49 votes
Accepted

What are the pros and cons of Aerospike nosecones?

Aerospike nosecones have a couple of big benefits which, to fully appreciate, I'd need to give a little background on. At the risk of dating myself, "Sherman, set the WABAC machine to the 1950s": ...
Steve's user avatar
  • 596
45 votes
Accepted

Why the soot pattern on the nosecone of Falcon Heavy side booster?

It was charred by the center core after separation: (Source: SpaceX FH launch webcast) Looking at it I would expect one side to be charred too but it may not be - the nose cone is afaik composite (...
jkavalik's user avatar
  • 5,128
21 votes

What are the pros and cons of Aerospike nosecones?

You'll notice it is used on submarine launched ICBMs. Blunt noses are very efficient for the missile to get out of water (and are shorter than long, profiled ones, which helps with submarine diameter),...
Khay's user avatar
  • 311
12 votes

Just how pointy does a rocket's nosecone need to be?

As rockets get larger, the importance of drag relative to mass decreases (drag runs generally proportional to cross section and surface area while mass runs generally proportional to volume). Hence ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
8 votes

Would Dragon reenter safely if the nose cone stayed open?

To answer the first question: Crew Dragon would reenter safely. Otherwise there wouldn't be a button in the Pyros section labeled "Jettison nose cone."
Camille Goudeseune's user avatar
5 votes

Just how pointy does a rocket's nosecone need to be?

Blunted noses, especially in the case of the Shuttle Orbiter, are a thermal consideration as well. To put it simply, when a vehicle travels at supersonic speeds, there is a shockwave produced by the ...
CourageousPotato's user avatar
4 votes

Just how pointy does a rocket's nosecone need to be?

Orbital rockets generally don't have such sharp noses. Here's an Ariane 5 as an example: You can see there's a large radius on the tip. Eyeballing from a scale model I have handy, I'd say that ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 128k
4 votes
Accepted

What did Skylab 1 carry in its nosecone?

According to this webpage, under the payload shroud were the airlock, the multiple docking adapter, and the Apollo telescope mount. The latter was folded in front of them but swung to the side on ...
GordonD's user avatar
  • 1,153
4 votes

Just how pointy does a rocket's nosecone need to be?

As a counterexample to some statements in the other answers....the actual extreme tip of the shuttle stack was surprisingly sharp.... (personal photo)
Organic Marble's user avatar
3 votes

Dragon launch escape: is nose cone ejected for parachute deployment?

Dragon’s landing parachute is stowed roughly in the nose cone hinge area, and this leads me to believe the nose cone has to open for the chute to deploy. That belief is incorrect. Other than both ...
Jörg W Mittag's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

Would Dragon reenter safely if the nose cone stayed open?

Yes and no. If it failed to close, it would damage the systems somewhat. There is a way to manually eject the nose cone, which is what would be done in such a situation. Presumably this would limit ...
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
  • 121k

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