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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Were/Are the Space Shuttle or the Falcon 9 Dragon capable of achieving an elliptical orbit on whose apogee you'd see the entire Earth?

Was the Space Shuttle and is the Crew Dragon capable of achieving a highly elliptical orbit on whose apogee you could see the entire planet Earth? There will be a touristic flight soon in which an ...
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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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Which shuttle mission is this video from?

At 12 minutes and 19 seconds into the NASA video Space Shuttle Documentary (Narrated by William Shatner), there’s a really neat video of a space shuttle lighting up the clouds from underneath and then ...
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Was there really a shuttle toilet training device with a “boresight camera”?

Was there really a shuttle toilet training device with a camera looking up at the user's fundament? This seems a bit undignified to say the least.
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Was there a backup plan in case the Shuttle toilet malfunctioned?

What was the plan in case the Space Shuttle toilet malfunctioned? How were the astronauts expected to then handle their waste? Did they carry Apollo-style fecal collection assemblies (poop bags)? ...
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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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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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Why there are small holes just at the ending of RS-25 rocket engine? [duplicate]

I have seen these holes in many pictures and I can't understand what are these and why are they used?
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What caused STS-129's low energy condition on the HAC?

I've never heard anyone comment on the trouble STS-129 seemed to experience during the Heading Alignment Cone (HAC) phase. I was hoping someone who was involved with the program might know why it ...
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1answer
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What are the round screens show in the MOCR near position 19 (FDO?) during STS-49?

I noticed two very peculiar screens in the picture attached taken during STS-49, Endeavour's maiden flight. The screens are the round ones, and have text displayed. they are somewhat reminiscent of a ...
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Could the Dream Chaser or Space Shuttle fly/have flown to the Moon with boosters on the orbiter's side?

In the 1998 movie Armageddon the crews use Space Shuttles which have boosters also on the orbiters' sides (two boosters per orbiter) in order to get to the Moon and to the asteroid. Upon descent onto ...
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Did the space shuttle fly straight “up” when leaving Earth?

I was watching space shuttle launch recently, and at 2:53 you can see the space shuttle from an angle, even though it's high above the earth and you should see only the bottom. Did the space shuttle ...
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What happened during this shuttle simulation malfunction involving a failure of a shuttle arm joint while moving the JEF?

This author (cough) begins to relate the details of a particular training incident during simulations for STS-127. However, they very sadly have not finished the tale. Does anybody (cough cough) know ...
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In a shuttle launch, what would have happened if all three SSMEs failed during flight?

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 ...
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What were the space shuttle’s emergency procedures for an SRB or ET separation failure?

The space shuttle, like most launch vehicles, was a multistage vehicle (albeit one where the various stages were mostly stuck to the sides of each other rather than being stacked vertically), reducing ...
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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?
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How often do other space vehicles visit the international space station?

I was surprised to read NASA's statement that This (27 May 2020) mission marks the first time since the retirement of the space shuttle in 2011 that humans will fly to the space station from U.S. ...
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Was the Space Shuttle ever actually intended for the military to steal satellites without the owner's consent?

Related: Did the Space Shuttle have "military uses"? (This question is discussed in comments, but not really conclusively answered.) One of the military requirements that was added on to ...
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Why so many STS-61's?

Wikipedia's STS-61 says that it is not to be confused with STS-61A, STS-61B or STS-61C. Why were there so many STS missions where the name included the number "61"?
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Was it possible to simulate another atmosphere during Shuttle training?

This answer points out that the Space Shuttle's cabin atmosphere was designed to be equivalent to sea level air, in terms of both total pressure and oxygen partial pressure. However, could any of the ...
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Why is the shuttle's external tank's metal skin painted the same dark color as the foam insulation?

The last flight-qualified space shuttle external tank in existence is now in Los Angeles and moved to its new home over the weekend. I noticed that what appears to be the metal skin under the ...
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Query on movement of space shuttle during lift off: Three examples

I have a small query here on the three different movements that I perceived after looking at videos during take off of Challenger (1986), Columbia (2003) and Atlantis (2010). Challenger (1986): ...
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How much reentry speed did the Shuttles shed by doing a series of sharp turns?

Jerard Puckett mentioned in The Pod Bay yesterday that Shuttles did S-Curve maneuvers back and forth across their reentry trajectory to shed speed. After a bit of looking, I found some reference to ...
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Space Shuttle Orbiter VRCS

I am looking for details on the Space Shuttle Orbiter Vernier Reaction Control System (VRCS), used for fine maneuvers on orbit, such as docking. Wikipedia has very little information on the system. ...
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Why were hot-stick downmoding to CSS, and the ability to use CSS for some control axes but not others, disabled during space-shuttle powered flight?

During ascent, if need be, a space shuttle’s flight controls could be switched from the normal, automatic control mode over to manual1 control (known as control-stick steering, or CSS), allowing the ...
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Did any of the Space Shuttle RCS covers ever stay on?

This dashcam video of the STS-133 launch shows some sort of plastic bag looking objects that blow off the nose of the shuttle in the first few seconds after liftoff. This answer says they are the RCS ...
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Could DOD earth observation (i.e. spy) satellites have photographed the Columbia Orbiter on STS-107?

