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Space Shuttle Discovery  
User currently offlineBCal10 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 25 posts, RR: 0
Posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5025 times:

No doubt there are huge sighs of relief that Discovery is home. One question now is bugging me. Can the shuttle fly like an ordinary aircraft, ie take off from a runway. If not why not and how are they going to get it from Edwards AFB back to Florida.

54 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineB744F From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5020 times:

They transport it on a modified 747

No it cannot "take off" like an airplane


User currently offlineLrockeagle From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 82 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5011 times:

Piggy-back it on a 747. I saw one of the shuttles come through LRAFB once years back on top of a 747. really awesome

User currently offlineBMIFlyer From UK - England, joined Feb 2004, 8810 posts, RR: 58
Reply 3, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4995 times:

Here we go  Wink



Thanks


Lee



Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
User currently offlineAndz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8463 posts, RR: 10
Reply 4, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4961 times:
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After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
User currently offlineBMIFlyer From UK - England, joined Feb 2004, 8810 posts, RR: 58
Reply 5, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4953 times:

Can you imagine the drag on that??

Must be phenomenal.



Lee



Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
User currently offlineB744F From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4933 times:

it really isn't much drag, the shuttle itself is designed to be very areodynamic

User currently offlineBMIFlyer From UK - England, joined Feb 2004, 8810 posts, RR: 58
Reply 7, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4922 times:

Is N905NA an ex AA bird??



Lee



Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
User currently offlineLrockeagle From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 82 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4919 times:

I guess they just lift it up with a big crane?

User currently offlineBCal10 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 25 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4915 times:

Ok I admit I forgot about the 747. Same idea as the Buran and the An-225. Why could it not be made to fly normally like a delta wing shaped aircraft like Concorde. Is this to do with heat shield tiles and engine/rocket types?

User currently offlineCloudyapple From Hong Kong, joined Jul 2005, 2454 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4909 times:

How do they put the shuttle on the back of the 747? A giant crane?


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User currently offlineGlom From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 2821 posts, RR: 10
Reply 11, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4899 times:

The main engines require fuel to work and that requires a large tank to be strapped to the bottom. There is no tankage for the main engines on the orbiter itself.

User currently offlineBMIFlyer From UK - England, joined Feb 2004, 8810 posts, RR: 58
Reply 12, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4893 times:

Quoting BCal10 (Reply 9):
Why could it not be made to fly normally like a delta wing shaped aircraft like Concorde

I would just LOVE  bigthumbsup  to see the shuttle fire its rockets and zoom down the runway like an ordinary bird. VR in under 10 seconds?  Wink



Lee



Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
User currently offlineLonghornmaniac From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 3355 posts, RR: 45
Reply 13, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4878 times:

From the moment of the De-orbit burn which occurs roughly an hour before scheduled touchdown, to get the shuttle into the right position for reentry (a 40 degree nose up angle) and at 17,000 mph, there is no engine use. From that moment forward the shuttle becomes the most sophisticated glider ever built. To decelerate the shuttle goes through a series of left and right banks after reentry. It goes subsonic approximately 25 miles away from the landing facility and approximately 4 minutes before touchdown. From that moment, the shuttle commander (in the case of STS-114, Eileen Collins) "flies" the craft in manually. People seem to often misunderstand that they only get one shot at this. Either way, that shuttle is going to hit the ground on that pass, regardless of whether or not its on the runway. If they miscalculate by a second during their last few orbits, it'll wind up missing the runway by miles. I watched the whole thing this morning from about 3:30 CDT to touchdown. I was fascinated by it. NASA has a link to a video inside mission control with live radio communications.

User currently offlineB744F From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4847 times:

I was under the impression that the shuttle was fully automated

User currently offlineAsstChiefMark From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4847 times:



User currently offlineLonghornmaniac From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 3355 posts, RR: 45
Reply 16, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4843 times:

Quoting B744F (Reply 14):
I was under the impression that the shuttle was fully automated

Amazingly enough...nope. You'd think something so technologically sophisticated would be, but it still needs a pilot to land.


User currently offlineGlom From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 2821 posts, RR: 10
Reply 17, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4839 times:

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 16):
Amazingly enough...nope. You'd think something so technologically sophisticated would be, but it still needs a pilot to land.

What's the point in exhaustively screening for the best pilots only to put them on a robot?


User currently offlineBCal10 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 25 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 4835 times:

Thanks Longhornmaniac for the detailed description of the landing. I can see now why they they will not let it land in bad weather. If it were blown off course it it cant go around. This to seems incredibly risky. Surely small jet engines and a little fuel for a go around would have made good sense. Still no one's needed them yet.

User currently offlineAndz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8463 posts, RR: 10
Reply 19, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 4826 times:
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Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 7):
Is N905NA an ex AA bird??


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Quoting Cloudyapple (Reply 10):
How do they put the shuttle on the back of the 747? A giant crane?


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After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
User currently offlineLonghornmaniac From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 3355 posts, RR: 45
Reply 20, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 4817 times:

Quoting Glom (Reply 17):
What's the point in exhaustively screening for the best pilots only to put them on a robot?

Point Taken Glom  Smile

Quoting BCal10 (Reply 18):
Thanks Longhornmaniac for the detailed description of the landing. I can see now why they they will not let it land in bad weather. If it were blown off course it it cant go around. This to seems incredibly risky. Surely small jet engines and a little fuel for a go around would have made good sense. Still no one's needed them yet.

Haha, no problem BCal. I agree with you that its incredibly risky but one could argue that that ship doesn't need any more combustibles or explosives on it either.


