The Reusable Rockets Quiz


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About This Quiz

Reusable rocket technology promises to revolutionize space flight as we know it. How much do you know about these propulsion systems? Test your knowledge with this quiz.

What typically happens to rocket boosters during missions?

They fall into the ocean and are recovered by ships.

Which organization was the first to create a reusable rocket that landed safely in a vertical position?

Blue Origin achieved the milestone in late 2015.

Traditional rocket systems are often referred to as what?

Expendable launch systems are a one-and-done technology.

Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, is the product architect for which company?

He is the product architect of Tesla Motors and a co-founder of PayPal.

Which part of the space shuttle system is reused?

The rocket boosters are reused. It takes several months to prepare the shuttle for another trip.

At what speed was NASA's space shuttle traveling when its reusable boosters separated from the spacecraft?

They dropped away from the shuttle as the craft was traveling 3,100 mph at an altitude of roughly 28 miles.

What was the model name of Blue Origin's first successful reusable rocket?

New Shepard touches ground softly under a parachute.

What was the diameter of the parachutes that lowered NASA's space shuttle boosters back to Earth?

The enormous parachutes allowed for a gentle landing in the ocean.

Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos made much of his fortune through which company?

Bezos founded Amazon. Blue Origin's company motto, in English, is "gradually ferocious."

How much funding did Blue Origin receive from NASA in 2009?

For space technologies $3.7 million was kind of a drop in the bucket.

The engines of SpaceX's Falcon 9 provide the thrust of about how many Boeing 747s?

The thrust of five Boeing 747s is more than enough power to push the rocket into space.

At the time of space shuttle Columbia disaster, the shuttle fleet was how old?

The fleet was 20 years old. The tragedy made it clear that the shuttle program's end was near.

How many pounds of thrust does Blue Origin's rocket engine BE-4 have?

The engine has 550,000 pounds of thrust. It will be used on Blue Origin's orbital launch vehicle and on United Launch Alliance's Vulcan launch system.

What is the crew capacity of the New Shepard capsule?

It can hold six crew members and has an escape system in the event that a malfunction occurs during launch.

How many pounds of thrust did NASA's space shuttle twin boosters create during launch?

Each booster was 149 feet (45 meters) tall and 12 feet wide, and they generated 6.6 millions pounds of thrust.

How many stages make up the flight of SpaceX's Falcon 9?

Two separation events simplifies the flight and lowers risk.

Traditionally, launching a rocket like Falcon 9 costs at least how much?

And $60 million is on the low side.

With a reusable rocket the cost of launching a payload might drop to how much?

The low cost of $6 million will open the frontier of space to many more companies.

Compared to rocket hardware, how much does propellant cost?

No matter the fuel, the hardware has always cost a lot more.

What is the name of the spacecraft that SpaceX's Falcon 9 launches into orbit?

Dragon not only takes payloads into orbit, it can bring stuff back to Earth, too.

NASA's space shuttle reusable rocket boosters used which kind of fuel?

They were the first spacecraft rockets to use solid propellant.

How does the New Shepard craft land following a mission?

The vertical landing is one of the rocket's most astounding achievements.

The Falcon Heavy's engines produce as much thrust as how many Boeing 747s?

It produces the thrust of 18 Boeing 747s. The thrust is much more powerful than the Falcon 9, allowing for greater payloads.

With how many engines is SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket equipped?

In that regard, the rocket is aptly named.

How many employees were needed to keep NASA's space shuttle program up and running?

The necessary manpower of 9,000 employees was one of the program's drawbacks.

Ultimately, what was one of the shuttle program's fatal flaws?

The space shuttles were a classic case of sticker shock.

Unexpected maintenance costs reduced the shuttle program's number of flights by about what percentage?

NASA didn't get nearly the use that it expected out of these vehicles, as costs reduced the number of flights by about 75 percent.

What was the turnaround time between New Shepard's two successful launches and landings?

Only 61 days passed between launches. The short turnaround time is one of the system's key selling points.

How tall is SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket?

It is 230 feet tall and weighs nearly 2 million pounds.

What is the burn time of Falcon 9's second-stage engine?

The second-stage Merlin vacuum engine has a burn time of 397 seconds.

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