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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Space shuttle Initial ADI frame Before Switch to LVLH?

The space shuttle crew switched the ADI frame to LVLH as soon as the roll maneuver was completed. They waited for that time because the LVLH frame is in mathematical gimbal lock (singularity) when ...
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What was NASA's Tire Assault Vehicle?

Why did NASA build a vehicle specifically designed to attack aircraft tires?
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For a typical Shuttle mission, how much solid fuel is leftover at SRB separation?

If I understand correctly, solid booster rockets never expend literally all their fuel before jetissoning, because the burn rate slows way down in the end and it would take too long to spend it all, ...
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Which reference frame for space shuttle PEG orbital insertion?

Which frame were the space shuttle's orbital insertion attitude targets specified in? The shuttle had three frame choices: LVLH, INRTL, and REF (an inertial frame whose attitude the crew could lock in ...
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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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What order were space shuttle roll-pitch-yaw angles displayed in?

The space shuttle had a digital readout of roll-pitch-yaw angles in a chosen frame (inertial, LVLH, or reference). What rotation sequence did they assume in that digital readout? Was it roll-pitch-yaw?...
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LVLH frame based on inertial velocity or relative (ground) velocity?

The LVLH frame is widely used in rockets during launch. The space shuttle crew used it in its attitude readings beginning very early after launch, meaning it was very reliable as soon as the rocket ...
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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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Space shuttle orbital insertion altitude for ISS rendezvous?

What altitude did the space shuttle normal target for orbital insertion on ISS rendezvous missions? In the likely case that there isn't a single typical number: can you give a number the shuttle might ...
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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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How can firing a Space Shuttle OMS engine below 21 km cause its nozzle to “collapse”?

This answer to Can the space shuttle use OMS engines during landing? says: No and quotes Section 3.7 of the Orbital Maneuvering System Workbook; OMS 21002 October 10, 2006, Final version, USA006500 ...
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Can the space shuttle use OMS engines during landing?

Can the space shuttle use its OMS engines if the shuttle is short during the runway approach? Is fuel available for use in such a situation and will the engines provide reasonable thrust to get to the ...
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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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Did the Space Shuttle crew have to worry about the ionosphere? What relevant training or specific briefings did they receive?

Comments below this answer tell us that the Space Shuttle always remained in Earth's atmosphere. When it visited the Hubble Space Telescope or the ISS or Mir it was still in the thermosphere and ...
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Which RS-25s are on the Artemis 1 rocket?

The SLS core to be used for the Artemis 1 flight will use four RS-25 engines. These reusable engines were used on the Space Shuttle Orbiter previously. Is there a listing of which SSMEs are planned ...
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What would have happened if only one Space Shuttle SRB ignited?

The ignite command for the Solid Rocket Boosters (SRB) would not be issued unless all three Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSME) were at least 90% of thrust. The launch would have been aborted if one or ...
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How did the Space Shuttle prevent flying up when reentering the atmosphere?

Always when reentering the atmosphere, the shuttle was pitched up, right? When gliding through the mesosphere, how was it that it didn't fly up again then? Was it due to a certain distribution of ...
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Can the Space Shuttle land on Mars assuming there is a paved surface for landing?

Can the Space Shuttle land on Mars if it had a paved runway? Can the Space Shuttle use aerobraking and will its control surfaces provide attitude control? Can the parachute and braking systems stop ...
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Rocket dashboard: separation/pyro indicators

I'm curious about rocket dashboards. Separation events are big things and they depend on pyro bolts detonating and linear charges or pneumatic pushers firing immediately afterward. There must be ...
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Gimbal Check: Before or After Engine Ignition?

Is the engine gimbal check done before or after ignition? Also curious: How many seconds does the check take? What does it consist of? Do they gimbal each engine separately, or do they gimbal all ...
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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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Did the Space Shuttle have “military uses”?

In an interview with Oleg Kotov, a Russian cosmonaut, he makes an ambiguous statement on the military uses of the Space Shuttle: New Scientist: After the cold war, why didn't Russia maintain its ...
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Why is unappetizing food brought along to space?

I read at some point about a Shuttle mission that ended up lasting longer than initially intended, and the crew had to eat more awful-tasting food for the last few days, because they had eaten through ...
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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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What if a Space Shuttle entered the atmosphere of Venus?

