We’re rewarding the question askers & reputations are being recalculated! Read more.

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
3
votes
1answer
81 views

Why would the Shuttle-Transtage have been unusable for science missions?

In the 1970s and early 1980s, NASA and the DoD evaluated four different existing or proposed upper stages for use with the space shuttle: The Centaur hydrolox stage (specifically, the Centaur G/G' ...
1
vote
2answers
191 views

Space Shuttle Stack alignment

The Space Shuttle is a good example of asymmetric launch vehicle. It required heavily-gimballing engines to keep everything balanced. As a KSP enthusiast, I found that attaching the external tank to ...
5
votes
1answer
575 views

Seeing the ground from the shuttle before launch?

With the side windows in space shuttle cockpit, as seen in this photograph, could the commander and pilot see the ground at all before launch or during the first 10-15 seconds of a shuttle ascent? ...
2
votes
0answers
89 views

Unusual position of shuttle astronauts' arms during ascent

During the ascent of STS-135 the astronauts seem to be keeping their elbows up away from their sides with their hands forward. It can be seen throughout the ascent, here are two clips when it happens....
13
votes
1answer
4k views

Why did a shuttle astronaut have an open book during ascent?

In the top right of the video of a shuttle launch an astronaut has an open book resting on (attached to?) the left thigh. What was the purpose of this book? The astronaut then seems to take a pen or ...
1
vote
1answer
144 views

Space Shuttle RTLS in 3-engine-out: what does it use for propulsion?

For a three-engine-out abort, there's a couple of great diagrams provided in the answer at https://space.stackexchange.com/a/39733/11532 showing different abort contingencies. One contingency plan is ...
4
votes
1answer
316 views

Why would a space shuttle have flown a normal first-stage and early-second-stage ascent trajectory during an RTLS abort?

Had a space shuttle suffered a main-engine failure very early on during ascent, or had a time-critical emergency (for instance, a crewmember unexpectedly having a stroke) occurred before negative ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

What (if anything) could have caused all three shuttle main engines to stop at the same time?

From my previous question, you'd have a bad time if it happened. What could cause it to happen, if anything? My parameters are: The engines must STOP, but not destroy the vehicle simply by having ...
16
votes
1answer
3k views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
179 views

What was the minimum throttle setting a SSME could be operated at while in Flight?

A very informative article on the RS-25 (SSME) indicates that it could be throttled from 67% to 109%. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Main_Engine) I know on 51L the data indicates the ...
4
votes
1answer
117 views

Where did the Wake Shield Facility end up?

The Wake Shield... ... was deployed in the wake of the Space Shuttle at an orbital altitude of over 300 kilometers (186 mi), within the thermosphere, where the atmosphere is exceedingly tenuous....
3
votes
1answer
502 views

Crew Positioning in ISS during Reboost

Several questions address the reboosting procedure for the ISS. When the shuttle reboosted the station, apparently the entire ISS was modeled on the ground and pre-programmed in, down to the masses ...
6
votes
1answer
111 views

How hard was it for the Shuttle to perform attitude control for the entire ISS? Did they have to calibrate?

This answer to the question How was the Space Shuttle Orbiter used for ISS Reboost? describes a procedure I never knew happened. When the shuttle was docked to the ISS it sometimes used its rear ...
38
votes
1answer
4k views

Was the payload bay of the Space Shuttle depressurized before launch?

We know that the payload bay of the Space Shuttle Orbiter carried satellites, pieces of equipment for repairing satellites and components of the International Space Station. Was the payload bay of ...
10
votes
1answer
213 views

How was the Space Shuttle Orbiter used for ISS Reboost?

According to this answer, for the question How often does ISS require re-boosting to higher orbit?, During Space Shuttle years, small re-boosts were also performed by the Shuttle Orbiters (...
6
votes
1answer
106 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
118 views

Did the shuttle SRBs have separation motors?

Looking at a NASA fact sheet about the SLS SRBs and I noticed it has at the bottom around the nozzle, separation motors. Watching shuttle launches It looks to me like the SRBs continue to fire ...
3
votes
0answers
123 views

Stars visible during ascent?

