All five shuttles: description, achievements, interesting facts

All five shuttles: description, achievements, interesting facts

"Space Shuttle" (from English Space Shuttle - space shuttle) - American reusable spacecraft, which was used in the eponymous state space program NASA.

First fact

The Space Shuttle program ran from 1969 to 2011, during which reusable ships of the same name were used.

NASA assumed that the shuttles would "scurry about like shuttles" between the Earth and low-Earth orbit, delivering payloads in both directions.

Second fact

The shuttle was launched into space using two solid-propellant rocket boosters and three of its own engines, for which it received fuel from a huge external outboard tank.

In other words, the shuttle had three main components:

  • Two solid-propellant rocket boosters that operate for two minutes after launch and then separate at an altitude of about 45 km, after which they splash down by parachute into the ocean. After the repair they were used again.
  • Huge external liquid hydrogen and oxygen fuel tank for shuttle engines. It also serves as a frame for attaching the accelerators to the ship. The tank separates after about 8.5 minutes at an altitude of 113 km, burning up in the atmosphere.
  • And the shuttle itself, which is a manned rocket ship. When the shuttle enters low-earth orbit, it serves as a research workstation and a "home" for the crew. After the flight program is completed, the shuttle returns to Earth, landing, gliding, onto the runway.

Third fact

For the first time they started talking about this program back in 1967, a year before the first manned Apollo flight - as a prospect for the future of manned space exploration after the completion of the lunar program.

In 1970, a special space group presented a detailed plan of probable programs in space exploration, including the project of space shuttles.

And in 1973 the results of a competition among many competitors for the manufacture of components and assemblies of the shuttle were announced:

  • Spacecraft - North American Rockwell Corp (with 10,000 US subcontractors);
  • Fuselage - General Dynamics Corp San Diego, California;
  • Wing - Grumman Corp, Long Island;
  • Vertical Stabilizer - Fairchild Industries, Inc., Long Island;
  • Orbital Maneuvering System - McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Co., Missouri;
  • Main Engine - North American Rockwell Corp., Texas (with 24 subcontractors with contracts exceeding $ 100K).

10 facts about the Space Shuttle

The shuttle is launched into space using two solid rocket boosters and three

their own marching engines, which receive fuel from a huge external outboard tank, at the initial stage of the trajectory, the main thrust is created by detachable solid-propellant boosters [3]. In orbit, the shuttle maneuvers using the engines of the orbital maneuvering system, returning to Earth as a glider.

This reusable system consists of three [4] main components (steps):

  • Two solid-propellant rocket boosters, which operate for about two minutes after launch, accelerating and guiding the ship, and then separate at an altitude of about 45 km, parachute into the ocean and, after repair and refueling, are used again; [5]
  • Large external liquid hydrogen and oxygen fuel tank for main engines. The tank also serves as a skeleton for attaching the boosters to the spacecraft. The tank is thrown away after about 8.5 minutes at an altitude of 113 km, most of it burns up in the atmosphere, and the remains fall into the ocean [6].
  • A manned spaceship-rocket plane - an orbiter (English the Orbiter Vehicle or simply English the Orbiter) - actually the "Space Shuttle" (space shuttle), which goes to earth orbit, serves there as a platform for research and home for the crew. After completing the flight program, it returns to Earth and lands like a glider on the runway [7].

At NASA, space shuttles are designated OV-xxx (Orbiter Vehicle - xxx)

Contents

Crew [edit | edit wiki text] [edit | edit code]

The smallest shuttle crew consists of two astronauts - the commander and the pilot (Columbia, launches STS-1, STS-2, STS-3, STS-4). The largest shuttle crew is eight astronauts (Challenger, STS-61A, 1985). The second time 8 astronauts were on board during the landing of the Atlantis STS-71 in 1995. Most often, the crew consists of five to seven astronauts. There were no unmanned launches.

Orbits [edit | edit wiki text] [edit | edit code]

The shuttle orbit was approximately 185 to 643 km (115-400 miles).

Payload [edit | edit wiki text] [edit | edit code]

Shuttle Discovery at launch pad

The Space Shuttle or simply the Space Shuttle is an American reusable space shuttle. The shuttles were used as part of NASA's Space Transportation System (STS) program. The shuttles were meant to "scurry about like shuttles" between Earth orbit and Earth, delivering payloads in both directions.

The Space Shuttle Program has been developed by North American Rockwell and a group of associated contractors on behalf of NASA since 1971. Development and development work was carried out as part of a joint program between NASA and the Air Force. When creating the system, a number of technical solutions were used for the lunar modules of the Apollo program of the 1960s: experiments with solid propellant boosters, systems for separating them and obtaining fuel from an external tank. In total, five shuttles were built (two of them died in accidents) and one prototype. Space flights were carried out from April 12, 1981 to July 21, 2011.

In 1985, NASA planned that by 1990 there will be 24 launches per year, and each of the ships will make up to 100 flights into space. In practice, they were used much less - over 30 years of operation, 135 launches were made (including two disasters). Most of the flights (39) were made by the space shuttle "Discovery".

General description of the system

The shuttle is launched into space using two solid-propellant rocket boosters and three of its own propulsion engines, which receive fuel from a huge external outboard tank, at the initial stage of the trajectory, the main thrust is created by detachable solid-propellant boosters. In orbit, the shuttle maneuvers using the engines of the orbital maneuvering system, returning to Earth as a glider.

