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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1answer
222 views

How would the STS have differed if it used J-2's as the main engine?

In the spirit of counterfactual rocket design questions such as this one - how would the STS have differed from its actual design if it used J-2's as the main engine? What would be the loss in payload ...
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Was there a mechanism to vent fuel cell reactants on the Shuttle orbiter?

Related to my recent question: Why was the Space Shuttle Orbiter's in-orbit time limited? I was told a limiting factor to time in orbit is that the cryogenic gases used as reactants by the Shuttle'...
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401 views

Could DOD earth observation (i.e. spy) satellites have photographed the Columbia Orbiter on STS-107?

I read in an (unknown) aircraft accident investigation book that NASA engineers wanted to use DOD earth observation satellites to check for damage on the Columbia Orbiter during STS-107. This did not ...
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184 views

Procedures if there was a shuttle decompression in the vacuum of space

Has NASA ever published what the space shuttle astronauts would be tasked to do if a potentially catastrophic decompression occurred in space.
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What was the minimum throttle setting a SSME could be operated at while in Flight?

A very informative article on the RS-25 (SSME) indicates that it could be throttled from 67% to 109%. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Main_Engine) I know on 51L the data indicates the ...
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133 views

What measures were taken to clear wildlife from the Shuttle Landing Facility?

What was done to prevent or remove wildlife such as alligators and birds from the runway at Kennedy Space Center, so the Shuttle could land safely?
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What is happening in this photo of a glowing plume behind STS-70 and how was it taken?

A recent tweet by @NASASpaceflight about STS-70 deployment of TDRS-G (TDRS-7) says: STS-70 - Shuttle Discovery - Launched 13 July 1995 from KSC 39B. Terence T. Henricks commanded her 21st launch and ...
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1k views

Is it possible to estimate the nozzle characteristics of the Rocketdyne HG3 engine?

Boeing and the Marshall Space Flight Centre brought to pass many studies of improved Saturn V launch vehicles. The rockets proposed under the MLV and ELV projects would feature longer stages for more ...
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What is the sun-lit aura/haze seen above the Space Shuttle post-ET separation?

Source: NASA, via YouTube Watching that video for the nth time since 2011, I realized I never really asked what that sun-lit haze seen post-external tank separation is. This is what I would expect a ...
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134 views

Why was the Cape Canaveral Skid Strip never used for a Space Shuttle's landing?

Why did NASA build the Shuttle Landing Facility, and initially land the shuttle at Edwards Air Force Base, instead of landing it at the CCAFS Skid Strip? It's definitely long enough, because once a ...
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87 views

Space shuttle PEG ascent burns

I'm reading a public document on the powered explicit guidance algorithm used in the space shuttle. The document suggests that PEG ascent maneuvers always involved at least three phases: Constant ...
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What order were space shuttle roll-pitch-yaw angles displayed in?

The space shuttle had a digital readout of roll-pitch-yaw angles in a chosen frame (inertial, LVLH, or reference). What rotation sequence did they assume in that digital readout? Was it roll-pitch-yaw?...
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108 views

Rocket dashboard: separation/pyro indicators

I'm curious about rocket dashboards. Separation events are big things and they depend on pyro bolts detonating and linear charges or pneumatic pushers firing immediately afterward. There must be ...
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1answer
111 views

Were there contemporary criticisms of NASA's pre-Challenger plans to exclusively use the Shuttle for US launches?

Before the Challenger accident, NASA planned to use the Space Shuttle as the exclusive launch vehicle for the US. While the other major launch vehicle families were never quite discontinued, I know ...
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493 views

Space Ship capable of travelling from Earth to Moon and back

What would be required to have a vehicle like the space shuttle in that it could launch from earth and travel through space and was reusable except that it also possessed the capability to land on the ...
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306 views

Space maintenance after Space Shuttle Program Shutdown

I was wondering, what if one of the satellites that were previously serviced by the space shuttle, like the Hubble Space Telescope, needs repairs now that the shuttle program is off? Are there other ...
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233 views

NASA's good luck eagle

I read somewhere-- but for the life of me I can't remember where-- that there is an eagle's nest at the Kennedy Space Center that served as an omen for the shuttle's safe return. Something like, if ...
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Space shuttle state propagation

Space shuttle training manuals say the GNC system obtains state information from the IMU platform at a low rate (0.25-0.5Hz) and that state propagation algorithms estimate the vehicle's state vector ...
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193 views

How did the Space Shuttle prevent flying up when reentering the atmosphere?

Always when reentering the atmosphere, the shuttle was pitched up, right? When gliding through the mesosphere, how was it that it didn't fly up again then? Was it due to a certain distribution of ...
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245 views

What was the modulation used in the Space Shuttle Ku-band comm system?

The Ku-band system consisted of a directional antenna mounted in the orbiter payload bay and provided high BW communication with a ground station. This page: KU-BAND SYSTEM describes the system as ...
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To what precision were the amounts of the Shuttle propellants known? [duplicate]

A previous question reveals that the Shuttle orbiter was weighed before it was moved to the Vehicle Assembly Building. Presumably, the other dry components of the launch stack (the solid rocket ...
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Did the flare stacks at LC39 have pilot lights?

The liquid hydrogen fuel in the space shuttles would slowly boil off, while they waited on the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center launch complex 39A or 39B. The hydrogen vapors were removed by the ...
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What was the STS mid-deck cargo capacity?

What was the normal cargo capacity of the Shuttle mid-deck, in terms of mass and volume? STS-135 apparently carried more than usual in the mid-deck, how much and how?
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Detailed description of space shuttle major and minor GNC loops

Warning: repetitive question ahead. Please skip if you're tired of splitting hairs on these things. Is there a detailed description of the major and minor GNC loops of the space shuttle? I've learned ...
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How large can heatshield holes be?

