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Questions tagged [shuttle-derived]

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4
votes
1answer
222 views

Would the Space Shuttle External Tank have made orbit as a VT SSTO with 6 SSMEs?

Dropping the external boosters and also the entire 75-100 ton orbiter from the picture, would the tank all by itself have made orbit? This would require bolting at least 5, better 6, perhaps even 9 ...
5
votes
1answer
517 views

Why will SLS Block I bring less mass to LEO than the STS shuttle system did?

The Space Transportation System (STS) could bring a fully loaded shuttle orbiter of 109 tons to orbit (or maybe empty+payload 68+25=93 tons). The Space Launch System (SLS) Block I is based on STS, but ...
25
votes
1answer
3k views

Why is the X-37B's large nozzle offset to right from the spacecraft's mid-plane?

Perhaps I'm naive to think that the single large nozzle at the back of the X-37B is a nozzle for an engine, but regardless of the purpose, gas exiting from a nozzle will produce thrust. Is the X-37B's ...
2
votes
1answer
165 views

Could the solid boosters of SLS be paired together to a rescue launcher?

The solid boosters of Shuttle/SLS fly in pairs. Could a pair of them fly without SLS, carrying a smaller second stage and payload to orbit? What capacity would it have? A rescue launcher needs to ...
6
votes
0answers
227 views

Couldn't the shuttle orbiter be replaced with a cargo bay, instead of creating the SLS?

Are there any technical reasons for not simply continuing the space shuttle production, except for replacing the orbiter with a pretty simple cargo bay (a payload fairing)? Like the Russians planned ...
7
votes
1answer
992 views

Shuttle-C: Did we make the right move?

Shuttle, and its cousin Shuttle-C, are now history as the launch pads have been converted for use by other systems. Claims made for the Shuttle-C were that it would have taken 4 years and cost $6 ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

What eventually killed the Augustine Commission Report Option 4B, Directly Shuttle-Derived Heavy-Lift Launch Vehicle, a.k.a. DIRECT?

Before the Space Shuttle retirement, there was a huge pressure on NASA, U.S. Administration, and everyone else directly involved in U.S. human space exploration using Heavy-Lift Launch Vehicle (HLLV) ...