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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2answers
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What happens after a crew finishes putting out a fire?

I was reading the question How do we use Fire Extinguishers to Control Fire in the Space Station? This got me thinking about how the crew would clean-up after a fire. How do they decide if the ...
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When was it publicly revealed that a KH-11 spy satellite took pictures of the first Shuttle flight?

Even before the first Shuttle flight, NASA was already concerned about possible damage during liftoff. They had arranged for a KH-11 spy satellite to photograph the shuttle in orbit. The operation ...
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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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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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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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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 ...
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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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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 is a K-bottle?

This answer has pictures of the Enterprise shuttle, which was used for gliding and landing tests. One picture (included below) shows oxygen, hydrogen, and ammonia stored in "K-bottles". ...
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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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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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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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Is "Space Shuttle" written as a proper noun in the spaceflight industry?

Writing the question Was a real Space Shuttle ever used as a really big simulator? (and several others) I capitalize Space Shuttle because as far as I know, that's the actual name of NASA's spacecraft,...
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How did three 1.2 meter spheres and a Xe+ plasma contactor keep the Shuttle "grounded"? What did they look like?

Statement of relevance This answer to Highest DC voltage ever intentionally produced in space? mentions particle beam experiments done from the Space Shuttle while it flew through Earth's atmosphere ...
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Is the document "Space Shuttle Baseline Reference Missions" available anywhere?

The document JSC-07896 'Space Shuttle Baseline Reference Missions' would be an invaluable reference for anyone seeking to understand why the US Space Transportation System was designed the way it was. ...
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Did the Shuttle payload bay have illumination?

Were there lights inside the Shuttle cargo bay, either to provide illumination when the doors were closed or to better illuminate cargo when the doors were opened? Slightly related: Have optical zoom ...
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Were there any STS missions that included maneuvers that might have photographed ISS's top side?

It looks like this answer is converging on a conclusive answer about a zenith-facing window on the ISS, and possibly also a window which might at least be able to offer a bit of a view of the zenith. ...
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How fair is the claim that Shuttle boosters diameter was dictated by the railroad gauge?

There's a kind of urban legend that the Space Shuttle boosters diameter could have been larger if it was not restricted by the limitations imposed by the railroads, specifically the railroad gauge. I ...
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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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883 views

Could Orion repeat any of the Hubble Space Shuttle servicing missions?

I have a distinct feeling that there's some apparent no-go on the question in the title, but currently can't put my finger on it; For the lifting mass to Low Earth Orbit (LEO), let's assume that SLS (...
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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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Why did NASA discontinue use of the MMU?

One of the comments on this recent question touched on the use of the Manned Maneuvering Unit. It seemed like a good idea at the time: a system that would allow astronauts to do EVA without being ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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Precisely when did the Shuttle's roll program occur?

Previous answers state that the Shuttle launch roll program occurred as soon as practical after tower clear and was achieved by SRB thrust vector control. Can we get a more precise answer on the ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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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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.
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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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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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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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1answer
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Switching logic between throttle modes?

At launch, a vehicle like the space shuttle would command its throttle to do a few things: Ramp up to max throttle Hold max throttle Follow a throttle bucket as function of velocity when near max-Q ...
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Space shuttle MECO condition: velocity threshold or fuel level?

I've read in a place I can no longer remember that MECO would happen when fuel is depleted or, if the separating stage is returning, when fuel reaches some preset threshold---15%, say. But now... ...
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Correcting Accelerometer Readings when Offset from Center of Mass: How?

A follow-up to an earlier question. So I've accepted that I need to correct my accelerometer readings for the accelerometer offset from the center of mass. The offset means that whenever the rocket ...
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Was anything manufactured at the Michoud facility between Apollo and the Shuttle?

The Michoud Assembly Facility is a manufacturing complex in New Orleans owned by NASA. During the Apollo program, the first stages of the Saturn I, IB, and V rockets were built there. During the ...
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How can phenolic (resin?) handle rocket engine nozzle temperatures?

I just saw @OrganicMarble's survey answer that bravely tackles the wide variety of technologies used to make different types of rocket nozzles. One item caught my eye: Nozzles may also be made of ...
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Launch escape sequence of events?

Follow up to previous question: Suppose a critical failure triggers the launch escape sequencing controller. A two-engine failure, say, or an attitude error rate in excess of some 5 deg/s in roll (as ...
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From attitude control malfunction to launch escape Go signal?

I’ve seen and read about launch failures caused by crossed thrust vectoring wires which fed rock and tilt commands to the wrong engine gimbal actuators (rock command going to tilt cylinder and tilt ...
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Interpolation method in pitchover maneuver: what type?

Consider the space shuttle or the Saturn V. Launch would begin with an open-loop pitch schedule obtained from simulation with the day’s winds. The pitch schedule would be specified as a lookup table ...
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How much did NASA pay Roscosmos for the Soyuz to provide assured crew return services

The STS orbiter wasn't able to stay on orbit for very long, and the ISS had an SOP of having a return seat for each body on the station, so during the years of the Shuttle performing crew rotation ...
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1answer
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Logic sequencing: From fault detection to launch escape?

So I'm working on fault insertion for my launch simulation. It's basic: I flip a switch to kill the booster engines of my choice. If two or more engines die, separation is triggered and the launch ...
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Is space shuttle simulator in a museum somewhere?

Really curious if the space shuttle launch simulators are in a museum somewhere for visitors to see and learn more about? Also curious if maybe there is a technical book on those simulators?
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How were winds measured for ascent trajectory calculations and checks for the Space Shuttle?

The Space Shuttle's ascent trajectory was calculated on the day of launch based on measured winds to avoid structural load exceedances. The winds continued to be measured until shortly before launch ...
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Drag and lift coefficient tables/plots for Saturn V/Space Shuttle/Other

I'm looking for drag and lift coefficient data to plug into my launch simulation. I could assume constant coefficients, but I'd like to structure my model to accept lookup tables, so I'm looking for ...

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