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Questions tagged [space-shuttle]

The Space Shuttle was a crewed, partially reusable low Earth orbital spacecraft operated by NASA from 1981 to 2011.

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11
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1answer
696 views

Why is the Space Shuttle's External Tank fuelled through the Orbiter's main engine plumbing system?

This answer states that Space Shuttle's External Tank (ET) was fuelled (this process is known as Tanking) through the Orbiter's main engine plumbing system with the Tail Service Masts (TSM). One ...
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1answer
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How was the space shuttle fuelled?

How was the external fuel tank filled with LH2 and LOX while the shuttle was on the launch pad? I know there was a gaseous oxygen umbilical on the top of the ET and a gaseous hydrogen umbilical about ...
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2answers
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Loading tanks for supercritical oxygen and hydrogen on the launch pad, how to achieve low temperature and high pressure?

The Apollo and Shuttle spacecrafts used fuel cells for the production of electric energy and water. The hydrogen and oxygen for the fuel cells were stored as a supercritical fluid at a temperature ...
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1answer
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Why was the nose cone on the Space Shuttle's external tank pointy?

Inspired by comments under this answer to this question Just how pointy does a rocket's nosecone need to be? (see also Why are the nose cones of current spacecraft less pointy?) Why was the ...
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3answers
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Did Feynman cite a fallacy about only circles having the same width in all directions as a reason for the Challenger disaster?

In a Math Overflow post about mathematical fallacies it was stated that: Richard Feynman regarded the mistake that a "circle is the only figure which has the same width in all directions" as one ...
14
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1answer
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Is there such thing as plasma (from reentry) creating lift?

The following was claimed on the aviation site: In 1981, after years of development and testing, Columbia made its maiden voyage into orbit. Unexpectedly, on re-entry, the nose pitched up much ...
5
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1answer
147 views

How are physical attitude indicators actuated?

The Apollo FDAIs and shuttle ADIs (pre-MEDS) indicated spacecraft attitude with an actual ball that was spun around in a cage. I've seen photos of some of these removed from their cases, but ...
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Missing Challenger launch footage OTV Cam #167

Jim Kingsbury, Head of Engineering at MSFC in 1986, was quoted: "Because, the only thing he (William Rogers) released is what supported his finding and findings of the Commission. There are ...
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1answer
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What measures were taken to clear wildlife from the Shuttle Landing Facility?

What was done to prevent or remove wildlife such as alligators and birds from the runway at Kennedy Space Center, so the Shuttle could land safely?
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2answers
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How do fully-suited astronauts enter the Space Shuttle and sit down in 1 g vertical vs horizontal?

This answer has astronauts entering a vertically oriented Space Shuttle for a Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT) while this answer has them entering the shuttle when it is oriented ...
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1answer
97 views

What does the Shuttle's axial forces analysis reveal?

The post "Shear forces between Shuttle, tank, and boosters - what pushes what?" was linked as related to a recent question of mine. I wanted to try and answer it with data but ended up with more ...
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0answers
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Is “Space Shuttle” written as a proper noun in the spaceflight industry?

Writing the question Was a real Space Shuttle ever used as a really big simulator? (and several others) I capitalize Space Shuttle because as far as I know, that's the actual name of NASA's spacecraft,...
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Was a real Space Shuttle ever used as a really big simulator?

@OrganicMarble's answer to How much of the Shuttle was physically realized in the simulator? makes me wonder if Shuttle crew ever sat or stood or otherwise experienced being in an actual Space Shuttle ...
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How much of the Shuttle was physically realized in the simulator?

How much of the Shuttle physically existed in the simulator? Was it just the flight deck? Or were the mid-deck, lower equipment bay, and/or payload bay also included?
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1answer
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How were the Space Shuttle and its External Tank connected (structurally)?

Source: Discovery Launch Captured by Multiple Cameras, NASA, YouTube; edited A more clickbaity but accurate description of my question would be: How did the Space Shuttle / External Tank not shear ...
3
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1answer
113 views

Were the landing gear doors closed during the Approach and Landing Tests?

