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Launch Vehicle
In spaceflight, a launch vehicle or carrier rocket is a rocket used to carry a payload from Earth's surface into outer space
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Sounding Rocket
A sounding rocket, sometimes called a research rocket, is an instrument-carrying rocket designed to take measurements and perform scientific experiments during its sub-orbital flight. The rockets are used to carry instruments from 50 to 1,500 kilometres (31 to 932 mi) above the surface of the Earth; the altitude generally between weather balloons and satellites (the maximum altitude for balloons is about 40 kilometres (25 mi) and the minimum for satellites is approximately 120 kilometres (75 mi)). Certain sounding rockets, such as the Black Brant X and XII, have an apogee between 1,000 and 1,500 kilometres (620 and 930 mi); the maximum apogee of their class
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Rockoon
A rockoon (from rocket and balloon) is a solid fuel sounding rocket that, rather than being immediately lit while on the ground, is first carried into the upper atmosphere by a gas-filled balloon, then separated from the balloon and ignited. This allows the rocket to achieve a higher altitude, as the rocket does not have to move under power through the lower and thicker layers of the atmosphere. The original concept was developed by Cmdr. Lee Lewis, Cmdr. G. Halvorson, S. F. Singer, and James A. Van Allen during the Aerobee rocket firing cruise of the U.S.S. Norton Sound on March 1, 1949. A serious disadvantage is that balloons cannot be steered and consequently neither the direction the launched rocket moves in nor the region where it will fall is easily adjustable
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Low Earth Orbit
A low Earth orbit (LEO) is an orbit around Earth with an altitude of 2,000 km (1,200 mi) or less, and with an orbital period of between about 84 and 127 minutes. Objects below approximately 160 km (99 mi) will experience very rapid orbital decay and altitude loss due to atmospheric drag. With the exception of the 24 astronauts who flew lunar flights in the Apollo program during the four-year period spanning 1968 through 1972, all human spaceflights have taken place in LEO or below. The International Space Station conducts operations in LEO. The altitude record for a human spaceflight in LEO was Gemini 11 with an apogee of 1,374.1 kilometres (853.8 mi)
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Missile Launch Facility
A missile launch facility, also known as an underground missile silo, launch facility (LF), or nuclear silo, is a vertical cylindrical structure constructed underground, for the storage and launching of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). The structures typically have the missile some distance below ground, protected by a large "blast door" on top
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Atmospheric Reentry
Atmospheric entry is the movement of an object from outer space into and through the gases of an atmosphere of a planet, dwarf planet or natural satellite. There are two main types of atmospheric entry: uncontrolled entry, such as the entry of astronomical objects, space debris or bolides; and controlled entry (or reentry) of a spacecraft capable of being navigated or following a predetermined course. Technologies and procedures allowing the controlled atmospheric entry, descent and landing of spacecraft are collectively abbreviated as EDL.
Animated illustration of different phases as a meteoroid enters the Earth's atmosphere to become visible as a meteor and land as a meteorite
Atmospheric drag and aerodynamic heating can cause atmospheric breakup capable of completely disintegrating smaller objects
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Outer Space
Outer space, or simply space, is the expanse that exists beyond the Earth and between celestial bodies. Outer space is not completely empty—it is a hard vacuum containing a low density of particles, predominantly a plasma of hydrogen and helium, as well as electromagnetic radiation, magnetic fields, neutrinos, dust, and cosmic rays. The baseline temperature of outer space, as set by the background radiation from the Big Bang, is 2.7 kelvins (−270.45 °C; −454.81 °F). The plasma between galaxies accounts for about half of the baryonic (ordinary) matter in the universe; it has a number density of less than one hydrogen atom per cubic metre and a temperature of millions of kelvins; local concentrations of this plasma have condensed into stars and galaxies
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San Marco Platform
The Luigi Broglio Space Center (BSC) is an Italian-owned spaceport near Malindi, Kenya, named after its founder and Italian space pioneer Luigi Broglio. Developed in the 1960s through a partnership between the Sapienza University of Rome's Aerospace Research Centre and NASA, the BSC served as a spaceport for the launch of both Italian and international satellites (1967-1988)
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Orbit
In physics, an orbit is the gravitationally curved trajectory of an object, such as the trajectory of a planet around a star or a natural satellite around a planet. Normally, orbit refers to a regularly repeating trajectory, although it may also refer to a non-repeating trajectory. To a close approximation, planets and satellites follow elliptic orbits, with the central mass being orbited at a focal point of the ellipse, as described by Kepler's laws of planetary motion. Current understanding of the mechanics of orbital motion is based on Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, which accounts for gravity as due to curvature of spacetime, with orbits following geodesics
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Multistage Rocket
A multistage (or multi-stage) rocket is a rocket that uses two or more stages, each of which contains its own engines and propellant. A tandem or serial stage is mounted on top of another stage; a parallel stage is attached alongside another stage. The result is effectively two or more rockets stacked on top of or attached next to each other. Taken together these are sometimes called a launch vehicle. Two-stage rockets are quite common, but rockets with as many as five separate stages have been successfully launched. By jettisoning stages when they run out of propellant, the mass of the remaining rocket is decreased. This staging allows the thrust of the remaining stages to more easily accelerate the rocket to its final speed and height. In serial or tandem staging schemes, the first stage is at the bottom and is usually the largest, the second stage and subsequent upper stages are above it, usually decreasing in size
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Falcon Heavy
The Falcon Heavy is a partially reusable heavy-lift launch vehicle designed and manufactured by SpaceX. It is derived from the Falcon 9 vehicle and consists of a strengthened Falcon 9 first stage as the center core with two additional first stages as strap-on boosters. The Falcon Heavy has the highest payload capacity of any currently operational launch vehicle, the second-highest capacity of any rocket ever to reach orbit, trailing the Saturn V, and the third-highest capacity of any orbital-class rocket ever launched (behind the Saturn V and Energia). SpaceX conducted the Falcon Heavy's maiden launch on February 6, 2018, at 3:45 p.m
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Grasshopper (rocket)
Grasshopper and the Falcon 9 Reusable Development Vehicles (F9R Dev, initially designated Grasshopper v1.1) were experimental technology-demonstrator reusable rockets that performed vertical takeoffs and landings. The project was privately funded by SpaceX, with no funds provided by the government. Two prototypes were built, and both were launched from the ground. Grasshopper was announced in 2011 and began low-altitude, low-velocity hover/landing testing in 2012. The initial Grasshopper test vehicle was 106 ft (32 m) tall and made eight successful test flights in 2012 and 2013 before being retired. A second Grasshopper-class prototype was the larger and more capable Falcon 9 Reusable Development Vehicle (F9R Dev, also known as F9R Dev1) based on the Falcon 9 v1.1 launch vehicle. It was tested at higher altitudes and supersonic speeds as well as providing additional low-altitude tests
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SpaceX
Space Exploration Technologies Corp., doing business as SpaceX, is a private American aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company headquartered in Hawthorne, California
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Non-rocket Spacelaunch
Non-rocket spacelaunch refers to concepts for launch into space where some or all of the needed speed and altitude are provided by something other than rockets, or by other than expendable rockets. A number of alternatives to expendable rockets have been proposed. In some systems such as a combination launch system, skyhook, rocket sled launch, rockoon, or air launch, a rocket would be part, but only part of the system used to reach orbit. Present-day launch costs are very high – $2,500 to $25,000 per kilogram from Earth to low Earth orbit (LEO). As a result, launch costs are a large percentage of the cost of all space endeavors. If launch can be made cheaper the total cost of space missions will be reduced
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