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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What military forces provided Space Shuttle search and rescue?

The Space Shuttle had various ways to abort a mission. These included shutting down on the launchpad before the SRBs ignited (RSLS), turning around to land at a runway near the launch site (RTLS), ...
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Were shuttle and ISS spacewalks always done with two astronauts?

Even if only one astronaut is needed for an EVA, it makes sense to have a second suited up and outside in case of an emergency. Was there ever any exception to this number (e.g. 1 or 3) for the space ...
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Were shuttle seats reconfigured between launch and reentry to account for the different direction of acceleration?

During launch, the g-force felt by the crew is directly back toward the engines and maxed out at about 3g. During reentry, it also maxed out at about 3g, but pointed at about a 45 degree angle down ...
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Could a shuttle be built for Mars?

Mars does have an atmosphere, but is there enough atmosphere to glide, shed speed and land if there was a runway? What would this require from the shuttle, in terms of aerodynamics?
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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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How many Solid Rocket Boosters were there in the Space Shuttle program?

I was reading the wikipedia article about the SRBs, which were retrieved, refurbished, updated and re-used. I understand that if they were taken apart and pieces were replaced, that there was a 'new ...
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What was the first time a “re-used booster” was used to put a payload into orbit?

In the excitement about SpaceX's Falcon recovery and relaunch development program, it's often forgotten in articles like this one that reusable spacecraft were in regular use far back in the 20th ...
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Is there any written evidence of NASA being under pressure to launch prior to the Rogers Commission asserting it in February, 1986? [closed]

I asked that question of the NASA administrator, James M Beggs and got the following response. JRG: Jim a lot has been made of the fact that NASA management made poor decisions regarding the ...
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What are the small gas jets at the rims of the Space Shuttle Main Engines?

As can be seen in close-up footage of SSME ignition, such as the video below, there are small jets of an unknown gas/vapor emanating from specific points around the ...
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Space Shuttle and SSME Servicing Procedures for Re-Launch

There's been a lot of discussion about SpaceX's ~30% price reduction from re-use of the first stage, which got me to wondering: why exactly was the Space Shuttle so expensive to service and prep for ...
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Was the third shuttle engine any different from the others?

The space shuttle used three SSME, organized in a triangle with two next to each other closest to the external tank, and one on top of those. I am pretty sure the first two engines were close to ...
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Final results on Space Shuttle SRB reuse goal?

One of the stated goals of the Space Shuttle solid rocket boosters (SRBs) was their re-usability and cost savings from such reuse. I know that many of them were reused, but in the end, how successful ...
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How was the thrust for the STS-94 launch and other space shuttle launches balanced? [duplicate]

I've been looking at of the STS-94 skylab launch and other launching involving asymmetrical rocket launch vehicles, mostly because I've never been able to design something similar in KSP with ...
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When was the ISS's “SPEED LIMIT 17500 MPH” sign originally posted?

When was the ISS's "SPEED LIMIT 17500 MPH" sign originally posted? above: "STS110-353-012 (8-19 April 2002) --- Astronaut Ellen Ochoa, STS-110 mission specialist, poses by the speed limit signs in ...
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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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Did the Shuttle have a drag penalty for ascent with a negative angle of attack (AOA)?

@OrganicMarble's answer mentions Because the Orbiter wings developed lift at zero angle of attack, the high dynamic pressure portion of ascent had to be flown at a negative angle of attack, close ...
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Why did the Space Shuttle fly upside-down normally

After reading this answer I found out that the space shuttle normally spent its time upside-down. Why is that? I'd guess it has to do with shielding from the sun, but I can't back that up with ...
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Why were Space Shuttle astronauts able to walk off the orbiter?

I am watching loads of ISS related videos and there is one detail I recently noticed; At the time, when Space Shuttles were still in operation and visiting ISS, when astronauts returned home, they ...
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This image of the Space Shuttle is truly beautiful, but is it real?

I saw this image in the Infobae article La NASA probará un paracaídas para posar naves espaciales en Marte ("NASA will test a parachute to place spaceships on Mars"). The image looks plausible to me, ...
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Did all of the Space Shuttles dock with multiple space stations or crewed spacecraft?

For example, the Space Shuttle Endeavour did dock with both MIR (bringing apple seeds) and the ISS. Did all of the shuttles dock with more than one space station and/or crewed spacecraft? above: ...
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How fair is the claim that Shuttle boosters diameter is dictated by the railroad gauge?

There's a kind of urban legend that Space Shuttle boosters diameter could be larger only if was not limited because of the limitations imposed by the railroads and those are imposed by the railroad ...
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NASA's good luck eagle

I read somewhere-- but for the life of me I can't remember where-- that there is an eagle's nest at the Kennedy Space Center that served as an omen for the shuttle's safe return. Something like, if ...
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Where did the families of astronauts watch the launch?

Where did the families of American astronauts watch the launch from? I've heard the Saturn V Center and also the Launch Control Center. Maybe it was different for each launch? TIA
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Where and when did the traditional “wave across the ditch” take place?

I’ve heard that before a launch American astronauts had one last chance to see their family by waving across a ditch (which apparently wasn’t really a ditch?). I’m curious, where and exactly when (day ...
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What was it like for the family members of astronauts before a launch? [closed]

What was it like to be the family member of an astronaut in the days and hours before a launch? Specifically, I'm curious about launches during NASA'S space shuttle program. Where did family members ...
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What is happening in this photo of a glowing plume behind STS-70 and how was it taken?