This photo from an answer on the Shuttle Approach and Landing Tests shows the front attachment between the Enterprise orbiter and the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. The support strut reaches the ...
5
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1answer
204 views

Why were there so many icicles in this Space Shuttle launch area? (Challenger disaster)

The blogpost Lessons From NASA Disasters: When Curiosity Deficits Kill is about the importance of freedom of curiosity for members of organizations. However it contains many Space Shuttle-related ...
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1answer
137 views

Why did the Space Shuttle's SRB's float, and float vertically?

The blogpost Lessons From NASA Disasters: When Curiosity Deficits Kill is about the importance of freedom of curiosity for members of organizations. However it contains many Space Shuttle-related ...
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2answers
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Features seen on the Space Shuttle's solid booster; what does “LOADED” mean exactly?

The question Please explain the time reference shown in Shuttle launch engineering video links to the very cool video Ascent - Commemorating Shuttle. After about ...
5
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1answer
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Why does this photo of the Hubble Space Telescope look so weird?

Question: Can someone identify this photograph of the Hubble Space Telescope seen as a still in the Los Angeles Times YouTube video Scientists witness huge cosmic crash, find origins of gold, figure ...
2
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1answer
118 views

Please explain the time reference shown in shuttle launch engineering video

Many shuttle launch engineering videos show an apparent time reference to the right of the frame as red numbers counting up rapidly. For example, from the amazing video "Ascent". Assuming this is ...
3
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1answer
92 views

How would the shuttle perform various attitude changes during ascent?

How would the Space Shuttle have performed each of the following maneuvers during ascent? Pitching the nose away from the external tank ($+$Y). Pitching the nose toward the external tank ($-$Y). ...
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Where to obtain Appendix B of STS Historic American Engineering Record TX-116?

At the close of the Shuttle program the National Park Service and the Smithsonian (maybe others as well) embarked on a project to document the Space Transportation System as part of their Historic ...
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1answer
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How close was the U.S. DoD to getting their own space shuttle?

This answer explains that the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) had plans for their own space shuttle. The so-called "blue shuttle" would be operated by the U.S. Air Force out of Vandenberg Air Force ...
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1answer
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Was mission-specific training for Shuttle military flights done at JSC, or somewhere else?

This related question details some of the military missions of the Space Shuttle. My question is about the training for these missions. Some aspects of all Shuttle missions are largely the same, and ...
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How does the Saturn V Dynamic Test Stand work?

This photo instantly provokes a ton of questions in me: It shows the Dynamic Test Stand at Marshall SFC with the Enterprise, which was a Space Shuttle test vehicle, suspended for vibration testing. ...
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2answers
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Identify these astronauts

In December 2017 former astronaut Janet Kavandi tweeted a picture of a group of women astronauts taken at an astronaut reunion. There are nine of them I can't identify, can anyone name them? I've ...
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When does the space shuttle stop its gravity turn?

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 ...
2
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1answer
72 views

Where can I find launch trajectory data of the space shuttle?

I am trying to mathematically model the launch of the space shuttle (up to 120km altitude) from Cape Canaveral Florida. It would be really handy if I could check my calculations with some real launch ...
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1answer
61 views

What was the quickest launch-to-complex-milestone time achieved by a shuttle mission?

The baseline reference mission "3B" had the shuttle launching from Vandenburg, rendezvousing with and retrieving a satellite, and returning it to Earth all within a single orbit: http://www....
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Space shuttle cabin atmosphere system

I see from looking at the space shuttle cabin air supply system that it provides O2 and N2 through a common manifold into a 14.7 psi regulator. What is not clear to me is where the cabin air goes, and ...
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4answers
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During the Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster of 2003, Why Did The Flight Director Say, “Lock the doors.”?

Why does the NASA Flight Director say, "Lock the doors.", when realizing that disaster had struck for Space Shuttle Columbia, back in 2003? Does he mean lock the doors on the space shuttle that's ...
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2answers
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Could NASA go back to the Moon? [closed]

Even after launching so many space missions, including the one which led Man to the Moon (Apollo 11, July 1969), NASA made several mistakes even in the space programs that followed. For e.g. Space ...
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1answer
151 views

Why did Columbia’s planned flight manifest have a five-year gap with absolutely nothing in it between 2004 and 2009?

