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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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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Have there been any examples of re-usable rockets in the past?

I am writing a piece about re-usable rockets and I'm wondering, apart from SpaceX, have there been any re-usable rockets in the past, success or 'failure', as in didn't perform as expected. Obviously ...
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Could the Dream Chaser or Space Shuttle fly/have flown to the Moon with boosters on the orbiter's side?

In the 1998 movie Armageddon the crews use Space Shuttles which have boosters also on the orbiters' sides (two boosters per orbiter) in order to get to the Moon and to the asteroid. Upon descent onto ...
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Space shuttle cabin atmosphere system

I see from looking at the space shuttle cabin air supply system that it provides O2 and N2 through a common manifold into a 14.7 psi regulator. What is not clear to me is where the cabin air goes, and ...
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Space Shuttle and SSME Servicing Procedures for Re-Launch

There's been a lot of discussion about SpaceX's ~30% price reduction from re-use of the first stage, which got me to wondering: why exactly was the Space Shuttle so expensive to service and prep for ...
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How were hypergolic propellants delivered to the Shuttle launch pad?

The Space Shuttle Main Engines used cryogenic hydrogen and oxygen, and this question explains how those were supplied to the launch pad. But the OMS and RCS engines used hypergolic fuels. How were ...
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Were shuttle and ISS spacewalks always done with two astronauts?

Even if only one astronaut is needed for an EVA, it makes sense to have a second suited up and outside in case of an emergency. Was there ever any exception to this number (e.g. 1 or 3) for the space ...
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Could Dick Scobee have flown a RTLS on Challenger 51L

In a previous question, I explored whether or not, with a call up from an observant Flight Controller, the SRB’s could be separated from the STS-51L stack before the destruction of the ET tank at 73 ...
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230 views

Did the Space Shuttle crew have to worry about monatomic oxygen?

Comments below this answer tell us that the Space Shuttle always remained in Earth's atmosphere. When it visited the Hubble Space Telescope or the ISS or Mir it was still in the thermosphere and ...
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How did the atmospheres of Soyuz, Shuttle, Mir, and ISS compare?

Soyuz and the Space Shuttle each docked with Mir and the International Space Station. When docked, the crew vehicle and station each share a common atmosphere for the crew to breathe. However, how ...
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How would the shuttle perform various attitude changes during ascent?

How would the Space Shuttle have performed each of the following maneuvers during ascent? Pitching the nose away from the external tank ($+$Y). Pitching the nose toward the external tank ($-$Y). ...
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How much fuel/oxidizer was held in the piping of the Shuttle orbiter?

The space shuttle main engines were in the orbiter portion of the vehicle, but fed fuel (LH2) and oxidizer (LOX) from the external tank. Suppose the external tank is ejected before the LH2 and LOX ...
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How rover landing is achieved on planets with very low atmospheric pressure?

I would like to understand how safe landing of a rover is achieved on mars or any other planet where the pressure is very low. Is it achieved by releasing gas from high pressure to low pressure. I ...
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Why didn't NASA re-use more astronaut crew members?

According to a popular space exploration web site, 355 individuals few in a total of 833 crew slots in the Space Shuttle program. That's an average of about 2.5 flights per astronaut, though many only ...
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Payload Specialist Training

How rigorous was training for Space Shuttle payload specialists? These astronauts were not selected from the normal astronaut pipeline, but instead were people with clout (politicians), PR ...
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Space Shuttle OMS maneuvers

I'm writing an essay titled the Physics of a Shuttle Mission, which is broken down into the journey into orbit, orbital maneuvering and re-entry. The biggest problem at the moment is with example ...
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How did three 1.2 meter spheres and a Xe+ plasma contactor keep the Shuttle “grounded”? What did they look like?

Statement of relevance This answer to Highest DC voltage ever intentionally produced in space? mentions particle beam experiments done from the Space Shuttle while it flew through Earth's atmosphere ...
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What's the largest rocket that was carried to space inside a Space Shuttle?

Why did the Ulysses probe reach Jupiter much faster than Galileo? got me wondering about the largest rocket that was carried to space inside a Space Shuttle. Largest in terms of some performance ...
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Were the landing gear doors closed during the Approach and Landing Tests?

This photo from an answer on the Shuttle Approach and Landing Tests shows the front attachment between the Enterprise orbiter and the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. The support strut reaches the ...
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741 views

How are SLS SRBs considered man-rated?

Using solid rocket boosters on a manned launch comes with some additional risks because they can't be turned off or throttled down once lit. For the Shuttle this created some additional failures modes ...
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395 views

Failure modes of segmented solid rocket boosters

The Rogers Commission Report (PDF, page 73) describes the Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Boosters as [...] a faulty design unacceptably sensitive to a number of factors. These factors were the ...
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Exact condition for hold-down release?

I've read the space-shuttle hold-down clamps would be released once all engines registered 90% of nominal thrust. But would this be sufficient condition to open the hold-down clamps and release the ...
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Is there an easy way to distinguish pictures of the LES and ACES suits?

The Launch Entry Suit and Advanced Crew Escape Suit were the intravehicular suits used on most Space Shuttle missions. ACES was an improved version of the LES, and both earned the nickname "...
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Was space shuttle position corrected for before orbital insertion?

The space shuttle derived its attitude and state vector primarily from its integrating accelerometers and rate gyros. Data from the accelerometers and rate gyros came in at a low rate (0.25-0.5 Hz, or ...
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275 views

What is the maximum apogee a Space Shuttle could have reached?

What is the maximum apogee a Space Shuttle (and which one of the five space-flying Shuttles?) ever reached and what is the maximum one it could have reached? A Space Shuttle never exceeded the apogee ...
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Shuttle RCC (reinforced carbon-carbon) panels?

