jetblast
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Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:48 am

I am relatively sure it is exempt from such regulations, but technically it DOES overfly a large body of water at some point during its flight...

Anyone know of anywhere to confirm yes or no?
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Starlionblue
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RE: Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:56 am

I doubt it has to comply with those regs specifically. There are regs though.

First off, the shuttle is a three-holer once the SRBs have been jettisoned.  

Contingencies for engine out on ascent do exist. The abort modes after take-off are as follows:
- During the first 123 seconds, there are no abort options options since the SRBs cannot be turned off. Not really ideal for a manned vehicle but ok.
- Return To Launch Site (RTLS). If the engine out is in the earliest part of the flight, the shuttle will return to Florida.
- Transoceanic Abort Landing (TAL). If the engine out is in a later stage, the shuttle will divert to one of Istres in France, Saragossa in Spain or Moron, also in Spain. There have been other sites. TAL may also be used "early" if the failure is less critical since it is less stressful on the vehicle than RTLS.
- Abort Once Around (AOA). One sub-orbital circle of the Earth and back to Florida. The window for this is so short it is very unlikely to happen.
- Abort to Orbit (ATO). If the engine out is at a very late stage in the ascent, the shuttle will "abort to orbit", making a lower orbit than planned. This has happened once.

If you listen to radio comms during ascent you will hear things like "negative return" (Shuttle is unable to use RTLS) "two engine Saragossa" (two engine can make Saragossa), "press to ATO (abort will now be to orbit) and so forth. These are times when the abort contingency changes.

Incidentally, the shuttle must have landing clearance at a TAL site before lift-off.

[Edited 2010-10-24 20:59:27]

[Edited 2010-10-24 21:02:15]

[Edited 2010-10-24 21:03:57]

[Edited 2010-10-24 21:04:18]
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jetblast
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RE: Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:02 am

^ Very informative, I did not consider that the Shuttle is actually a trijet in technicality. Some interesting stuff, thank you.
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Starlionblue
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RE: Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:05 am

The Shuttle abort modes article on Wikipedia is quite well written and has tons of info.

Very interesting subject. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_abort_modes

The Shuttle does has one abort mode which airliners do not: The possibility to abandon the vehicle in flight if they don't think it can be landed. Insanely risky but possible, this was put in place after the Challenger accident.

Before Challenger, the crew and Shuttle would be lost if they lost two or three main engines up to quite far into the ascent. After Challenger, the whole system was redesigned and any main engine failure after SRB burnout is (theoretically) survivable.

[Edited 2010-10-24 21:06:36]



[Edited 2010-10-24 21:08:40]

[Edited 2010-10-24 21:08:58]
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RE: Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:13 am

The shuttle is a glider. Even if you consider it powered, it's powered by rockets.  
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Starlionblue
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RE: Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:14 am

Quoting pilotpip (Reply 4):
The shuttle is a glider. Even if you consider it powered, it's powered by rockets.

Heh. In airliner terms, it is only an glider during the approach phase. It still needs engines to reach an airport.
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steiner
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RE: Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Mon Oct 25, 2010 11:41 am

From the moment the Shuttle leaves orbit, it's a glider. It does not use rockets on the way back to Earth once out of orbit. Hence the many hours in simulators for the PLT and CDR, there is no second chance. In addition they also have a real plane rigged to behave like the shuttle to facilitate training.
Air International had an article on this a few months ago (July 2010)...

I guess ETOPS only apply to civil aviation?

I visited KSC this march and as one of the astronauts told me "Once the SRB's are ignited, you know you are going somewhere...."  

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RE: Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Mon Oct 25, 2010 11:58 am

Quoting steiner (Reply 6):
From the moment the Shuttle leaves orbit, it's a glider.

Yes of course. However I think the ETOPS comparison is more applicable to the ascent phase. After the SRBs separate, there is plenty of alternate and abort stuff dependent on engines shutting down or not.
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prebennorholm
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RE: Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:01 pm

ETOPS is for over water flights where you may be more than 60 minutes away from an airport.