Did any shuttle astronaut indicate at what altitude they were first able to see the stars during an ascent to orbit at sunrise? Yeagar seeing the stars in The Right Stuff. For illustration purposes ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

Radar Altimeter in Space Shuttle

I was going throught the Space Shuttle Handbook, chapter Guidance and Navigation. In one of the Note boxes, it is written Radar altimeter altitude is not used for navigation or guidance. The ...
11
votes
1answer
729 views

Why is the Space Shuttle's External Tank fuelled through the Orbiter's main engine plumbing system?

This answer states that Space Shuttle's External Tank (ET) was fuelled (this process is known as Tanking) through the Orbiter's main engine plumbing system with the Tail Service Masts (TSM). One ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

How was the space shuttle fuelled?

How was the external fuel tank filled with LH2 and LOX while the shuttle was on the launch pad? I know there was a gaseous oxygen umbilical on the top of the ET and a gaseous hydrogen umbilical about ...
8
votes
2answers
5k views

How much does a cordless screwdriver for space cost?

I wonder how much a cordless space screwdriver costs and what its mass would be? I guess it would be a lithium-ion screwdriver, like on Earth, but would it have other specifications? Does anybody ...
7
votes
2answers
309 views

Loading tanks for supercritical oxygen and hydrogen on the launch pad, how to achieve low temperature and high pressure?

The Apollo and Shuttle spacecrafts used fuel cells for the production of electric energy and water. The hydrogen and oxygen for the fuel cells were stored as a supercritical fluid at a temperature ...
11
votes
1answer
446 views

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 ...
61
votes
3answers
12k views

Did Feynman cite a fallacy about only circles having the same width in all directions as a reason for the Challenger disaster?

In a Math Overflow post about mathematical fallacies it was stated that: Richard Feynman regarded the mistake that a "circle is the only figure which has the same width in all directions" as one ...
5
votes
1answer
182 views

Why was the nose cone on the Space Shuttle's external tank pointy?

Inspired by comments under this answer to this question Just how pointy does a rocket's nosecone need to be? (see also Why are the nose cones of current spacecraft less pointy?) Why was the ...
5
votes
1answer
158 views

How are physical attitude indicators actuated?

The Apollo FDAIs and shuttle ADIs (pre-MEDS) indicated spacecraft attitude with an actual ball that was spun around in a cage. I've seen photos of some of these removed from their cases, but ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there such thing as plasma (from reentry) creating lift?

The following was claimed on the aviation site: In 1981, after years of development and testing, Columbia made its maiden voyage into orbit. Unexpectedly, on re-entry, the nose pitched up much ...
8
votes
1answer
964 views

Is there any compiler available for HAL/S?

The HAL/S programming language is used in the general purpose computers in the space shuttle. I have written a simple HAL/S program of my own. Is there any compiler available to turn it into ...
4
votes
1answer
149 views

Why did the Space Shuttle's SRB's float, and float vertically?

The blogpost Lessons From NASA Disasters: When Curiosity Deficits Kill is about the importance of freedom of curiosity for members of organizations. However it contains many Space Shuttle-related ...
2
votes
1answer
180 views

explosive force equivalent

i've seen 1 link that would direct me to a site that gave an equivalent of what would happen if a SATURN 5 let go on the pad, but not the Shuttle, was wondering what the force equivalent would be if ...
30
votes
1answer
3k views

How was the Shuttle loaded and unloaded from its carrier aircraft?

The Space Shuttle was ferried to various locations by the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. How was the shuttle put on and taken off the SCA? (Previously mentioned in this comment but never asked or ...
2
votes
1answer
97 views

What measures were taken to clear wildlife from the Shuttle Landing Facility?

What was done to prevent or remove wildlife such as alligators and birds from the runway at Kennedy Space Center, so the Shuttle could land safely?
4
votes
2answers
129 views

How do fully-suited astronauts enter the Space Shuttle and sit down in 1 g vertical vs horizontal?

