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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2answers
362 views

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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1answer
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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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1answer
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Space Shuttle missions for satellite deployment?

Was there any Space Shuttle mission whose primary target were e deploying satellites (space stations do not count).
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Was the Space Shuttle always crewed?

Maybe this question sounds snaive to some educated people, but I'm not clear if the Space Shuttle could and was ever used without a crew. And what was the smallest and the biggest crew size it ever ...
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1answer
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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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Number of segment in Wing leading Edges

Can anyone highlight the basis of having 22 NO’s of segment in wing leading edges of space shuttle.
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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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0answers
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Could the Space Shuttles other than Enterprise easily do drop tests from the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft?

This question was inspired by comments on this answer. The Space Shuttle prototype Enterprise was only used for approach and landing tests, for which it was flown on a carrier 747, until it was ...
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1answer
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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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1answer
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Were any other Space Shuttles ever planned?

At one point in Carl Sagan's novel Contact (1985), set c. 1999, the main character hitches a ride into space on a space shuttle: The President clearly was in favor of her visit [to a private space ...
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1answer
714 views

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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What is the maximum apogee a Space Shuttle could have reached?

What is the maximum apogee a Space Shuttle (and which one of the five space-flying Shuttles?) ever reached and what is the maximum one it could have reached? A Space Shuttle never exceeded the apogee ...
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Were/Are the Space Shuttle or the Falcon 9 Dragon capable of achieving an elliptical orbit on whose apogee you'd see the entire Earth?

Was the Space Shuttle and is the Crew Dragon capable of achieving a highly elliptical orbit on whose apogee you could see the entire planet Earth? There will be a touristic flight soon in which an ...
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1answer
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Which shuttle mission is this video from?

At 12 minutes and 19 seconds into the NASA video Space Shuttle Documentary (Narrated by William Shatner), there’s a really neat video of a space shuttle lighting up the clouds from underneath and then ...
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1answer
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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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Why there are small holes just at the ending of RS-25 rocket engine? [duplicate]

I have seen these holes in many pictures and I can't understand what are these and why are they used?
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1answer
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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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1answer
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What are the round screens show in the MOCR near position 19 (FDO?) during STS-49?

I noticed two very peculiar screens in the picture attached taken during STS-49, Endeavour's maiden flight. The screens are the round ones, and have text displayed. they are somewhat reminiscent of a ...
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444 views

Could the Dream Chaser or Space Shuttle fly/have flown to the Moon with boosters on the orbiter's side?

In the 1998 movie Armageddon the crews use Space Shuttles which have boosters also on the orbiters' sides (two boosters per orbiter) in order to get to the Moon and to the asteroid. Upon descent onto ...
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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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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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1answer
101 views

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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1answer
119 views

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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Why were hot-stick downmoding to CSS, and the ability to use CSS for some control axes but not others, disabled during space-shuttle powered flight?

During ascent, if need be, a space shuttle’s flight controls could be switched from the normal, automatic control mode over to manual1 control (known as control-stick steering, or CSS), allowing the ...
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Did any of the Space Shuttle RCS covers ever stay on?

This dashcam video of the STS-133 launch shows some sort of plastic bag looking objects that blow off the nose of the shuttle in the first few seconds after liftoff. This answer says they are the RCS ...
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1answer
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Could DOD earth observation (i.e. spy) satellites have photographed the Columbia Orbiter on STS-107?

I read in an (unknown) aircraft accident investigation book that NASA engineers wanted to use DOD earth observation satellites to check for damage on the Columbia Orbiter during STS-107. This did not ...
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1answer
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How long did it take to remove or install an SSME on the Space Shuttle?

Not knowing the steps involved, I am curious how long it took to remove or install an SSME (Space Shuttle Main Engine) in real life.
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650 views

Why were these Shuttle purges done with different gases?

[F]uel cell tanks were drained of remaining cryogenic reactants. The oxygen system was rendered inert with gaseous nitrogen and the hydrogen system with gaseous helium. https://en.wikipedia.org/...
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Why were two different California airbases (Vandenberg and Edwards) intended for Shuttle launches versus landings?

