29

For Shuttle EVA, the Space Shuttle Flight Rules show that the safe distance for a suited crewmember was 27 feet for the main jets, 3 feet for the vernier jets, and 3 feet for the APU exhaust. It's rule A-15-22 in the document. This rule is probably a simplified version of what would actually be managed to; I remember seeing "Keep Out Zones" (KOZ) ...


14

A space ship may need some protection against the heat of its own RCS thrusters. The Apollo Lunar Module was covered with multiple layers of thermal insulation foil. Close to the RCS thrusters the top layers were made from from nickel and the high temperature alloy inconel. The thermal blanket consists of multiple-layered (at least 25 layers) of ...


9

Firing your rocket engines against your velocity vector in order to decelerate. In this case, specifically firing your rockets into a supersonic wind.


7

They did slow the capsules down, and, thereby, cause the thermal loads on their heatshields to be lower and their splashdown points to be closer to the Cape, but the Mercury heatshield could easily withstand far higher heating loads than these (given that it would have to protect the Mercury-Atlas capsules during reentry from full orbital speeds - and ...


5

Would you want your test of your racecar's brakes in to be in the Monaco Grand Prix? I can’t imagine that the retrorockets were included merely to test them for service on the manned Mercury-Atlas flights, since they could easily have been tested on the earlier, unmanned Mercury-Redstone flights (and, for that matter, the early unmanned Mercury-...


4

According to Wikipedia, Voskhod's requirement to put multiple crew members in a sphere the same size as Vostok forced elimination of the earlier spacecraft's ejection seat (and in the case of Voskhod 1, eliminated pressure suits as well!) and drove the new landing technique: The lack of ejection seats meant that the Voskhod crew would return to Earth ...


3

This paper1 states that there is a ...quasi-circular disturbed zone of 15-21 m radius (~990 m2) around InSight. Based on HiRISE imagery and views from InSight cameras. 1SURFACE ALTERATION FROM LANDING INSIGHT ON MARS AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR SHALLOW REGOLITH STRUCTURE.


3

The idea of using a rocket for retrograde propulsion to slow down likely dates back as far as the Sibiu manuscript by Conrad Haas from the mid 16th century, or Johann Schmidlap's book "Künstliche und rechtschaffene Fewrwerck zum Schimpff" from 1561:


1

Supersonic retro propulsion is a method to deaccelerate the space probe safely while reentry on a planet using the retrorockets in supersonic regime.


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