A recent tweet by @NASASpaceflight about STS-70 deployment of TDRS-G (TDRS-7) says: STS-70 - Shuttle Discovery - Launched 13 July 1995 from KSC 39B. Terence T. Henricks commanded her 21st ...
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Music played in space

Besides the Curiosity rovers's rendition of Happy Birthday and Chris Hadfields guitar playing aboard the ISS, is there a list of music played in space live (robots playing music counts too)? Note: ...
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How big of an external tank to replace the shuttle SRBs with more LH2 and LO2?

The space shuttle ascended using two types of propulsion: (1) liquid hydrogen and oxygen stored in the external tank and burned in the main engines on the orbiter, and (2) the solid rocket boosters. ...
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Did NASA archive the audio recording of STS launches

I believe some important information could be recovered if the Launchpad audio of STS-51L still exists. The leak in the RH aft field joint could have created a high pitched whistle between 0.678 ...
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How was “Space Ram” (instant ramen noodles) prepared and eaten on the Space Shuttle?

The BBC Witness Podcast The Invention of Instant Noodles mentions that "Space Ram" (ramen noodles for space) was developed for eating on the Space Shuttle. After about ...
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Could Dick Scobee have flown a RTLS on Challenger 51L

In a previous question, I explored whether or not, with a call up from an observant Flight Controller, the SRB’s could be separated from the STS-51L stack before the destruction of the ET tank at 73 ...
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Why is this astronaut placing a radar reflector?

In this video we can see an astronaut on the payload bay of the Space Shuttle, placing what looks like a radar reflector, during an EVA. The following image is a frame from the video in question: ...
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At what point was nose wheel steering “added” to the Space Shuttle design?

A comment below this answer to my question "Runway landing with a front skid instead of wheel - how does steering happen? (Dreamchaser)" says: In fact, the Space Shuttle didn't originally have ...
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Space shuttle exhaust after landing

In this video at 7:12 you can see a thermal shot of a landed space shuttle. There is a periodic white cloud coming out of the top. What is this cloud?
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What holds the Space Shuttle orbiter itself stable on the launch pad?

From a structural point of view, what is holding up the orbiter on the launch pad prior to a launch? Are the tail service masts more than just a collection of conduits and plumbing? Or, are the solid ...
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Do the solid rocket boosters of the Shuttle and SLS have a self-destruct system and was it activated during the Challenger disaster?

Videos of the Challenger shuttle explosion show both solid boosters speeding on after the main tank detonated. Were they eventually self-destructed by the ground control, or why not, and why not ...
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Why were individual shuttle tiles changed from white to black or black to white?

The Paper Space Scale Models website has a PDF which details changes to the STS Orbiter Markings on a per-mission basis. Most of the changes are in the tiles. It can be seen that often a single black ...
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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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About how far was debris scattered from the Columbia incident?

Space Shuttle Columbia exploded during reentry due to missing heat shield tiles. When this happened, the shuttle would have had a great amount of speed, which would imply debris was strewn far down ...
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Was a method available to save the Challenger Crew?

In a previous thread, I asked the question of the likelihood of the STS stack surviving an early separation of the SRB using the SRB manual separation switch on panel C3: Could the SRB's have ...
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Could Space Shuttle's wings be diminished?

From Wikipedia The crucial factor in the size and shape of the Shuttle orbiter was the requirement that it be able to accommodate the largest planned commercial and military satellites, and have ...
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How would the space shuttle fare without payload doors? [duplicate]

If the space shuttle had the doors locked open, blown off, or otherwise unable to close, would it be able to re-enter and land somewhat intact? Was there any procedures in place on the off chance this ...
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STS: How much thrust did the nominal post-MECO LOX dump produce?

Following up to some questions asked in comments to the answer to this question: With pressure-fed engines, is any measurable thrust generated by venting the pressurant out the engine bell after ...
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What is the purpose of this cable connecting Astronaut's boot restraint to a robotic arm?

The caption for the image ISS016-E-008937 says ISS016-E-008937 (3 Nov. 2007) --- While anchored to a foot restraint on the end of the Orbiter Boom Sensor System (OBSS), astronaut Scott Parazynski, ...
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Documented economics of STS Solid Rocket Booster reuse?

I often see the claim that the Shuttle SRBs cost as much to recover & refurb as it would to build a new one. I've probably even parroted this claim myself. But, are there any actual studies or ...
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Could the space shuttle be permanently left in orbit as a space station?

Could the space shuttles have been left in space and used as temporarily visited space stations? One could put a modified spacehab in the cargo bay, with solar panels and with which the Soyuz/Dragon ...
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Are the US shuttle and Buran the only space planes to have launched vertically with wings exposed?

The Space Shuttle and the Soviet/Russian Buran have launched vertically, and their wings were exposed to the full load of aerodynamic forces during the launch. Stability may come from many factors, ...
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Ground personnel proximity to space shuttle at launch?

In watching some YouTube videos of US Space Shuttle launches, I was wondering how close personnel were to the actual launch pad during a launch that weren't actually on the Shuttle itself? Obviously ...
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How far would the STS get without the SRBs

This is a very stupid hypothetical - sorry! Would the Space Shuttle Orbiter plus external tank have been able to leave the pad just using the SSMEs (i.e. without the solid rocket boosters ~80% of its ...
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Would it have been possible to have sent the Space Shuttle around the Moon?

I'm curious about whether or not the Space Shuttle could have been used as a lunar orbit vehicle - basically, would have it been technically capable of getting to the Moon, entering orbit, then ...