86

I believe it's real, just a little bit of fun. The Wikipedia article on the SCA states it as fact, as do other historical articles. Search engines will lead you to multiple pictures of the attach points from different angles, all showing the label, for example: It looks like an earlier version of the label, since painted over and replaced, was even ...


84

In practical terms, it would be impossible. The Orbiters were designed in the late 1970s and built with the technology of that time. Late in the program there were many logistics nightmares as parts became impossible to find as manufacturers went away or stopped unprofitable lines. In essence, a near-total redesign would be required. Former flight ...


80

This image is very similar to the following image https://spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/images/shuttle/sts-130/html/iss022e062672.html with the following description STS-130 Shuttle Mission Imagery ISS022-E-062672 (9 Feb. 2010) Though astronauts and cosmonauts often encounter striking scenes of Earth's limb, this very unique image, part of a ...


76

Standard atmospheric pressure at sea-level Earth is just 14.696 psi. Compare that to 340 or 300 psi (23.14 and 20.42 amt, respectively). The difference in internal tire pressure in Earth's atmosphere and absence of atmospheric pressure in vacuum of space is only 4.3 - 4.9%. Tires would experience far more dynamic pressure environment due to friction heating ...


66

Skipping reentries aren't unheard of. The Apollo command module performed a single skip when returning from lunar missions. However, there are several reasons why a skipping reentry (especially one involving multiple skips) would be disadvantageous for the shuttle: As uhoh points out, a skipping reentry results in losing lateral speed at a very high ...


64

The main reason is heat rejection. NASA was asked this very question, and the answer was identified. Basically, the waste heat from the shuttle is expelled via the cargo bay doors. You don't want to ever point a radiator at the Sun, so the easiest thing is to point it at the Earth. Sometimes, if the heat was too high, they would actually point the shuttle ...


63

Your question is based on a false assumption namely: So why didn't NASA take money from the private sector to do these later two on the behalf of corporations? NASA did take money from the private sector to do these things. The STS-5, STS-7, STS-8, STS-41-B, STS-41-D, STS-51-A, STS-51-D, STS-51-G, STS-51-I, STS-61-B, and STS-61-C Space Shuttle ...


63

It's real! Here are some pictures I took on April 29, 2014 as the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (N905NA) was being moved from Ellington Field to its final resting place at Space Center Houston. You can see the label as I zoom in (and walk down the railroad tracks) in the series of pictures, especially if you view them full size.


61

The O-rings and the temperature were only the last in the long chain of blunders, and that had little to nothing in common with reusability. The construction of the SRBs wouldn't be much different with no reusability in mind. Indeed, SRBs of very similar design are to be used in SLS, and they are not intended to be reusable. About the most important factor ...


57

I was a NASA contractor working on the same contract, but with 3 different companies, writing GN&C code for the space shuttles from 1989 until 1995. Initially, it was Ford Aerospace, then Loral, then Lockheed-Martin. IBM was the prime most of that time. It has been a long time since I did any work like that, so don't hold what I write below as gospel. ...


57

I think bounce back causes intermittent heating so heat shield tiles get a lot of time of radiate heat out. Your thinking is reasonable as far as it goes... But once you lose too much velocity and become deeply sub-orbital, you will sink like a rock into thicker atmosphere. Within five minutes you'll either be toast from heating or jelly from pulling 15-...


53

No. Compare Space Shuttle Launch Countdown. The SRB fire command and the hold-down fire commands are issued at the exact same time. The delay of about 6 seconds (note: each SSME is started at a different time, all 0.2 seconds apart) is to ensure that each of those engines are up to full throttle without errors prior to launch (which is called a Redundant ...


53

It's simply the spotlights illuminating the ship, and shining up the bore of the engines. Notice the shadows of the vertical stabilizer from the same source. When the shuttle landing direction is determined, URS Corp. air traffic controllers in the runway control tower will communicate with Bordeaux and his team on the ground. Then two of the ...


52

Those are jets of water released by the sound suppression systems installed on the pads and the mobile launcher platforms to protect orbiters and their payloads from being damaged by acoustical energy, reflected from the platform during the liftoff stage of a rocket launch. For example, this is the sound suppression system at the NASA Kennedy Space Center's ...


51

They're already made, have plenty of usable life left, were stored in a way that facilitates reuse, and apparently cost less than building and certifying brand new ones. https://www.nasa.gov/feature/proposed-station-water-system-looks-to-retired-shuttles In order to reduce the cost and complexity of the proposed system, NASA engineers looked at reusing ...


50

The Space Shuttle (or any complicated system for that matter) is not just composed of the hardware itself. It is a system composed of all the infrastructure needed to get it to work. The hardware needed to manufacture and quality check the specific components, the hundreds or thousands of scientists, engineers, technicians and mechanics with specific domain ...


49

That is the Rotating Service Structure. It can be rotated to fit over the Shuttle while it is on the pad, giving access to the Shuttle cargo bay. The empty space allows the RSS to fit over the launch platform. It's not floating, the leg on the left side of the photo is part of the RSS. This is a detail of the leg: You can see the cab and wheels used to ...


48

According to History of the Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center JSC wanted the water moat (located around the runway) since it would serve as a visual aid to identify the runway. It is also required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a retention pond for storm water runoff from the concrete runway, and provides a barrier ...


46

That's a mistranscription of OMS Burn, or Orbital Maneuvering System burn. The OMS system is how the shuttle changed its orbital characteristics. You can read about it here. One, two or more might have been used to fine tune the orbit, avoid space debris, rendezvous with the space station, etc.


45

I don't have an immediate citation handy, but the answer is no. The SRBs were powerful enough to overcome the hold-down studs. That said, the same signal was used to blow the nuts on the hold-down studs and ignite the SRBs. Once the SRBs light, the vehicle is going somewhere.


45

A reverse image search (once you tell Google you're looking for the space shuttle, not base jump) brings you to the picture on Getty Images, which states: Space shuttle above Earth's atmosphere, composite image (emphasis mine). So it's probably composed of one of the pictures linked to by OON and some other picture of the moon. Or that part could be ...


42

Specific impulse is not the only measure of a rocket. For the case of the SRBs, high thrust is much more important than high specific impulse. In this case, you want to look at the heat of formation for carbon dioxide vs aluminum oxide. Carbon dioxide has a heat of formation of roughly -390 kJ/mol, compared with roughly -1670 kJ/mol for aluminum oxide. ...


41

From STS-3, the tank was left unpainted, the brown color is the natural color of the insulation foam, see this PDF. The color would get darker from exposure to the sun. The tanks of STS-1 and 2 were painted white, but this took several hundred kg of paint, and after STS-1 and 2 tests showed that the paint wasn't necessary.


40

Those are covers on the RCS thrusters. They're on all the other thrusters too, to prevent rain etc. from getting into the thrusters. For most of the program, the covers were butcher paper. Towards the end, we switched to using Tyvek. The covers are designed to get blown off during launch. On the OMS pods, it's mostly done by the shockwave of the ...


39

This exact problem was presented in The Artemis Project's "Why We Won't Fly a Space Shuttle to the Moon" article, so I'll just quote a few short excerpts from the points it is making, and the rest is then in the article: Vehicle Mass Dry weight of Shuttle Orbiter is about 250,000 lbs, compared to the space-only LTV's [Lunar Transfer Vehicle] weight of ...


39

Look at the STS-122 video. How many astronauts do you see? I see six. Seven astronauts landed with STS-122. The six you see were the crew of STS-122 who spent twelve days in space. They could walk because twelve days in zero g isn't enough time to take a significant toll on musculature, bones, and blood. The seventh returning astronaut, Daniel Tani, who you ...


39

The loading / unloading fixture was called the Mate / Demate Device. There were permanent ones at Kennedy Space Center and at Edwards Airforce Base (the nominal Orbiter landing sites). There was a third device, somewhat different in appearance, the Orbiter Lifting Fixture (OLF). This was used at at Palmdale (where the Orbiters were built) when they went ...


37

Everything (not only space shuttles) that goes into the Earth orbit must curve its path on the way up. If a vehicle went straight up and did not achieve escape velocity, it would fall back to Earth after the fuel runs out. The main objective of the rocket engine is not only to get the cargo above the atmosphere, but more importantly to accelerate it in ...


37

One factor that would likely disqualify a jet engine for consideration is that they can't operate over such a large speed range. The SRBs propel the orbiter to about 3,500 mph (Mach 5.3). Ramjets and scramjets can operate at this speed, but can not be operated at a zero airspeed when the vehicle needs an enormous amount of thrust to leave the pad.


37

"Rigorous tests" doesn't begin to describe the process used to make sure there are no bugs in the Shuttle software. This massive article details how the process works. A few salient points: The Shuttle software consists of ca. 420,000 lines. The total bug count hovers around 1. At one point around 1996, they built 11 versions of the code with a total of ...


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