User currently offlineGarnetpalmetto From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5426 posts, RR: 52
Reply 21, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 4810 times:

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 16):
Amazingly enough...nope. You'd think something so technologically sophisticated would be, but it still needs a pilot to land.

While the deorbit sequence is, I believe, automated, as pointed out earlier the mission commander pilots it on final approach. From what I remember, NASA and/or Rockwell originally planned for landing to be automated as well, but the astronauts raised a stir about the possibility of the computer lowering the landing gear too early which could have led to a potential catatastrophe. Compare that to Buran which could be flown entirely in an automated mode.



South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
User currently offlineB744F From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 4812 times:

Quoting Glom (Reply 17):
What's the point in exhaustively screening for the best pilots only to put them on a robot?

airliners do it all the time?


User currently offlineNASOCEANA From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 291 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 4807 times:

Yeap! A truly awesome site to see the shuttle ferried back to Cape Canaveral on back of the modified B747. I think it will cost NASA something like $1 million to have this done.


B777 greatest Airliner ever built!
User currently offlineSean1234 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 411 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 4801 times:

A few Questions:

Are the Shuttle main engines not used after the center tank is dropped? I assumed smaller tanks would be inside as well.

How does the Shuttle maneuver? I observed little holes on the nose section, probably thrusters I assume. What is the power source for these thrusters/ what type of thrusters are these?

Has the shuttle ever left the orbit of the earth?

Sean


25 Glom : No. There is no tankage in the orbiter itself for the SSMEs. ET jettison is performed after MECO. Initial orbit insertion at MECO is too low to be su
26 Glom : I just thought of another reason for the orbiter being unable to return itself to Complex 39 aside from the lack of propellents. The SSMEs are virtual
27 SATL382G : No, all the fuel for the SSMEs is stored in the External Tank. Once it is jettisoned any fuel remaining in the engines or lines is purged. The thrust
28 SATL382G : Oh yeah? You might want to rethink that or post a reference.....
29 Bongo : Just a question: Why don't NASA launch it from Edwards AFB next time ? So they can save the transport to Fla again.
30 Post contains links KDTWFlyer : The entire shuttle reentry was hand flown once by a ex-marine pilot who was ready for the ultimate risk and challenge... http://www.x-plane.com/orbite
31 SATL382G : No launch pads for shuttle at Edwards.... This guy is refering to a computer game, not the real shuttle
32 Glom : Because the refurbishment and launch facilities are all at Complex 39. Yeah. Okay, so perhaps I exaggerate with the "destroy" remark. But indeed, the
33 Post contains links Garnetpalmetto : No launch facility at Edwards. The original plan was for there to be an alternate launch site at Vandenberg AFB, but after the Challenger incident an
34 SATL382G : Not in flight certainly, but they are routinely restarted on the ground without major disassembly.
35 Post contains links Glom : I've got this so far. In section 3.2 it makes a vague reference to the SSMEs requiring refurbishment after every flight. I know it's not much. Let me
36 Post contains links Glom : I've got this so far. In section 3.2 it makes a vague reference to the SSMEs requiring refurbishment after every flight. I know it's not much. Let me
37 SATL382G : BIG difference between "virtually destroyed" and "requires refurbishment"
38 Glom : Since I've been abandoned at Bad Astronomy, I will cede. So could they used be for a regular flight if suitable propellents were loaded?
39 SATL382G : The reentry starts well before the first roll reversal (S-turn)...... If you, Glom, want to try that go right ahead.... I am merely saying that the S
40 Glom : I already admitted to getting hyperbolic.
41 Sean1234 : Interesting stuff! I need some clarification on the escape velocity. As I recall the escape velocity of the earth is about 11k/ sec. What has the shut
42 SATL382G : A vertical profile would never (at least with the amount of propellant shuttle has on board) go into orbit, it would be a very spectacular ballistic
43 MD11Engineer : Actually the Vandenberg Shuttle launch facility exists, but has never been used (be happy, American tax payers!) In any case it could only be used for
44 Post contains images SATL382G : The space shuttle variation of Space Launch Complex-6 (SLC-6 for short or as the locals call it Slick-6) was never completed (damn near though!) and
45 Glom : The speed needed for LEO is about 8km/s. Not really because escape speed requires the orbit be able to go on forever without ever falling back. Not e
46 Post contains links SATL382G : By definition an object which has achieved escape velocity from a body is no longer in orbit about that body. So if escape velocity is achieved the o
47 Glom : Astrodynamically false. An object with escape speed is in a parabolic orbit. An object with more than escape speed is in a hyperbolic orbit. These ar
48 SATL382G : It must suck when reality doesn't support your theoretical point of view... Why is it a red herring? You said they did not achieve escape velocity ("
49 Glom : You said that when a body achieves escape speed, it is no longer in orbit. That is not true. It is in an open orbit. The reality bit only comes into
50 Post contains images SATL382G : Let's go down to KSC tommorrow and ask the contractors launching MRO if MRO will still be in earth orbit after Centaur achieves escape velocity. I th
51 Glom : This is matter of semantics. For the time that Earth is the dominant gravitational influence, the spacecraft will be in a hyperbolic orbit. It's an o
52 Thorny : No, they're not. With the introduction of the new turbopumps beginning in the late 1990s, Rocketdyne certified each Main Engine as being capable of s
53 Post contains images SATL382G : By itself as in uncommanded or by itself as in commanded but without the CSM/LM? This is a new bit of Apollo trivia for me....... I stand corrected I
54 Post contains links SATL382G : Answering my own question... A bit of useless but cool trivia from the Apollo 9 Press Kit, Launch vehicle section "Third Stage Third Burn The third s
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