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Landing The Space Shuttle  
User currently offlineTrinxat From Germany, joined Nov 2006, 176 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 8429 times:

Hi everybody

I made a search for this question but found no specific content

Does anyone know if the space shuttle could carry out a missed approach and a go-around successfully while landing? Or is it a "try just once" thing?

The aircraft does not look very flyable indeed. What is the minimum height in which they could still abort a landing and try again?

Thanks for your insight

27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3433 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 8429 times:
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Quoting Trinxat (Thread starter):
Does anyone know if the space shuttle could carry out a missed approach and a go-around successfully while landing? Or is it a "try just once" thing?

The aircraft does not look very flyable indeed. What is the minimum height in which they could still abort a landing and try again?

The shuttle has no air breathing engines. Therefore it has no go around capability.



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User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 53
Reply 2, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 8428 times:

Quoting Trinxat (Thread starter):
Does anyone know if the space shuttle could carry out a missed approach and a go-around successfully while landing? Or is it a "try just once" thing?

It's a "Try just once" thing...There is no option for a missed approach in the shuttle...in its landing phase, it is a glider, and thus has no means of providing thrust for a go-around...



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User currently offline3DPlanes From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 167 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 8381 times:

Quoting Trinxat (Thread starter):
What is the minimum height in which they could still abort a landing and try again?

Orbit...


Once they do the de-orbit burn, they ARE going to come down. In theory, they could possibly adjust the "landing" spot by doing additional burns of the OMS engines. But in reality, they would have so little fuel left that any change wouldn't be significant...



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User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3433 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 8241 times:
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Quoting 3DPlanes (Reply 3):
In theory, they could possibly adjust the "landing" spot by doing additional burns of the OMS engines. But in reality, they would have so little fuel left that any change wouldn't be significant...

They could also change the energy dissipating S-turns to allow for a change in location.



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User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 912 posts, RR: 51
Reply 5, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 8204 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 4):
They could also change the energy dissipating S-turns to allow for a change in location.

IIRC, the maximum cross range from the orbital track is 1,000 nm.


User currently offlineChecksixx From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1071 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (6 years 10 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 8004 times:

There are many alternate (emergency) landing options if needed, but its carried out to such stringent guidelines that there would be no reason that it (the shuttle & crew) would be in a go-around situation. At that point, they are committed to the approach they are on. Most military installations with adequate runways are technically available emergency landing sites. Hell...we even had a checklist (real old) for that senario at Langley...Probably only because NASA is right there also.

User currently offlineBhill From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 925 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 years 10 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 7892 times:

Errr...Bricks can't do "go arounds"...  Wink


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User currently offlineCannibalZ3 From United States of America, joined May 2001, 392 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 10 months 4 days ago) and read 7856 times:

Video of the space shuttle taking off

Space Shuttle touching down at Edwards


User currently offlineRedFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4252 posts, RR: 29
Reply 9, posted (6 years 10 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 7826 times:

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 5):
IIRC, the maximum cross range from the orbital track is 1,000 nm.

It's actually 1,100 miles (to the East), taking into consideration for the Earth's rotation after a single circumpolar orbit assuming it was lauched from a West Coast facility, such as Vandenburg AFB. [Source: Columbia Accident Investigation Report]



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User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (6 years 10 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 7765 times:

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 9):
t's actually 1,100 miles (to the East),

No, Earth's rotation is immaterial to crossrange capability. The ~1000 mile crossrange allows them to reach KSC on two or three successive orbits. First, by flying to the west of their groundtrack toward a KSC that Earth's rotation hasn't brought to the orbital plane yet, then on the orbit that does pass over KSC, and finally on the orbit after plane-crossing, with the Shuttle using crossrange to the east to reach KSC. It depends on orbital inclination... NASA usually tries two opportunities at KSC per day.


User currently offlineRedFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4252 posts, RR: 29
Reply 11, posted (6 years 10 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 7731 times:

Quoting Thorny (Reply 10):
No, Earth's rotation is immaterial to crossrange capability

"The Department of Defense wanted the Shuttle to carry a 40,000-pound payload in a 60-foot-long payload bay and, on some missions, launch and return to a West Coast launch site after a single polar orbit. Since the Earth's surface -- including the runway on which the Shuttle was to land -- would rotate during that orbit, the Shuttle would need to maneuver 1,100 miles to the east during re-entry. This "cross-range" requirement meant the Orbiter required large delta-shaped wings and a more robust thermal protection system to shield it from the heat of re-entry."

[Source: Columbia Accident Investigation Report, pg. 22]



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User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 912 posts, RR: 51
Reply 12, posted (6 years 10 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 7722 times:

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 11):
the Shuttle would need to maneuver 1,100 miles to the east during re-entry.

