Read more about the article Challenges with Space Telescope
The Two Sides of the Webb Telescope

Challenges with Space Telescope

In the previous part of this Space Telescope Series, we discussed about the basic principle on which James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is based i.e. Infrared astronomy. Today we will discuss the challenges faced in launching space telescopes keeping in mind JWST in particular and space telescopes in general. The James Webb Space telescope under construction. NASA/Desiree Stover Size : How to fit it in rocket? The James Webb Space Telescope is the largest, most powerful space telescope ever built. Details…

Read more about the article James Webb ST & Infrared astronomy
A near-infrared image of exoplanet 51 Eridani b captured by the Gemini Planet Imager on 18 December 2014. Credit: J. Rameau (UdeM) and C. Marois (NRC Herzberg).

James Webb ST & Infrared astronomy

The Universe is full of radiation of all types but most of this does not reach us here on Earth because our atmosphere blocks out many wavelengths of radiation, but permits others through.

Read more about the article Payload Fairings
Fairings recovery. Credits: SpaceX

Payload Fairings

The payload fairing is the equipment used to protect the spacecraft and the third stage during the early portion of the boost phase when the aerodynamic forces from the atmosphere could affect the rocket. It is almost always in form of the nose cone at the top of the rocket that protects the spacecraft payload against the impact of dynamic pressure and aerodynamic heating during launch through an atmosphere. An additional function on some flights is to maintain a cleanroom environment…

Read more about the article Octaweb Structure
Engines are placed at offset. The smaller black holes is for the gas generator exhaust. Credits: SpaceX

Octaweb Structure

Merlin engines are arranged in an Octaweb Structure. ‘Octa’ means eight and ‘web’ structure as it depicts radiating lines from the center. The Octaweb is a metal structure that supports eight engines surrounding a center engine at the base of the launch vehicle.  Falcon 9 v1.0 and v1.1 engine. Credits: Craigboy/Wikipedia What is its purpose? The short answer is stability. The Octaweb also reduces the length and weight of the Falcon 9 thrust structure, simplifying the rocket’s design and assembly. Streamlining…

Read more about the article Merlin Engines powering Falcon 9
Single Merlin engine under test conditions. Credits: SpaceX

Merlin Engines powering Falcon 9

Falcon 9 is powered by a Merlin engine. It has the highest thrust-to-weight ratio of any boost engine ever made, while still maintaining the structural and thermal safety margins needed to carry astronauts. Merlin engines use RP-1 and liquid oxygen as rocket propellants in a gas-generator power cycle. The Merlin engine was originally designed for sea recovery and reuse. Propellants are fed via a single shaft, dual impeller turbopump. The turbopump also provides high-pressure fluid for the hydraulic actuators, which then…


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