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 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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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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Is there documented Space Shuttle O-ring failures excluding STS-51-L?

The most obvious failure of the Space Shuttle SRB O-rings was the Challenger disaster. The burn through location was just about in the worst possible location to cause the catastrophic damage that ...
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Apollo/Shuttle launch site fuel handling

I read somewhere that fuel was delivered to the Apollo launch site by tanker truck (for cryogenic propellants) and rail cars (for the kerosene). Were the fuels transferred directly from delivery ...
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How was the Space Shuttle boat tail transported back to the west coast?

(moved from Aviation) The question Did the Space Shuttle boat tail used in the transport configuration save fuel? about the Shuttle boat tail prompted me to wonder how it was transported back to the ...
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What are the sparks flying at the bottom of SSMEs at the time of launch?

I saw the sparks flying at the bottom of SSME just before the launch in below video. Are they used for igniting the excess propellant gas? [9 min 24 sec][1]
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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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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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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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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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Was computer aided design used on the Space Shuttle Program?

With the Space Shuttle system being as complex as it was I was wondering the following; did the initial engineering teams in the 70's use any form of CAD/CAE or did they simply utilize the same ...
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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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Identify these astronauts

In December 2017 former astronaut Janet Kavandi tweeted a picture of a group of women astronauts taken at an astronaut reunion. There are nine of them I can't identify, can anyone name them? I've ...
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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 big of an external tank to replace the shuttle SRBs with more LH2 and LO2?

The space shuttle ascended using two types of propulsion: (1) liquid hydrogen and oxygen stored in the external tank and burned in the main engines on the orbiter, and (2) the solid rocket boosters. ...
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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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Do NASA currently (early 2014) have any development projects for a better space ship?

Is NASA developing a new generation os human transportation ship, or are they doing any kind of research and/or development which final aim is to invent a new space ship model? If I know well, NASA ...
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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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Was this 1969 space shuttle feasiblity study too optimistic?

Why looking for something else on the NASA Tech Reports Server, I found this interesting October 1969 study on the expected turnaround time of a then-future space shuttle. Study was conducted by the ...
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How to identify which Space Shuttle, from a high-res cockpit photograph?

I found this terrific photo of an STS orbiter cockpit online, however it does not mention which orbiter: How might one determine which orbiter this is? The wear on the consoles seem to indicate that ...
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What was the operational lifetime of a shuttle tile?

The statement "While some of the individual tiles on the shuttle might last 10 missions" from this excellent answer has led a questioner to make the statement "someone here at Space Stack-Exchange ...
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How spacecrafts are built e.g. Dragon, Orion, etc?

What materials are using to build nowadays spacecraft? What kind of joints of main structure is used - is it a welding, riveting or something else? Where can I find such informations? Any books, ...
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How much did the fuel for the space shuttle missions cost?

I'm looking for a rough estimate on how much it costs. I understand that it is a propellant mix, and that NASA contracts a company to produce it, but I am yet to come across a figure per kg of the ...
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What was the design and/or results of the fish experiement onboard Space Shuttle Columbia disaster mission STS-107?

Highlights from NASA's webpage lists studies done during the Space Shuttle Columbia mission STS-107 including student experiments, one of them including fish. What did the student fish experiment ...
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Why did the Ulysses probe reach Jupiter much faster than Galileo?

Both Ulysses and Galileo were launched by the Space Shuttle and the Inertial Upper Stage (IUS). Yet Ulysses only took 16 months to reach Jupiter, while Galileo took 6 years. Is it because Galileo ...
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Were there any cases of woodpeckers damaging Shuttle External Tank insulation other than that of STS-70?

While researching information about Shuttle External Tank insulation, I came across this quite unusual problem: woodpeckers! The Wikipedia entry on STS-70 states that: ... on 31 May 1995 shuttle ...
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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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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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Where and when did the traditional “wave across the ditch” take place?

I’ve heard that before a launch American astronauts had one last chance to see their family by waving across a ditch (which apparently wasn’t really a ditch?). I’m curious, where and exactly when (day ...
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SSME propellant duct routing

The low pressure propellant ducts in SSME are routed around the engine in a somewhat complicated way. Both fuel and oxidizer lines leave the low-pressure turbopump, go around, down and then turn back ...
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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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Is NSTS 08209 “Shuttle Systems Design Criteria” available online?

This would be a handy reference, to say the least. There is a paper copy in at least one library in Houston, so it's not inconceivable that it's online somewhere, but my searches to date have failed.
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How do you minimise sum of atmosphere and gravity loss?

I am attempting to calculate the optimum trajectory of a space shuttle going into orbit, taking into account gravitational and atmospheric losses. How would it be possible to minimise the sum of these ...
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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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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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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 can't SpaceX Starship perform the same landing procedure as the Falcon 9 does?

I know... Elon Musk calls the redesign of the BFR "unintuitive". I'm just trying to get ahead of the Starship introduction and hop test presumably in March/April timeline. But isn't it better to use ...
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How was the Centaur stage fueled in the Space Shuttle?

The Space Shuttle had the ability to launch Centaur booster stages stored inside of the Shuttle during launch. How was this stage fueled, being fueled with cryogenic fuels?
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Why did the External Tank not have its own engines?

Please edit, if 'engines' is not the correct term (layman here). As I understand it, you have your SRB's, then they detached, and the External Tank supplied the liquid oxygen and hydrogen fuel to the ...
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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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Why didn't the space shuttle use non-foam-shedding external tanks?

Throughout its lifetime, the Space Shuttle's external tank had severe problems with portions of its foam insulation coming apart and falling off, which NASA was never able to fix. The flying ...
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Position of shuttle viz iss

Is the shuttle ahead of the ISS in the orbit before docking. Does the international space station catchup with the shuttle in the same orbit?
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Did NASA archive the audio recording of STS launches

I believe some important information could be recovered if the Launchpad audio of STS-51L still exists. The leak in the RH aft field joint could have created a high pitched whistle between 0.678 ...
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Why wasn't the space shuttle fully Liquid fueled?

Why was the decision made to have 2 boosters burning solid fuel alongside the liquid fueled SSME? Other designs of the time were pushing for all liquid fueled rockets (Russian Soyuz, Chinese Long ...
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Why were there so many icicles in this Space Shuttle launch area? (Challenger disaster)

The blogpost Lessons From NASA Disasters: When Curiosity Deficits Kill is about the importance of freedom of curiosity for members of organizations. However it contains many Space Shuttle-related ...
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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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Seeing the ground from the shuttle before launch?

With the side windows in space shuttle cockpit, as seen in this photograph, could the commander and pilot see the ground at all before launch or during the first 10-15 seconds of a shuttle ascent? ...
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How are physical attitude indicators actuated?

The Apollo FDAIs and shuttle ADIs (pre-MEDS) indicated spacecraft attitude with an actual ball that was spun around in a cage. I've seen photos of some of these removed from their cases, but ...
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Why does this photo of the Hubble Space Telescope look so weird?

Question: Can someone identify this photograph of the Hubble Space Telescope seen as a still in the Los Angeles Times YouTube video Scientists witness huge cosmic crash, find origins of gold, figure ...

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