Questions tagged [testing]

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

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35
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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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4answers
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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 the ...
33
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3answers
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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?
29
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6answers
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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 ...
26
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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 "...
25
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4answers
8k views

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 ...
22
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3answers
4k views

Could Mars Rovers be lighter or faster if they didn't have to be tested on Earth?

Watching this video of Perserverance being tested on Earth, it occurred to me that requiring it to stand, drive, climb, etc. under 1g is, in some sense, overkill. Could this (or other) rovers be made ...
22
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2answers
3k 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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4answers
5k 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 ...
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
496 views

What was NASA's Tire Assault Vehicle?

Why did NASA build a vehicle specifically designed to attack aircraft tires?
19
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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?
17
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2answers
1k 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 ...
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 ...
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
405 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
858 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
270 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
2k 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 ...
10
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2answers
675 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 ...
10
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2answers
1k 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 ...
10
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1answer
347 views

Why did the SpaceX Starship MK1 prototype pop?

During a pressurization test on November 20th, 2019, SpaceX's Starship MK1 prototype "popped" at the SpaceX facility in Boca Chica TX. Do we know what caused this apparent failure? Some claim that ...
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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1answer
978 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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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 ...
9
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2answers
222 views

What is it about parachutes that makes people always want to “re-invent the wheel”?

For technology that involves complex engineering issues, standardization and specialization is extremely helpful. If I want to design a complex ASIC IC I don't design it from scratch, I just drag-and-...
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
665 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 ...
8
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0answers
620 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 ...
7
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1answer
3k views

How do engineers know new engines will work nominally once they reach space?

Obviously you test fire a new engines as many times as you see fit on earth, but how do you know the effect the vacuum of space (or really the lack of gravity/air) will have on a new engine? Is it ...
7
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1answer
501 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
715 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
191 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
272 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
177 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
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1answer
239 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
230 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
386 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
629 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
280 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
401 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
559 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
255 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
561 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
221 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 + ...