to using traditional sounding rockets? Why ...
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1answer
363 views

Did the crew of Soyuz MS-10 pass the Karman Line?

Just wondering if Nick Hague got his gold astronaut wings.
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1answer
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What is the delta-V equivalent to cross the Kármán line in vertical (suborbital) flight?

...or, well, for a typical example - how much delta-V does New Shepard carry? For orbital launches, there's the ~1km/s estimate to overcome drag and gravitational losses on orbital launches; 8km/s of ...
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293 views

Did Soviets/Russians perform any crewed (intentionally) suborbital flights?

Gagarin went directly to the orbit - the first manned flight was orbital. I don't know about any other Soviet or Russian spaceflights that wouldn't be orbital - except for some odd aborted launch or ...
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Falcon 9 maximum point-to-point landing range

Has anyone here ever done enough back-of-the-envelope math to come up with a rough estimate of the maximum landing range of the F9 first stage? I'm talking unladen-swallow-quality math here -- trying ...
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4answers
838 views

g-forces of suborbital versus orbital passenger travel

I would like to pose a fact-checking question about this article, which is about the Musk/SpaceX idea of using rockets for travel between terrestrial locations. https://www.theverge.com/2017/9/29/...
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2answers
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Is 678 km the new altitude record for a rocket shot “straight up” (vertical launch)?

The Space Daily April 10th Rocket Science item Europe's largest sounding rocket launched from Esrange says: MAXUS 9, Europe's largest sounding rocket for experiments in microgravity, successfully ...
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2answers
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Why does Blue Origin land the crew capsule separate from the booster?

New Shepard of Blue Origin separates the crew capsule from the booster. The crew capsule is in free fall for a while, then the parachutes open and finally the landing rockets give a brief impulse to ...
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How will a suborbital flight country to country work?

If a suborbital flight from NY to Beijing will cover about 7k miles in an hour, what will that trajectory be and at what speed (including the Earth's rotation)? Will most of the flight be above the ...
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1answer
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How high can a sounding rocket launch and for how long time can it put a payload in freefall microgravity?

Sounding rockets or suborbital launches basically go straight up and then fall down without entering orbit. That requires much less fuel mass than to achieve 8,000 m/s or so orbital velocity. For how ...
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1answer
227 views

What are the main synergies between sub-orbital and orbital space launch?

A number of companies are working on suborbital flight with Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic and XCOR being among the most recognized today. I don't ask here about what actual plans different companies ...
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1answer
163 views

Shape of an orbit inside a planet

If you are orbiting below the surface of a planet, and ignore drag from rocks (or orbit in a vacuum tunnel), what is the shape of the orbit? Usually, the proportionality law for gravity is $\frac{1}{r^...
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Is high velocity feathered configuration reentry possible?

Feather configuration for reentry used in SpaceshipOne, they say, significantly reduces heat loads on reentry by encountering most drag and significantly reducing a large amount kinetic energy at much ...
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3answers
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Do you need a heat shield to enter the atmosphere from non-orbital speeds?

Let's say you launched a rocket straight up, not intending to go into orbit. At its apogee, the rocket is (say) 200 km above the earth: high enough (though certainly not fast enough) for LEO. Would ...
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2answers
885 views

What altitude would an ocean crossing sub-orbital flight need to reach?

So, let's save some travel time and throw a spaceship, rather than an airplane, across the Atlantic or Pacific ocean on a ballistic trajectory. How high would it have to go? How high do the doomsday ...
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1answer
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Why does the WhiteKnight2 of Virgin Galactic have so large fuselages?

Since the White Knight Two doesn't transport passengers or cargo, why does it even have a fuselage? Wouldn't a purely wing shaped aircraft be better? Is it simply more convenient to use an existing ...
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1answer
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What are the synergies between today's suborbital private businesses and space flight?

How, if at all, does suborbital flight benefit real space flight outside of the atmosphere? I mean suborbital flights as a business on its own, e.g. for tourism, not just suborbital testing of space ...
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What are the uses and limitations of moored (powered) balloons? (Compared to GEO, sounding rockets et c.)

Why aren't moored helium balloons hoovering a few kilometers over many cities as a competing alternative to expensive satellite launches? They could provide services with local advantage such as: high ...
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4answers
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How can Yuri Gagarin's Vostok 1 flight be considered to have been orbital, since he did not go all the way around Earth?

How can Yuri Gagarin's Vostok 1 flight be considered to have been orbital, since he did not go all the way around Earth? According to the Wikipedia article about Vostok 1, the launch site was near ...
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1answer
3k views

How to calculate apoapsis of sub-orbital trajectory?

I have made a RK4 simulator for launching a cannonball from a tower. Which has the state variables: Position vector r Velocity vector v Mass of planet M To simplify it, working in only 2 dimensions (...
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3answers
381 views

Lunar sub-orbital trajectories

How do you determine (what is the formula?) the delta-V for a sub-orbital 'hop' from one location on the Moon to another? Is it different from a typical orbital calculation?
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1answer
190 views

What use could be getting to space just for a bit?

I asked a question about reaching space using non-rocket aircrafts on aviation.se and I found out that it may be possible to reach the space for a short moment and then a normal aircraft designed to ...
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3answers
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What distinguishes a sounding rocket from a suborbital flight?

What are the differences between a sounding rocket and a suborbital flight? Sounding rockets have long been used for science purposes. Some of them have trajectories elliptic enough to do ...
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1answer
539 views

Why did HARP make projectiles in the rocket shape?

HARP fired projectiles from a gun into suborbital trajectories. This type of projectile carried a scientific payload, but did not have any reaction engines (although later proposals did). Their ...
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2answers
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Could any existing gun reach the Karman Line?

There's a running Kickstarter to build a HARP-like gun that is multi-chambered and can fire a payload into "space". I don't see where this person's criteria for space is, except for the fact that it'...
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Economical Suborbital Trajectory Analysis Software

Got my two LR-101's, found some reasonably sized surplus LOX/RP-1 and pressurization tanks, found plans for fabricating valves, designed my vehicle, made an excel based back of the envelope sizing ...
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Would a point-to-point suborbital spaceflight have a “negative” perigee?

SpaceShip Three could be a point-to-point transportation method between two locations on Earth. The types of routes being seriously considered include: As of 2008, the SpaceShipThree concept ...
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2answers
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Could I build my own spaceship?

We all know that for most people access to space is currently pretty limited because space flight services are expensive, as they are in short supply. Suppose I wanted to bypass an expensive service ...
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1answer
992 views

Would an ionocraft have better or worse performance in the upper atmosphere?

The ionocraft produces lift by accelerating ions in the air downward by the use of two meshes held at a large relative voltage difference. With a cursory look at the physical principle, it seems like ...