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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0answers
317 views

Is “Stranded in the middle of the room” by retired NASA astronaut Dan Barry the unvarnished truth? [closed]

There is a passage/section called "Stranded in the middle of the room" in a book called "Space Shuttle (sic): The First 20 Years -- The Astronauts' Experiences in Their Own Words" ...
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Modeling attitude control: ramping/easing between attitude commands?

Say you switch from your current guidance program to a brand new program that commands your spacecraft to a different attitude. Assume the new attitude is a discontinuous step change from your ...
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Where are the lost RS-25D Block 2 engines?

There were 21 RS-25D Block 2 engines made. Two of them never flew. Three of them were lost with the Columbia disaster. 16 of them are tagged for SLS's use, including 14 previously flown, and the two ...
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RCS jet select algorithms (e.g. in space shuttle)?

I'm looking for a clear description of RCS jet selection logic. The space shuttle, for instance, had tens of RCS thrusters, only three of which would be called to fire at a time given a 3D attitude ...
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Were all three Mobile Launch Platforms ever in use simultaneously?

With an optimistic view on the future, NASA built a Vertical Assembly Building with four bays and three Mobile Launch Platforms. They were later repurposed for the Space Shuttle and other launch ...
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Oleg Kononenko in Space Shuttle suit?

I have seen a photo of Oleg Kononenko wearing the Space Shuttle flight suit, with the NASA badge on it. However, he never flew in the Shuttle, and there’s no mention on the Wikipedia page about him ...
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How many times were there thirteen people inside the ISS? Is it hard on the station?

I just saw this photo in @SF.'s answer It is ISS023-E-023513 STS-131 and Expedition 23. The full caption is below. Are there really 13 people on the ISS at one time? Is STS-131 the only shuttle ...
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255 views

Source for Shuttle SRB segment history diagrams

I'm looking for a source for these ATK booster segment history images. Sadly absent user TildalWave posted a comment with a link to an article containing this one 3 1/2 years ago. I've finally ...
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Might either the Buran or the Space Shuttle fly again, or similar spacecraft be built in the future?

I'm really impressed with these two spaceplanes, so I'm thinking is there any chance to fly again, or some similar spaceplanes (similar design, size...) to be built?
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Why is the mid-deck on the Space Shuttle named as it is?

The (retired) NASA Space Shuttles has two decks. The flight deck, and the mid-deck. Why is the mid-deck called "mid-deck"? It is not the middle of three decks. Shouldn't it, strictly ...
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Help me find old study of huge space shuttle with 1,000 ton payload

In the late 1970s/early 1980s I read a study about up-sizing the space shuttle to carry 1,000 tons(!) payload to earth orbit. There was a crude drawing of such a beast, and if I remember correctly, ...
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Isn't Starship way too big?

The Shuttle was designed with a huge payload of 20 tons. This was supposed to not be a problem since: the reusability would drive down costs until satellite operators dropped expensive space hardware ...
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540 views

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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Why was the Cape Canaveral Skid Strip never used for a Space Shuttle's landing?

Why did NASA build the Shuttle Landing Facility, and initially land the shuttle at Edwards Air Force Base, instead of landing it at the CCAFS Skid Strip? It's definitely long enough, because once a ...
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4answers
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Was the space shuttle design negatively influenced by science fiction?

The space shuttle looked like space ships in Star Trek and a lot of other science fiction movies/TV. Did people's expectation of what a space vehicle should look like, based on futuristic movies/tv ...
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Were any Components Off The Shelf (COTS) used in the Space Shuttle?

Are there examples of Components Off The Shelf (COTS) used in the Space Transportation System? And is NASA considering using COTS in future manned space flight systems like Orion and the SLS?
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Did the U.S. Space Shuttles have a way for crew to bail out?

This recent question regarding the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster mentions the possibility that the crew could have bailed out if the orbiter could have successfully descended to 25,000 feet before ...
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147 views

First Ham Radio contact from space; what frequency, what kind of antenna, and how did they route the coax out the window?

From Phys.org's Earthlings and astronauts chat away, via ham radio: NASA astronaut Doug Wheelock was just a few weeks into his six-month mission at the space station when feelings of isolation began ...
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Why were the SRBs rolled out of the VAB without the rest of the Shuttle stack?

This answer shows the following photo of two Shuttle solid rocket boosters, mounted on the mobile launch platform without the external tank or orbiter, and driven outside the Vehicle Assembly Building....
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Why does the Falcon 9 require a helium pressurization system?

The Space Shuttle was designed in the seventies and did not require a helium pressurization system. Why does the Falcon 9 require one? What are the advantages/disadvantages?
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Is this really a picture of John Young?

This article from the Smithsonian Air and Space magazine is about eyeglasses for astronauts. The following quote about legendary astronaut John Young is immediately followed by a picture: Even ...
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1answer
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Space shuttle PEG ascent burns

I'm reading a public document on the powered explicit guidance algorithm used in the space shuttle. The document suggests that PEG ascent maneuvers always involved at least three phases: Constant ...
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What is super heavy booster? What will it be used for?

Also called BN1, right? Please explain me what is booster and what will it be used for? Also feel free to give me additional insights other than included in my question about BN1.
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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 ...
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Which STS mission raised the normal engine throttle above 100%, and what change to the SSME made that possible?

As indirectly stated in an answer to How long does Max-Q last?, during later Space Shuttle launches the main engines were operating at above 100% of their nominal maximum thrust. Specifically from ...
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Did any of the Space Shuttles land through rain or rainclouds?