Shuttle RCC panels (22 panels together) were used on shuttle wing leading edge, nose cone, 0.25-0.5 inch thick and tough like concrete. link https://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/pdf/167473main_TPS-...
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Where did the Wake Shield Facility end up?

The Wake Shield... ... was deployed in the wake of the Space Shuttle at an orbital altitude of over 300 kilometers (186 mi), within the thermosphere, where the atmosphere is exceedingly tenuous....
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Why did STS-32 require 11 major firings of Columbia's maneuvering engines?

I was reading the Mission Safety Evaluation Report for STS-32 and I noticed the following passage: The STS-32 rendezvous was one of the most complex the Space Shuttle had ever attempted, ...
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Did the Space Shuttle crew have to worry about the ionosphere? What relevant training or specific briefings did they receive?

Comments below this answer tell us that the Space Shuttle always remained in Earth's atmosphere. When it visited the Hubble Space Telescope or the ISS or Mir it was still in the thermosphere and ...
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Space shuttle state propagation---constant acceleration during cycle?

The space shuttle used a state propagation algorithm to estimate the current state vector when new data weren't yet available from the navigation system (which would come at a rate of only 0.25 or 0.5 ...
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Correcting Accelerometer Readings when Offset from Center of Mass: How?

A follow-up to an earlier question. So I've accepted that I need to correct my accelerometer readings for the accelerometer offset from the center of mass. The offset means that whenever the rocket ...
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During space shuttle reentry, why was the sign of GALR based on mach number rather than directly on alpha?

(My apologies if this should go in Aviation.SE instead - I'm not quite certain where questions regarding the behaviour of the shuttle's flight controls during reentry should go.) For flight in ...
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Could the Space Shuttles other than Enterprise easily do drop tests from the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft?

This question was inspired by comments on this answer. The Space Shuttle prototype Enterprise was only used for approach and landing tests, for which it was flown on a carrier 747, until it was ...
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Why was the risk of loss of STS-1 (Columbia) estimated to be so high?

There's this tweet from Wayne Hale, former NASA Flight Director Several media people have asked me about how risky STS-1 was. There were a lot of uninformed guesses circulating in 1981. Thirty ...
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Where to obtain Appendix B of STS Historic American Engineering Record TX-116?

At the close of the Shuttle program the National Park Service and the Smithsonian (maybe others as well) embarked on a project to document the Space Transportation System as part of their Historic ...
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Space Shuttle: What are the filters in the attitude error calculation?

Here's a schematic from the space shuttle training manuals showing how the "attitude" error signal used to drive the thrust vector controllers was determined. "Attitude" in quote ...
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What if the Shuttle went straight up?

It seems like Space Shuttle vehicles ascend on a diagonal in order to enter orbit. However, what would happen if they just kept going straight up?
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Why do SpaceX rockets' re-entries seem to burn (as in heat the hull) less than the space shuttle? [duplicate]

Why do SpaceX rockets' re-entries seem to burn (as in heat the hull) less than the space shuttle ? Is it because of less friction surface ? Thanks !
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Comparison of space shuttle, command module, and lunar module window sizes

The space shuttles had a viewing window much similar in looks like the windshield of a car, or like the cockpit of a plane. However, neither the Apollo command module (CM) nor the lunar module (LM) ...
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Number of segment in Wing leading Edges

Can anyone highlight the basis of having 22 NO’s of segment in wing leading edges of space shuttle.
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Crew Positioning in ISS during Reboost

Several questions address the reboosting procedure for the ISS. When the shuttle reboosted the station, apparently the entire ISS was modeled on the ground and pre-programmed in, down to the masses ...
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Was Columbia’s CVR ever found?

Each of the space shuttles carried a cockpit voice recorder (CVR), similar to those required on commercial airliners, which recorded the crew’s conversations to aid in accident reconstruction should a ...
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Space shuttle TVC hydraulic line diameter?

Curious what diameter the hydraulic lines of the space shuttle thrust vector control system might have been. Even a ballpark figure would be OK. Is this info by chance public?
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Help me find old study of huge space shuttle with 1,000 ton payload

In the late 1970s/early 1980s I read a study about up-sizing the space shuttle to carry 1,000 tons(!) payload to earth orbit. There was a crude drawing of such a beast, and if I remember correctly, ...
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How were polar or retrograde satellites launched in the early 80s?

Many satellites (such as the recent Iridium launch) need to be in either slight retrograde or polar orbit. Since Kennedy Space Center is located on the east coast of Florida, rockets that need to go ...
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What was the purpose for which the shuttle mockup Explorer aka Independence was constructed?

According to Wikipedia, Independence is a high-fidelity replica of the space shuttle. The timing of its construction would seem to be post-Challenger, but before Columbia and the subsequent winding ...
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Space Shuttle fuel

As I know, Space Shuttle used the same amount of fuel for every mission. And used OMS for finishing orbit. Then how it is possible that, for example STS-1 which hadn't payload and was in roughly 266km*...
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Jimsphere example data for wind speed/direction vs altitude?

I've added load relief to my thrust-vector controller (TVC) and would like to simulate it with some realistic wind data, ideally up to 80 km or higher. I know wind speed and direction would be ...
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First Ham Radio contact from space; what frequency, what kind of antenna, and how did they route the coax out the window?

From Phys.org's Earthlings and astronauts chat away, via ham radio: NASA astronaut Doug Wheelock was just a few weeks into his six-month mission at the space station when feelings of isolation began ...
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Was it possible to simulate another atmosphere during Shuttle training?

This answer points out that the Space Shuttle's cabin atmosphere was designed to be equivalent to sea level air, in terms of both total pressure and oxygen partial pressure. However, could any of the ...