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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Why were the SRB cameras looking down called "forward cameras"?

The Space Shuttle SRBs had cameras as well, one of them on each SRB was looking down just like the ET camera that streamed live during launches. Those down-looking SRB cameras were referred to as the ...
Old Man John's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
189 views

What would have prevented a person from firing a rifle at the space shuttle during launch?

I am plotting a story set in the early 2000s in which a terrorist shoots a high-powered rifle at a space shuttle as it is about to launch. I have in mind that he would be located in the swamp to the ...
Dom Dulley's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Space shuttle HUD - flight director vs velocity vector

On the Space Shuttle HUD, in the final phases of TAEM (Terminal Area Energy Management), the flight director symbol (square with three dashes) changes to a velocity vector symbol (circle with three ...
adeynes's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
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Why are the bottoms of spaceplanes black?

The traditional answer is that it's because black radiates heat better. The problem is that in order to get rid of heat at all, the surface must glow brighter than the surrounding plasma. And that ...
Abdullah is not an Amalekite's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
1k views

How were the control surfaces of the Space Shuttle designed to withstand the forces of reentry?

Perhaps the most critical part of the Shuttle's flight is the communications blackout phase of reentry, when atmospheric plasma is directly interacting with the vehicle's heat shield. As I understand ...
ijustlovemath's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
191 views

RS-25 Component weight

I need to determine the weight for specific components of the RS-25 Rocket engine. Namely the combustion chamber and nozzle separate from all other engine components? I must have found hundreds of ...
Slartibartfast's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
586 views

Fueling the RS-25 Turbo pumps?

Is there any way to know the weight of Fuel / Oxidizer consumed by just the turbo pumps of the RS-25 rocket engine?
Slartibartfast's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
308 views

How actually dangerous was RTLS for the Space Shuttle?

I know that the Space Shuttle's Return To Launch Site abort mode was always considered to be particularly risky, and as a result was never tested. In particular, it seems like it requires everything ...
ikrase's user avatar
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2 votes
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STS: Why was there a two-minute delay between MECO and the LOX dump?

Organic Marble's answer to STS: How much thrust did the nominal post-MECO LOX dump produce? explains that the LOX dump was only started two minutes after MECO, while it was also desirable to finish ...
TooTea's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
272 views

Why aren't more companies manufacturing the RS-25 (Space Shuttle Main Engine)?

The RS-25 is a great engine with a terrific ISP. It was used 42 years ago (on April 12th 1981) for the first Space Shuttle flight; therefore, the most of the patents on it must have expired long ago. ...
phil1008's user avatar
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9 votes
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What are those yellow trussed structures on Hubble Space Telescope?

Search as I might, I couldn't find them labeled on any schematic or mentioned in any fact sheet. My guess is Shuttle bay interface/attachment, but I also could not corroborate it by searching ...
ymb1's user avatar
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How would larger solid rocket boosters have improved the space shuttle's capabilities?

I was told that the new SLS that NASA is building is using the same SRBs that the space shuttle used just with one extra segment added. Five instead of the original four. If the shuttle had used these ...
Burgi's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
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What are the movable-plastic-bag-looking things on the nose of Shuttle?

I was watching the last launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis (STS-132) and noticed some objects that moved during the launch. I was curious about what these objects were and why they were positioned that ...
Lady Be Good's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
181 views

Mobile Launcher Design

When looking at the Apollo and space shuttle mobile launch platforms side by side, I noticed that the exhaust ports look different and judging by the internal structure of the platform, it seems that ...
TRK's user avatar
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15 votes
1 answer
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What is the purpose of the aft skirt on the Space Shuttle and SLS Solid Rocket Boosters?

The Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs) used by the Space Shuttle and SLS have a skirt near the bottom. What is it for? Is it only to support the stack?
Speedphoenix's user avatar
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12 votes
1 answer
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Was there any truth that the Columbia Shuttle Disaster had a contribution from wrong angle of entry?

The principal of my tiny school in Japan was presenting to a student to suggest he make a speech on the Space Shuttle's reentry aspects. He included newspaper articles on the Columbia space disaster. ...
user2617804's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
136 views

How much did the duralumin structure of the Shuttle weigh?

I am trying to understand the benefit of a Shuttle type "cold structure" Vs a Starship type structure. Google tells me that the Shuttle TPS weighed 8,574.4kg, and the duralumin has a 50-80% ...
Abdullah is not an Amalekite's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
148 views

How was the external tank emptied in a TAL shuttle abort?

One of the numerous reasons RTLS was the least preferred choice is For a safe separation, the ET must contain a maximum of 2% propellant remaining at Main Engine Cutoff (MECO). How would TAL do away ...
Vorac's user avatar
  • 499
3 votes
1 answer
118 views

ROFI Temperature

Since hydrogen-fueled rockets usually require Radial Outward Firing Igniters (ROFI), what is the temperature of the sparks from this system? When seen at RS-25/RS-68 ignition, they don't melt but ...
TRK's user avatar
  • 199
6 votes
1 answer
161 views

Space Shuttle Hammerhead Cranes Status

From the beginning of the the shuttle program up until the mid 1990's, both LC-39 launchpads had a hammerhead crane atop of the Fixed Service Structure which was leftover from the Apollo program. What ...
TRK's user avatar
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19 votes
1 answer
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How did STS-27 survive reentry after losing a thermal tile?

My buddies and I have been arguing about this for a while, speculating about the upcoming Starship test. STS-27 suffered damage on ascent that knocked off a tile & damaged hundreds more. It only ...
Anton Hengst's user avatar
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22 votes
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What was the most inconsequential failure on an STS mission recorded in mission reports?

Posting a comment over on this question got me thinking as to how insignificant (or not) recorded failures on the Space Shuttle could actually get. For example browsing the STS-001 Postflight Mission ...
Speedphoenix's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
212 views

After the Challenger disaster, the Fixed Service Structures on pads 39A & B had a new structure on the FSS. What is it?

After the space shuttle Challenger disaster, the Fixed Service Structure was modified with a panel next to the Centaur porch, what was its purpose on the launch tower?
TRK's user avatar
  • 199
5 votes
1 answer
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What outdated components of Columbia made it heavier than the other Space Shuttles?

Being the first space-rated orbiter produced, Space Shuttle Columbia was the heaviest and therefore rarely selected for high inclination trajectories like the ISS near the end of the program. Which ...
Speedphoenix's user avatar
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21 votes
1 answer
5k views

Would the Space Shuttle have been able to carry the Hubble Space Telescope back to Earth had it been necessary?

The development of the Space Shuttle (STS) and the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) were running in parallel during the 1970s and 1980s. Both plans for STS and HST were announced in the late 1960 and both ...
Ludo's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
333 views

Do Space Shuttle cargo doors carry structural airframe loads, like the lid of a shoebox?

Airframes are usually designed for semi-Monocoque construction. The skin carries the primary stresses to keep the fuselage rigid. https://www.abbottaerospace.com/aa-sb-001/22-aircraft-specific-design-...
Woody's user avatar
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58 votes
1 answer
7k views

Do astronauts use plumber's bifocals?

Adults steadily loose the ability to see close-up (presbyopia). By the mid-40's, most people have surrendered to the inevitable and switched to bifocals. These provide closer focus when looking down (...
Woody's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
182 views

SLS SRB sound suppression system

The Shuttle, in addition to the water deluge system, used a series of red nylon bags filled with water at the base of each SRB for additional sound suppression. Does the SLS, whose boosters produce ~...
Andykins 's user avatar
21 votes
1 answer
3k views

What is this tube in the Space Shuttle Orbiter?

I found this picture of the left panel of the Orbiter: What is the function of that small detachable tube?
ocirocir's user avatar
  • 535
11 votes
2 answers
306 views

Shuttle emergency landing location question

There are lists of airports identified as emergency landing locations, many on the east coast. Some are military, some are public airports. Has anyone ever seen procedures on how this would be ...
rtphokie's user avatar
  • 259
26 votes
2 answers
3k views

What were the most impactful non-fatal failures on STS missions?

Which failures on STS missions were the most impactful? Please exclude the o-ring issue on STS-51-L, as well as the tile damage caused by insulative ET foam on STS-107. Unrelated failures that ...
Speedphoenix's user avatar
  • 5,324
4 votes
1 answer
561 views

Which STS mission had the most accidents or failures?

This question was prompted by articles mentioning that a majority of Space Shuttle launches had scrubbed launches. Which STS mission had the largest amount of accidents and/or failures? If relevant, ...
Speedphoenix's user avatar
  • 5,324
4 votes
1 answer
416 views

What are these wires visible in Space Shuttle ODS/APAS-95?

What are these three wires connected in a y-shape called and what is their role? Some sort of alignment guide? Sorry for the hard to see picture.
user49860's user avatar
27 votes
1 answer
5k views

How did Space Shuttles get off the NASA Crawler?

The crawler is what transports Shuttles and rockets from the rocket assembly building to launch pad. When the crawler reaches the launch pad, how is the Shuttle transferred from the crawler to the pad?...
space attic's user avatar
-3 votes
1 answer
137 views

The Space Debris Problem: Can a shuttle-style spaceplane even make a dent in it? [closed]

I'm a bit of a shuttle geek. Ask me what my favorite spaceplane is, I'll say the space shuttle! (Specifically, Discovery, since it launched my favorite telescope, Hubble!) While the shuttles ...
Deko Revinio's user avatar
  • 1,474
18 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why were they using segmented boosters on Space Shuttle?

