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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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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Do windows in space stations, the space shuttle, other spacecraft have practical usage?

As we know, cars need a front window because drivers need to see the road to control the car, but how about the windows in space shuttles? As far as I know, the orbits of ISS or other space devices ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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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Does space sickness determine when astronauts have their last meal?

During the shuttle program how long before launch would an astronaut eat? With almost 50% of astronauts experiencing space adaptation syndrome, and the possibility of vomiting, did the astronauts ...
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Shuttle silica ceramics black tiles

Since other members wrote, that my my original question here Shuttle silica ceramics black tiles? was too broad I modified it to asked just one thing, while the other questions I will asked later. ...
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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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What was the operational lifetime of a shuttle tile?

The statement "While some of the individual tiles on the shuttle might last 10 missions" from this excellent answer has led a questioner to make the statement "someone here at Space Stack-Exchange ...
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Why was the shuttle landing crosswind limit reduced for longer missions

Answering a question about inclement shuttle landings, OrganicMarble quotes from a summary of landing rules: The peak crosswind cannot exceed 15 knots, 12 knots at night. If the mission duration is ...
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What was the primary role of epoxy layer between metal structure and insulation foam on External Tank of Space Shuttle?

Whilst looking for information regarding Shuttle's External Tank insulation, I came across this answer to this question Structural composition of shuttle liquid fuel tank wall. The answer states that ...
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What's the largest rocket that was carried to space inside a Space Shuttle?

Why did the Ulysses probe reach Jupiter much faster than Galileo? got me wondering about the largest rocket that was carried to space inside a Space Shuttle. Largest in terms of some performance ...
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How much of the printed materials (manuals, instructions etc.) were allocated for the crew's use in Space Shuttles?

Whilst watching youtube video of an occasional Soyuz spacecraft launch (Soyuz ТМА-19М in this case), I've noticed (at 8:07) this large bundle of books. Another video of TMA-16M flight at 39:40 shows ...
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Why were the Space Shuttle's main engines placed on the orbiter?

Since the main engines can't be used after external tank separation, what's the reason for having the engines on the orbiter rather than just building a third rocket on the stack instead of the ...
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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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Why did the SSMEs gimbal during ignition?

During Shuttle ignition sequence: the engines always slightly gimbal closer together as they reach full combustion (I'm guessing, from the plume appearance). Why?
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Were there contemporary criticisms of NASA's pre-Challenger plans to exclusively use the Shuttle for US launches?

Before the Challenger accident, NASA planned to use the Space Shuttle as the exclusive launch vehicle for the US. While the other major launch vehicle families were never quite discontinued, I know ...
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Query on movement of space shuttle during lift off: Three examples

I have a small query here on the three different movements that I perceived after looking at videos during take off of Challenger (1986), Columbia (2003) and Atlantis (2010). Challenger (1986): ...
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Why didn't NASA re-use more astronaut crew members?

According to a popular space exploration web site, 355 individuals few in a total of 833 crew slots in the Space Shuttle program. That's an average of about 2.5 flights per astronaut, though many only ...
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Was it possible to simulate another atmosphere during Shuttle training?

This answer points out that the Space Shuttle's cabin atmosphere was designed to be equivalent to sea level air, in terms of both total pressure and oxygen partial pressure. However, could any of the ...
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What happened during this shuttle simulation malfunction involving a failure of a shuttle arm joint while moving the JEF?

This author (cough) begins to relate the details of a particular training incident during simulations for STS-127. However, they very sadly have not finished the tale. Does anybody (cough cough) know ...
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How often do other space vehicles visit the international space station?

I was surprised to read NASA's statement that This (27 May 2020) mission marks the first time since the retirement of the space shuttle in 2011 that humans will fly to the space station from U.S. ...
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What were the space shuttle’s emergency procedures for an SRB or ET separation failure?

The space shuttle, like most launch vehicles, was a multistage vehicle (albeit one where the various stages were mostly stuck to the sides of each other rather than being stacked vertically), reducing ...
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Vibration and noise during launch of the Saturn V and Spaceshuttle in comparison?

I just saw a TV docu about the Apollo mission. Apollo 8 astronaut William Anders said the vibrations and noise during launch were much heavier than expected. I later heard a speech by the Shuttle ...
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How was each Space Shuttle contingency rescue missions numbered?

