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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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6
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1answer
436 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 ...
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702 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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436 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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Missing Challenger launch footage OTV Cam #167

Jim Kingsbury, Head of Engineering at MSFC in 1986, was quoted: "Because, the only thing he (William Rogers) released is what supported his finding and findings of the Commission. There are ...
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1answer
919 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
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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?
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2answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 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?
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
118 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 ...
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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). ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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7answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Identify these astronauts

In December 2017 former astronaut Janet Kavandi tweeted a picture of a group of women astronauts taken at an astronaut reunion. There are nine of them I can't identify, can anyone name them? I've ...
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2answers
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How does the Saturn V Dynamic Test Stand work?

This photo instantly provokes a ton of questions in me: It shows the Dynamic Test Stand at Marshall SFC with the Enterprise, which was a Space Shuttle test vehicle, suspended for vibration testing. ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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Where can I find launch trajectory data of the space shuttle?

I am trying to mathematically model the launch of the space shuttle (up to 120km altitude) from Cape Canaveral Florida. It would be really handy if I could check my calculations with some real launch ...
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What was the quickest launch-to-complex-milestone time achieved by a shuttle mission?

The baseline reference mission "3B" had the shuttle launching from Vandenburg, rendezvousing with and retrieving a satellite, and returning it to Earth all within a single orbit: http://www....
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What were Prince Sultan's duties in STS-51-G?

Prince Sultan bin Salman Al Saud was the first (and so far only) Saudi astronaut, and was included in the crew of STS-51-G as a payload specialist representing Arabsat. Does that mean his role was ...
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6answers
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Why didn't NASA use the shuttle to make a profit?

My understanding is the shuttle was designed as cost-effective workhorse, a space-van to ferry cargo up to the ISS, conduct zero-G experiments and put satellites into orbit. So why didn't NASA take ...
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During the Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster of 2003, Why Did The Flight Director Say, “Lock the doors.”?

Why does the NASA Flight Director say, "Lock the doors.", when realizing that disaster had struck for Space Shuttle Columbia, back in 2003? Does he mean lock the doors on the space shuttle that's ...
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Which STS mission raised the normal engine throttle above 100%, and what change to the SSME made that possible?

As indirectly stated in an answer to How long does Max-Q last?, during later Space Shuttle launches the main engines were operating at above 100% of their nominal maximum thrust. Specifically from ...
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1answer
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Did every shuttle flight after STS-5 carry EMUs onboard?

STS-5 is the first shuttle mission to carry Extravehicular Mobility Units onboard during the Space Shuttle program. Due to various issues happened during STS-5, the first extravehicular activity ...
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1answer
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Space shuttle cabin atmosphere system

I see from looking at the space shuttle cabin air supply system that it provides O2 and N2 through a common manifold into a 14.7 psi regulator. What is not clear to me is where the cabin air goes, and ...
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3answers
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Was the possibility of damage to the SS Columbia made public before it reentered on Feb 1, 2003?

When I reflect upon the unfortunate circumstance of STS-107 in 2003, I seem to have memories of hearing reports of the foam striking the underside of the vehicle before we even learned of the reentry ...
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Source for Shuttle SRB segment history diagrams

I'm looking for a source for these ATK booster segment history images. Sadly absent user TildalWave posted a comment with a link to an article containing this one 3 1/2 years ago. I've finally ...
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Could NASA go back to the Moon? [closed]

Even after launching so many space missions, including the one which led Man to the Moon (Apollo 11, July 1969), NASA made several mistakes even in the space programs that followed. For e.g. Space ...
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1answer
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How did Shuttle computers internally represent time?

How was time represented in the five AP-101 general-purpose computers of the Space Shuttle? How many bits? Encoded as a plain binary count? Split into hours, minutes, seconds, subseconds? Binary-...
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1answer
7k views

Why did NASA wet the road in front of the Space Shuttle crawler?

In this video, at the 6:25 mark, you can see a truck drive in front of the crawler, spraying water on the gravel ahead of the treads. Why did they do this?
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What was the nature of the known bugs in the Space Shuttle software?

It's been claimed or suggested in other posts that during the entire history of the Space Shuttle, only one software bug actually survived the development and review process, making it to flight. ...