Looking at the pre-loss-of-OV-102 plans for then-future shuttle flights (at least according to the document found and scanned by @OrganicMarble and posted as part of this answer, which was drawn up [...
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1answer
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Did the Shuttle's rudder or elevons operate when flown on its carrier 747?

While being ferried on the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, were the shuttle orbiter's control surfaces (rudder and elevons) adjusted by controls in the SCA, to assist maneuvers? (They were, after all, fly-...
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1answer
210 views

How were hypergolic propellants delivered to the Shuttle launch pad?

The Space Shuttle Main Engines used cryogenic hydrogen and oxygen, and this question explains how those were supplied to the launch pad. But the OMS and RCS engines used hypergolic fuels. How were ...
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1answer
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What is the job of the acoustic cavities inside the main combustion chamber?

I am new to rocket engines. I was looking at an image of RS-25 engine's MCC and found these acoustic cavities, and I want to know how they work. Can somebody please explain their working principle? ...
3
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1answer
123 views

How would the STS have differed if it used J-2's as the main engine?

In the spirit of counterfactual rocket design questions such as this one - how would the STS have differed from its actual design if it used J-2's as the main engine? What would be the loss in payload ...
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1answer
139 views

How often were Space Shuttle launches scrubbed?

Reading Mike Mullane's book, Riding Rockets, it seems like shuttle flights were scrubbed, more often than not, during countdown after the crew had boarded, due to some sort of systems failure or ...
4
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1answer
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Was this 1969 space shuttle feasiblity study too optimistic?

Why looking for something else on the NASA Tech Reports Server, I found this interesting October 1969 study on the expected turnaround time of a then-future space shuttle. Study was conducted by the ...
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1answer
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How was the Shuttle loaded and unloaded from its carrier aircraft?

The Space Shuttle was ferried to various locations by the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. How was the shuttle put on and taken off the SCA? (Previously mentioned in this comment but never asked or ...
6
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2answers
771 views

Is there documented Space Shuttle O-ring failures excluding STS-51-L?

The most obvious failure of the Space Shuttle SRB O-rings was the Challenger disaster. The burn through location was just about in the worst possible location to cause the catastrophic damage that ...
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2answers
4k views

What was the nature of the known bugs in the Space Shuttle software?

It's been claimed or suggested in other posts that during the entire history of the Space Shuttle, only one software bug actually survived the development and review process, making it to flight. ...
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1answer
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Did the Shuttle payload bay have illumination?

Were there lights inside the Shuttle cargo bay, either to provide illumination when the doors were closed or to better illuminate cargo when the doors were opened? Slightly related: Have optical zoom ...
7
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1answer
264 views

Did NASA distinguish between the space shuttle cockpit and flight deck?

NASA used both terms on their website, Cockpit and Flight Deck. One answer on Aviation SE Cockpit vs Flight Deck?says there is a difference between the two. Did NASA use the terms interchangeably, ...
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1answer
7k views

Why did NASA wet the road in front of the Space Shuttle crawler?

In this video, at the 6:25 mark, you can see a truck drive in front of the crawler, spraying water on the gravel ahead of the treads. Why did they do this?
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What was the volume of the Space Shuttle orbiter, not just the crew cabin or cargo bay but the total volume of the entire craft?

For context, after an in-depth Google search, I asked the question "What was the volume of the Space Shuttle orbiter, not just the crew cabin or cargo bay but the total volume of the entire craft?" on ...
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1answer
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Were there visual targets on the Shuttle that could confirm the alignment of the Canadarm?

This answer explains that the alignment of the joints varied slightly between each Canadarm on the Shuttle. The amount of correction for each arm was known and programmed into the flight computer. ...
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1answer
100 views

Space Shuttle Moon Mission? [duplicate]

Theoretically speaking, could the shuttle have performed TLI, LOI, and TEI burns given extra OMS fuel? approximately how much fuel and payload bay space/mass would this take up and might there ...
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2answers
4k views

What was the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft escape tunnel?

The Wikipedia article for the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft mentions an escape tunnel: The avionics and engines were also upgraded, and an escape tunnel system similar to that used on Boeing's first 747 ...