This article is set a spacecraft system utilized by NASA. For area shuttles in wellknown, see spacecraft and spaceplane. For the spaceplane aspect of the Space Shuttle, see Space Shuttle orbiter.Space Shuttle

Discovery lifts off on the begin of STS-a hundred and twenty.FunctionCrewed orbital launch and reentryManufacturerUnited Space AllianceThiokol/Alliant Techsystems (SRBs)Lockheed Martin/Martin Marietta (ET)Boeing/Rockwell (orbiter)Country of originUnited StatesProject costUS$211 billion (2012)Cost in keeping with launchUS$450 million (2011)[1]Height56.1 m (184 toes)Diameter8.7 m (29 toes)Mass2,030,000 kg (4,480,000 lb)Stages1.five[2]: 126, one hundred forty Mass27,500 kg (60,six hundred lb)Mass16,050 kg (35,380 lb)Mass10,890 kg (24,010 lb) with Inertial Upper Stage[3]Mass2,270 kg (five,000 lb) with Inertial Upper Stage [3]Mass14,four hundred kg (31,seven hundred lb)[4]StatusRetiredLaunch web sitesKennedy Space Center, LC-39Vandenberg Air Force Base (unused), SLC-6Total launches135Success(es)133[a]Failure(s)2Challenger (launch failure, 7 fatalities)Columbia (re-entry failure, 7 fatalities)First flight12 April 1981Last flight21 July 2011No. boosters2Powered by2 solid-fuel rocket motorsMaximum thrust13,000 kN (3,000,000 lbf) every, sea stage (2,650,000 liftoff)Specific impulse242 s (2.37 km/s)[5]Burn time124 secondsPropellantSolid (ammonium perchlorate composite propellant)Powered by3 RS-25 engines located on OrbiterMaximum thrust5,250 kN (1,one hundred eighty,000 lbf) overall, sea stage liftoff[6]Specific impulse455 s (4.forty six km/s)Burn time480 secondsPropellantLH2 / LOXPeople or shipment transportedTracking and records relay satellitesSpacelabHubble Space TelescopeGalileoMagellanUlyssesCompton Gamma Ray ObservatoryMir Docking ModuleChandra X-ray ObservatoryISS additives

The Space Shuttle is a retired, partially reusable low Earth orbital spacecraft machine operated from 1981 to 2011 by means of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as part of the Space Shuttle program. Its reliable software call was Space Transportation System (STS), taken from a 1969 plan for a gadget of reusable spacecraft wherein it changed into the best object funded for improvement.[7] The first (STS-1) of four orbital test flights passed off in 1981, leading to operational flights (STS-5) starting in 1982. Five complete Space Shuttle orbiter automobiles had been constructed and flown on a total of one hundred thirty five missions from 1981 to 2011, launched from the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. Operational missions launched severa satellites, interplanetary probes, and the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), conducted technological know-how experiments in orbit, participated inside the Shuttle-Mir application with Russia, and participated in production and servicing of the International Space Station (ISS). The Space Shuttle fleet’s general mission time became 1,323 days.[8]

Space Shuttle components encompass the Orbiter Vehicle (OV) with 3 clustered Rocketdyne RS-25 foremost engines, a pair of recoverable stable rocket boosters (SRBs), and the expendable outside tank (ET) containing liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. The Space Shuttle changed into launched vertically, like a traditional rocket, with the two SRBs running in parallel with the orbiter’s 3 most important engines, which have been fueled from the ET. The SRBs have been jettisoned before the automobile reached orbit, while the main engines persisted to perform, and the ET become jettisoned after foremost engine cutoff and simply before orbit insertion, which used the orbiter’s two Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS) engines. At the conclusion of the project, the orbiter fired its OMS to deorbit and reenter the environment. The orbiter turned into blanketed at some stage in reentry by way of its thermal protection system tiles, and it glided as a spaceplane to a runway landing, normally to the Shuttle Landing Facility at KSC, Florida, or to Rogers Dry Lake in Edwards Air Force Base, California. If the touchdown happened at Edwards, the orbiter changed into flown lower back to the KSC atop the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), a particularly modified Boeing 747.

