24

A payload fairing is separated as soon as possible when the air is so thin that the payload needs no protection anymore. This reduces the weight of the remaining rocket. The fairing is usally separated at a height of about 100 km before the rocket is orbital. Therefore the fairing has a suborbital flight and reenters the athmosphere. Separating the fairing ...


13

Like the first stage, SpaceX catches them and reuses them Or at least that's the plan. They had their first successful single fairing catch in January this year, and their first successful double fairing catch in July. A new fairing costs around \$6m (\$3m per half), so reusing them reduces the cost of launches still further. The fairing shells come down ...


9

It will vary somewhat mission-to-mission, but it's generally about 6 minutes from separation to first-stage touchdown. It's not very different between LEO and GEO missions, as the first stage only gets to around 1/4 of orbital speed. Here's the timeline for ANASIS-II, a GEO-bound launch. Stage separation is at T+2:36 and first-stage touchdown is at T+8:31. A ...


6

There are many components they need for each launch. First stages - they are getting very good at reusing these. Building a few a year, keeps the fleet fresh and enough boosters to not entirely be the limiting factor. (There are only 5 active boosters as I write this). These require larger tankage and 9 engines. Also, they need to land them somewhere, barge ...


5

https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-next-rocket-fairing-reuse-milestone/ Yes They have according to the linked article done so on three launches. This is coroborated by videos on youtube, among then from everyday astronaut.


4

There is no inherent limit. As long as a fairing can be retrieved, and repaired if necessary from seawater corrosion or landing impact, it can be reflown. A fairing has no parts that wear out due to use per se, like a car tire's tread or an Apollo Command Module's heat shield. Its steerable parachutes need to be cleaned and repacked after a flight, but ...


4

For good statistics on things like this that change every mission, check out SpaceX Stats At the static moment I write this, 4 reused. SpaceX has a huge manifest of missions for Starlink, since even at 60 satellites a launch the full constellation of 4400 satellites is going to take a ton of launches (74 minimum! Almost as many launches as they had done in ...


4

No, not always. They had one RTLS in 2020 (vs. 8 successful drone ship landings). In '19, they had 6 successful RTLS (vs. 9 drone ship landings), and in '18 they had 4 RTLS (vs. 8 drone ship landings). I do not think you can draw any conclusions from that, yet. '19 saw the most RTLS launches, with a sharp decline in '20. Drawing any long-term conclusions ...


3

Falcon 9's have landed on two different ASDS drone ships (Just Read The Instructions in its two iterations, and Of Course I Still Love You) as well as LZ-1 in Florida, (on both pads at once, for Falcon Heavy) and at SLC-4 in California. The mix changes every launch, but mostly the landings are at sea since it allows heavier payloads and still recover. Check ...


2

It depends on the mission. Starlink payloads seperate in low earth orbit pretty early. GEO missions the second stage has to do multiple burns depending on the orbits. CRS missions seperate pretty early as well since they stay in LEO to get to the ISS.


2

UPDATE: It doesn't get disrupted completely on every landing! For example here's the SpaceX video from the ANASIS-II Mission. Pardon the ugly GIF, I don't know how to make a better one... video cued at 23:19 or T+ 08:22


2

My understanding is that returning to the launch site (well a different pad in the same complex) reduces logistics costs but also reduces payload capacity compared to landing on a droneship at sea. It seems to me that ground pad landings are mostly used for. Nasa CRS missions (my understanding is that cargo dragon is generally volume limited rather than ...


1

Wikipedia: "The fairing is 13 m (43 ft) long, 5.2 m (17 ft) in diameter, weighs approximately 1,900 kg, and is constructed of carbon fiber skin overlaid on an aluminum honeycomb core". Each fairing half is relatively light with a low ballistic coefficient, which means they are easily slowed down by the atmosphere without generating a huge amount of ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible