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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2 answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1 answer
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Why did the space shuttle tank look like a big orange banana

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'...
16 votes
1 answer
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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?
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1 answer
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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 ...
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1 answer
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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 ...
19 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
34 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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How much delta v did the space shuttle use for orbital insertion? [duplicate]

The space shuttle's OMS was used to insert the space shuttle into orbit since the external H2/LOX tank separated on a sub orbital trajectory. How much delta v did the insertion maneuver use?
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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 ...
11 votes
4 answers
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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?
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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 ...
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14 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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Two-Stage Fully-Reusable Shuttle

In chapter 6 of SP-4221 "The Space Shuttle Decision" they are talking about the fall of the "Two-Stage Fully Reusable Shuttle". In one paragraph they talk about how this Two-Stage ...
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1 answer
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What did the "R" in e.g. STS-32R stand for?

This site already has a couple of good answers explaining that, after NASA returned to sequentially numbering Space Shuttle missions following STS-51-L, some flights were internally written with an R ...
1 vote
1 answer
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What if both SRBs failed in a shuttle launch?

I'm certain there are several flight regimes where this could happen, and that the procedures should be different for each one. For instance, this is a very different question before lift off than it ...
3 votes
1 answer
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What's the highest latitude for a human spaceflight?

There are obviously many satellites in polar orbits or in orbits that extend to very high latitudes. There are obvious reasons to do this in terms of Earth observations, but there is probabably much ...
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1 answer
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How did pages of Ramon's diary survive the Columbia disaster?

In early 2003, the space shuttle Columbia burnt up due to a failed leading edge on the wing from an external tank foam strike. All seven astronauts were killed. Yet, some pages of Ilan Ramon's diary, ...
2 votes
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Does anybody have a contact for the Docents for the Space Shuttles? [closed]

I would like to pass along the following information to the Docents for Enterprise (Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York) and Endeavour (Los Angeles Science Center). Documents describing ...
4 votes
1 answer
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Why the Space Shuttle electrical system is so complex?

This is me, having too much free time and deciding to learn how the electrical system of the Space Shuttle worked. So, because I couldn't find any "easy to read" diagram online, I built a ...
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Why isn't NASA planning on saving some of the RS-25Ds due to their historical significance?

A while ago, Scott Manley made a video about the Artemis program and how NASA will expend all its Block II RS-25D engines through the SLS's first four launches. Why isn't NASA planning on putting some ...
9 votes
1 answer
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Why was it necessary to monitor the water quantity in the space shuttle?

In space shuttle's operators manual, Page(4.1-4), it is written as: The H2O quantity is determined by a PVT calculation based on H2O tank pressure and temperature transducer readings as well as GN2 ...
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Could fuel cells of the Space Shuttles have been restarted in the case of a total power failure?

Reading the flight crew operating manual of the Space Shuttle I discovered that: The three fuel cells could have been stopped and restarted (unlike previous Apollo missions) The fuel cell start ...
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Did any Columbia debris continue orbiting Earth?

For reentry the Space Shuttles lowered their perigee to 28 nautical miles (52 km) above sea level. Shuttle Columbia disintegrated around 60 km altitude, and the first debris fell off as high as 70.5 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Heatshield during re-entry of space vehicles

All the CMs for Apollo, as well as the space shuttles, basically used "Blunt body" technique for re-entry. While Apollo CMs used "ablative" type of heatshield, the space shuttles ...
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1 answer
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How could Shuttle orbiter with internal airlock dock with ISS or other space stations and were internal airlocks used for missions with spacelabs?

As you can see in this animation time 11:45 >, during latter Shuttle missions EVA airlock was placed in payload bay and used both for docking with ISS (with orbital ...
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1 answer
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How do Spaceship navigate in space?

In Space there is no air to put thrust on any other thing to expect any action-reaction forces. Then how do spacecraft go left or right or are the ineligible to take sharp moves?
22 votes
2 answers
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Space Shuttle Challenger bringing back Salyut-7

We know that on February 11 1985, right after the Soviets lost control of their Salyut-7 station. US Space tracking assets also started noticing that the station was starting to tumble. Kidnapping a ...
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4 votes
3 answers
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Merging Shuttle and External Tank to reduce reentry heating

The Space Shuttle needed a high-performance heat shield that caused much grief over it's operational life. Having a large surface area on a reentering vehicle reduces temperatures by causing the ...
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Would it have made a difference to the TPS design if the Shuttle used skip reentries?

The Space Shuttle needed silica tiles and carbon-carbon panels to survive the sustained high temperatures of reentry. These materials were fragile and high-maintenance, and this led to the Columbia ...
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1 answer
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Was there any overlap between United Space Alliance and United Launch Alliance?

United Space Alliance was a joint venture including Boeing and Lockheed-Martin, which provided services and operations for the Space Shuttle program. United Launch Alliance is a joint venture ...
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What potential Shuttle partner did this blue-and-white flag indicate?

This publicity slide from NASA in 1972 (?), explaining how wonderfully useful and flexible the Space Shuttle would be, has an intriguing image in the lower right. (NASA MH72-5017, via David Portree) ...
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Who's buried in Grant's Tomb? Size of 122 cm conductive spheres charge collection in the Shuttle's Space Experiments with Particle Accelerators?

Why were the three 122-cm diameter conductive spheres for charge collection in the Shuttle's Space Experiments with Particle Accelerators black? links to How did three 1.2 meter spheres and a Xe+ ...
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Why were the three 122-cm diameter conductive spheres for charge collection in the Shuttle's Space Experiments with Particle Accelerators black?

From this answer to How did three 1.2 meter spheres and a Xe+ plasma contactor keep the Shuttle “grounded”? What did they look like?: STS-45 view of payload bay with this description (emphasis my own)...
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4 votes
0 answers
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To what precision were the amounts of the Shuttle propellants known? [duplicate]

A previous question reveals that the Shuttle orbiter was weighed before it was moved to the Vehicle Assembly Building. Presumably, the other dry components of the launch stack (the solid rocket ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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Did the flare stacks at LC39 have pilot lights?

The liquid hydrogen fuel in the space shuttles would slowly boil off, while they waited on the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center launch complex 39A or 39B. The hydrogen vapors were removed by the ...
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48 votes
1 answer
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Why were the Space Shuttle Orbiter's landing gear not level?

Looking at an image of the orbiter on the ground, it's obvious the nose landing gear is positioned higher than the other landing gear in the wings, making the nose of the orbiter droop down. As far as ...
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1 answer
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Does NASA yet have an official history of the Shuttle?

NASA has official "histories" of many of their past programs. These are more about people and decisions, not technical details. This New Ocean: A History of Project Mercury On the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Measurement and estimation of temperature of Space Shuttle nose cone during launch and re-entry

During the launch and re-entry of the Space Shuttle, what are the measured and estimated temperatures (or distribution) of the shuttle nose cone as a function of altitude? How is the temperature ...
14 votes
4 answers
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Why did the space shuttle's altitude go down after reaching 108,000m?

I recently took a look at this little data sheet by NASA: Math and Science @ Work; Space Shuttle Ascent Time Altitude Velocity Acceleration Comment (s) (m) (m/s) (m/s^2) 20 1244 139 18.62 40 5377 ...
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1 answer
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How much longer did Columbia need to survive?

The breakup of Columbia occurred about 15 minutes after entry interface and the key event in this was the loss of hydraulic pressure due to burn through of all three hydraulic lines. How much longer ...
5 votes
3 answers
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Time gap between leaving the Earth's atmosphere and initiation of orbital motion by space shuttle

It is sometimes difficult to imagine for people like me how the space shuttle initiates its orbital motion (at a speed of 17500 km/h). So when the space shuttle goes out of the Earth's atmosphere, how ...
7 votes
1 answer
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Why did the shuttle have rear-view mirrors?

This picture shows a rear-view mirror mounted in front of and to the right of the shuttle pilot (arrow). What's it for - fuzzy dice holder, vanity mirror, or what?? (image from https://images.nasa....
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1 answer
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what is the space shuttle's SRB motor/engine

what is the space shuttle's SRB motor/engine? I do not know how the thrust in the space shuttle's SRB goes out/burns. research shows that it either an engine or motor though I'm not sure.
20 votes
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How well would Max Faget's April 1, 1969 design for the Space Shuttle have actually worked? What would have been the major problems?

This answer to Who are the actual lead designers of manned spacecraft? says (in its entirety): Max Faget was involved in the design of every US manned spacecraft flown to date. Mercury, Gemini, ...
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1 answer
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Identifying attitude control mode in GNC software?

Launch vehicles will generally have multiple multiple attitude control modes. At launch, the engine-gimballing thrust-vectoring system is in charge. In orbit, the reaction control system is (at least ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Exact condition for hold-down release?

I've read the space-shuttle hold-down clamps would be released once all engines registered 90% of nominal thrust. But would this be sufficient condition to open the hold-down clamps and release the ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Space shuttle digital signal processor (DSP): floating point or fixed point?

Digital signal processors can represent irrational numbers using fixed-point or floating-point data types. Fixed point means fixed number of decimal places, and floating point means floating number of ...
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