39

It's just the aerodynamics. There is high pressure where the air spills out the side that tends to push them apart more than the forces that you mention that pulls them together. Good thing too. A giant parachute with the same drag would take too long to open. Clustering is very commonly used for cargo.


19

The SRBs have smaller solid separation motors, 8 on each, which simultaneously fire to push the boosters safely away from the orbiter/ET. Here's a video showing them in action -- they're powerful enough to give the external tank a good scorching. You can see the separation is designed to turn the boosters slightly outward so any remaining SRB thrust takes ...


18

They didn't blow it up. They simply knew it would break up. A rocket is a very frail thing. It can only maintain it's structural integrity in forces it was designed to handle. When the Dragon left, the Falcon no longer had an aerodynamic nose cone. So supersonic wind forces pitched it sideways and the body of the rocket could not stand that force from that ...


17

No, they don't have sufficient thrust when they're jettisoned to catch up with Space Shuttle accelerating away: The SRBs are jettisoned from the space shuttle at high altitude, about 146,000 ft (45 km). SRB separation is initiated when the three solid rocket motor chamber pressure transducers are processed in the redundancy management middle value ...


7

There are a number of reasons why this might be the case. There are two main things that a rocket has to do. The first is to get them to the right orbit, and the second is to make sure the payloads get deployed safely. The reasons why such a long wait might include: The satellite needed to be deployed over a specific area to ensure it received sunlight when ...


6

As far as I know, spin separation was never used for strap-on Boosters. The practical issue is, that the centrifugal force puts a lot of stress on the connections between the boosters and the center core. Also, manouverability is practically zero while the rocket is spinning. That means that a gravity turn or change of azimuth are not possible during ascent. ...


6

What are they? Interstage Umbilical Guillotines I believe they are housings for pyrotechnic separation connections between the falcon 9 second stage and the dragon trunk. I found this NASA document describing the explosive devices on Apollo and the connections you describe look very close to one of the guillotines used on the Lunar Module. Why are there ...


6

Much more air flows out the top of a round parachute than out the sides - round canopies without vents oscillate rather violently, notice all the openings in that picture. If you see a canopy with no vents it's probably made of porous fabric, nylon woven for the purpose leaks a LOT of air - you could tape it over your mouth and still breathe comfortably. ...


6

Short answer Suggestions in the comments are correct. The device in question is side booster separation sensor. It can be described as mechanical plunger switch which is installed in the center of the side booster upper ball joint. The pin (which happenned to be deformed and was declared as the primary reason of the sequence of events that led to the failure ...


4

Do both top and bottom attachments have some pushing away system? Or do separation at 61km above sea level allow the use of aerodynamic lift-away force, meaning bottom attachment may be one simpler device? (not pushing away, only unlocking)? Three things: Unlock, push, and aerodynamics work together to achieve separation. Erik Seedhouse's book: "SpaceX's ...


3

Shuttle: The cockpit display indications for separation events were rather subtle. This is presumably because visual/physiological cues were available. Some fields on the computer displays changed and lights flickered on and off. Details below. Solid Rocket Booster Separation Cockpit Cues Shortly before separation a flashing indication "PC < 50&...


3

I believe the sparks are coming from propellant residue from the solid-fueled rocket (a Black Brant IX according to this article). You can see some similar sparks flying immediately at launch. Modern solid rocket propellant typically consists of powdered aluminum and other components in a rubber binder; for a short period after burnout you could expect some ...


2

While there may be some aerodynamic force in the radial direction pulling the chutes outboard, they probably do not dominate the lateral motion of the parachutes on a space capsule. This corresponds to this paper on the aerodynamic forces, which shows that the L/D values of the chute are quite small. You can see on this presentation by NASA (slide 35) that ...


1

This is a guess, but it's what I'd do (and it's too long for a comment). I think that designing the pushers like this gives you three big advantages: firstly they help locate the two halves of the fairing: once the rods are over the pins then that defines quite well where the two halves will sit and it does so well before the two halves are together, so ...


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