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 were the Top 10 Shuttle Risks in John Young's “famous letter”?

Whilst reading A Technical History of the External Tank I ran across this comment: Although the problem has not recurred, John Young, in his famous top ten Shuttle risk letter ...
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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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Why were the SRBs rolled out of the VAB without the rest of the Shuttle stack?

This answer shows the following photo of two Shuttle solid rocket boosters, mounted on the mobile launch platform without the external tank or orbiter, and driven outside the Vehicle Assembly Building....
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177 views

Shuttle had heat radiators, but Starship has none - why?

Heat radiators were a big deal for the Space Shuttle - once the bay doors were closed it was important to deorbit quite quickly. The SpaceX Starship doesn't appear to have specific radiator ...
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97 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 ...
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1answer
302 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' ...
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During space shuttle reentry, why was the sign of GALR based on mach number rather than directly on alpha?

(My apologies if this should go in Aviation.SE instead - I'm not quite certain where questions regarding the behaviour of the shuttle's flight controls during reentry should go.) For flight in ...
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125 views

Could the Space Shuttles other than Enterprise easily do drop tests from the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft?

This question was inspired by comments on this answer. The Space Shuttle prototype Enterprise was only used for approach and landing tests, for which it was flown on a carrier 747, until it was ...
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205 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
100 views

Space Shuttle: What are the filters in the attitude error calculation?

Here's a schematic from the space shuttle training manuals showing how the "attitude" error signal used to drive the thrust vector controllers was determined. "Attitude" in quote ...
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What was the STS mid-deck cargo capacity?

What was the normal cargo capacity of the Shuttle mid-deck, in terms of mass and volume? STS-135 apparently carried more than usual in the mid-deck, how much and how?
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Detailed description of space shuttle major and minor GNC loops

Warning: repetitive question ahead. Please skip if you're tired of splitting hairs on these things. Is there a detailed description of the major and minor GNC loops of the space shuttle? I've learned ...
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59 views

How large can heatshield holes be?

The tiles on the underside of the STS Orbiter had gaps between them to allow for the frame underneath to shift slightly. However, if the gaps were too large fillers were used. What controls the ...
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87 views

Was the Martin Spacemaster a feasible design for a fully reusable launch system?

The first time I saw this design was in this post and I was intrigued. The Martin Spacemaster from ~1970. What a cool design! Lots of SSME's, fully reusable, asymmetrical cockpit, and air breathing ...
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68 views

Seeking Book about Aerodynamic Design of the Space Shuttle

a few years ago I found a book written by an engineer working on the aerodynamics of the shuttle during design, ALT, and early STS. I have since forgotten the title and author's name. Does that ...
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118 views

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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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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103 views

When does the space shuttle stop its gravity turn?

I am trying to model the launch of the space shuttle (up to 120km of altitude) from Cape Canaveral, Florida. In order to do so I would need to know when the gravity turn part of the flight starts and ...
3
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182 views

Why did the nozzles on the SRB's igniter initiator point toward the grain of the main igniter while the main igniter's nozzle pointed straight down?

How did the shuttle designers make those decisions? What made it a better decision to point the exhaust of the igniter initiator toward the main igniter's grain at an angle? What made it a better ...
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102 views

Trajectory impact in case of STS hold down studs failure

The comment on this question made me think, suppose all holding studs mounted on SRBs do get failed, how much impact would it really result in trajectory, considering same fuel burn time of SRBs. ...
3
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1answer
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Why does SpaceX Crew Dragon not have planned holds?

I watched the launches of SpaceX Crew Demo 2 and Crew 1. I observed that there were no planned holds during the last hour of the countdown. The Space Shuttle had planned holds at T-20 minutes and T-9 ...
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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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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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Space shuttle control: Holding attitude?

Suppose a space shuttle pilot pressed a button to hold the current attitude---whatever the current roll, pitch, and yaw might be. How would the attitude error be computed for use by the TVC controller?...
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What would space shuttle digital attitude display show during flipover

The space shuttle used quaternions for navigation, guidance, and control which don't suffer from the singularities that affect euler angle sequences. Yet, the attitude indicator had a digital readout ...
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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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Can the different “additional” demands on the Space Shuttle be broken down in terms of additional demands on hardware? How so?

Related: Could Space Shuttle's wings be diminished? During the sanctioning and early development of the Space Shuttle, things got somewhat budget-political, and a number of additional design ...
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57 views

Shuttle main engines RS-25, material damage on parts that needed replacement/refurbishment

Since other members wrote, that my my original question here Shuttle main engines RS-25 refurbishment/material damage was too broad I modified it to asked just one thing, while the other questions I ...
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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....
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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 ...
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250 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,...
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364 views

What was the volume of the Space Shuttle orbiter, not just the crew cabin or cargo bay but the total volume of the entire craft?

For context, after an in-depth Google search, I asked the question "What was the volume of the Space Shuttle orbiter, not just the crew cabin or cargo bay but the total volume of the entire craft?" on ...
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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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1answer
97 views

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 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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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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51 views

Name for PID control with acceleration term?

The space shuttle TVC controller used a PID control scheme with an acceleration term for load management at high dynamic pressures. The acceleration term would be ramped up at 547 ft/s (before max Q) ...
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Why no yaw in ADI when LVLH is selected?

The space shuttle would display the spacecraft's attitude in one of three frames: LVLH, REF, or INRTL. Launch procedures called for LVLH to be selected very early in launch. The attitude indicator ...
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104 views

What is the limit to which we can scale up uniformly in all directions Space Shuttle SRB before it becomes unable to take off?

Let's say we like the Space Shuttle design so much, we want to use it as a reference for our new rocket. But we want to build rocket which will be capable of launching larger payload into Earth's ...
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172 views

Shuttle main engines RS-25 refurbishment/material damage

There was some thread here on Space Stack-Exchange about RS-25 refurbishment, but I am interested now, how this refurbishment look from the point of material damage of SSME hardware. In the early ...
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1answer
39 views

Measurement and estimation of temperature of space shuttle nose cone during onward and return journey

In the onward and return journey of space shuttle, what are the measured and estimated temperatures (or distribution) of the shuttle nose cone at the same spatial coordinates? During lift off, the ...
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Space Shuttle: How were I-Load launch programs calculated?

The space shuttle launch program was based on a target attitude profile calculated for the mission and the latest winds. The attitude profile would include roll, pitch, and yaw as functions of time ...
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How did Scott Horowitz “hoist” the Mars Society's flag up STS-105's “mast”?

The medium.com's Retired NASA Astronaut Joins Crew That’s Building 21st Century Transportation Network says: At NASA, (Scott J. Horowitz) was responsible for selecting SpaceX — the company run by ...