Podcast #128: We chat with Kent C Dodds about why he loves React and discuss what life was like in the dark days before Git. Listen now.

Questions tagged [space-shuttle]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
18
votes
2answers
5k views

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
353 views

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 ...
8
votes
5answers
5k views

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?
8
votes
3answers
8k views

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 ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
466 views

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 ...
2
votes
0answers
86 views

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
310 views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
243 views

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, ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

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 ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

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, ...
4
votes
1answer
451 views

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 ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

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 ...
32
votes
2answers
19k views

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 ...
25
votes
2answers
2k views

What's on the bottom of the Shuttle's external fuel tank?

In the Wikipedia article about Spaceplane there's a (rare and cool) shot of the Space Shuttle from one of the SBRs immediately after it was released. The web page for the image says: Space Shuttle ...
24
votes
4answers
7k views

What operating system(s) were used in the space shuttle?

Is there any possibility to learn and use the operating system languages used in the space shuttle?
20
votes
6answers
5k views

Do windows in space stations, the space shuttle, other spacecraft have practical usage?

As we know, cars need a front window because drivers need to see the road to control the car, but how about the windows in space shuttles? As far as I know, the orbits of ISS or other space devices ...
3
votes
0answers
62 views

Is it possible for a space rocket to escape a planet's gravity if the gravity was 10 times that of earth? [duplicate]

I know that the scenario isn't realistic but lets assume that we have a planet which is identical to ours except that it's gravity is 10 times bigger. Would it be possible to launch a space rocket ...
8
votes
1answer
942 views

Did the medium range KTM tracking cameras for the Shuttle really have a “150 inch lens”?

The Curious Droid YouTube video How did NASA get those great film shots of Apollo and the Shuttle? found here and linked-to in this comment contains the following passage starting at ...
6
votes
1answer
215 views

How spacecrafts are built e.g. Dragon, Orion, etc?

What materials are using to build nowadays spacecraft? What kind of joints of main structure is used - is it a welding, riveting or something else? Where can I find such informations? Any books, ...
1
vote
1answer
411 views

How does the Space Shuttle's SSME engine's thrust vary after ignition?

After writing the question Do Blue Origin's BE-3 engines need to run for 7 seconds to “warm up”?, I took a look at the YouTube video SSME ignition sequence (found in What are the small gas jets at the ...
15
votes
2answers
690 views

Before the Columbia accident, were there shuttle manifests/plans for after ISS assembly complete?

Before the loss of Columbia during the STS-107 mission on February 1 2003, the International Space Station was scheduled to reach "Core Complete" status in February 2004. (Although this was ...
3
votes
1answer
279 views

Failure modes of segmented solid rocket boosters

The Rogers Commission Report (PDF, page 73) describes the Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Boosters as [...] a faulty design unacceptably sensitive to a number of factors. These factors were the ...
3
votes
2answers
737 views

How are rockets gimballed to produce a gravity turn for the space shuttle?

I'm trying to simulate a gravity turn using a gimbaled thruster. I'm using the dynamical system described in a previous post of mine to execute a gravity turn by changing the angle $\phi_T$ between ...
9
votes
1answer
159 views

Control of first stage of shuttle

Why was the launch guidance software of the space shuttle launch between liftoff to SRB separation open loop?
3
votes
0answers
242 views

Why did Columbia never visit the ISS? [duplicate]

According to Wikipedia, there were sixteen Space Shuttle missions to the ISS before the loss of Columbia; of these, six each were by Endeavour and Atlantis, four by Discovery, and none at all by ...
3
votes
2answers
459 views

Space Ship capable of travelling from Earth to Moon and back

What would be required to have a vehicle like the space shuttle in that it could launch from earth and travel through space and was reusable except that it also possessed the capability to land on the ...
2
votes
1answer
591 views

Why did Space Shuttle astronauts wear gloves upon reentry?

I read an article about STS 107, in which the crew videorecorded their search for the gloves to put on.
18
votes
3answers
3k views

How long did it take, at a minimum, to prep a shuttle for launch after it landed?

The Space Shuttle relied on a pair of SRBs, and fuel supplement in the External Tank for it's launch. Assuming Payload, Service parts/consumables, Crews, SRBs, and ET were ready - How long did it ...
2
votes
1answer
795 views

Why didn't the space shuttle use non-foam-shedding external tanks?

Throughout its lifetime, the Space Shuttle's external tank had severe problems with portions of its foam insulation coming apart and falling off, which NASA was never able to fix. The flying ...
5
votes
2answers
378 views

Was the Space Shuttle TPS technology ever state secret?

