I noticed a small hemisphere protruding from the dorsal side of the Enterprise space shuttle's nose cone, forward of the front landing gear. I have no clue what its purpose is but am far from an expert in aerospace engineering. Does anyone here know what it's for?

Image Source: Space Race Leadership

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    $\begingroup$ Interesting. Neither this feature nor the large circular plate near the top are on the space-worthy Orbiters. The large circular plate near the top appears to be where the air data probe was attached for the drop tests. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Aug 29 '16 at 13:09
  • $\begingroup$ @OrganicMarble: There are also a bunch of ovals cut out of the tiles. Not sure why they're there either. Maybe it's a similar purpose? (visible in the source image from above) $\endgroup$ – user3769181 Aug 29 '16 at 16:27
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    $\begingroup$ WAG: Radar altimeter? $\endgroup$ – Digger Aug 29 '16 at 20:18
  • $\begingroup$ A navigation light? $\endgroup$ – amI Aug 29 '16 at 22:17
  • $\begingroup$ @aml It looked pretty opaque, but I can't say for certain. Lighting wasn't the best. $\endgroup$ – user3769181 Aug 30 '16 at 4:54

That's an easy one.... S Band Antenna.....

enter image description here

This image comes from the document JSC-13864 SPACE SHUTTLE ORBITER APPROACH AND LANDING TEST FINAL EVALUATION REPORT. It is on page 134 of the pdf.

Here is a close up picture of the antenna, from here...

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ -1 You should add a link to a verifiable source for these images. You should also give credit to the source of images you use here. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jun 19 '17 at 2:46
  • $\begingroup$ THe Enterprise drawing is not online and belongs to a private individual who is now deceased. I have permission to use it from the family. The S-band photo is online at the following. Site .space1.com/Artifacts/Space_Shuttle_Artifacts/Other_Parts/… $\endgroup$ – Challenger Truth Jun 19 '17 at 3:04
  • $\begingroup$ I'm truly sorry to hear that. Do you think it is possible to find a similar drawing somewhere? Possibly someone else here will be able to help also. In general it's important to try to show sources for data and credit images. I think personal collections make an occasional appearance, but it's an exception rather than the rule. I've added your link back into the answer, and with that edit I can switch my vote back to +1. It's a great answer! $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jun 19 '17 at 3:13
  • $\begingroup$ Over the past 10 years I have been in touch with and become close friends with many of the Challenger 8, those 8 individuals that were labeled by the Rogers Commission as the "Idiots who launched in the cold" They are not and never were idiots and they have shared a great deal of information and data with me that was not in the "Official" report. I am not sure what the managers source for that Enterprise drawing was, but I can look at the original document and see if there is any indication of its author. $\endgroup$ – Challenger Truth Jun 19 '17 at 4:02
  • $\begingroup$ @ChallengerTruth I edited your answer to provide an online reference for your drawing (a link to the document it came from). Feel free to revert the edit if you don't approve. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Jun 21 '17 at 20:21

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