Vandenberg Air Force Base was intended to be the west-coast launch site of the Space Shuttle. Its Space Launch Complex 6 was only a few months from being ready for the first launch, when the ...
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1answer
168 views

What specific event determined the “end” of a shuttle mission?

We've had several questions about when a mission officially "begins". But what about when a mission officially "ends"? The Apollo Flight Journal stops the mission clock at splashdown. What was the ...
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1answer
227 views

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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Why were there painted black rings on the SRBs?

There were black rings on the STS-1 SRBs. There were even more on later flights. But there was a period without them at all. Why?
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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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1answer
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Was the Space Shuttle balanced experimentally before flight?

Even spacecraft that are designed and optimized for a single mission need to be carefully balanced experimentally, and have ballast added before flight. Why did New Horizons have to be spin-balanced ...
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Why do space rockets not start from an angle? Why go straight up? [duplicate]

I know that they used to have this idea, back in the day, of a "space gun" to fire somebody into space, and I understand why that was not safe or practical/feasible. However, once they had come up ...
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1answer
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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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1answer
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Did the LiOH cartridges for the Space Shuttle cabin and spacesuit share the same shape?

In this answer, I explain how there were two contractors that made the environmental control systems and their lithium hydroxide cartridges during the Apollo program. Garrett AiResearch made the ECS ...
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994 views

Aborting a de-orbit maneuver

I was contemplating on how a de-orbit may be abandoned post completion of the orbit burn, say, from LEO. A situation in which this might be necessary would be detecting a breach in the heat shield ...
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1answer
106 views

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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0answers
102 views

What happened to leftover food from the Shuttle program?

This answer describes some of the food available during the Shuttle program. Was any pre-prepared food left over when the Shuttle program ended, and if so, what happened to it? Addendum: I have no ...
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1answer
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How did the atmospheres of Soyuz, Shuttle, Mir, and ISS compare?

Soyuz and the Space Shuttle each docked with Mir and the International Space Station. When docked, the crew vehicle and station each share a common atmosphere for the crew to breathe. However, how ...
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1answer
211 views

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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1answer
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Why were the Space Shuttle mission designations so messed up?

Following the STS-27 flight the Shuttle mission designations got into a mess. The anwer to this question mentions that it was due to schedules being moved around. Now while it wouldn't have hurt to ...
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466 views

Is a low-altitude, stable glide really absolutely needed to bail out of the space shuttle?

After the Challenger disaster, the Space Shuttle astronauts were outfitted with pilot spacesuits equipped with parachutes and internal emergency oxygen supplies, and the space shuttle was equipped ...
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1answer
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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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Did the astronauts seated on the space shuttle mid-deck have responsibilities during reentry and landing?

Space Shuttle mid-deck, it doesn't look like there is much for the astronauts there to do. I recognize this photo was not taken during a mission. I couldn't find an image of the mid-deck during ...
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1answer
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Bipropellant RCS systems: Do they go together with docking? Or with manned spaceflight?

In a recent discussion, I asked about using a certain bipropellant system for RCS thrusters (I was actually thinking about it as fuel for an MMU jetpack or the "scooter" commonly imagined in science ...
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4answers
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Was the Space Shuttle ever actually intended for the military to steal satellites without the owner's consent?

Related: Did the Space Shuttle have "military uses"? (This question is discussed in comments, but not really conclusively answered.) One of the military requirements that was added on to ...
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Can the different “additional” demands on the Space Shuttle be broken down in terms of additional demands on hardware? How so?

Related: Could Space Shuttle's wings be diminished? During the sanctioning and early development of the Space Shuttle, things got somewhat budget-political, and a number of additional design ...
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275 views

Space Shuttle type tiles, or something similar: Commercially available?

Related, but vague in conclusion and not really the same: Is the technology behind the Shuttle's heat-shielding tiles used in any product today? By "Space shuttle tiles", I mean the white rigid ...

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