I'm trying to see how much capacity the Shuttle had for reducing reentry temperatures by adjusting trajectory.

So far, I've only been told then the Shuttle banks up to 80° during reentry. But is that constant? Or do they use different angles at different times?

Shuttle reentry maximum G-force is 1.7. But I don't know when that is experienced. If we assume that it is experienced at 5.5km/s, when gravity is at 0.5g, then at a lift to drag ratio of 1 that corresponds to just 67°. But like I said, I don't know the actual angle, and I would expect it to be lower.


1 Answer 1


I don't think your goal in the first sentence is on target (see CAIB Report Appendix D-13 Paragraph 4.8). But I can answer the actual questions in your post.

Since STS-001 was a test flight, there is a ton of detailed information available on its entry trajectory.

Here are the aero angles during entry: Roll, Yaw, and Pitch

enter image description here

And here are the body accelerations during entry: X, Y, and Z

enter image description here

Source: Reconstruction of the first space shuttle entry trajectory

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There's also a useful "typical" graph in this previous answer of yours: space.stackexchange.com/a/31869/1342 $\endgroup$ Apr 15 at 15:23
  • $\begingroup$ All I see is Appendix D. There is no 13, nevermind a paragraph 4.8 $\endgroup$ Apr 16 at 13:04
  • $\begingroup$ @AbdullahisnotanAmalekite Paragraph 4.8 is on the 17th page of the pdf linked in the answer. $\endgroup$ Apr 16 at 13:58

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