I read in an (unknown) aircraft accident investigation book that NASA engineers wanted to use DOD earth observation satellites to check for damage on the Columbia Orbiter during STS-107. This did not ...
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Challenger disaster: how full was the external tank at the time of destruction?

We have all heard about the Challenger disaster. Reading the Vehicle breakup subsection, this sentence made me very curious: The external tank at this point suffered a complete structural failure, ...
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How long did it take to remove or install an SSME on the Space Shuttle?

Not knowing the steps involved, I am curious how long it took to remove or install an SSME (Space Shuttle Main Engine) in real life.
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After the loss of Challenger, why weren’t Galileo and Ulysses launched by Centaurs on expendable boosters?

The Centaur upper stage, the first hydrolox rocket stage ever flown and (in its highly-evolved forms) still one of the most-used, as well as one of the highest-performance (if not the highest-...
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What is the function of the corrugations on a section of the Space Shuttle's external tank?

There is a section of the Space Shuttle's external tank that appears to have large corrugations. I spotted them and saw how deep they are in a photo in this answer, a cropped section of which is shown ...
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Why were these Shuttle purges done with different gases?

[F]uel cell tanks were drained of remaining cryogenic reactants. The oxygen system was rendered inert with gaseous nitrogen and the hydrogen system with gaseous helium. https://en.wikipedia.org/...
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Why were two different California airbases (Vandenberg and Edwards) intended for Shuttle launches versus landings?

Vandenberg Air Force Base was intended to be the west-coast launch site of the Space Shuttle. Its Space Launch Complex 6 was only a few months from being ready for the first launch, when the ...
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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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Why didn't NASA re-use more astronaut crew members?

According to a popular space exploration web site, 355 individuals few in a total of 833 crew slots in the Space Shuttle program. That's an average of about 2.5 flights per astronaut, though many only ...
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Why were there painted black rings on the SRBs?

There were black rings on the STS-1 SRBs. There were even more on later flights. But there was a period without them at all. Why?
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Why was the risk of loss of STS-1 (Columbia) estimated to be so high?

There's this tweet from Wayne Hale, former NASA Flight Director Several media people have asked me about how risky STS-1 was. There were a lot of uninformed guesses circulating in 1981. Thirty ...
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Was the Space Shuttle balanced experimentally before flight?

Even spacecraft that are designed and optimized for a single mission need to be carefully balanced experimentally, and have ballast added before flight. Why did New Horizons have to be spin-balanced ...
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Why do space rockets not start from an angle? Why go straight up? [duplicate]

I know that they used to have this idea, back in the day, of a "space gun" to fire somebody into space, and I understand why that was not safe or practical/feasible. However, once they had come up ...
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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 ...
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Did the LiOH cartridges for the Space Shuttle cabin and spacesuit share the same shape?

In this answer, I explain how there were two contractors that made the environmental control systems and their lithium hydroxide cartridges during the Apollo program. Garrett AiResearch made the ECS ...
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Aborting a de-orbit maneuver

I was contemplating on how a de-orbit may be abandoned post completion of the orbit burn, say, from LEO. A situation in which this might be necessary would be detecting a breach in the heat shield ...
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Were there contemporary criticisms of NASA's pre-Challenger plans to exclusively use the Shuttle for US launches?

Before the Challenger accident, NASA planned to use the Space Shuttle as the exclusive launch vehicle for the US. While the other major launch vehicle families were never quite discontinued, I know ...
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What happened to leftover food from the Shuttle program?

This answer describes some of the food available during the Shuttle program. Was any pre-prepared food left over when the Shuttle program ended, and if so, what happened to it? Addendum: I have no ...
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How did the atmospheres of Soyuz, Shuttle, Mir, and ISS compare?

Soyuz and the Space Shuttle each docked with Mir and the International Space Station. When docked, the crew vehicle and station each share a common atmosphere for the crew to breathe. However, how ...
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What would NASA have done if they knew Columbia was catastrophically damaged?

When the Columbia Shuttle broke apart in 2003, it was known after the launch that a piece of foam had fallen and hit the Shuttle. NASA apparently chose not to investigate it as well as they could have....
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How would the Columbia crew have been saved if the danger were recognized? [duplicate]

The space shuttle Columbia re-entered the atmosphere because one didn't think that such a big hole could be made into Columbia's heat shield. What if one would have assumed otherwise and the crew ...
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How many spacesuits were specifically manufactured for John Young?

John W. Young was a legendary astronaut: The first American in space after the original Mercury Seven, as Gus Grissom's co-pilot in Gemini 3. He got in trouble during this flight for smuggling ...
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Why were the Space Shuttle mission designations so messed up?

Following the STS-27 flight the Shuttle mission designations got into a mess. The anwer to this question mentions that it was due to schedules being moved around. Now while it wouldn't have hurt to ...
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Is a low-altitude, stable glide really absolutely needed to bail out of the space shuttle?

After the Challenger disaster, the Space Shuttle astronauts were outfitted with pilot spacesuits equipped with parachutes and internal emergency oxygen supplies, and the space shuttle was equipped ...

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