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 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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“LVLH” on Challenger's cockpit voice recording: What was that switch for?

Veteran astronaut and mission specialist Judy Resnick was tragically killed in the Challenger disaster. Her last recorded words aboard Challenger regarded scanning for "LVLH" (low-vertical/low-...
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Were any Components Off The Shelf (COTS) used in the Space Shuttle?

Are there examples of Components Off The Shelf (COTS) used in the Space Transportation System? And is NASA considering using COTS in future manned space flight systems like Orion and the SLS?
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Interpolation method in pitchover maneuver: what type?

Consider the space shuttle or the Saturn V. Launch would begin with an open-loop pitch schedule obtained from simulation with the day’s winds. The pitch schedule would be specified as a lookup table ...
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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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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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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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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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Space Shuttle Orbiter VRCS

I am looking for details on the Space Shuttle Orbiter Vernier Reaction Control System (VRCS), used for fine maneuvers on orbit, such as docking. Wikipedia has very little information on the system. ...
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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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Why did the Space Shuttle dump excess fuel from the external tank?

In his recent video, Scott Manley mentions that after reaching orbit, the Space Shuttle would dump the excess fuel left in the External Tank before jettisoning it: ...
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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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Why did the Space Shuttle's SRB's float, and float vertically?

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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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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Was the Space Shuttle TPS technology ever state secret?

I was a bit surprised to learn that the Buran used heat tiles looking very similar to that of the Space Shuttle. Considering its potential for military application, and the cold war period in which ...
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Space shuttle MECO condition: velocity threshold or fuel level?

I've read in a place I can no longer remember that MECO would happen when fuel is depleted or, if the separating stage is returning, when fuel reaches some preset threshold---15%, say. But now... ...
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Why was the nose cone on the Space Shuttle's external tank pointy?

Inspired by comments under this answer to this question Just how pointy does a rocket's nosecone need to be? (see also Why are the nose cones of current spacecraft less pointy?) Why was the ...
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Did moving a Shuttle Remote Manipulator System (RMS) from one Orbiter to another have any impact on operations?

This question Did each Shuttle have its own dedicated Canadarm? and its answer discuss the five different robot arms used in the shuttle program and how they were moved from Orbiter to Orbiter. ...
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What is the limit for asymmetrical design for a launch vehicle?

Looking at Soyuz 11A511 type rocket (the one used for launch Soyuz T-M-and A-M models) you can notice that the payload fairing brake flaps are displaced from the ideal axis (they are not aligned with ...
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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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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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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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Fluid loading protocol, what's it and what's it for

In the book Endurance: A year in space, a lifetime discovery, there is a paragraph as follows: Then I hear Terry’s voice, breaking in midsentence, as if he were here with me: “. . . pills for the ...
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LVLH frame based on inertial velocity or relative (ground) velocity?

The LVLH frame is widely used in rockets during launch. The space shuttle crew used it in its attitude readings beginning very early after launch, meaning it was very reliable as soon as the rocket ...
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How many Space Shuttle payloads ended up beyond Earth orbit?

Before I'd read Why did the Ulysses probe reach Jupiter much faster than Galileo? and this answer to What's the largest rocket that was carried to space inside a Space Shuttle? I never really ...
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What was the primary role of epoxy layer between metal structure and insulation foam on External Tank of Space Shuttle?

Whilst looking for information regarding Shuttle's External Tank insulation, I came across this answer to this question Structural composition of shuttle liquid fuel tank wall. The answer states that ...
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Did the shuttle SRBs have separation motors?

Looking at a NASA fact sheet about the SLS SRBs and I noticed it has at the bottom around the nozzle, separation motors. Watching shuttle launches It looks to me like the SRBs continue to fire ...
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How do fully-suited astronauts enter the Space Shuttle and sit down in 1 g vertical vs horizontal?

This answer has astronauts entering a vertically oriented Space Shuttle for a Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT) while this answer has them entering the shuttle when it is oriented ...
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Ground personnel proximity to space shuttle at launch?

In watching some YouTube videos of US Space Shuttle launches, I was wondering how close personnel were to the actual launch pad during a launch that weren't actually on the Shuttle itself? Obviously ...
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Logic sequencing: From fault detection to launch escape?

So I'm working on fault insertion for my launch simulation. It's basic: I flip a switch to kill the booster engines of my choice. If two or more engines die, separation is triggered and the launch ...
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If a Space Shuttle tile deorbited on its own, what percentage of it's mass if any would remain in one piece until it reached the surface of the earth?