The Shuttle is never 60 minutes away since it crosses the Pacific Ocean in just around 30 minutes.
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ALTF4
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RE: Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:14 pm

According to wikipedia (yep, I know, its wikipedia):

"Government-owned aircraft (including military) do not have to adhere to ETOPS regulations."
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RE: Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:30 pm

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 1):
During the first 123 seconds, there are no abort options options since the SRBs cannot be turned off. Not really ideal for a manned vehicle but ok.

I think I read something many years ago that the space shuttle can jettison the solid rocket boosters before they are fully used and that they can then be destroyed after jettisoning and the space shuttle can use their onboard engines to continue on, gain enough altitude, then jettison the external tank, shut down the main engines and glide to an alternate airport for an emergency landing or even circle back to the Kennedy Space Center.

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RE: Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:09 pm

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 1):
Moron

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RE: Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:21 pm

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 8):
ETOPS is for over water flights where you may be more than 60 minutes away from an airport.

Not just over-water .If not mistaken, there are some over-land routes across northern Russia and Canada that are subject to ETOPS restrictions due to the distance from alternate airports.
 
zanl188
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RE: Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:34 pm

Quoting jetblast (Thread starter):
I am relatively sure it is exempt from such regulations, but technically it DOES overfly a large body of water at some point during its flight...

Anyone know of anywhere to confirm yes or no?

Shuttle doesn't have an "N" number so FAA regs do not apply

Quoting JETSTAR (Reply 10):
I think I read something many years ago that the space shuttle can jettison the solid rocket boosters before they are fully used

No. Solid rocket boosters must burn out before they can jettisoned. Even if the shuttle could get off of the SRBs you wouldn't want to fly in close proximity of a powered SRB, no telling where it might go...
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flybaurlax
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RE: Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:06 am

Quoting JETSTAR (Reply 10):
I think I read something many years ago that the space shuttle can jettison the solid rocket boosters before they are fully used and that they can then be destroyed after jettisoning and the space shuttle can use their onboard engines to continue on, gain enough altitude, then jettison the external tank, shut down the main engines and glide to an alternate airport for an emergency landing or even circle back to the Kennedy Space Center.

That's incorrect. Once the SRBs are lit, you're along for the ride until they separate. That is one of the reasons why we're going back to capsules, because one can use the little rockets on the escape tower to pull the capsule away from a failing booster.

Sorry ZANL188, I didn't refresh the page before I replied. You're correct. I didn't mean to duplicate what you said.

[Edited 2010-10-25 18:07:37]

[Edited 2010-10-25 18:08:02]
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Max Q
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RE: Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:09 pm

No, in fact it can ferry on one engine according to Tds.. 
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tdscanuck
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RE: Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Thu Nov 04, 2010 2:59 am

Quoting Max Q (Reply 15):
No, in fact it can ferry on one engine according to Tds..

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess that NASA can do whatever they damn well please with the space shuttle and, as long as they don't overfly a populated area, the FAA will just shrug.

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RE: Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Thu Nov 04, 2010 4:15 am

StarlionBlue. A quick question. Once the shuttle initiates a TAL, how long does it need to get there. By the time the SRBs are done burning, its moving pretty quickly and is already very high and quite a bit downrange, no? How long does it take for the orbiter to get to Istres or Saragossa? And has a TAL ever been used?

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rwessel
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RE: Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Thu Nov 04, 2010 4:52 am

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 17):
A quick question. Once the shuttle initiates a TAL, how long does it need to get there. By the time the SRBs are done burning, its moving pretty quickly and is already very high and quite a bit downrange, no? How long does it take for the orbiter to get to Istres or Saragossa? And has a TAL ever been used?

They'd touch down in on the other side of the pond 20-25 minutes after the TAL is declared, somewhere in the ballpark of 35 minutes after liftoff.

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/pdf/167472main_TALsites-06.pdf

And no, it's never been done (the only abort that's ever happened is the abort-to-orbit (ATO) on STS-51-F).


edit: minor gramatical error

[Edited 2010-11-03 21:57:33]
 
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RE: Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Thu Nov 04, 2010 5:00 am

The shuttle isn't ETOPS, but it is EBOAS: Engines Burn Or Astronauts Swim.  
Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 17):
And has a TAL ever been used?

No. But bad weather at the TAL sites has scrubbed launches even with perfect weather in Florida.