Reading the wikipedia article on STS-3xx, I noticed that the numbering does not seem consistent. Space Shuttle contingency rescue missions were all numbered in the 300s with the exception of STS-400, ...
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Saturn V and STS holding to launch pad mechanism

In this question on quora, the first answer mentions that for Space Shuttle launches they changed the holding mechanism to explosive bolts from the clamps used to hold the Saturn V. The video links ...
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What holds the Space Shuttle orbiter itself stable on the launch pad?

From a structural point of view, what is holding up the orbiter on the launch pad prior to a launch? Are the tail service masts more than just a collection of conduits and plumbing? Or, are the solid ...
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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 ...
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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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What are the 'lights' inside Shuttle main engines at landing?

I have a night-landing photo of the Shuttle showing lights (I assume some type of glow-plug to burn off extraneous fuel). My understanding is that only the OMS engines burn to begin reentry. Can ...
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Was there a backup plan in case the Shuttle toilet malfunctioned?

What was the plan in case the Space Shuttle toilet malfunctioned? How were the astronauts expected to then handle their waste? Did they carry Apollo-style fecal collection assemblies (poop bags)? ...
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How 'space ready' was space shuttle prototype Enterprise?

I have long believed that Enterprise was just an empty craft, with only the instruments to operate in shorts flights in the atmosphere. Basically a large glider with odd wings. However, I have been ...
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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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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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Purpose of hemisphere under shuttle nose cone (Enterprise)

I noticed a small hemisphere protruding from the dorsal side of the Enterprise space shuttle's nose cone, forward of the front landing gear. I have no clue what its purpose is but am far from an ...
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How could aerodynamic forces break up the Challenger orbiter?

Wikipedia's explanation of the sequence of events: The O-ring failure caused a breach in the SRB joint it sealed, allowing pressurized hot gas from within the solid rocket motor to reach the ...
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“LVLH” on Challenger's cockpit voice recording: What was that switch for?

Veteran astronaut and mission specialist Judy Resnick was tragically killed in the Challenger disaster. Her last recorded words aboard Challenger regarded scanning for "LVLH" (low-vertical/low-...
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Was a method available to save the Challenger Crew?

In a previous thread, I asked the question of the likelihood of the STS stack surviving an early separation of the SRB using the SRB manual separation switch on panel C3: Could the SRB's have ...
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Could Dick Scobee have flown a RTLS on Challenger 51L

In a previous question, I explored whether or not, with a call up from an observant Flight Controller, the SRB’s could be separated from the STS-51L stack before the destruction of the ET tank at 73 ...
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Challenger disaster: how full was the external tank at the time of destruction?

We have all heard about the Challenger disaster. Reading the Vehicle breakup subsection, this sentence made me very curious: The external tank at this point suffered a complete structural failure, ...
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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 higher ...
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Were ejection seats on the Space Shuttle a practical safety system?

The first four STS missions were flown by Columbia with two pilots and had ejection seats as an option. These seats were eventually disabled (by STS 5) and removed (by STS-61-C). They could only be ...
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What, if any, abort options would the crew of Columbia had on reentry during STS-107, assuming they became aware of the damage during that phase? [duplicate]

According to Wikipedia, the earliest time at which there was a known issue with Columbia's reentry was at 08:53:46, when "Various people on the ground saw signs of debris being shed". Approximately 7 ...
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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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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 ...
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Was Columbia’s CVR ever found?

Each of the space shuttles carried a cockpit voice recorder (CVR), similar to those required on commercial airliners, which recorded the crew’s conversations to aid in accident reconstruction should a ...
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Why did Columbia’s planned flight manifest have a five-year gap with absolutely nothing in it between 2004 and 2009?

Looking at the pre-loss-of-OV-102 plans for then-future shuttle flights (at least according to the document found and scanned by @OrganicMarble and posted as part of this answer, which was drawn up [...
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Any imagery from Shuttle Columbia's SILTS pod on the internet?

(Inspired by this question) One of the distinguishing features of Shuttle Columbia was its Shuttle Infrared Leeside Temperature Sensing (SILTS) pod. This was an experiment that took infrared imagery ...

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