I am trying to model the launch of the space shuttle (up to 120km of altitude) from Cape Canaveral, Florida. In order to do so I would need to know when the gravity turn part of the flight starts and stops.

I know that the gravity turn starts 20 seconds after lift off with a pitch angle of 78 degrees. (source look at left column)

Before that I will assume vertical flight.

I could find a paper in which figure 5 suggests that the gravity turn for ARES 1 starts 20 seconds after lift off and ends 130 seconds after lift off. But I don't know if the same would be true for the space shuttle.

I could not find any data about when the gravity turn stops for the space shuttle neither could I find at what angle of attack (& pitch) the space shuttle continues. Does anybody have this data?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This is too partial for even a partial answer, but in Space Shuttle Technical Conference Volume I, page 187 (202 of the pdf) there's a plot of angle of attack, but only for the first two minutes. ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19850008580.pdf $\endgroup$ Aug 17, 2019 at 13:31
  • $\begingroup$ Seeing the small angles of attack I would say that the gravity turn already lasts for at least 2 minutes, or does it continue with such a small angle of attack after the gravity turn? $\endgroup$
    – ThaNoob
    Aug 17, 2019 at 13:49
  • $\begingroup$ You might be interested to read this answer and especially its linked references: space.stackexchange.com/questions/23137/… $\endgroup$ Aug 17, 2019 at 13:55
  • $\begingroup$ I have read it, but I don't really see how it explains the question. It shows the gimbal angles of the engines but I would need to know the angle of attack that results from the trust that no longer goes through the CoM. What is the important part in your post? $\endgroup$
    – ThaNoob
    Aug 17, 2019 at 14:13
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You mean the DOLILU software system? It is interesting, but above my capabilities, I would like to start with something that I can solve analytically (taking some rough assumptions and now I am trying to figure out which these assumptions are) $\endgroup$
    – ThaNoob
    Aug 17, 2019 at 14:56


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