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 17):
By the time the SRBs are done burning, its moving pretty quickly and is already very high and quite a bit downrange, no?

The SRBs are more for altitude than speed. Yeah, the shuttle is moving pretty quickly in absolute terms once the boosters burn out, but in relation to where the speed needs to be, it's still got a ways to go. If I'm not mistaken, there's a period of time after SRB separation where TAL abort is not an option if an engine fails - you need to do an RTLS.

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RE: Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Thu Nov 04, 2010 5:07 am

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 16):

No, in fact it can ferry on one engine according to Tds..

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess that NASA can do whatever they damn well please with the space shuttle and, as long as they don't overfly a populated area, the FAA will just shrug.

C'mon Tom, Smilie was included, just pulling your leg..
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RE: Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:51 am

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 17):
And has a TAL ever been used?

The only post-launch abort that has ever been used in real life was an ATO (Abort-to-orbit) on STS-51F. Kind of lame, as the shuttle went into orbit and completed it mission in a (lower-than-planned) orbit  

There have been a couple of pad aborts, where the main engines fire, but are shut down before the SRB's are ignited. A sprinkler system has to spray water on the exhaust nozzles of the SSME's for several minutes after a pad abort. IIRC, this is to prevent them from deforming due to the massive heat that the main engines create within the exhaust nozzle. While the engine is running, the engine is being cooled by cryogenic fuel being circulated on the outside of the nozzle and also by the air through which the engine is travelling. When you shut down the engines, you also shut down the cryogenic fuel circulation through the exhaust nozzles...
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RE: Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Thu Nov 04, 2010 8:20 am

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 21):
Kind of lame, as the shuttle went into orbit and completed it mission in a (lower-than-planned) orbit

I agree that it was kinda lame. Are we weird for wanting the insanely cool return to launch site abort to happen, just because it would be insanely cool? 
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tdscanuck
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RE: Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:33 pm

Quoting Max Q (Reply 20):
C'mon Tom, Smilie was included, just pulling your leg..

I got that, it's all good. Needed my own smilie there.

After I posted, it occurred to me that the shuttle actually gets to zero-engine ferry...by strapping itself to the back of a 747. I suppose one could consider that a four-engine ferry, but then you get the cool bar trivia question of how do you ferry a three-engine aircraft on four engines...

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RE: Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:15 pm

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 22):
Are we weird for wanting the insanely cool return to launch site abort to happen, just because it would be insanely cool?

plus insanly dangerous... Could the shuttle realistacally withstand that?, how about the astronauts, last i checked there is no auto-land on the space shuttle (but there is a set-up to make the shuttle remote controll up on the ISS).
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Starlionblue
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RE: Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:04 am

IIRC there is in fact auto-land and it was used once, but my memory could be playing tricks on me.

And sure, it could withstand that. Otherwise they wouldn't have planned for it.
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RE: Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:58 am

Quoting web500sjc (Reply 24):
Could the shuttle realistacally withstand that?

Why couldn't it? There was serious talk at NASA on making STS-1 an RTLS. Its a totally survivable situation, not that I'd want to give it a try unless I had to.

In regards to the autopilot, I do believe they have autoland capability, but I'm not sure its ever been tested. The Buran pulled off an autoland 20 years ago, so I have no reason to believe that the STS couldn't do it, but I can't find any documentation of it being tested ever, or if there is full autopilot control to the runway.

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RE: Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:18 am

Quoting web500sjc (Reply 24):
last i checked there is no auto-land on the space shuttle (but there is a set-up to make the shuttle remote controll up on the ISS).

IIRC, the apparatus on ISS is for the landing gear - the gear handle has to be moved to the down position on the flight deck for the gear to extend, and so you need what amounts to a robotic hand (but is actually a specially designed cable) to do that. The shuttle is perfectly capable of flying the approach on its own.

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RE: Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:50 pm

That cable was designed as a post return to flight modification, before columbia there was a autoland that was never fully tested (partially tested on STS-2/3), but as Mir pointed out that cable allows for the gear handle to deploy for full crewless autoland.

http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=10518

Good stuff.

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RE: Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Fri Nov 05, 2010 5:43 pm

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 22):
I agree that it was kinda lame. Are we weird for wanting the insanely cool return to launch site abort to happen, just because it would be insanely cool?

