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4

Shuttle tiles could demonstrably survive at least 27 missions over an interval of over 20 years. When Columbia lifted off from Launch Complex 39-A at Kennedy Space Center on January 16, 2003, it superficially resembled the Orbiter that had first flown in 1981, and indeed many elements of its airframe dated back to its first flight. More than 44 ...


0

Well this is interesting. NASA offered educators Shuttle thermal tiles. On this page they state the following (emphasis mine) All tiles in the Tiles for Teachers program are unflown. In general, flown tiles are only removed after they are damaged or need to be removed to service the orbiter. Since this is the case most flown tiles are in very bad ...


3

The tiles were not as fragile as you think. While the back sides had the consistency of styrofoam, they were covered with a reaction-cured glass coating that made the surface smooth and hard. High-temperature reusable surface insulation tiles used a black borosilicate glass coating that had an emittance value greater than 0.8 and covered areas of the ...


4

No. The prelaunch timeline for the crew was closely scheduled. Shuttle crews were awakened ~ 5 hours prior to the scheduled liftoff time and ate a meal shortly after they woke up and got dressed. Depending on the scheduled liftoff time, the crew may have been sleep shifting for a week or so prior to launch day. Source - SCOM, page 5.1-1 Normal Procedures ...


1

1) Columbia's history of RCC panel replacements: Columbia has only had three panels/Tee seals replaced over its history. Panels 12R and 10L were removed for destructive testing and pinhole evaluations. Panel 11L had fit problems and was sent to spares. Also, over Columbiaʼs lifetime, seven RCC panels and six seals on the left wing were repaired, ...


-1

The lifting capacity figures seem to be for mass delivered to LEO when stage used on top of a conventional booster. The use considered here posits the stage to already be at orbital velocity, onboard the Shuttle. Those figures are not a good comparison for use as an orbital transfer stage (e.g. lifting to GEO), or boosting to lunar/planetary mission escape ...


8

This is a frame from a video I shot in the Shuttle Mission Simulator back in the 90s. I was sitting in the commander's seat. The shoebox with the red stripes is supposed to be the launch tower, you can see the ground at the bottom. The simulator window field of view was supposed to be accurate. But although I didn't have a helmet on, I would say yes.


2

The original design concept was for the Orbiter to ride piggyback on a manned, reusable winged booster. When budget realities forced elimination of the booster, it was replaced by the tank/solid booster combination, but the piggyback mounting was retained. link to image source


2

The best place for the tank is below the orbiter just above the engines. This placement allows short and straight pipes from the tanks to the engines. All parts could be balanced and aligned. No heavy gimbaling necessary. Solid fuel boosters could be aligned parallel to the tank. Separation of the tank from the orbiter is as easy as a conventional stage ...


25

Those are the Ascent Checklist and the Ascent/Entry Systems Procedures (AESP) book. These are used by the back-seater Mission Specialists (MSs) and contain copies of the cue cards and flip-books used by the front-seater commander and pilot. The MSs follow along in the checklists and back up the front seaters. The Ascent Checklist contains the nominal and ...


1

Forget about the SRBs, they play no role in an abort. You don't even select the RTLS abort until after SRB sep. The earliest RTLS selection is made at 2m30s allowing time for SRB sep induced transients to be damped out, and for second stage guidance to converge. Therefore, an abort could be initiated before SRB sep, but the vehicle would not begin ...


26

There were a few common cause, credible failures. Loss of inlet pressure to the engines due to a leak in the External Tank or failure of the tank pressurization system. (This loss of pressure is what caused all three engines to shut down during the Challenger accident, when the External Tank ruptured) Engine operation was normal until the fuel ...


32

Much of the time, you would die. Refer to the 3 OUT BLACK ZONE chart from here The heavy black lines show where the situation is not survivable (black zone). Acronymology for the black zone charts: alpha = Angle of attack ALT = Altitude c.g. = Center of gravity EAS = Equivalent Air Speed MECO = Main Engine Cutoff MM602 - Major Mode 602, the onboard ...


4

The original specification minimum power level was 65% as seen in this page from the 1989 Rocketdyne SSME Pocket Data Book. Later a "bi-stable turbopump" issue caused the lower limit to be raised to 67% as seen in this slide from a June 1998 presentation. The SSMEs could be manually throttled by the pilot using the Speedbrake/Thrust Controller (SBTC) ...


3

According to the Russian "Science First Hand" popular sience journal the current location of the Wake Shield is the Center for Advanced Materials at the University of Houston. This is in the Science & Research Building 1, 724, University of Houston in Houston, Texas. Maybe you can contact Alex Ignatiev (the director of the project) to get to know if it ...


8

One could determine the planned locations of the crew during any given time by referring to the Flight Plan. For the reboost event described in the earlier answer https://space.stackexchange.com/a/39552/6944, we can look at where they were: At the initiation of the reboost, the shuttle commander would have been in the Orbiter, presumably with another ...


4

I'm interpreting this question as "Did adjustments have to be made to the shuttle Digital Autopilot (DAP) while it was controlling the mated stack (shuttle + ISS) - i.e. was a maneuver tried, the results of the trial evaluated, and the DAP settings changed based on the results of the trial during the same shuttle mission?" If that interpretation is correct, ...


7

A spacecraft fire is an extremely serious situation. Even if no serious damage is done to spacecraft systems, the cabin atmosphere is likely to be highly contaminated by toxic combustion products and possibly by whatever substance the extinguishers use. For shuttle, a serious cabin fire would result in a early deorbit case if the cabin atmosphere could not ...


10

No propellant was ever transferred from the Orbiter to the ISS. Shuttle reboosted ISS using the Reaction Control System (RCS) jets. The small 24 lbf vernier RCS jets were used. The steps for executing the reboost were called out in the Flight Plan. Here's an example from STS-130. Note that it was done at the very end of the docked phase (straddling the ...


59

Not before launch, during launch. The structure of the payload bay (and the other Orbiter compartments except for the crew compartment) was not strong enough to withstand either crush loads from a vacuum in the bay / atmosphere outside situation, or burst loads from a atmosphere inside / vacuum outside situation. Accordingly, the bay and other volumes were ...


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