After learning how the solid fuel is protecting the casing of the SRB from the heat of the combustion in this answer I have to ask this question. As we know, it's exactly this segmentation of the ...
TrySCE2AUX's user avatar
  • 3,235
10 votes
2 answers
2k views

Will SLS be launched as often as the space shuttle was?

Again, I did some research, and again, the results aren't that impressive. I was able to find that SLS is to become the " successor to the retired Space Shuttle, and the primary launch vehicle of ...
Deko Revinio's user avatar
  • 1,474
2 votes
0 answers
93 views

Analogue Camera Olympus OM-1 in space?

Was analogue 35 mm camera Olympus OM-1 really in space? I read this article about this topic: http://elrectanguloenlamano.blogspot.com/2016/06/olympus-om-1-nasa-recognition-of.html?m=1 According to ...
Eliška Koryntová's user avatar
-11 votes
1 answer
441 views

Why did the space shuttle tank look like a big orange banana [closed]

Why did the space shuttle's external fuel tank look like a big orange banana? Why that design, and how come no one makes fun of it (Other than me right now heh heh)? While we're on the subject, what'...
Deko Revinio's user avatar
  • 1,474
17 votes
1 answer
3k views

What is the difference between the solid fuel Boosters of the Shuttle and Artemis?

The Shuttle boosters had 4 segments and Artemis has 5. What are the differences in total mass, thrust and burn time? Is the thrust profile (thrust over time) the same?
Uwe's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
213 views

Why, on each side of Shuttle, are there 2 Helium tanks for RCS and only 1 Helium Tank for OMS

I’m trying to write a book on my experiences on working on the Shuttle BFS SW. I’ve looked all over the web and every diagram on an OMS/RCS pod shows the 2 fuel tanks for each, OMS and RCS. What seems ...
DaveS's user avatar
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18 votes
1 answer
5k views

What are the "disks" seen on the walls of some NASA space shuttles?

I'm deep-dive researching older NASA shuttles, and a few elements in this image of a toilet (which could be found on display at JSC in the early aughts) stood out to me. See the red circles I added to ...
Sylvester Silencio's user avatar
19 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is the orange material seen within the window frames of the Columbia Shuttle?

I'm seeing this orange material within the windows of Columbia shuttles -- any thoughts on its precise function? The ISS's Cupola also contains similar international orange bands, though they seem ...
Sylvester Silencio's user avatar
34 votes
1 answer
4k views

What kind of "safe" was carried on the Space Shuttles?

This Smithsonian/Air & Space Magazine article about the secret/classified Space Shuttle missions contains this anecdote: On the seventh day of the mission, Mattingly and pilot Hank Hartsfield ...
CameronSS's user avatar
  • 443
1 vote
0 answers
64 views

Material defects and its testing for manufacturing of parts

Is there any literature report on what is the level of testing at NASA on the defect sizes in raw material for manufacturing of parts for space shuttle and other space vehicles? For example, what is ...
Suddhasattwa Ghosh 's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
101 views

Pressure and Leak Testing of Rockets

For any pressure vessel, hydrostatic/pneumatic pressure testing and helium leak testing are carried out as per UG-99/UG-100 and ASME, Section V, Article 10, respectively. For a rocket, what are the ...
Suddhasattwa Ghosh 's user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
3k views

What is the difference between a space plane and a space shuttle?

What is the difference between a space plane and a space shuttle? It seems that they both look similar and also have a similar purpose. But what is the true difference?
Jack's user avatar
  • 129
0 votes
0 answers
135 views

How to design Heading Alignment Cone(HAC)?

I am trying to design a Heading Alignment Cone. Of course, the radius of the circle depends on different parameters like energy, altitude, and aerothermal characteristics of the reentry vehicle and ...
Auberron's user avatar
  • 1,506
15 votes
2 answers
3k views

Could the Space Shuttle launch with two engines?

In a movie, they need to launch the Space Shuttle, but one engine is not ready to go in time, so they decide to launch with the booster and two of the shuttle's engines - Could the shuttle Launch with ...
nycynik's user avatar
  • 763
6 votes
1 answer
340 views

What is the time sequence for SRB burn-out and separation?

I understand that SRBs cannot be throttled or shut down, they need to "burn out". Since they are often used in pairs, I assume there is a statistical spread in the burn duration of the two ...
Woody's user avatar
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