Questions tagged [testing]

Questions about the procedure of using a piece of equipment to find imperfections or problems.

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36
votes
3answers
4k views

Why was AMOS-6 mounted on the rocket for a test fire?

I understand that the static test is a general test of pre-launch procedures, but risking a multi-million dollar payload for a test seems remarkable. Couldn't they use a mass simulator or something? ...
34
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3answers
7k views

Why is there any launch window at all for the Falcon Heavy test flight?

Why is the window only ~3 hours long, why not 2? why not 5? why not "until it launches"? I'm guessing range safety, they could only get a TFR that long?
31
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4answers
4k views

Why is there a large wooden ball on Mariner 3's magnetometer?

Wood is good for certain niche space exploration applications, but the one below is not for spaceflight. According to the documentation for the archived photo: Several spacecraft were built for ...
28
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6answers
3k views

Why no parachutes in the Orion AA2 abort test?

On July 2, 2019, the Ascent Abort 2 test of the Orion spacecraft was performed, with the Orion command module ascending on a solid rocket booster, then firing its launch escape system to safely ...
27
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1answer
3k views

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 "...
21
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2answers
2k views

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 ...
19
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2answers
2k views

How does the Saturn V Dynamic Test Stand work?

This photo instantly provokes a ton of questions in me: It shows the Dynamic Test Stand at Marshall SFC with the Enterprise, which was a Space Shuttle test vehicle, suspended for vibration testing. ...
19
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1answer
288 views

What was NASA's Tire Assault Vehicle?

Why did NASA build a vehicle specifically designed to attack aircraft tires?
18
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4answers
4k views

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 ...
18
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1answer
1k views

Why is the F9-029 Amos 6 case more complex than the F9-020 CRS-7 explosion?

In the F9-029 Amos 6 mission failure at the launch pad, a "fast fire" happened near the 2nd stage of Falcon 9 FT. In F9-020 CRS-7 mission, an explosion happened in flight (again in the 2nd stage) a ...
17
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1answer
3k views

How is sunlight simulated in spacecraft testing, given its brightness?

How could a light source like the sun be approximated on Earth for testing, given how much brighter it is in space than anything else?
16
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7answers
5k views

Why don't we put an EmDrive in space?

Once again the impossible drive is in the forefront of public news. But thus far, I am still unimpressed. NASA seems to have thrown a lot of resources, to test the viability of the EmDrive. But I am ...
16
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2answers
944 views

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 ...
13
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3answers
1k views

What is the new horizontal test stand at SpaceX's McGregor, TX facility meant to test?

If you look on Google Maps, at the McGregor, TX test site, you can see the old test stand (Labelled A) where they test each Falcon 9 first stage for a 9 engine fire as an acceptance test before ...
13
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1answer
385 views

Primary payload influence on hitchhiking CubeSat integration and testing?

Integration is the process of assembling or otherwise combining the separate subsystems into your final overall system. Testing involves making sure your components, subsystems, and overall system ...
12
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3answers
3k views

Will the January 2018 government shutdown affect the Falcon Heavy launch?

The Falcon Heavy is currently undergoing testing at Kennedy Space Center's Pad 39A, which SpaceX is leasing from NASA. The hold-down test firing, according to the previously-linked article, may occur ...
11
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2answers
2k views

What is simulated payload and why are they used?

I read that Angara 5 will carry a "payload simulator" on its first test flight tomorrow Dec. 23, 2014. But the Indian GSLV mk.III recently flew for the first time with a prototype of the ISRO crewed ...
11
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1answer
771 views

Testing flight characteristics before actual flight in model rockets?

I do a lot of scratch design/building of model rockets, but one of the things that I've struggled with is testing the models I come up with. Some of them are purely intended to be static display ...
11
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2answers
3k views

How does static test firing before launch affect design of rocket mass and structure?

Some launchers, like Falcon 9 recently as in a video clip linked to below, and I think some other launchers since long ago in the space race history, test their engines before launch by firing them ...
11
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1answer
261 views

What is NASA doing to improve the supersonic parachute for the third LDSD test?

Last month, on June 8, 2015, NASA ran the second Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) flight test off the island of Kauai, Hawaii. The inflatable decelerator portion of the test was successful, ...
10
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2answers
665 views

Through what mechanisms would SpaceX test and examine the returned CRS-5 first stage?

A significant minority of the users over at the /r/SpaceX Reddit community seem to be of the opinion that SpaceX will attempt to reuse the Falcon 9 CRS-5 first stage provided it lands on the downrange ...
9
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4answers
2k views

Documentation and testing for a CubeSat launch?

If I had a CubeSat sitting on my desk ready to go today, what documentation and testing would I need to do before I could get it launched? Presumably the launch provider won’t just launch anything I ...
9
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2answers
1k views

Have SRBs or SSMEs ever launched without a space shuttle?

It seems to me that the April 12, 1981 launch of Columbia (STS-1) was the manned spaceflight with the most untested hardware of any manned space launch. Even the Vostok and Mercury launch systems had ...
9
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1answer
930 views

Why will SpaceX do Pad Abort test from a truss, not a real first and second stage?

SpaceX will be doing a Pad Abort test at LC-40 in Florida for the Dragon V2 vehicle to close out the CCiCAP criteria. They will not be using a real first or second stage, instead building some kind ...
9
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2answers
936 views

What was the “sour milk smell” during the 1967 Apollo 1 testing?

In the first edition of Andrew Chaikin's 1994 book, "A Man on the Moon, there is a paragraph in chapter 1 which talks about troubles the Apollo 1 testing crew were going through. Chaikin states that ...
9
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1answer
1k views

Why is a purging process necessary for static firing test of liquid rocket engines?

