Author Topic: "Rolling" reentry (for Titan?)  (Read 1292 times)

Offline Triplicate-Squid

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"Rolling" reentry (for Titan?)
« on: 10/24/2016 08:32 PM »
I once saw a really outside-the-box concept for a reusable rocket -- I think it was a Titan derivative. We're familiar with tail-first reentry, several designs use nose-first like the Kistler K1, I've occasionally seen sideways (at least on Mars landers), but someone had a bright idea. The side had more surface area than the top or bottom, so using it would lower the peak heating. What if you could use the whole cylindrical surface? Re-enter like a rolling barrel.

Internet searching has only yielded references to recovering Titan solid boosters in more conventional fashion. Anyone else come across this?

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: "Rolling" reentry (for Titan?)
« Reply #1 on: 10/24/2016 08:42 PM »
I once saw a really outside-the-box concept for a reusable rocket -- I think it was a Titan derivative. We're familiar with tail-first reentry, several designs use nose-first like the Kistler K1, I've occasionally seen sideways (at least on Mars landers), but someone had a bright idea. The side had more surface area than the top or bottom, so using it would lower the peak heating. What if you could use the whole cylindrical surface? Re-enter like a rolling barrel.

Internet searching has only yielded references to recovering Titan solid boosters in more conventional fashion. Anyone else come across this?
Welcome to the forum! :) The first Falcons tried entry on it's side if I understand what you are describing...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator, Vintage auto racer

Offline HMXHMX

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Re: "Rolling" reentry (for Titan?)
« Reply #2 on: 10/24/2016 09:03 PM »
I once saw a really outside-the-box concept for a reusable rocket -- I think it was a Titan derivative. We're familiar with tail-first reentry, several designs use nose-first like the Kistler K1, I've occasionally seen sideways (at least on Mars landers), but someone had a bright idea. The side had more surface area than the top or bottom, so using it would lower the peak heating. What if you could use the whole cylindrical surface? Re-enter like a rolling barrel.

Internet searching has only yielded references to recovering Titan solid boosters in more conventional fashion. Anyone else come across this?


In the 1980s Peter Diamandis published a paper on doing the same with the Shuttle ET.  I can't recall the venue.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: "Rolling" reentry (for Titan?)
« Reply #3 on: 10/24/2016 09:22 PM »
The Shuttle SRBs came down sideways, mostly.  I don't believe they were deliberately rolled.  They were in a flat spin I believe.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 10/24/2016 09:23 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Triplicate-Squid

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Re: "Rolling" reentry (for Titan?)
« Reply #4 on: 10/24/2016 10:03 PM »
I also recall the proposed 'landing' method was to catch the stage in the air like a Discoverer capsule. Don't know what the aircraft of choice was.

Offline LM13

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Re: "Rolling" reentry (for Titan?)
« Reply #5 on: 10/24/2016 10:31 PM »
Never heard of the idea before, but it sounds intriguing.  Couldn't you use the Magnus effect to generate lift on the spinning booster as it flies through the air?  Of course, you'd then need a way to generate and maintain the spin in flight long enough for it to matter. 

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