This reusable system consists of three main components (steps):

  • Two solid-propellant rocket boosters, which operate for about two minutes after launch, accelerating and guiding the ship, and then separate at an altitude of about 45 km, parachute into the ocean and, after repair and refueling, used again;
  • Large external fuel tank with liquid hydrogen and oxygen for the main engines. The tank also serves as a skeleton for attaching the boosters to the spacecraft. The tank is thrown away after about 8.5 minutes at an altitude of 113 km, most of it burns up in the atmosphere, and the remains fall into the ocean.
  • A manned spaceship-rocket plane - an orbiter (the Orbiter Vehicle or simply the Orbiter) - actually a "space shuttle" (space shuttle), which goes into low-earth orbit, serves there as a research platform and home for the crew. After completing the flight program, it returns to Earth and lands like a glider on the runway.

At NASA, space shuttles are designated OV-xxx (Orbiter Vehicle - xxx)

Crew

The smallest shuttle crew consists of two astronauts - the commander and the pilot (Columbia, launches STS-1, STS-2, STS-3, STS-4). The largest shuttle crew is eight astronauts (Challenger, STS-61A, 1985). The second time 8 astronauts were on board during the landing of the Atlantis STS-71 in 1995. Most often, the crew consists of five to seven astronauts. There were no unmanned launches.

Orbits

The shuttle orbit was approximately 185 to 643 km (115-400 miles).

Five shuttles and two layouts. The most basic, interesting and rare illustrations.

Enterprise

Enterprise (OV-101) - never flew into space. It was used to practice ground and atmospheric tests, as well as preparatory work at launch sites. Construction began in 1974. Trial operation began in 1977. The name was chosen due to numerous requests from the audience of the television series "Star Trek". It was originally supposed to be called "Constitution" (Constitution), in honor of the bicentennial of the American Constitution. The parking lot is the Maritime and Aerospace Museum on the aircraft carrier "Intrepid" in New York.

Colombia

Columbia (OV-102) is the first space shuttle, the first operational reusable orbiter. Start of construction - March 1975. In March 1979, it was transferred to the NASA Space Center named after Kennedy. Named after the sailing ship Captain Robert Gray explored the inland waters of British Columbia, now the US states of Washington and Oregon, in the western part of the country.

The first flight took place on April 12, 1981, which coincided with the twentieth anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's launch. The shuttle made both the shortest space flight in the history of the program - STS-2, in November 1981, lasting 2 days 6 hours 13 minutes, and the longest - STS-80, in November 1996, lasting 17 days 15 hours 53 minutes. In 1999, the shuttle launched the Chandra X-ray observatory into orbit.

Columbia crashed on its 28th space trip on February 1, 2003 as it re-entered the Earth's atmosphere prior to landing. The hills of Columbia on Pluto are named after the shuttle.

Challenger

Challenger (OV-099) second space shuttle. Transferred to NASA in July 1982. Originally intended for test purposes only, it has been refitted and prepared for space launches. Named for a naval vessel that explored the ocean in the 1870s.

In 1983, on the Challenger, the first crew of five took off into space on the Challenger, including the first American woman in space, Sally Ride. During the first flight of the Challenger, the first spacewalk was carried out from a shuttle. The shuttle also took part in experiments with the Spacelab space laboratory.

Soyuz launch vehicles are the workhorses of Russian manned space exploration. Today, only they can deliver people to the ISS

On October 4, 1957, the first artificial satellite AES-1 was launched into orbit of our planet. More than sixty years have passed since then, and today space flights are a common thing. The development of near-earth space became possible thanks to launch vehicles (LV) - a special class of aircraft capable of defeating the earth's gravity.

Modern chemical-fueled launch vehicles can hardly be called an ideal means of conquering the Universe. After each launch, these complex multi-ton products are burnt in the atmosphere or turned into a heap of scrap metal. This is why spacecraft launches are so expensive. However, so far this is the only way to overcome the attraction of our planet, and it is unlikely that humanity will come up with something more effective in the coming years.

For many years, the monopoly on the missile sector belonged to states, but today the situation is changing. The trend of the last decade is the rapid development of private space companies, which not only build excellent rockets, but also hatch plans to colonize other planets. The most famous of these is undoubtedly Elon Musk's SpaceX.

What are space rockets

A launch vehicle is a type of ballistic missile that is capable of launching a payload outside the planet's atmosphere. As a rule, launch vehicles have several stages; they are launched using a vertical or air launch. Space rockets can launch cargo into low support, geostationary transfer and geostationary (GSO) orbits.

The payload delivered to orbit is only a small fraction (negligible 1.5-2.0%) of the total rocket weight. Its bulk is made up of structural elements, as well as an oxidizer and fuel. It turns out that the launch vehicle first of all lifts itself and only to a small extent the payload.

The Angara rocket is the hope of the Russian cosmonautics. It should replace the well-deserved, but already outdated "Protons"

To increase efficiency, the rockets are made up of several stages, each of which has a fuel tank and an engine and, in fact, is an independent rocket. The stages are switched on one after the other, work until the fuel is completely depleted, and then are dropped, reducing the total weight of the launch vehicle. A single-stage rocket is also capable of reaching outer space, which was proved by the German V-2, but it cannot enter a stable orbit of the planet's satellite or launch a payload onto it.

There are two variants of the LV layout: with transverse and longitudinal division of the stages. In the first case, they are located one after the other and are turned on alternately. A similar scheme, for example, is used on Musk's "falcon". In the second, several small rockets of the first stage are symmetrically placed around the body of the second and operate simultaneously.

The combined scheme is also used. For example, it is used on Russian Soyuz and Protons. In this case, the first and second stages are divided transversely, and after their separation, the third stage begins to work.

The most important element of the launch vehicle is the engine. He throws out a hot substance and, in accordance with Newton's third law, pushes the apparatus in the opposite direction. Depending on the type of fuel used, the launch vehicles are:

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