  

Quoting web500sjc (Reply 24):


plus insanly dangerous... Could the shuttle realistacally withstand that?, how about the astronauts, last i checked there is no auto-land on the space shuttle (but there is a set-up to make the shuttle remote controll up on the ISS).
Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 26):
Why couldn't it? There was serious talk at NASA on making STS-1 an RTLS. Its a totally survivable situation, not that I'd want to give it a try unless I had to.

John Young, the senior NASA astronaut at the time of STS-1, talked NASA into their senses...the danger lies in the G-forces that would be experienced (not to the crew, but the external tank) and the unknown aerodynamic forces (there is still just enough air up there post-SRB sep) at hypersonic velocities that the launch stack (orbiter+external tank) would experience. It is one of those areas that, in 1981, could just not be accurately simulated, mathematically or using computers, with enough details to predict whether the external tank would break up or survive the maneuver intact. The orbiter would have been fine, however, you need a fuel tank to make the runway...not to mention an in-flight breakup of the external tank would likely take the orbiter with it.

NASA has (rightly so, in my mind) called STS-1 the "boldest test flight ever performed." Previous US manned space equipment test flights involved many more unmanned and manned test firings, with just about all contingencies tested before strapping live astronauts into them...but with the space shuttle, there was no economic way to do that.
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rwessel
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RE: Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Sat Nov 06, 2010 6:37 am

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 29):
NASA has (rightly so, in my mind) called STS-1 the "boldest test flight ever performed." Previous US manned space equipment test flights involved many more unmanned and manned test firings, with just about all contingencies tested before strapping live astronauts into them...but with the space shuttle, there was no economic way to do that.

Maybe. Remember that the Soviets did it a mere 7 years later.

While STS needs a crew to flip a few switches, it's not a lot of stuff, as demonstrated by what was required for the RCO/IFM cable. Launch is large automated anyway, as is reentry, and STS-2 & 3 demonstrated (automated) reentry to not long before the actual landing. So basically other than needing something like the RCO/IFM cable, by STS-3 a complete automated flight to about 125ft altitude (just before landing) had been demonstrated. Now autoland has always been part of the Shuttle, but it's never been used.
 
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RE: Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Sat Nov 06, 2010 7:35 pm

Quoting jetblast (Thread starter):
I am relatively sure it is exempt from such regulations, but technically it DOES overfly a large body of water at some point during its flight...

yes, it cross every ocean 8 times a day during route with engines not running. Sounds pretty certified, to me.
 
KELPkid
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RE: Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Sun Nov 07, 2010 5:43 am

Quoting rwessel (Reply 30):
Maybe. Remember that the Soviets did it a mere 7 years later.

Yeah, but Buran flew unmanned...  
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rwessel
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RE: Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Sun Nov 07, 2010 6:07 pm

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 32):
Yeah, but Buran flew unmanned...

Wasn't your point that there was no practical way to test fly STS unmanned????
 
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RE: Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:55 pm

I can't help but just crack up. Like, I'm sorry, I know this might have been serious, but:

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 8):
ETOPS is for over water flights where you may be more than 60 minutes away from an airport.

The Shuttle is never 60 minutes away since it crosses the Pacific Ocean in just around 30 minutes.

that's just classic.....
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FI642
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RE: Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Mon Nov 08, 2010 2:05 am

The Shuttle is essentially done. Makes no difference whatsoever.

The question is now, what will replace the shuttle?

I see what you did there.
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KELPkid
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RE: Is The Space Shuttle Etops?

Mon Nov 08, 2010 3:31 am

Quoting rwessel (Reply 33):
Wasn't your point that there was no practical way to test fly STS unmanned????

Not really, My point was that STS-1 was one bold test flight (as NASA said...). Since the reusable launch vehicle wasn't expendible, you couldn't test potential abort contengencies unmanned...as had been done with Apollo and Gemini before. With Apollo, for example, Apollo's launch escape system was practically flight tested at White Sands Missile Range (they used boilerplate capsules, but they knew the system would work if needed). A little hard to test all the abort modes, especially the risky ones, when you have to fly everything manned, and expect to preserve the test article  
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