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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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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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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Why was the Shuttle's LOX tank on top of the LH2 tank, since that makes it more top-heavy?

The external tank for the shuttle contained tanks of liquid Oxygen and Hydrogen for the main engines to use. These two have similar (though not equal) volumes, but the Oxygen is heavier in an obvious ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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What's the white tall tower with a tank near Space Shuttle launch pad?

Here's neat image from Wikipedia: On the right there's a tall white tower with a rounded tank on top looking much like a water tower. There's another one right behind the first one opposing the other ...
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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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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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What were Prince Sultan's duties in STS-51-G?

Prince Sultan bin Salman Al Saud was the first (and so far only) Saudi astronaut, and was included in the crew of STS-51-G as a payload specialist representing Arabsat. Does that mean his role was ...
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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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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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Were any changes made to the composition of the Shuttle's thermal protection tiles over the lifetime of the program?

One of the main components of the Space Shuttle's thermal protection system for reentry was the layer of tiles on the outside of the orbiter. What, if any, changes were made to the composition of ...
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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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How did Shuttle computers internally represent time?

How was time represented in the five AP-101 general-purpose computers of the Space Shuttle? How many bits? Encoded as a plain binary count? Split into hours, minutes, seconds, subseconds? Binary-...
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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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Are there any photo(s) of International Space Station (ISS) captured from above its altitude? [duplicate]

Are there any attempts made to capture an image of the whole ISS in one take? Or is it not currently practically possible? If Soyuz, SpaceX Dragon, etc. have cameras installed on them, images can be ...
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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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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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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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What is the problem with aborting a Space Shuttle launch?

In the question Why didn't the Space Shuttle have a launch escape system? there was discussion in the commentary about why the Space Shuttle could not safely abort through much of its envelope. ...
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Was Shuttle tile loss an accident waiting to happen? [closed]

I recollect, that after each of the early shuttle launches, 100 or so thermal control tiles were found missing. These had to be replaced before each subsequent flight. I remember wondering why the ...
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Structural composition of shuttle liquid fuel tank wall

Somewhere I read the shuttle fuel tank kept structural integrity only thanks to internal pressure of the fuel, a'la inflated balloon; empty it would collapse under own weight; and the walls were ...
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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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Were there visual targets on the Shuttle that could confirm the alignment of the Canadarm?

This answer explains that the alignment of the joints varied slightly between each Canadarm on the Shuttle. The amount of correction for each arm was known and programmed into the flight computer. ...
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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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When have astronauts been launched without launch escape system (tower)?

The Vostok spacecraft used by Yuri Gagarin seems to have had an "ejection seat". The Soyuz launcher has an escape tower, which at least once saved its crew. The space shuttle of course did not have ...
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What is the job of the acoustic cavities inside the main combustion chamber?

I am new to rocket engines. I was looking at an image of RS-25 engine's MCC and found these acoustic cavities, and I want to know how they work. Can somebody please explain their working principle? ...
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Could the Space Shuttle orbiter have used the Energia HLLV (used by Buran)?

I would like to know if the Space Shuttle orbiters would have been capable of utilizing the Energia Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle (HLLV) used by the Buran instead of the External tank/SRB configuration. ...
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STS: How much thrust did the nominal post-MECO LOX dump produce?

Following up to some questions asked in comments to the answer to this question: With pressure-fed engines, is any measurable thrust generated by venting the pressurant out the engine bell after ...
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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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Shuttle-C: Did we make the right move?

Shuttle, and its cousin Shuttle-C, are now history as the launch pads have been converted for use by other systems. Claims made for the Shuttle-C were that it would have taken 4 years and cost $6 ...
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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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Why were individual shuttle tiles changed from white to black or black to white?

The Paper Space Scale Models website has a PDF which details changes to the STS Orbiter Markings on a per-mission basis. Most of the changes are in the tiles. It can be seen that often a single black ...
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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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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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Where are the lost RS-25D Block 2 engines?

There were 21 RS-25D Block 2 engines made. Two of them never flew. Three of them were lost with the Columbia disaster. 16 of them are tagged for SLS's use, including 14 previously flown, and the two ...
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Why don't all SSME turbopumps gimbal with the engine?

The SSME low-pressure pumps (both fuel and oxidizer) are mounted to the vehicle structure and don't gimbal. The high-pressure pumps are gimbaling with the engine, so the propellant lines between low-...
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Is the document “Space Shuttle Baseline Reference Missions” available anywhere?

The document JSC-07896 'Space Shuttle Baseline Reference Missions' would be an invaluable reference for anyone seeking to understand why the US Space Transportation System was designed the way it was. ...
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What effect (if any) would leaving the cargo bay doors open have had during a shuttle reentry?

The cargo bay doors of the Space Shuttle were used on-orbit as radiators for thermal control. The cargo bay doors were closed before the reentry burn and descent to the surface, but could there have ...
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Which STS mission raised the normal engine throttle above 100%, and what change to the SSME made that possible?

As indirectly stated in an answer to How long does Max-Q last?, during later Space Shuttle launches the main engines were operating at above 100% of their nominal maximum thrust. Specifically from ...
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What's the thickness and weight of rocket tanks?

I found it quite fascinating that the Shuttle External Tank was as thin as 2.5mm. That seems very thin for a structure over 40 meters tall and weighing as much as 760 000kg fueled. I'm curious how ...
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At what point was nose wheel steering “added” to the Space Shuttle design?

A comment below this answer to my question "Runway landing with a front skid instead of wheel - how does steering happen? (Dreamchaser)" says: In fact, the Space Shuttle didn't originally have ...
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What are these Space Shuttle cockpit elements and what are they for?

In a book I'm reading, there is a figure showing the inside of a cockpit of a Space Shuttle.The labels point out various pets including an aluminum plate, an avionics bay, and an open grid panel, as ...
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Did NASA distinguish between the space shuttle cockpit and flight deck?

NASA used both terms on their website, Cockpit and Flight Deck. One answer on Aviation SE Cockpit vs Flight Deck?says there is a difference between the two. Did NASA use the terms interchangeably, ...
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Is the Falcon Heavy as loud as the Space Shuttle or Saturn V?

Is the Falcon Heavy Rocket as loud as the older Saturn V and Space Shuttles? I have read that Saturn V and the Space Shuttle were within a few decibels of each other. The newer Shuttle was slightly ...
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Loading tanks for supercritical oxygen and hydrogen on the launch pad, how to achieve low temperature and high pressure?

The Apollo and Shuttle spacecrafts used fuel cells for the production of electric energy and water. The hydrogen and oxygen for the fuel cells were stored as a supercritical fluid at a temperature ...

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