Curious what diameter the hydraulic lines of the space shuttle thrust vector control system might have been. Even a ballpark figure would be OK. Is this info by chance public?

  • $\begingroup$ I'll see if I can find something public tomorrow. I'm sure there is at least a picture somewhere.' $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble May 19 at 2:26
  • $\begingroup$ Awesome---thanks!! $\endgroup$ – user39728 May 19 at 4:42

Here's an approximate answer.

This is the right Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) mounting "hole" on Orbiter OV-104 (Atlantis). The yellow cylinders sticking out are covers over the shafts of the Thrust Vector Control actuators.

enter image description here

(Personal photo)

Zooming in, we can see the hydraulic lines to/from the pitch actuator as well as the bolt circle for the gimbal bearing.

enter image description here

The SSME Orientation p.10 says the gimbal bearing is about a foot wide. So the hydraulic lines are around an inch in diameter, roughly speaking.

  • $\begingroup$ Wow! That's a nice close-up of the engine bay! Yeah, 1-in minimum on the line diameter, it seems. Maybe even 2-in? They're wider that I thought they'd be. $\endgroup$ – user39728 May 19 at 15:31
  • $\begingroup$ Now curious: what type of joint went between the TVC cylinders and the frame? It seems it wouldn't have been a simple hinge with just one rotational degree of freedom, as the cylinders would each need to move with the nozzle, which would generally be rotating about two axes... So at minimum you would need a hinge with two rotational degrees of freedom... e.g., like a universal joint? Or a ball joint? And what about the joint between the TVC cylinders and the nozzle? Simple hinge there wouldn't be enough, but a ball joint at each end would allow the shaft to rotate unconstrained about its axis? $\endgroup$ – user39728 May 19 at 15:33
  • $\begingroup$ OK, I take back what I said about the joint at the nozzle end. It seems that a universal joint (or equivalent) with two rotational degrees of freedom on the frame side plus a simple hinge with one rotational degree of freedom on the nozzle side would be just right? (Or alternatively one universal-like joint on the nozzle side and one simple hinge on the frame side?) $\endgroup$ – user39728 May 19 at 15:42
  • $\begingroup$ Looks like a clevis type joint on both ends imgur.com/mvBhRtv The frame one may be a ball joint (probably is). $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble May 19 at 16:40
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ OK, so the PPT slides show the hydraulic lines more clearly, and it seems they must be closer to 1/2 in. $\endgroup$ – user39728 May 19 at 17:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy