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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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)....
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Why didn't the SRBs of the Space Shuttle use carbon instead of aluminium?

In the Solid Rocket Boosters of the Space Shuttle, the following reaction happened: $\mathrm{NH_4ClO_4 + Al \rightarrow H_2O + N_2 + Al_2O_3 + AlCl_3}$ Using carbon instead aluminium, we would have ...
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Why didn't the space shuttle SRBs have wings and tires?

Why didn't the space shuttle solid rocket boosters have wings and tires to land the same way the orbiter lands? I don't think they haven't thought of that so there must be something that led them not ...
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What would NASA have done if they knew Columbia was catastrophically damaged?

When the Columbia Shuttle broke apart in 2003, it was known after the launch that a piece of foam had fallen and hit the Shuttle. NASA apparently chose not to investigate it as well as they could have....
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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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What are the “nosewheel stop” and “wheel stop” times in this Wikipedia article?

In the wikipedia article on STS-68, in the landing section, it says Nose wheel stop at 13:02:21 EDT. Wheel stop at 13:03:08 EDT How can the nosewheel stop time be 47 seconds before wheel stop (...
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Could the Space Shuttle have landed on any long runway other than those specially reinforced at Kennedy (TTS), and Edwards (EDW)?

Wikipedia writes to say Buran was the first space shuttle to perform an unmanned flight, including landing in fully automatic mode. ... The same article writes further The automated landing ...
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How are SLS SRBs considered man-rated?

Using solid rocket boosters on a manned launch comes with some additional risks because they can't be turned off or throttled down once lit. For the Shuttle this created some additional failures modes ...
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Why was Space Shuttle Atlantis selected for Mir docking so frequently?

In this answer @RussellBorogove discussed the frequency of dockings of each space shuttle with the Mir space station. I've summarized those frequencies, total number of missions flown, and year of ...
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How fast can the space shuttle change its attitude in space?

How long does it take to the space shuttle to change its orientation while operating out of the Earth's atmosphere, either by turning or rolling? I.e. what is the average/maximum rotation speed? What ...
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Why did the Space Shuttles perform a rollover maneuver during launch?

I want to understand the reasons why the shuttle did the rollover manoeuvre after launch. I would think better to do it earlier after launch while the air flow pressure is low. Why not just adjust ...
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Why did some early Shuttle missions launch to high inclinations?

Most of the Shuttle missions pre-ISS launched to ~28 degrees, due to the latitude of Kennedy Space Center. However, several of the early missions launched to higher inclinations: STS-1, STS-2, and ...
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How often, if ever, was “software” updated in the shuttle orbiter?

It dawned on me that the tragic STS-107 disaster of (my favorite shuttle) Columbia was after more than 20 years of service. Computers in 1981 were of course significantly inferior to what I had in my ...
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Were the Space Shuttle's Main Engines ever off while the Solid Rocket Boosters were firing?

I always though the Space Shuttle needed a combination of its solid rocket boosters and its main engines to remain stable while launching. The following diagram found on Wikipedia seems to agree: ...
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Why did STS-32 require 11 major firings of Columbia's maneuvering engines?

I was reading the Mission Safety Evaluation Report for STS-32 and I noticed the following passage: The STS-32 rendezvous was one of the most complex the Space Shuttle had ever attempted, ...
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Was the Space Shuttle ever rotated to induce artificial gravity?

The Space Shuttle was a fairly compact transportation vehicle in terms of the amount of space available for astronauts to move around. Did they ever attempt to roll a Space Shuttle to induce ...
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Seeking Shuttle Orbiter Ferry Flight log

Can anyone provide a link to a detailed log of shuttle orbiter ferry flights? I'd like to know dates of all overnight stops. I can find beginning and end dates for each ferry, but info on the stops ...
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How large a percentage of its fuel did the Space Shuttle use to get to orbit?

What percent of the total available fuel onboard the space shuttle, external tank, and rocket boosters was required to launch and get the space shuttle into orbit? Or phrased another way, what percent ...
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Is it possible to estimate the nozzle characteristics of the Rocketdyne HG3 engine?

Boeing and the Marshall Space Flight Centre brought to pass many studies of improved Saturn V launch vehicles. The rockets proposed under the MLV and ELV projects would feature longer stages for more ...
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Is getting IN or OUT of orbit easier for the Space Shuttle? [closed]

Here is a brief dramatic of the Space Shuttle launch and reentry: Launch : You get on this plane like thing that is strapped to an orange fuel tank that looks more like a huge bomb. The fuel tank is ...
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Space Shuttle fuel

As I know, Space Shuttle used the same amount of fuel for every mission. And used OMS for finishing orbit. Then how it is possible that, for example STS-1 which hadn't payload and was in roughly 266km*...
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How does the freon compressor work at 0 gravity?

As far as I researched the Freon compressor to cool air has to stay up right not to leak oil into the system? So how does one work in space? What do they use to cool of the air?
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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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Why did the design for Space Shuttle docking change?

While browsing concepts of Space Station Freedom and other '80s NASA concepts (I love concept art), I noticed that there are some interesting differences in how the Shuttle was intended to dock with a ...
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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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Was there ever an incident of collision between SRBs after SRB jettison, during launch of the Space Shuttle? [duplicate]

Did the Space Shuttle solid rocket boosters (SRBs) ever collide with each other after separation from the Shuttle stack? To clarify, I'm not asking if an SRB ever collided with the Shuttle itself or ...
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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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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 ...