Space Shuttle

The Space Shuttle was a partially reusable launch system and orbital spacecraft operated by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for human spaceflight missions. The system combined rocket launch, orbital spacecraft, and re-entry spaceplane with modular add-ons. The first of four orbital test flights occurred in 1981 leading to operational flights beginning in 1982. It was used on a total of 135 missions from 1981 to 2011 all launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

Major missions included launching numerous satellites, interplanetary probes, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), conducting space science experiments, and constructing and servicing the International Space Station. Major components included the orbiters, recoverable boosters, external tanks, payloads, and supporting infrastructure. Five space-worthy orbiters were built; two were lost in mission accidents.

The Space Shuttle at launch consisted of the Orbiter Vehicle (OV), one external tank (ET), and two Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs). It was launched vertically like a conventional rocket with thrust from the two SRBs and three main engines. During launch, the external tank provided fuel for the orbiter's main engines. The SRBs and ET were jettisoned before the orbiter reached orbit. At the conclusion of the orbiter's space mission, it fired its thrusters to drop out of orbit and re-enter the lower atmosphere. The orbiter decelerated in the atmosphere before flying like a glider but with reaction control system thrusters before landing on a long runway. Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavour were the space-capable orbiters that were built.

Read more about Space ShuttleOverview, Early History, Description, Fleet History, Retirement, Space Shuttle Successors and Legacy, In Culture

Other articles related to "space shuttle, space":

List Of Upper Stages
... IIIE, Titan IV Blue Streak, Saturn I, Space Shuttle In service Earth Departure Stage United States Ares V In development Falcon 9 second stage United States (private ...
Space Shuttle - In Culture - U.S. Postage Commemorations
... The U.S ... Postal Service has released several postage issues that depict the Space Shuttle ...
List Of Space Flight Simulator Games - Space Flight Simulator Games
... SpaceDreamStudios Windows Buzz Aldrin's Race into Space 1992 Fritz Bronner, Michael McCarty Interplay DOS More of a turn-based strategy/management sim, with no space flight Eagle ... Windows, Mac OS X Lunar Explorer A Space Flight Simulator 1986 EduWare Electric Transit, Inc ... pack for Microsoft Flight Simulator Microsoft Space Simulator 1994 Bruce Artwick Organization Ltd ...
Space Accidents And Incidents - Astronaut Fatalities - Astronaut Fatalities During Spaceflight
... The history of space exploration has had a number of incidents that resulted in the deaths of the astronauts during a space mission ... NASA astronauts who have lost their lives in the line of duty are memorialized at the Space Mirror Memorial at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Merritt Island. 11 were killed after undocking from space station Salyut 1 after a three-week stay ...
... STS-134 (ISS assembly flight ULF6) was the penultimate mission of NASA's Space Shuttle program ... The mission marked the 25th and last spaceflight of Space Shuttle Endeavour ... and an ExPRESS Logistics Carrier to the International Space Station ...

Famous quotes containing the words shuttle and/or space:

    And the shuttle never falters, but to draw an encouraging conclusion
    From this would be considerable, too odd. Why not just
    Breathe in with the courage of each day, recognizing yourself as one
    Who must with difficulty get down from high places?
    John Ashbery (b. 1927)

    Finally she grew quiet, and after that, coherent thought. With this, stalked through her a cold, bloody rage. Hours of this, a period of introspection, a space of retrospection, then a mixture of both. Out of this an awful calm.
    Zora Neale Hurston (1891–1960)