The first orbiter, Enterprise, turned into constructed in 1976 and utilized in Approach and Landing Tests (ALT), however had no orbital capability. Four absolutely operational orbiters have been first of all constructed: Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, and Atlantis. Of these,have been lost in task injuries: Challenger in 1986 and Columbia in 2003, with a total of 14 astronauts killed. A fifth operational (and sixth in total) orbiter, Endeavour, was built in 1991 to update Challenger. The 3 surviving operational motors had been retired from carrier following Atlantis’s very last flight on July 21, 2011. The U.S. trusted the Russian Soyuz spacecraft to move astronauts to the ISS from the remaining Shuttle flight till the release of the Crew Dragon Demo-2 venture in May 2020.[9]Design and improvement[edit]Historical historical past[edit]

During the 1950s, america Air Force proposed the usage of a reusable piloted glider to perform army operations together with reconnaissance, satellite tv for pc attack, and air-to-ground weapons employment. In the overdue Fifties, the Air Force commenced developing the in part reusable X-20 Dyna-Soar. The Air Force collaborated with NASA on the Dyna-Soar and started out schooling six pilots in June 1961. The growing fees of improvement and the prioritization of Project Gemini led to the cancellation of the Dyna-Soar program in December 1963. In addition to the Dyna-Soar, the Air Force had performed a take a look at in 1957 to test the feasibility of reusable boosters. This became the premise for the aerospaceplane, a completely reusable spacecraft that was in no way developed past the initial layout section in 1962–1963.[10]: 162–163 

Beginning within the early Nineteen Fifties, NASA and the Air Force collaborated on developing lifting our bodies to test plane that frequently generated elevate from their fuselages rather than wings, and tested the NASA M2-F1, Northrop M2-F2, Northrop M2-F3, Northrop HL-10, Martin Marietta X-24A, and the Martin Marietta X-24B. The program examined aerodynamic traits that would later be integrated in layout of the Space Shuttle, inclusive of unpowered landing from a high altitude and pace.[11]: 142 [12]: sixteen–18 Design method[edit]

On September 24, 1966, NASA and the Air Force launched a joint study concluding that a brand new automobile become required to meet their respective destiny demands and that a partially reusable device will be the most price-powerful solution.[10]: 164  The head of the NASA Office of Manned Space Flight, George Mueller, announced the plan for a reusable commute on August 10, 1968. NASA issued a request for idea (RFP) for designs of the Integrated Launch and Re-access Vehicle (ILRV), which might later grow to be the Space Shuttle. Rather than award a settlement based upon preliminary proposals, NASA introduced a phased method for the Space Shuttle contracting and improvement; Phase A changed into a request for research completed through competing aerospace businesses, Phase B become a opposition betweencontractors for a specific settlement, Phase C concerned designing the details of the spacecraft additives, and Phase D was the manufacturing of the spacecraft.[thirteen][12]: 19–22 

In December 1968, NASA created the Space Shuttle Task Group to determine the premier design for a reusable spacecraft, and issued observe contracts to General Dynamics, Lockheed, McDonnell Douglas, and North American Rockwell. In July 1969, the Space Shuttle Task Group issued a report that decided the Shuttle would aid brief-length crewed missions and space station, in addition to the abilties to release, service, and retrieve satellites. The file additionally created 3 instructions of a future reusable commute: Class I could have a reusable orbiter hooked up on expendable boosters, Class II might use more than one expendable rocket engines and a unmarried propellant tank (degree-and-a-half of), and Class III would have each a reusable orbiter and a reusable booster. In September 1969, the Space Task Group, below the management of Vice President Spiro Agnew, issued a record calling for the development of a area commute to deliver human beings and load to low Earth orbit (LEO), as well as a space tug for transfers among orbits and the Moon, and a reusable nuclear higher stage for deep area travel.[10]: 163–166 [7]

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