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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9
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1answer
157 views

Control of first stage of shuttle

Why was the launch guidance software of the space shuttle launch between liftoff to SRB separation open loop?
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Why did Columbia never visit the ISS? [duplicate]

According to Wikipedia, there were sixteen Space Shuttle missions to the ISS before the loss of Columbia; of these, six each were by Endeavour and Atlantis, four by Discovery, and none at all by ...
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2answers
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Space Ship capable of travelling from Earth to Moon and back

What would be required to have a vehicle like the space shuttle in that it could launch from earth and travel through space and was reusable except that it also possessed the capability to land on the ...
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1answer
577 views

Why did Space Shuttle astronauts wear gloves upon reentry?

I read an article about STS 107, in which the crew videorecorded their search for the gloves to put on.
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How long did it take, at a minimum, to prep a shuttle for launch after it landed?

The Space Shuttle relied on a pair of SRBs, and fuel supplement in the External Tank for it's launch. Assuming Payload, Service parts/consumables, Crews, SRBs, and ET were ready - How long did it ...
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1answer
771 views

Why didn't the space shuttle use non-foam-shedding external tanks?

Throughout its lifetime, the Space Shuttle's external tank had severe problems with portions of its foam insulation coming apart and falling off, which NASA was never able to fix. The flying ...
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2answers
369 views

Was the Space Shuttle TPS technology ever state secret?

I was a bit surprised to learn that the Buran used heat tiles looking very similar to that of the Space Shuttle. Considering its potential for military application, and the cold war period in which ...
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1answer
463 views

Were there problems with the Russian Buran space shuttle's reusability?

The Soviet space shuttle Buran launched and landed (unmanned, because it could) once very successfully. I would think it would be a very valuable industrial asset for the bankrupt Russian Republic ...
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3answers
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How was the Centaur stage fueled in the Space Shuttle?

The Space Shuttle had the ability to launch Centaur booster stages stored inside of the Shuttle during launch. How was this stage fueled, being fueled with cryogenic fuels?
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How was Enterprise held/released from the carrier 747 for the Shuttle approach and landing tests?

Related to my other question: What are the benefits of using pyrotechnics on spacecraft? When the Space Shuttle was first flight tested (Enterprise approach and landing tests) it was released from a ...
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Space Shuttle “go at throttle up”

On all of the launch videos and recordings for the Space Shuttle, the mention is made from Houston (after getting through Max-Q) of "go at throttle up", indicating that the launch is ok for going back ...
5
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3answers
888 views

Who built the sparklers used by the Shuttle program during launch?

The Shuttle main engines used LH2 and LOX, and used sparklers to burn off the hydrogen that would be exhausted, unburned, during engine startup. (They pre-chill the engine components so that they are ...
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1answer
510 views

Why do astronauts spend a night at a hotel one day before the launch? How did they board the Shuttle

I heard somewhere that it was some sort of a tradition for astronauts to spend one night at some kind of hotel. As far as I know, astronauts and cosmonauts ride in a bus down to the launch site, where ...
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1answer
345 views

Why aren't there many audio soundscapes recorded within the spacecraft?

First of all, let me explain that I am totally blind, and audio is my primary source of information. Through soundscapes, I can hear how big or small a room is, and make pictorial and spatial images ...
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1answer
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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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Is this “Attach Orbiter Here / Note: Black Side Down” sign on the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft real?

I found this image online, but is it a real message?
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What are the two openings above the Shuttle's cockpit?

In this image of Discovery, two openings above the main windows are visible: What are they used for? Sightseeing?
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3answers
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How can the reusable Falcon 9 succeed when the reusable Space Shuttle failed?

Space Shuttle was designed to be partially reusable but was later shut down because it turned out to be very expensive to run compared to disposable spacecraft. Now Falcon 9 is suddenly reusable to a ...
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4answers
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How were the pilots of the space shuttle able to operate the rudder after time in space?

I've just watched this video showing three astronauts who've returned from space. At around the 5:46 mark in the video we can see astronaut Chris Hadfield being carried out of the Soyuz capsule. I've ...
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1answer
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How much did the fuel for the space shuttle missions cost?

I'm looking for a rough estimate on how much it costs. I understand that it is a propellant mix, and that NASA contracts a company to produce it, but I am yet to come across a figure per kg of the ...
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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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3answers
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Building space stations with the original, smaller shuttle

In an answer to a recent question we see a plan for many space stations as part of a space infrastructure, with a surface-to-low-Earth-orbit reusable shuttle as another part. This shuttle eventually ...
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5answers
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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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Why do the Shuttle's external tanks appear to be rusted?

Wikipedia article states as STS-1 at liftoff. The External Tank was painted white for the first two Space Shuttle launches. From STS-3 on, it was left unpainted. I wonder why the ...
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Cost-effective Space Shuttle: was it feasible?

As far as I understand, NASA's Space Shuttle was initially conceived as a cheap way of launching people and cargo into orbit, with one-week vehicle turnaround time and dozens of missions per year. ...
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2answers
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How were polar or retrograde satellites launched in the early 80s?

Many satellites (such as the recent Iridium launch) need to be in either slight retrograde or polar orbit. Since Kennedy Space Center is located on the east coast of Florida, rockets that need to go ...
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Efficiency of 3 in line boosters of a shuttle? [closed]

What is the most efficient scenario for a total of 700 Newtons of thrust on three lined up boosters? If the air pressure for the payload booster isn't the same, can they make an efficient air ...
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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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1answer
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How far is zero-gravity from ground? [closed]

If I make a rocket and want to reach a point in space above sea level where I don't need to burn fuel to rise, how far is that point? space or zero gravity area? I am just trying to figure out ...
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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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2answers
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Would it have been any more difficult to build the space station without the space shuttle?

I know that the Space Shuttle delivered a lot of modules and supplies to the International Space Station, but I also know that other rockets were just as capable of performing the task at that time ...
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1answer
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What was the modulation used in the Space Shuttle Ku-band comm system?

The Ku-band system consisted of a directional antenna mounted in the orbiter payload bay and provided high BW communication with a ground station. This page: KU-BAND SYSTEM describes the system as ...
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1answer
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Theoretical Max G forces on Shuttle Launch?

Reading this question Why are rocket engines operating above 100% often considered nominal? leads me to a question about throttling back the SSMEs in the later stages of a Shuttle Launch to limit G ...
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1answer
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What was the purpose for which the shuttle mockup Explorer aka Independence was constructed?

According to Wikipedia, Independence is a high-fidelity replica of the space shuttle. The timing of its construction would seem to be post-Challenger, but before Columbia and the subsequent winding ...
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What was the space-worthiness determination procedure for STS-1?

I am specifically interested in on-ground tests that were conducted after the full shuttle was pieced together (orbiter, tank, engine, boosters) for the first time (before STS-1). Of course the ...
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2answers
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Why do SpaceX rockets' re-entries seem to burn (as in heat the hull) less than the space shuttle? [duplicate]

Why do SpaceX rockets' re-entries seem to burn (as in heat the hull) less than the space shuttle ? Is it because of less friction surface ? Thanks !
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Why did NASA close the space shuttle program? [duplicate]

The era of the space shuttle program was one of the highlights in the history of space exploration. Why did NASA decide to retire the space shuttles, or why aren't they planning to start a new program ...
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2answers
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Were any Components Off The Shelf (COTS) used in the Space Shuttle?

Are there examples of Components Off The Shelf (COTS) used in the Space Transportation System? And is NASA considering using COTS in future manned space flight systems like Orion and the SLS?
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1answer
427 views

Was the Space Shuttle the most efficient orbital launcher, based on the launch/LEO mass ratio?

It seems that the mass of the Space Shuttle at launch was around 2,000 tons, and it could deliver a total payload of around 122 tons to LEO. This would give it a launch/LEO mass ratio of around 16.4. ...
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0answers
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Charges against NASA Administrator James Beggs? [closed]

James M Beggs was NASA administrator from 1981 to 1985. He was accused of and later completely exonerated of contract fraud. What were the details of the charges and why were they later completely ...
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1answer
788 views

What is making the glow from this image of STS-135 going home, de-orbit burn or re-entry?

I found the image below in a NASA image gallery for 2014. There, the text only says: This unprecedented view of the space shuttle Atlantis, appearing like a bean sprout against clouds and city ...
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1answer
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Were there any STS missions that included maneuvers that might have photographed ISS's top side?

It looks like this answer is converging on a conclusive answer about a zenith-facing window on the ISS, and possibly also a window which might at least be able to offer a bit of a view of the zenith. ...
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1answer
622 views

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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1answer
538 views

Why will SLS Block I bring less mass to LEO than the STS shuttle system did?

The Space Transportation System (STS) could bring a fully loaded shuttle orbiter of 109 tons to orbit (or maybe empty+payload 68+25=93 tons). The Space Launch System (SLS) Block I is based on STS, but ...
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1answer
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How can phenolic (resin?) handle rocket engine nozzle temperatures?

I just saw @OrganicMarble's survey answer that bravely tackles the wide variety of technologies used to make different types of rocket nozzles. One item caught my eye: Nozzles may also be made of ...
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What would have happened if Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Boosters didn't separate?

We all know that the Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Boosters (SRB) were the pair of large solid rockets used by the United States' NASA Space Shuttle during the first two minutes of its powered flight. ...
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2answers
714 views

Could the SRB's have separated successfully at 70 seconds into flight

The shuttle had a switch on panel C3 which allowed the crew to trigger a manual separation of the SRB. This switch had to have a purpose when moved from Auto to manual mode. What would have ...
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Did the Challenger SRBs fail due to design for reuse?

All that I know about the Challenger tragedy was that some o-rings failed in the reusable solid rocket boosters (SRBs) due to the low temperatures that day. I'm curious if such an accident would have ...
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681 views

How long could the shuttle remain docked to ISS and still capable of landing?

Soyuz remains docked to ISS for months at a time, then returns the crew to Earth. The longest the shuttle has stayed in orbit on any single mission is 17.5 days on mission STS-80 in November 1996 ...
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Would the life support systems on the ISS and STS work well also in 1g?

Changing gravity level can be a problem for flows of fluids, gasses, heat and for structural loads. Much equipment designed for Earth gravity fail in microgravity (even light bulbs and ballpoint pens)....