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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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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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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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 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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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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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 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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Why did Columbia’s planned flight manifest have a five-year gap with absolutely nothing in it between 2004 and 2009?

Looking at the pre-loss-of-OV-102 plans for then-future shuttle flights (at least according to the document found and scanned by @OrganicMarble and posted as part of this answer, which was drawn up [...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Did every shuttle flight after STS-5 carry EMUs onboard?

STS-5 is the first shuttle mission to carry Extravehicular Mobility Units onboard during the Space Shuttle program. Due to various issues happened during STS-5, the first extravehicular activity ...
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Why is the shuttle's external tank's metal skin painted the same dark color as the foam insulation?

The last flight-qualified space shuttle external tank in existence is now in Los Angeles and moved to its new home over the weekend. I noticed that what appears to be the metal skin under the ...
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How much of the printed materials (manuals, instructions etc.) were allocated for the crew's use in Space Shuttles?

Whilst watching youtube video of an occasional Soyuz spacecraft launch (Soyuz ТМА-19М in this case), I've noticed (at 8:07) this large bundle of books. Another video of TMA-16M flight at 39:40 shows ...
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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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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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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 lights,...
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Could Orion repeat any of the Hubble Space Shuttle servicing missions?

I have a distinct feeling that there's some apparent no-go on the question in the title, but currently can't put my finger on it; For the lifting mass to Low Earth Orbit (LEO), let's assume that SLS (...
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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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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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Could Space Shuttle's wings be diminished?

From Wikipedia The crucial factor in the size and shape of the Shuttle orbiter was the requirement that it be able to accommodate the largest planned commercial and military satellites, and have ...
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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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Can the space shuttle use OMS engines during landing?

Can the space shuttle use its OMS engines if the shuttle is short during the runway approach? Is fuel available for use in such a situation and will the engines provide reasonable thrust to get to the ...
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How often were Space Shuttle launches scrubbed?

Reading Mike Mullane's book, Riding Rockets, it seems like shuttle flights were scrubbed, more often than not, during countdown after the crew had boarded, due to some sort of systems failure or ...
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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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How can firing a Space Shuttle OMS engine below 21 km cause its nozzle to “collapse”?

This answer to Can the space shuttle use OMS engines during landing? says: No and quotes Section 3.7 of the Orbital Maneuvering System Workbook; OMS 21002 October 10, 2006, Final version, USA006500 ...
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Was anything manufactured at the Michoud facility between Apollo and the Shuttle?

The Michoud Assembly Facility is a manufacturing complex in New Orleans owned by NASA. During the Apollo program, the first stages of the Saturn I, IB, and V rockets were built there. During the ...
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Might either the Buran or the Space Shuttle fly again, or similar spacecraft be built in the future?

I'm really impressed with these two spaceplanes, so I'm thinking is there any chance to fly again, or some similar spaceplanes (similar design, size...) to be built?
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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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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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What happens after a crew finishes putting out a fire?

I was reading the question How do we use Fire Extinguishers to Control Fire in the Space Station? This got me thinking about how the crew would clean-up after a fire. How do they decide if the ...
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How much of the Shuttle was physically realized in the simulator?

How much of the Shuttle physically existed in the simulator? Was it just the flight deck? Or were the mid-deck, lower equipment bay, and/or payload bay also included?
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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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