This question was inspired by comments on this answer.

The Space Shuttle prototype Enterprise was only used for approach and landing tests, for which it was flown on a carrier 747, until it was released, and would then glide like a normal post-reentry Space Shuttle.

  • Would the regular Space Shuttles have been able to do these drop tests?
  • How much would have needed to be tinkered?

The launch/startup sequence must have been quite different for example.


  • 3
    $\begingroup$ The "regular shuttles" flew around on the 747s when they were delivered, when they landed not-in-Florida, and when they went to be worked on. The attachments that held them to the 747 were somewhat different for the drop tests though. I'll let somebody else field this one. +1 $\endgroup$ Jul 17, 2020 at 21:09


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