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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Did all of the Space Shuttles dock with multiple space stations or crewed spacecraft?

For example, the Space Shuttle Endeavour did dock with both MIR (bringing apple seeds) and the ISS. Did all of the shuttles dock with more than one space station and/or crewed spacecraft? above: ...
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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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Would the Space Shuttle have met the current NASA manned flight standards?

If NASA were to apply the safety standards it is using on the CCtCAP program (Dragon V2 and CST-100 now chosen) would the Space Shuttle have met those standards? I suppose it helps if we are clear on ...
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How was the airlock installed on the Space Shuttle mid deck?

I just finished the Haynes manual on the Space Shuttle, and it mentions that on some missions, an airlock was carried on the mid-deck area. I'm more familiar with the airlock carried in the payload ...
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What exactly is the orange insulation foam used on many different launch vehicle stages?

What exactly is that orange/rust coloured insulation foam on the Space Shuttle external tank, the H-IIA/B, Delta-IV, and so many other launch vehicles? I remember finding the name of it in a NASA ...
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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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How was the Space Shuttle Orbiter used for ISS Reboost?

According to this answer, for the question How often does ISS require re-boosting to higher orbit?, During Space Shuttle years, small re-boosts were also performed by the Shuttle Orbiters (...
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Was there any period of time when other U.S. launchers were abandoned in favor of the Shuttle?

The comments to this recent question disagree on whether the U.S. briefly abandoned other launch systems in favor of the Space Shuttle. The Shuttle was designed to be capable of bringing all U.S. ...
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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 did the Space Shuttle keep its cryogenic fuel cold?

As I understand it, the Space Shuttle used cryogenic fuel in its main engines and it kept a supply onboard for the duration of its mission for a deorbit burn. Since Space Shuttle missions often lasted ...
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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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How close was the U.S. DoD to getting their own space shuttle?

This answer explains that the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) had plans for their own space shuttle. The so-called "blue shuttle" would be operated by the U.S. Air Force out of Vandenberg Air Force ...
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Have SRBs or SSMEs ever launched without a space shuttle?

It seems to me that the April 12, 1981 launch of Columbia (STS-1) was the manned spaceflight with the most untested hardware of any manned space launch. Even the Vostok and Mercury launch systems had ...
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How did the Space Shuttle maintain thrust/weight balance

As a seasoned KSP player, I am aware of how important it is during ascent to have center of thrust and center of mass perfectly aligned. If you don't, your rocket will deviate from its course and ...
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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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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 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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What were the Space Shuttle's rules about flying through clouds?

I have heard that the tiles on the space shuttle were sensitive to being wet, in that they might be damaged. I recently saw this photo, ported to be of the Space Shuttle launching. It struck me as ...
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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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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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Documented economics of STS Solid Rocket Booster reuse?

I often see the claim that the Shuttle SRBs cost as much to recover & refurb as it would to build a new one. I've probably even parroted this claim myself. But, are there any actual studies or ...
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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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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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Why didn’t the space shuttle’s engine-out checklists include steps for attempting a relight?

Throughout much of a space shuttle ascent, even a single SSME failure would have left the mission’s intended orbit out of reach and forced some sort of abort; a two-SSME-out situation would have left ...
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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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How were STS SRBs disassembled

What was the process for disassembling the SRBs following their recovery? Was it broken down to the field or factory seal level of segments, and how was it taken apart?
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Were the aerodynamic control surfaces of the Space Shuttle used during ascent?

The Space Shuttle had several aerodynamic control surfaces to control it during reentry and the final phase of atmospheric flight to landing. It seems a waste to haul tons of control surface to orbit ...
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Did the Shuttle payload bay have illumination?

Were there lights inside the Shuttle cargo bay, either to provide illumination when the doors were closed or to better illuminate cargo when the doors were opened? Slightly related: Have optical zoom ...
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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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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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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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Were shuttle seats reconfigured between launch and reentry to account for the different direction of acceleration?

During launch, the g-force felt by the crew is directly back toward the engines and maxed out at about 3g. During reentry, it also maxed out at about 3g, but pointed at about a 45 degree angle down ...
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How was the Space Shuttles rollover maneuver achieved?

Was the roll made using the SSME gimbal control? I would imagine the SRB does not have this capability. Is there any use of flight control surfaces as well?
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Communication Blackout

All the atmospheric entry missions endure a communication blackout. What parameters except plasma penetration frequency affect the blackout time and how ? Also, Comm Blackout states that space ...
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Oleg Kononenko in Space Shuttle suit?

I have seen a photo of Oleg Kononenko wearing the Space Shuttle flight suit, with the NASA badge on it. However, he never flew in the Shuttle, and there’s no mention on the Wikipedia page about him ...
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How were the Space Shuttle missions named?

For example, why was the 19th Shuttle mission named STS-51F instead of something more obvious like STS-19? Side note: One reason I'm asking is because in the DVD commentary of Apollo 13, Tom Hanks or ...
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How were the Space Shuttle and its External Tank connected (structurally)?

Source: Discovery Launch Captured by Multiple Cameras, NASA, YouTube; edited A more clickbaity but accurate description of my question would be: How did the Space Shuttle / External Tank not shear ...
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Final results on Space Shuttle SRB reuse goal?

One of the stated goals of the Space Shuttle solid rocket boosters (SRBs) was their re-usability and cost savings from such reuse. I know that many of them were reused, but in the end, how successful ...
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How hard was it for the Shuttle to perform attitude control for the entire ISS? Did they have to calibrate?

This answer to the question How was the Space Shuttle Orbiter used for ISS Reboost? describes a procedure I never knew happened. When the shuttle was docked to the ISS it sometimes used its rear ...
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What are the technical specifications of modern reaction control systems?

I am working on a realistic space flight simulator as a hobby, but I am finding it difficult to find technical information about modern reaction control systems (RCS) like those used on the space ...
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Source for Shuttle SRB segment history diagrams

I'm looking for a source for these ATK booster segment history images. Sadly absent user TildalWave posted a comment with a link to an article containing this one 3 1/2 years ago. I've finally ...
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Can a crew access room (white room) be contaminated by rocket propellant residues during launch?

Observing a Space Shuttle launch, I noticed that the crew access gantry and its white room are too close to the SRB's flames during launch; the launch umbilical tower and its crew access device on ...
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Challenging the Kármán line from above

The initial conditions of the thought experiment is (very) LEO / reentry. capsules, space shuttle and other spacecraft can generate lift in upper atmosphere during reentry, in order to reduce ...
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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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Why does the Falcon 9 require a helium pressurization system?

The Space Shuttle was designed in the seventies and did not require a helium pressurization system. Why does the Falcon 9 require one? What are the advantages/disadvantages?
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Has there ever been an astronaut that bailed out on going to space last minute?

I’m just wondering if any astronauts have gotten cold feet last minute and have refused to go into space.
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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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Did the medium range KTM tracking cameras for the Shuttle really have a “150 inch lens”?

The Curious Droid YouTube video How did NASA get those great film shots of Apollo and the Shuttle? found here and linked-to in this comment contains the following passage starting at ...
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How much does a cordless screwdriver for space cost?

I wonder how much a cordless space screwdriver costs and what its mass would be? I guess it would be a lithium-ion screwdriver, like on Earth, but would it have other specifications? Does anybody ...
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About how far was debris scattered from the Columbia incident?

Space Shuttle Columbia exploded during reentry due to missing heat shield tiles. When this happened, the shuttle would have had a great amount of speed, which would imply debris was strewn far down ...

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