How would a U.S. Space Shuttle's atmospheric entry on Venus differ from reentry on Earth? Say there's a Space Shuttle in a low Venus orbit performing a (re-)entry burn. How would the following ...
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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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Before their disastrous demise, how many missions did Challenger and Columbia fly?

I always grew up thinking that both of those shuttles only flew in one mission and never made it back home. Now, I found evidence that that's not the case.
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Why did the Space Shuttle dump excess fuel from the external tank?

In his recent video, Scott Manley mentions that after reaching orbit, the Space Shuttle would dump the excess fuel left in the External Tank before jettisoning it: ...
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What EVA activities were planned for STS-80?

On 29 November 1996, during the STS-80 mission, a planned EVA by Tammy Jernigan and Tom Jones had to be abandoned because the astronauts were unable to open the outer airlock hatch. A second EVA later ...
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What is the purpose of the jets of water often under rocket engines during launch?

I have watched several STS launches, and noticed that there were always huge jets of water that would begin right before the rocket engines lit. They were right under the rocket, mounted to the pad. ...
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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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Did some Shuttle flights really have no spacesuits aboard? [duplicate]

According to this source, pages 378-382 and 406, there were no launch suits for Shuttle missions STS-5 through STS-33. Instead, crew literally wore shirtsleeves during launch and re-entry, plus anti-...
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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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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 ...
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What would the Δv cost of bringing the space shuttle external tank to orbit be?

There was an independent proposal that the space shuttle external tank could have been lifted all the way to orbit, and then used as a structural material in space stations. In terms of propellant ...
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Is NSTS 08209 “Shuttle Systems Design Criteria” available online?

This would be a handy reference, to say the least. There is a paper copy in at least one library in Houston, so it's not inconceivable that it's online somewhere, but my searches to date have failed.
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Why do the contents of the Space Shuttle External Tank not match the mixture ratio of the engines?

The Space Shuttle External tank contains: 629,340 kg of liquid oxygen 106,261 kg of liquid hydrogen. That's an oxidiser to fuel ratio of 5.92 Meanwhile, the Space Shuttle Main Engine has a constant ...
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Why were four Space Shuttle orbiters initially built?

Since only one Space Shuttle orbiter was ever in space at a time, it seems logical that only two would be needed: one for the mission and the other as a backup for an emergency rescue. Perhaps a third ...
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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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Did the Space Shuttle crew have to worry about monatomic oxygen?

Comments below this answer tell us that the Space Shuttle always remained in Earth's atmosphere. When it visited the Hubble Space Telescope or the ISS or Mir it was still in the thermosphere and ...
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Do the Shuttle/ISS EMU suits have model numbers?

Early NASA spacesuits were given model numbers, as described in slide 3 of this NASA Powerpoint. The model numbers were assigned in the format P-#M, where the ...
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Challenger Shuttle: could the crew have survived?

Some sources point out that the shuttle cabin stayed intact following the solid rocket booster explosion, and that in fact, it is likely the crew died upon the cabin impact into the ocean. The space ...
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Is there any video footage of a full reentry?

Did any orbital craft ever fully film its reentry into the atmosphere, either as long as the camera worked or until the craft landed if it could? The Space Shuttles had a front camera that showed live ...
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What was “inertial” about the Inertial Upper Stage?

The Inertial Upper Stage was a rocket upper stage that could boost payloads launched on the Space Shuttle or Titan rockets to higher orbits or to interplanetary missions. What was inertial about this ...
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How rover landing is achieved on planets with very low atmospheric pressure?

I would like to understand how safe landing of a rover is achieved on mars or any other planet where the pressure is very low. Is it achieved by releasing gas from high pressure to low pressure. I ...
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Could supplies have been launched to Columbia?

I've seen the discussions of whether NASA could imaginably have saved the crew of Columbia if they'd known about the damage to the wing in time. A lot comes down to the maximum time the crew could ...
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Why is Progress M-47 never considered with regard to hypothetical Columbia rescue missions? [duplicate]

Progress M-47 was launched to resupply the ISS only one day after the Columbia disaster. Hypothetical scenarios for a Columbia rescue mission following early detection of the tile damage always focus ...
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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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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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Comparison of space shuttle, command module, and lunar module window sizes

The space shuttles had a viewing window much similar in looks like the windshield of a car, or like the cockpit of a plane. However, neither the Apollo command module (CM) nor the lunar module (LM) ...

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