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Questions tagged [space-shuttle]

Questions about the portion of the Space Shuttle's operations within the atmosphere. Questions about space are off-topic.

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1answer
205 views

What navigation systems were used by the Space Shuttle during reentry?

What equipment did the Space Shuttle orbiters carry to support navigation during reentry? Were there any differences between the individual orbiters in this regard?
12
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1answer
345 views

What is the Space Shuttle's command law?

The Space Shuttle was fly-by-wire. In today's fly-by-wire systems, the command law commands either the load factor and the roll rate (e.g., A320's normal law), or the surface control deflection (e.g., ...
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2answers
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Why do the B747 of NASA Shuttle Carrier Aircrafts (SCAs) need additional vertical stabilizer?

Here is picture of B747 SCA of NASA and the AN-225 SCA. There are additional vertical stabilizer in the tip of the elevator to the Boeing's, while the AN-225 is designed with the vertical stabilizer ...
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1answer
225 views

Why were the space shuttle’s flight controls only certified for low airspeeds?

Somewhat ironically for a vehicle designed to reach orbital speed, the space shuttle’s flight control system was only certified for airspeeds up to 333 KIAS, and exceeding 470 KIAS (the maximum ...
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3answers
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Was the Space Shuttle aerodynamically neutral while piggybacking, or did the combination act like a giant biplane?

Trying to investigate this question, I see that 'Ask the Captain' says: The weight of the shuttle is calculated like any payload. The 747 produces enough lift to fly and to carry the weight of ...
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2answers
385 views

How close to the White House did the Space Shuttle Discovery “fly”?

The CNN article For 747, transporting a shuttle is no heavy burden shows the shuttle Discovery on top of a "shuttle shuttle", a special 747 used to shuttle the space shuttles around. How close to the ...
3
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2answers
1k views

Why was F-18 chosen to escort Space Shuttle Endeavour?

This question is kind of a continuation to Why does NASA have F/A-18s? The accepted answer states that "NASA uses them for pilot training and as chase planes for research aircraft." So, why ...
2
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1answer
288 views

Why didn’t the space shuttle have flight control manual-reversion capability?

The Wikipedia article on STS-1 (the first orbital space shuttle mission), in a discussion of all the problems and malfunctions occurring during the mission, mentions that, due to an unexpected ...
2
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1answer
309 views

How useful would the space shuttle OMS actually be in atmosphere?

When speaking of space shuttle landings, they always mention that it is "very poor glider, with one shot, no go-arounds." Of course this is true; however, if the Shuttle found itself in a situation ...
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2answers
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Why would landing the space shuttle on water have been unsurvivable?

For an aircraft unable to reach a runway on land, ditching in water is a common and, generally, highly-survivable option; however, for the space shuttle, according to Wikipedia, "...an ocean ditching ...
10
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1answer
403 views

Did the space shuttle have a stall warning system (such as a stick shaker)?

I've been wondering about this, but I can't find any sources one way or the other: Was the space shuttle equipped with a stick shaker and\or other stall warning system?
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2answers
435 views

Was the runway upgrade at Mataveri Airport on Easter Island really related to the Lee Correy novel “Shuttle Down”?

This answer to the question Could the Space Shuttle have landed on any long runway other than those specially reinforced at Kennedy (TTS), and Edwards (EDW)? says: The Mataveri Airport on Easter ...
4
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1answer
191 views

What are the trim settings on ferried aircraft?

Sometimes an aircraft or spacecraft is ferried on top of a carrier aircraft. Do these "piggy back riders" have their flight surfaces controlled (possibly remotely) during the flight? If not, how are ...
22
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3answers
4k views

What pilot certificates were needed to fly the Space Shuttle?

Were there specific FAA (or other relevant regulatory body) pilot licensing or certifications required to fly the Space Shuttle? Are they specific to the Space Shuttle, or would it have fallen under ...
4
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1answer
700 views

Was the Buran space shuttle capable of doing a go-around?

In several places I've seen reference to the Buran automated landing where it supposedly did a go-around and came in for a second landing attempt. I was under the impression that the Buran was ...
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2answers
4k views

What was the Space Shuttle's glide ratio?

The Space Shuttles glided to a landing in the atmosphere after reentry. They were not good gliders, aerodynamically speaking, so their glide slope angle was rather steep. What was the glide ratio of ...
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4answers
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What's the point of using T-38 to instill flight proficiency in Space Shuttle pilots?

As discussed in this Q&A, NASA pilots had to fly 15 hours a month on T-38 to maintain flight proficiency. NASA Dryden's T-38 Talon trainer jet in flight over the main base complex at Edwards Air ...
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3answers
2k views

Could a plane with an electric turbine engine generate enough lift to provide a electric areodynamic lift and runway to space?

This question is similar to my previous ones but configuration is different and so is the question. Could a modified electric turbine engine (E-Fan) plane create enough of its own lift not to burden ...
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1answer
2k views

Was the unmanned flight and landing of the Buran spacecraft in 1988 exceptional?

The Buran had a very sad fate. But in 1988 it has undertaken its first and last flight, which was unmanned and landed with a precision of three meters in a crosswind of 60 km per hour. It lost only 8 ...
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3answers
2k views

Was the Space Shuttle landing sequence executed manually or automatically?

I was motivated by another SE Aviation Question where the complex set of manouveres needed to land the space shuttle is described to ask the following question: Is the landing handled manually or is ...
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3answers
2k views

Was the Shuttle Orbiter in contact with air traffic control during its descent & landing?

The Shuttle Orbiter crew were obviously in contact with ground control in Houston during their landing, but were they also in contact with any air traffic control, especially once they reached US ...
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3answers
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Could the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft do a transatlantic flight with a Space Shuttle orbiter on its back?

Some of the STS backup landing sites were in Europe. Of course, The STS would actually have to fly there only in case of extreme emergency, so the number one priority was just to save the lives of ...
2
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1answer
463 views

Did the Space Shuttle boat tail used in the transport configuration save fuel?

During the testing phase as well as during transport of the Space Shuttle on top of a 747, a boat tail was used: Source Here I found that this was mainly to reduce the turbulence that would strike ...
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7answers
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How does the Space Shuttle slow down during re-entry, descent, and landing?

Yesterday, my little brother asked me to help him build his new Space Shuttle Lego set. When we finally finished building it, he started to play with his new toy and asked me to be the "Mission ...
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1answer
3k views

Does NASA use T-38's to train all crew members of a space flight as pilots?

Did all NASA flight crew recruits learn to fly when preparing for Space Shuttle missions? Obviously, the pilot — and I am guessing the commander, too — would be USAF / USN / USMC pilots, but what ...
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2answers
5k views

Did the Space Shuttle really wait until 50 feet above the ground before they put the gear down?

I saw a sign at the Smithsonian about the Space Shuttle where it said that their gear was not extended until 50 feet above the ground. I've searched and searched for something definitive that had the ...