1,000 nautical miles approximately equals 1,100 statute miles.

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 9):
It's actually 1,100 miles (to the East), taking into consideration for the Earth's rotation after a single circumpolar orbit assuming it was lauched from a West Coast facility

Why would that be relevant when the Shuttle has never been placed in a polar orbit? The Shuttle has cross-range performance whether it is returning from a polar or inclined orbit. For example, when the orbital track passes within 1,000 nm (north or south) of KSC, the Shuttle could still perform a landing.


User currently offlineRedFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4252 posts, RR: 29
Reply 13, posted (6 years 10 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 7718 times:

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 12):
1,000 nautical miles approximately equals 1,100 statute miles.

 checkmark 

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 12):
Why would that be relevant when the Shuttle has never been placed in a polar orbit?

Because one of the original purposes of the Shuttle was to fly on occasion circumpolar flights. The original intent of the Shuttle was to cover both military and civilian space requirements. DOD envisioned at one time of launching shuttles from Vandenburg on circumpolar orbits. See my above post #11. It was after the Challenger accident that DOD decided to mothball the shuttle launch complex at Vandenburg and go back to traditional launch vehicles. However, had the Challenger accident not occurred then we would have seen the first shuttle launch from Vandenburg by around 1988 (I think).

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 12):
The Shuttle has cross-range performance whether it is returning from a polar or inclined orbit. For example, when the orbital track passes within 1,000 nm (north or south) of KSC, the Shuttle could still perform a landing.

Yes, the cross range performance is there on inclined orbits as well. My reply #11 in response to Thorny's reply #10 was because he said Earth's rotation was immaterial to crossrange capability, which in a sense is true. However, Earth's rotation is the precise reason why the shuttle ended up with delta wings -- to meet a DOD requirement for landing at the launch site after a single circumpolar orbit. In the end, that cross-range capability has other benefits but it was originally conceived for a specific purpose dictated by DOD.



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User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (6 years 10 months 3 days ago) and read 7661 times:

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 11):
Since the Earth's surface -- including the runway on which the Shuttle was to land -- would rotate during that orbit, the Shuttle would need to maneuver 1,100 miles to the east during re-entry. This "cross-range" requirement meant the Orbiter required large delta-shaped wings and a more robust thermal protection system to shield it from the heat of re-entry."

Correct. But your message to which I replied, strongly suggested that Shuttle's crossrange was limited to the eastward direction. That isn't true. The Shuttle is fully capable of flying crossrange to the west, too. Crossrange is an aerodynamic quality, not orbital dynamics. Orbtial dynamics just means that the crossrange used is usually eastward. A landing at White Sands would use westward crossrange, if coming back from ISS on ascending node (as most landings are now). And most of the Shuttle landings from ISS/Mir that came in from the north (over Canada, Chicago, Atlanta...) used westward crossrange, albeit not much. (That practice was discontinued after Columbia.)

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 13):
However, had the Challenger accident not occurred then we would have seen the first shuttle launch from Vandenburg by around 1988 (I think).

Mission 1V (aka STS-62A) was on the books for September, 1986. Not much chance that was going to happen though.

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 12):
Why would that be relevant when the Shuttle has never been placed in a polar orbit?

DoD's crossrange was the driving reason for the Delta Wing, but it all likelihood, Shuttle would have ended up with one anyway (albeit smaller without DoD's 60 ft payload bay). Thermal conditions are easier than a straight or swept wing, and the crossrange has been very useful to NASA, allowing many more landing opportunities each day. (KSC technically has three tomorrow, but is only being stood up for the second two.)


User currently offlineWolverine From Germany, joined Aug 2006, 411 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 10 months 10 hours ago) and read 7524 times:

Did the russian "Buran" have his air breathing engines for manouvres like go-arounds, or was there another reason to equip it with such engines?


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User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (6 years 10 months 10 hours ago) and read 7523 times:

Quoting Wolverine (Reply 15):
Did the russian "Buran" have his air breathing engines for manouvres like go-arounds

No.


User currently offlineRedFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4252 posts, RR: 29
Reply 17, posted (6 years 10 months 5 hours ago) and read 7495 times:

Quoting Wolverine (Reply 15):
Did the russian "Buran" have his air breathing engines for manouvres like go-arounds, or was there another reason to equip it with such engines?



Quoting Thorny (Reply 16):
No.

 checkmark 

The airbreathers were intended to be there for added safety, such as extending the glide or even allowing for landing in circumstances that would otherwise not be considered "nominal" by normal shuttle standards, such as higher crosswinds. Also, I don't think Buran's airbreathers were not installed on the first and only space flight; they were intended to be installed on subsequent flights. However, there was a test copy that had four airbreathing engines attached to it that took-off under its own power from a conventional runway and was used to test/validate low altitude flight characteristics before the actual space flight.