This answer has astronauts entering a vertically oriented Space Shuttle for a Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT) while this answer has them entering the shuttle when it is oriented ...
4
votes
2answers
139 views

Was a real Space Shuttle ever used as a really big simulator?

@OrganicMarble's answer to How much of the Shuttle was physically realized in the simulator? makes me wonder if Shuttle crew ever sat or stood or otherwise experienced being in an actual Space Shuttle ...
1
vote
1answer
104 views

What does the Shuttle's axial forces analysis reveal?

The post "Shear forces between Shuttle, tank, and boosters - what pushes what?" was linked as related to a recent question of mine. I wanted to try and answer it with data but ended up with more ...
2
votes
0answers
80 views

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,...
5
votes
1answer
98 views

How much of the Shuttle was physically realized in the simulator?

How much of the Shuttle physically existed in the simulator? Was it just the flight deck? Or were the mid-deck, lower equipment bay, and/or payload bay also included?
6
votes
1answer
160 views

How were the Space Shuttle and its External Tank connected (structurally)?

Source: Discovery Launch Captured by Multiple Cameras, NASA, YouTube; edited A more clickbaity but accurate description of my question would be: How did the Space Shuttle / External Tank not shear ...
3
votes
1answer
128 views

Were the landing gear doors closed during the Approach and Landing Tests?

This photo from an answer on the Shuttle Approach and Landing Tests shows the front attachment between the Enterprise orbiter and the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. The support strut reaches the ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Features seen on the Space Shuttle's solid booster; what does “LOADED” mean exactly?

The question Please explain the time reference shown in Shuttle launch engineering video links to the very cool video Ascent - Commemorating Shuttle. After about ...
5
votes
1answer
176 views

Why does this photo of the Hubble Space Telescope look so weird?

Question: Can someone identify this photograph of the Hubble Space Telescope seen as a still in the Los Angeles Times YouTube video Scientists witness huge cosmic crash, find origins of gold, figure ...
5
votes
1answer
215 views

Why were there so many icicles in this Space Shuttle launch area? (Challenger disaster)

The blogpost Lessons From NASA Disasters: When Curiosity Deficits Kill is about the importance of freedom of curiosity for members of organizations. However it contains many Space Shuttle-related ...
2
votes
1answer
133 views

Please explain the time reference shown in shuttle launch engineering video

Many shuttle launch engineering videos show an apparent time reference to the right of the frame as red numbers counting up rapidly. For example, from the amazing video "Ascent". Assuming this is ...
3
votes
1answer
120 views

How would the shuttle perform various attitude changes during ascent?

How would the Space Shuttle have performed each of the following maneuvers during ascent? Pitching the nose away from the external tank ($+$Y). Pitching the nose toward the external tank ($-$Y). ...
7
votes
1answer
366 views

How close was the U.S. DoD to getting their own space shuttle?

This answer explains that the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) had plans for their own space shuttle. The so-called "blue shuttle" would be operated by the U.S. Air Force out of Vandenberg Air Force ...
4
votes
0answers
42 views

Where to obtain Appendix B of STS Historic American Engineering Record TX-116?

At the close of the Shuttle program the National Park Service and the Smithsonian (maybe others as well) embarked on a project to document the Space Transportation System as part of their Historic ...
6
votes
2answers
779 views

Is there documented Space Shuttle O-ring failures excluding STS-51-L?

The most obvious failure of the Space Shuttle SRB O-rings was the Challenger disaster. The burn through location was just about in the worst possible location to cause the catastrophic damage that ...
16
votes
7answers
3k views

Space Shuttle range safety system - Why is there a caution light?

Why did the Space Shuttle have an indicator to alert the crew to the arming of the range safety destruct system? Quoting from here: The first message, called arm, allows the onboard logic to enable ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

Was mission-specific training for Shuttle military flights done at JSC, or somewhere else?

This related question details some of the military missions of the Space Shuttle. My question is about the training for these missions. Some aspects of all Shuttle missions are largely the same, and ...