If a Space Shuttle tile deorbited on its own, what percentage of it's mass if any would still be in one piece if and when it reached the surface of the earth? The question was inspired by one of the ...
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Where did the families of astronauts watch the launch?

Where did the families of American astronauts watch the launch from? I've heard the Saturn V Center and also the Launch Control Center. Maybe it was different for each launch? TIA
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Were there problems with the Russian Buran space shuttle's reusability?

The Soviet space shuttle Buran launched and landed (unmanned, because it could) once very successfully. I would think it would be a very valuable industrial asset for the bankrupt Russian Republic ...
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Seeking Shuttle Orbiter Ferry Flight log

Can anyone provide a link to a detailed log of shuttle orbiter ferry flights? I'd like to know dates of all overnight stops. I can find beginning and end dates for each ferry, but info on the stops ...
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What military forces provided Space Shuttle search and rescue?

The Space Shuttle had various ways to abort a mission. These included shutting down on the launchpad before the SRBs ignited (RSLS), turning around to land at a runway near the launch site (RTLS), ...
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Why would the Shuttle-Transtage have been unusable for science missions?

In the 1970s and early 1980s, NASA and the DoD evaluated four different existing or proposed upper stages for use with the space shuttle: The Centaur hydrolox stage (specifically, the Centaur G/G' ...
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Time gap between leaving the Earth's atmosphere and initiation of orbital motion by space shuttle

It is sometimes difficult to imagine for people like me how the space shuttle initiates its orbital motion (at a speed of 17500 km/h). So when the space shuttle goes out of the Earth's atmosphere, how ...
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Why is LOX on top in the Space Shuttle external tank instead of the other the way round? [duplicate]

Why is oxygen placed on top of hydrogen? Does this have anything to do with letting the warmer and not the colder liquid have a non-spherical bulkhead and thus more surface area to reduce boil-off?
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Was a real Space Shuttle ever used as a really big simulator?

@OrganicMarble's answer to How much of the Shuttle was physically realized in the simulator? makes me wonder if Shuttle crew ever sat or stood or otherwise experienced being in an actual Space Shuttle ...
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What would cause the Shuttle's redundant computers to disagree?

The Shuttle had five AP-101 general purpose computers. As discussed in this question, the system was redundant and there was a voting process to eliminate a computer whose results disagreed with the ...
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Slide rope way from launch pad of space shuttle?

In the MIT OCW of Aerospace System Engineering lecture 14 at 37:40, Prof Jeffery Hoffman talks about ropeway from space shuttle that goes to a bunker and then they have to ride a military tank ! I ...
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Why SpaceX have the T+0 second in the countdown while the Space Shuttle 'skip' the T+0 second?

Does the space shuttle countdown skip the first second after launch (T+0) and if yes why? You can see this effect in videos like this one: In comparison with an ...
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Why did Space Shuttle astronauts wear gloves upon reentry?

I read an article about STS 107, in which the crew videorecorded their search for the gloves to put on.
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When astronauts or cosmonauts get seated in the spacecraft, are they actually sitting up or lying down?

This might be more of a physics question. If it is, I'll post it in the physics site. If the spacecraft is vertical, wouldn't the astronauts be seated in a lying position so that the G forces do not ...
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How are rockets gimballed to produce a gravity turn for the space shuttle?

I'm trying to simulate a gravity turn using a gimbaled thruster. I'm using the dynamical system described in a previous post of mine to execute a gravity turn by changing the angle $\phi_T$ between ...
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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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First actions taken after identifying a potentially catastrophic decompression?

Organic Marble gave an answer to my question "Procedures if there was a shuttle decompression in the vacuum of space," precisely as I worded the request. The wording of my question was imprecise so ...
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Why would a space shuttle have flown a normal first-stage and early-second-stage ascent trajectory during an RTLS abort?

Had a space shuttle suffered a main-engine failure very early on during ascent, or had a time-critical emergency (for instance, a crewmember unexpectedly having a stroke) occurred before negative ...
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Why do astronauts spend a night at a hotel one day before the launch? How did they board the Shuttle

I heard somewhere that it was some sort of a tradition for astronauts to spend one night at some kind of hotel. As far as I know, astronauts and cosmonauts ride in a bus down to the launch site, where ...

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