I was a bit surprised to learn that the Buran used heat tiles looking very similar to that of the Space Shuttle. Considering its potential for military application, and the cold war period in which ...
3
votes
1answer
472 views

Were there problems with the Russian Buran space shuttle's reusability?

The Soviet space shuttle Buran launched and landed (unmanned, because it could) once very successfully. I would think it would be a very valuable industrial asset for the bankrupt Russian Republic ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

How was the Centaur stage fueled in the Space Shuttle?

The Space Shuttle had the ability to launch Centaur booster stages stored inside of the Shuttle during launch. How was this stage fueled, being fueled with cryogenic fuels?
5
votes
1answer
510 views

How was Enterprise held/released from the carrier 747 for the Shuttle approach and landing tests?

Related to my other question: What are the benefits of using pyrotechnics on spacecraft? When the Space Shuttle was first flight tested (Enterprise approach and landing tests) it was released from a ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

Space Shuttle “go at throttle up”

On all of the launch videos and recordings for the Space Shuttle, the mention is made from Houston (after getting through Max-Q) of "go at throttle up", indicating that the launch is ok for going back ...
5
votes
3answers
903 views

Who built the sparklers used by the Shuttle program during launch?

The Shuttle main engines used LH2 and LOX, and used sparklers to burn off the hydrogen that would be exhausted, unburned, during engine startup. (They pre-chill the engine components so that they are ...
3
votes
1answer
519 views

Why do astronauts spend a night at a hotel one day before the launch? How did they board the Shuttle

I heard somewhere that it was some sort of a tradition for astronauts to spend one night at some kind of hotel. As far as I know, astronauts and cosmonauts ride in a bus down to the launch site, where ...
8
votes
1answer
416 views

Why aren't there many audio soundscapes recorded within the spacecraft?

First of all, let me explain that I am totally blind, and audio is my primary source of information. Through soundscapes, I can hear how big or small a room is, and make pictorial and spatial images ...
-3
votes
1answer
189 views

Before their disastrous demise, how many missions did Challenger and Columbia fly?

I always grew up thinking that both of those shuttles only flew in one mission and never made it back home. Now, I found evidence that that's not the case.
92
votes
3answers
16k views
11
votes
1answer
811 views

What are the two openings above the Shuttle's cockpit?

In this image of Discovery, two openings above the main windows are visible: What are they used for? Sightseeing?
25
votes
3answers
5k views

How can the reusable Falcon 9 succeed when the reusable Space Shuttle failed?

Space Shuttle was designed to be partially reusable but was later shut down because it turned out to be very expensive to run compared to disposable spacecraft. Now Falcon 9 is suddenly reusable to a ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

How were the pilots of the space shuttle able to operate the rudder after time in space?

I've just watched this video showing three astronauts who've returned from space. At around the 5:46 mark in the video we can see astronaut Chris Hadfield being carried out of the Soyuz capsule. I've ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

How much did the fuel for the space shuttle missions cost?

I'm looking for a rough estimate on how much it costs. I understand that it is a propellant mix, and that NASA contracts a company to produce it, but I am yet to come across a figure per kg of the ...
6
votes
0answers
77 views

How do you minimise sum of atmosphere and gravity loss?

I am attempting to calculate the optimum trajectory of a space shuttle going into orbit, taking into account gravitational and atmospheric losses. How would it be possible to minimise the sum of these ...
8
votes
3answers
838 views

Building space stations with the original, smaller shuttle

In an answer to a recent question we see a plan for many space stations as part of a space infrastructure, with a surface-to-low-Earth-orbit reusable shuttle as another part. This shuttle eventually ...
16
votes
5answers
3k views

What would the Δv cost of bringing the space shuttle external tank to orbit be?

There was an independent proposal that the space shuttle external tank could have been lifted all the way to orbit, and then used as a structural material in space stations. In terms of propellant ...
30
votes
1answer
3k views

Why do the Shuttle's external tanks appear to be rusted?

Wikipedia article states as STS-1 at liftoff. The External Tank was painted white for the first two Space Shuttle launches. From STS-3 on, it was left unpainted. I wonder why the ...
18
votes
3answers
3k views

Cost-effective Space Shuttle: was it feasible?

As far as I understand, NASA's Space Shuttle was initially conceived as a cheap way of launching people and cargo into orbit, with one-week vehicle turnaround time and dozens of missions per year. ...
2
votes
2answers
285 views

How were polar or retrograde satellites launched in the early 80s?

Many satellites (such as the recent Iridium launch) need to be in either slight retrograde or polar orbit. Since Kennedy Space Center is located on the east coast of Florida, rockets that need to go ...