In Chapter 7 of Modern Engineering for Design of Liquid propellant Rocket Engines by Huzel and Huang, mentions the following engine cut off procedure. The cutoff sequence usually consists of ...
8
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1answer
520 views

Dragon Pad Abort hot fire, how much cleanup work was needed?

The day before the Pad Abort test attempt (May 5, 2015) SpaceX test fired the SuperDraco engines in a hot fire. Similar to how they test the Falcon 9 a day or three before launch, the engines spin up ...
8
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1answer
147 views

How well did the Orbital Sciences' Cygnus cargo craft perform?

Regardless of the GPS discrepancy, Cygnus completed its mission. How well did it do, and, does SpaceX now have a proper competitor?
8
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2answers
645 views

Progress of the raptor engine

I have seen that SpaceX has tested a scaled down version of the raptor, but that was about a year ago. Does anyone know the current progress? Do they have a full scale model? Have they hot fired a ...
7
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1answer
482 views

RS-25 Hot Fire Test

Yesterday, NASA Stennis successfully completed a hot fire test of Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-25 a.k.a SSME. It was noted in the webcast before the test started that they were testing the 'engine controller'...
7
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2answers
711 views

What will the Falcon Heavy maiden flight launch as its payload?

I know that Elon Musk has stated that SpaceX will try to launch the "silliest thing imaginable" on the maiden flight of the Falcon Heavy, but will it be a Dragon capsule on top or a special SpaceX ...
7
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2answers
1k views

Why doesn't this SpaceX rocket test fire use water sprays?

I know that rocket launches always have water towers spray water all around when the rocket is launching to suppress the extreme sounds and shockwaves generated by the launch and ensure the rocket ...
7
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1answer
179 views

What Dragon was used in May 2015 Pad Abort test?

Originally it was suggested by Elon Musk that the Dragon shown at the unveiling was the test article, or at least large components of it, to be used in the Pad Abort (May 6, 2015) and then the Max ...
7
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1answer
247 views

Disposal pool during RS-25 engine test?

Nasa recently did a test firing of an RS-25 rocket, and released a video of it. Here's a frame grab: Note that pool of water at the bottom right, with a pipe leading to it, and clouds of steam coming ...
7
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1answer
169 views

How does Orion take its bath (Hydro Impact Basin)?

In 2011 the NASA Langley Research Center completed the Hydro Impact Basin for conducting drop tests of the Orion spacecraft. How much water is the basin filled with for these tests? Does the Orion ...
7
votes
1answer
232 views

What is the purpose of the Dream Chaser carry test?

I was reading that recently the Dream Chaser completed a carry test. Seems like they hung it from a helicopter and flew around with it. What benefit would this have over a wind tunnel test?
7
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1answer
216 views

How do they simulate the SLS engine environment?

I was reading an Aviation Week article about the restart of SSME (RS-25E) production for SLS. There is a paragraph in it that is interesting to me. On the SLS, the engine inlets will receive ...
6
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3answers
366 views

Does every liquid-fueled rocket engine get a test run before its actual flight operation?

I'm not referring to the obvious development testing, but the life cycle of individual engines. When a rocket is launched, have those specific engine "serial numbers" been previously test-run? Like ...
6
votes
1answer
590 views

What is “light bar testing”?

A photo of the Parker Solar Probe was captioned as follows: In the Astrotech processing facility in Titusville, Florida, near NASA's Kennedy Space Center, on Tuesday, June 5, 2018, technicians and ...
6
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2answers
263 views

Does stress-testing a spacecraft affect its durability?

When a spacecraft is built and prepared for a future launch, its parts and the whole spacecraft usually goes through a lot of testing - for example, the James Webb telescope has already been through ...
6
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2answers
375 views

Deluge system refresh rates

SpaceX has said they will take the recovered CRS-8 Falcon 9 first stage and test fire it 10 times at LC-39A. There is lots of discussion as to what that means. 10 full 2+ minute duration fires? 10 3 ...
6
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1answer
545 views

What is Australia's Bartolomeo platform? When does it arrive at the ISS; when and where will it be attached?

In this answer I first heard about Australia's upcoming Bartolomeo platform, which will be used for testing things such as the Neumann drive. Question: What is Australia's Bartolomeo platform? When ...
6
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1answer
239 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
553 views

Does static fire reduce reliability?

I do understand that static fire helps discovering malfunctions, as explained in this answer. A launch exerts an important stress on rockets' engines (high temperature and pressure, vibrations,...) ...
5
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2answers
215 views

Curiosity's powered descent stage test

The landing procedure of Curiosity on Mars has been described as a real challenge in part because of the powered descent stage and sky crane. Indeed the separation of Curiosity with the backshell + ...
5
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1answer
442 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
310 views

What is the Process for Re-certifying Flight Hardware?

I was reading about how we reused the water tanks because they were still within their certified life-time and had two questions: When would a certification become VOID? I'd assume if the water ...
5
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2answers
197 views

Why will GOES-R take a whole year for validation?

I've been reading a few things about NOAA's GOES-R satellite, and I noticed this on the GOES-R site: ...will be placed in the 89.5° checkout orbit where it will undergo an extended checkout and ...
5
votes
1answer
680 views

How has the Dragon v2 been tested before its launch pad abort test?

Dragon of SpaceX has been very successfully tested and used. But Dragon v2 seems to be differently designed and has 8 superdraco engines. Has the v2 been drop tested from a balloon or helicopter? ...
5
votes
1answer
345 views

When SpaceX hot fired the previously used ORBCOMM OG2 first stage, why did they suddenly switch from LC-39A to LC-40?

After the successful ORBCOMM OG2 mission on a Falcon 9 v1.1 Full Thrust (aka 1.2, aka 'just' Falcon 9) and the recovery of its first stage at LZ-1, SpaceX indicated it survived well, and trucked it to ...