Dumb question about the Ares 1 launch vehicle

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kyle_baron

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Unlike Apollo, which is narrow at the top and tapers wider at the bottom; Ares 1 has a wider second stage and a narrow solid rocket 1st stage.<br /><br />I'm no rocket scientist, but, it would seem to me, that unless Ares 1 travels straight up at a 90 Deg. inclination, it would tip over inflight, and disaster would entail.<br /><br />Any rocket scientists out there want to reassure this layman, that this scenario won't happen? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font size="4"><strong></strong></font></p> </div>
 
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jimfromnsf

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Look at Titan IV and Atlas V, they have bigger fairings than the stages. Real launch vehicles unlike model rockets are statically unstable. Most of the weight is in the aft. launch vehicles use active controls (engine gimbaling) to keep the vehicle stable
 
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jimfromnsf

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Just a note<br />"travels straight up at a 90 Deg. inclination"<br /><br />Inclination is the angle of the orbit to the equator.
 
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gunsandrockets

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<Inclination is the angle of the orbit to the equator.><br /><br />No. Orbital inclination is the angle of an orbit to the equator.<br /><br />His use of the word inclination in describing the orientation of the CLV relative to the ground was a perfectly accurate and acceptable use of english language and the word inclination.
 
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jimfromnsf

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Wrong again, <i>***User name distortion removed***</i><br />"orientation of the CLV relative to the ground was a perfectly accurate and acceptable use of english language and the word inclination."<br /><br />Wrong, this is not proper english language but an engineering discussion on launch vehicles and not marksmanship, the use of inclination in this instance is improper.<br /><br />elevation or flight path angle is the proper term<br /><br /><i>***Ad Hominem Deleted***</i><br />
 
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PistolPete

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>Wrong again, <i>***Reference to User Name Distortion Removed***</i> <p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />Distorting a username is against the TOS Jim. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><em>So, again we are defeated. This victory belongs to the farmers, not us.</em></p><p><strong>-Kambei Shimada from the movie Seven Samurai</strong></p> </div>
 
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kyle_baron

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<font color="yellow"><br />Wrong, this is not proper english language but an engineering discussion on launch vehicles and not marksmanship, the use of inclination in this instance is improper. <br /><br />elevation or flight path angle is the proper term </font><br /><br />You're nit-picking. Why does it matter that much to you? Are you trying to show everyone, that you're smarter than them?<br /><br />Wiki uses the term orbit inclination of 51.6 degrees for the Shuttle, under mission statistics:<br /><br />http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STS_120<br /><br />Thank you for the answer on the gimbaling engines. But then, you should have stopped. <img src="/images/icons/tongue.gif" /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font size="4"><strong></strong></font></p> </div>
 
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vogon13

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IIRC, the Gemini astronauts reported they could feel (I find this disturbing) the engine gimballing to keep the rocket upright as they cleared the launch tower.<br /><br />More or less the equivalent of balancing a pencil on your fingertip.<br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#ff0000"><strong>TPTB went to Dallas and all I got was Plucked !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#339966"><strong>So many people, so few recipes !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#0000ff"><strong>Let's clean up this stinkhole !!</strong></font> </p> </div>
 
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henryhallam

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<font color="yellow">I'm no rocket scientist, but, it would seem to me, that unless Ares 1 travels straight up at a 90 Deg. inclination, it would tip over inflight, and disaster would entail.</font><br /><br />It's sort of like balancing a pencil on your finger - as Jim says, statically unstable, but fast-acting computers onboard the rocket gimbal the engines to keep it in balance just as you move your finger to keep the pencil upright. This applies to the Saturn V, Soyuz, Shuttle, and pretty much every other serious launch vehicle and ballistic missile for the last 50 years. Although intuitively it sounds like a difficult problem, it's a solved one and it doesn't actually need very advanced computer technology at all.
 
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kyle_baron

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Good point. But is there such a thing as too much gimbaling? IIRC, the shuttle uses the gimbaling to do a gradual roll over, upside down. Sounds to me that the astronauts will be shakened, not stirred (as James Bond would say). <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font size="4"><strong></strong></font></p> </div>
 
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telfrow

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<font color="yellow">I fixed it.</font><br /><br />You may have changed it, but it was still a user name distortion. It's been edited. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <strong><font color="#3366ff">Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will to strive, to seek, to find and not to yeild.</font> - <font color="#3366ff"><em>Tennyson</em></font></strong> </div>
 
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billslugg

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Speaking of which. Miss Moneypenny died late Sat in Freemantle. She was 80, appeared in 14 Bond flicks. Lois Maxwell. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p> </p> </div>
 
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usn_skwerl

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its kind of like going around a bend on a mountain highway sort of. you dont get shaken, its not drastic.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />to another poster...ive asked before. stop the condecention. (you know who you are). ive seen a lot in several posts lately, and not said anything. think of how others read and interpret your posts. this is the last time im mentioning it openly. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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henryhallam

Guest
Thanks for the link, they're completely right, good points!
 
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CalliArcale

Guest
<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>But is there such a thing as too much gimbaling?<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />The smart-alec answer: yes; that's called overcorrecting. <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /> Seriously, the guidance computers are extremely important in any rocket because of this. If they gimbal farther than is called for in the situation, they'll make things worse. One of the worst things that could happen is where the rocket is, say, .005 degrees off, so the computer overcorrects, putting it .006 degrees off in the other direction, whereupon it gimbals the other way to go to .007 degrees, and pretty soon the RSO is pushing the self-destruct button.<br /><br />Most rockets steer via vectored thrust. That is, to change the direction of travel, they change the direction of thrust. Some move the entire engine. Most move just the nozzle. Some very early rockets (the V-1 and the Redstone, for instance) had vanes in the rocket exhaust which redirected it as desired. Some very small rockets (such as air-to-air missiles) are able to steer using control surfaces, but that's completely out of the question for an expendable launch vehicle; the forces involved are just too severe.<br /><br />One of the more novel methods of steering was employed on the gargantuan N-1 rocket, the USSR's answer to the Saturn V. The N-1 was an official state secret until perestroika, disavowed in large part to avoid the embarrassment of admitting that the Americans were beating them. (Although there were some brilliant and immensely dedicated scientists involved in the Russian space program in those days, as far as the Kremlin was concerned, the space program's main usefulness was in propaganda. Therefore, failures were hidden, objectives redefined, and focus placed on whatever actually succeeded. Nothing else mattered to the politicians. Unfortunately, this inevitably crippled the program. It could have been much more successful had the politicians <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em>  -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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