My web research resulted in figuring out that launching Space Shuttles in rain, apart from lightning, wind and turbulence related problems, wasn't permitted due to: brittleness of the heat shield ...
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How was the airlock installed on the Space Shuttle mid deck?

I just finished the Haynes manual on the Space Shuttle, and it mentions that on some missions, an airlock was carried on the mid-deck area. I'm more familiar with the airlock carried in the payload ...
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1answer
495 views

Did each Shuttle have its own dedicated Canadarm?

Five Canadarm robotic arms were built. Five space shuttle orbiters were flown to space. Did each orbiter have its own dedicated Canadarm? Or were they rather moved around from orbiter to orbiter, ...
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546 views

Space Shuttle OMS maneuvers

I'm writing an essay titled the Physics of a Shuttle Mission, which is broken down into the journey into orbit, orbital maneuvering and re-entry. The biggest problem at the moment is with example ...
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Space Shuttle missions for satellite deployment?

Was there any Space Shuttle mission whose primary target were e deploying satellites (space stations do not count).
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What specific event determined the “end” of a shuttle mission?

We've had several questions about when a mission officially "begins". But what about when a mission officially "ends"? The Apollo Flight Journal stops the mission clock at splashdown. What was the ...
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244 views

What is the maximum apogee a Space Shuttle could have reached?

What is the maximum apogee a Space Shuttle (and which one of the five space-flying Shuttles?) ever reached and what is the maximum one it could have reached? A Space Shuttle never exceeded the apogee ...
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Were there any cases of woodpeckers damaging Shuttle External Tank insulation other than that of STS-70?

While researching information about Shuttle External Tank insulation, I came across this quite unusual problem: woodpeckers! The Wikipedia entry on STS-70 states that: ... on 31 May 1995 shuttle ...
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What were the hammerhead cranes used for?

During Apollo, the three Launch Umbilical Towers had a hammerhead crane at the top: Until 1994, the Space Shuttle's Fixed Service Structures were topped by literally the same cranes. The linked ...
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When were Shuttle crew absolutely required to have their seat belts fastened and their tray tables in their full upright position?

@OrganicMarble's comment says: Rhea Seddon describes in her bio standing and walking around in the shuttle middeck in the early part of entry when g's were low. "...I had this funny sensation of ...
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How were STS SRBs disassembled

What was the process for disassembling the SRBs following their recovery? Was it broken down to the field or factory seal level of segments, and how was it taken apart?
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Shuttle had heat radiators, but Starship has none - why?

Heat radiators were a big deal for the Space Shuttle - once the bay doors were closed it was important to deorbit quite quickly. The SpaceX Starship doesn't appear to have specific radiator ...
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Why do many comets & asteroids keep moving through the solar system, but space ships need fuel to do so?

Why do many comets & asteroids keep moving through the solar system (for centuries), after they were dislodged from their parent bodies after a cosmic event/explosion? But a space-shuttle ...
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During space shuttle reentry, why was the sign of GALR based on mach number rather than directly on alpha?

(My apologies if this should go in Aviation.SE instead - I'm not quite certain where questions regarding the behaviour of the shuttle's flight controls during reentry should go.) For flight in ...
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1answer
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Is there an easy way to distinguish pictures of the LES and ACES suits?

The Launch Entry Suit and Advanced Crew Escape Suit were the intravehicular suits used on most Space Shuttle missions. ACES was an improved version of the LES, and both earned the nickname "...
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Space shuttle state propagation---constant acceleration during cycle?

The space shuttle used a state propagation algorithm to estimate the current state vector when new data weren't yet available from the navigation system (which would come at a rate of only 0.25 or 0.5 ...
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1answer
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Noninertial effects a problem in strapdown IMUs?

Unlike stable-platform IMUs, which are fixed in space and therefore inertial, strapdown IMUs are fixed to the vehicle's body and therefore noninertial. Would noninertial effects distort the strapdown ...
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Detailed description of space shuttle major and minor GNC loops

Warning: repetitive question ahead. Please skip if you're tired of splitting hairs on these things. Is there a detailed description of the major and minor GNC loops of the space shuttle? I've learned ...
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Was space shuttle position corrected for before orbital insertion?

The space shuttle derived its attitude and state vector primarily from its integrating accelerometers and rate gyros. Data from the accelerometers and rate gyros came in at a low rate (0.25-0.5 Hz, or ...
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1answer
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Space shuttle state propagation

Space shuttle training manuals say the GNC system obtains state information from the IMU platform at a low rate (0.25-0.5Hz) and that state propagation algorithms estimate the vehicle's state vector ...
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1answer
197 views

How did they get away with sticking tiles with spit for so long?

The STS Orbiter was infamous for losing tiles. This occurred at a higher rate than expected. I understand the epoxy used to attach the tiles to the shuttle cured extremely quicky, so a fresh batch ...
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965 views

Why didn’t the space shuttle’s engine-out checklists include steps for attempting a relight?

Throughout much of a space shuttle ascent, even a single SSME failure would have left the mission’s intended orbit out of reach and forced some sort of abort; a two-SSME-out situation would have left ...
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Space shuttle position and velocity calculations from IMUs?

How were the space shuttle's rate gyro and accelerometer outputs converted into reliable position and velocity vectors before being fed into GNC software? Is there a document detailing those ...
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1answer
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What were the Shuttle TPS repair patches made of?

Following the incident on STS-107, three methods of dealing with damaged tiles were developed. The method for large tile damage involved screwing a very thin plate over the hole, after loosely filling ...
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How large can heatshield holes be?

The tiles on the underside of the STS Orbiter had gaps between them to allow for the frame underneath to shift slightly. However, if the gaps were too large fillers were used. What controls the ...

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