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User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (6 years 10 months 5 hours ago) and read 7494 times:

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 17):
Also, I don't think Buran's airbreathers were not installed on the first and only space flight; they were intended to be installed on subsequent flights.

No, they were dumped from the final design for the same reason NASA dumped it: the payload hit is too big. They were test systems only.


User currently offlineWolverine From Germany, joined Aug 2006, 411 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (6 years 10 months 5 hours ago) and read 7493 times:

So this Buran, they found in the middle east was just for testing? I saw a picture of it, and I think, it has those airbreathers..Looks strange..


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User currently offlineCURLYHEADBOY From Italy, joined Feb 2005, 940 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (6 years 10 months 3 hours ago) and read 7481 times:

Hey guys, I was browsing YouTube for some shuttle videos when I came across this very nice HUD footage of a landing at Edwards AFB, just wanted to share it  Smile

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9elcSXVNlMw



If God had wanted men to fly he would have given them more money...
User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (6 years 10 months 1 hour ago) and read 7452 times:

Quoting Wolverine (Reply 19):
So this Buran, they found in the middle east was just for testing? I saw a picture of it, and I think, it has those airbreathers..Looks strange..

Yes. The jets were only there for test flights similar to the 1977 Approach and Landing Tests in the U.S. The vehicle is designated OK-GLI, or "Buran Analogue". It first flew in 1985.

http://www.astronautix.com/craft/burlogue.htm


User currently offlineRedFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4252 posts, RR: 29
Reply 22, posted (6 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 7426 times:

Quoting Thorny (Reply 18):
No, they were dumped from the final design for the same reason NASA dumped it: the payload hit is too big. They were test systems only.

I didn't realize they were dumped entirely. If so, why? I thought the Buran, not having main ascent engines installed on the orbiter like the Shuttle, had more payload capability than the Shuttle which, therefore, would allow for turbine engines to be installed for landings without too much weight penalty.

[Edited 2007-06-24 05:29:45]


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User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (6 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 7413 times:

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 22):
I didn't realize they were dumped entirely. If so, why? I thought the Buran, not having main ascent engines installed on the orbiter like the Shuttle, had more payload capability than the Shuttle which, therefore, would allow for turbine engines to be installed for landings without too much weight penalty.

Buran didn't have the Main Engines internally like the U.S. Shuttle, but the Energiya still had them all the way to 99% of orbital velocity, so the changed location of the Mains didn't effect payload versus Shuttle all that much (Buran essentially was payload on the Energiya.) Worse, Energiya needed four 7,000 lbs "Main Engines" to achieve what Shuttle did with three 6,000 lbs. SSMEs. So when all was said and done, mass to OMS-1 was about the same for the two systems. The only big savings were that OMS-2 (or Russia's equivalent) had 18,000 lbs. less of Orbiter to circularize into LEO. And Buran's weight-and-balance at landing were somewhat easier to work with (explaining the automated landing.)

Buran's theoretical payload capacity was a little bigger than Shuttle's, but not spectacularly so, mostly from the lack of the heavy thrust structure carried by the U.S. Shuttle. Maybe 5,000 lbs. But that's only theoretical. In the real world, the U.S. Shuttle's best payload was from launching due east from the Cape, a major advantage over Buran at 51.6 degrees. Operationally, Buran probably would not have had greater payload than U.S. Shuttle. Adding 3,000 lbs. of engines, a few thousand pounds of increased structure to handle jet engines, and the weight of jet fuel tankage would have cut that quite severely. The only space for jet fuel would be in the payload bay, which was essentially the same as the U.S. Shuttle's, so carrying enough jet fuel to make a difference would have badly eaten away at payload space.

Then there's the problem of protecting four jet engines in the slipstream during entry at Mach 25...

Russia dumped the engines as not worth the hassle. I'm not sure when that happened, but my guess would be early-on, just like with the U.S. Shuttle.


User currently offlineRedFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4252 posts, RR: 29
Reply 24, posted (6 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 7377 times:

Quoting Thorny (Reply 23):

Fascinating stuff. Thanks for the detailed insight!  Smile



I'm not a racist...I hate Biden, too.
25 Sudden : Can anyone post a video of STS-117 approach/landing, please! Am not able to find anything on the web. Aim for the sky! Sudden
26 Post contains links RHAnthony : Search Youtube.com for "117 edwards" and it comes right up. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=504a-bzwVLo
27 Aaron747 : " target=_blank>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9elcS...VNlMw Fantastic video, thanks for the link. Nothing like going from Mach 15+ to 0 in the space
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