The tiles on the underside of the STS Orbiter had gaps between them to allow for the frame underneath to shift slightly. However, if the gaps were too large fillers were used. What controls the ...
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Was the Martin Spacemaster a feasible design for a fully reusable launch system?

The first time I saw this design was in this post and I was intrigued. The Martin Spacemaster from ~1970. What a cool design! Lots of SSME's, fully reusable, asymmetrical cockpit, and air breathing ...
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Did some Shuttle flights really have no spacesuits aboard? [duplicate]

According to this source, pages 378-382 and 406, there were no launch suits for Shuttle missions STS-5 through STS-33. Instead, crew literally wore shirtsleeves during launch and re-entry, plus anti-...
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Seeking Book about Aerodynamic Design of the Space Shuttle

a few years ago I found a book written by an engineer working on the aerodynamics of the shuttle during design, ALT, and early STS. I have since forgotten the title and author's name. Does that ...
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Why there are small holes just at the ending of RS-25 rocket engine? [duplicate]

I have seen these holes in many pictures and I can't understand what are these and why are they used?
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Why were there painted black rings on the SRBs?

There were black rings on the STS-1 SRBs. There were even more on later flights. But there was a period without them at all. Why?
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What happened to leftover food from the Shuttle program?

This answer describes some of the food available during the Shuttle program. Was any pre-prepared food left over when the Shuttle program ended, and if so, what happened to it? Addendum: I have no ...
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When does the space shuttle stop its gravity turn?

I am trying to model the launch of the space shuttle (up to 120km of altitude) from Cape Canaveral, Florida. In order to do so I would need to know when the gravity turn part of the flight starts and ...
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Why did the nozzles on the SRB's igniter initiator point toward the grain of the main igniter while the main igniter's nozzle pointed straight down?

How did the shuttle designers make those decisions? What made it a better decision to point the exhaust of the igniter initiator toward the main igniter's grain at an angle? What made it a better ...
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Trajectory impact in case of STS hold down studs failure

The comment on this question made me think, suppose all holding studs mounted on SRBs do get failed, how much impact would it really result in trajectory, considering same fuel burn time of SRBs. ...
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Is it possible for a space rocket to escape a planet's gravity if the gravity was 10 times that of earth? [duplicate]

I know that the scenario isn't realistic but lets assume that we have a planet which is identical to ours except that it's gravity is 10 times bigger. Would it be possible to launch a space rocket ...
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433 views

Why did Columbia never visit the ISS? [duplicate]

According to Wikipedia, there were sixteen Space Shuttle missions to the ISS before the loss of Columbia; of these, six each were by Endeavour and Atlantis, four by Discovery, and none at all by ...
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What was the typical perigee after a shuttle de-orbit burn? [duplicate]

What was the typical1 (theoretical) perigee after a shuttle de-orbit burn? I say 'theoretical' given that presumably the orbiter would already have undergone further deceleration before it reaches ...
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Why does SpaceX Crew Dragon not have planned holds?

I watched the launches of SpaceX Crew Demo 2 and Crew 1. I observed that there were no planned holds during the last hour of the countdown. The Space Shuttle had planned holds at T-20 minutes and T-9 ...
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Could the SRB's have separated successfully at 70 seconds into flight

The shuttle had a switch on panel C3 which allowed the crew to trigger a manual separation of the SRB. This switch had to have a purpose when moved from Auto to manual mode. What would have ...
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599 views

Was the Space Shuttle the most efficient orbital launcher, based on the launch/LEO mass ratio?

It seems that the mass of the Space Shuttle at launch was around 2,000 tons, and it could deliver a total payload of around 122 tons to LEO. This would give it a launch/LEO mass ratio of around 16.4. ...
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4answers
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Space shuttle need

Astronauts travel in space in command modules using rockets, which also carry payloads. The payloads are delivered in the relevant orbit, and the command module returns to earth, after the rocket ...
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Can the Space Shuttle land on Mars assuming there is a paved surface for landing?

Can the Space Shuttle land on Mars if it had a paved runway? Can the Space Shuttle use aerobraking and will its control surfaces provide attitude control? Can the parachute and braking systems stop ...
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Space Shuttle missions for satellite deployment?

Was there any Space Shuttle mission whose primary target were e deploying satellites (space stations do not count).
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Please explain the time reference shown in shuttle launch engineering video

Many shuttle launch engineering videos show an apparent time reference to the right of the frame as red numbers counting up rapidly. For example, from the amazing video "Ascent". Assuming this is ...
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ACES helmet and space sickness

I thought I read somewhere that when astronauts removed the ACES helmet it often exacerbated space sickness. ACES (Advanced Crew Escape Suit)-the orange suit worn during shuttle launches Is there ...
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987 views

Are there any photographs of the frozen waste water after a urine dump in space?

Astronaut Mike Massimino talks about watching the urine freeze outside of the spacecraft. He said they would all watch, it was something beautiful to see. Are there any photographs of this, or has ...
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207 views

What was the last US manned space program?

I needed some info for a project. I tried some Google search but couldn't find an answer. US decommissioned it's space shuttle in 2011. Columbia disaster was in Feb 1, 2003. We're there any manned ...
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270 views

explosive force equivalent

i've seen 1 link that would direct me to a site that gave an equivalent of what would happen if a SATURN 5 let go on the pad, but not the Shuttle, was wondering what the force equivalent would be if ...
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322 views

Could a shuttle be built for Mars?

Mars does have an atmosphere, but is there enough atmosphere to glide, shed speed and land if there was a runway? What would this require from the shuttle, in terms of aerodynamics?
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Was the shuttle program a success? [closed]

The American space shuttle program was, from what I understand, a radically different approach to space exploration at the time of its inception. With the enormous changes in technology and knowledge ...