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Shuttle side view
Shuttle side view
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Shuttle 2 views
Shuttle 2 views
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Shuttle Night Launch
Shuttle Night Launch
Credit: NASA
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Shuttle Landing
Shuttle Landing
Credit: NASA
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Now it is time to take longer strides-time for this nation to take a clearly leading role in space achievement, which in many ways may hold the key to our future on Earth. We go into space because whatever mankind must undertake, free men must fully share . . .

   ---Kennedy


Shuttle
 
STS
STS
Credit: NASA

Winged orbital launch vehicle. Year: 1981. Family: Shuttle. Country: USA. Status: Hardware. Other Designations: STS. Manufacturer's Designation: Space Transportation System. Manufacturer: NASA.

The manned reusable space system which was designed to slash the cost of space transport and replace all expendable launch vehicles. It did neither, but did keep NASA in the manned space flight business for 30 years (and counting...) Redesign of the shuttle with reliability in mind after the Challenger disaster reduced maximum payload to low earth orbit from 27,850 kg to 24,400 kg. Launches: 113. Failures: 1. Success Rate: 99.12% pct. First Launch Date: 12 April 1981. Last Launch Date: 16 January 2003. Launch data is: continuing. LEO Payload: 24,400 kg. to: 204 km Orbit. at: 28.5 degrees. Payload: 12,500 kg. to a: space station orbit, 407 km, 51.6 deg inclination trajectory. Apogee: 600 km. Liftoff Thrust: 2,625,932 kgf. Liftoff Thrust: 25,751.60 kN. Total Mass: 2,029,633 kg. Core Diameter: 8.70 m. Total Length: 56.00 m. Development Cost $: 10,100.00 million. in 1977 average dollars. Launch Price $: 245.00 million. in 1988 price dollars. Total Production Built: 5. Flyaway Unit Cost $: 63.00 million. in 1988 unit dollars. Cost comments: Shuttle has high fixed costs and low marginal costs. Cost per mission dependent on rate. Flyaway cost is marginal cost for extra mission. Launch cost is cost per flight at 6 per year.


Stage Data - Shuttle
  • Stage Number: 0. 2 x Shuttle SRB Gross Mass: 589,670 kg. Empty Mass: 86,183 kg. Thrust (vac): 1,174,713 kgf. Isp: 269 sec. Burn time: 124 sec. Isp(sl): 237 sec. Diameter: 3.71 m. Span: 5.10 m. Length: 38.47 m. Propellants: Solid No Engines: 1. SRB Other designations: Solid Rocket Booster. Status: Hardware.
  • Stage Number: 1. 1 x Shuttle Tank Gross Mass: 750,975 kg. Empty Mass: 29,930 kg. Thrust (vac): 0.000 kgf. Isp: 455 sec. Burn time: 480 sec. Isp(sl): 363 sec. Diameter: 8.70 m. Span: 8.70 m. Length: 46.88 m. Propellants: Lox/LH2 No Engines: 0. None Other designations: External Tank. Status: Hardware.
  • Stage Number: 2. 1 x Shuttle Orbiter Gross Mass: 99,318 kg. Empty Mass: 99,117 kg. Thrust (vac): 696,905 kgf. Isp: 455 sec. Burn time: 480 sec. Isp(sl): 363 sec. Diameter: 4.90 m. Span: 23.79 m. Length: 37.24 m. Propellants: Lox/LH2 No Engines: 3. SSME Other designations: Shuttle; STS (Space Transportation System). Status: Hardware.

Shuttle Chronology


1969 Apr 21 - Space Shuttle Task Group formed The Director of Apollo Test in the NASA Hq. Apollo Program Office, LeRoy E. Day, was detailed to head the MSF Space Shuttle Task Group. The group would provide NASA with material for a report on the Space Shuttle to the President's Space Task Group.
1969 Sep 11 - Two major directions were identified for NASA manned space flight in the next decade.

Two major directions were identified for manned space flight in the next decade. These were further exploration of the Moon, with possibly the establishment of a lunar surface base, and the continued development of manned flight in Earth orbit, leading to a permanent manned space station supported by a low-cost shuttle system. To maintain direction, the following key milestones were proposed: 1972 - AAP operations using a Saturn V launched Workshop 1973 - Start of post-Apollo lunar exploration 1974 - Start of suborbital flight tests of Earth to orbit shuttle - Launch of a second Saturn V Workshop 1975 - Initial space station operations - Orbital shuttle flights 1976 - Lunar orbit station - Full shuttle operations 1977 - Nuclear stage flight test 1978 - Nuclear shuttle operations-orbit to orbit 1979 - Space station in synchronous orbit By 1990 - Earth orbit space base - Lunar surface base - Possible Mars landing


1972 Aug 9 - Shuttle go-ahead. Rockwell receives authority to proceed, space shuttle orbiter
1974 Jun 4 - Shuttle Enterprise assembly starts. Start structural assembly crew module, Enterprise (OV-101)
1975 Oct 17 - Shuttle SSME first test. Space shuttle main engine first main stage test at NSTL
1975 Dec 20 - First SSME 60-second duration test, NSTL
1976 Mar 12 - Enterprise final assembly complete. Complete final assembly and closeout system installation.
1977 Jan 14 - Boeing 747 shuttle carrier aircraft delivered Boeing 747 shuttle carrier aircraft delivered to Edwards
1977 Feb 18 - First inert captive flight Edwards. Conduct first inert captive flight, Edwards (2 hours, 5 minutes), Enterprise (OV-101)
1977 Feb 22 - Second inert captive flight Edwards. Conduct second inert captive flight, Edwards (3 hours, 13 minutes), Enterprise (OV-101)
1977 Feb 25 - Third inert captive flight Edwards. Conduct third inert captive flight, Edwards (2 hours, 28 minutes), Enterprise (OV-101)
1977 Feb 28 - Fourth inert captive flight Edwards. Conduct fourth inert captive flight, Edwards (2 hours, 11 minutes), Enterprise (OV-101)
1977 Mar 2 - Fifth inert captive flight Edwards. Conduct fifth inert captive flight, Edwards (1 hour, 39 minutes), Enterprise (OV-101)
1977 Jun 18 - Enterprise flight 1 Edwards. First manned captive active flight. Enterprise (OV-101)/shuttle carrier aircraft, Edwards (55 minutes, 46 seconds)
1977 Jun 28 - Enterprise flight 2 Edwards. Second manned captive active flight. Enterprise (OV-101)/shuttle carrier aircraft, Edwards (1 hour, 2 minutes)
1977 Jul 26 - Enterprise flight 3 Edwards. Third manned captive active flight. Enterprise (OV-101)/shuttle carrier aircraft, Edwards (59 minutes, 50 seconds)
1977 Aug 12 - Enterprise flight 4 Edwards. Conduct first free flight, ALT, tail cone on, Edwards (5 minutes, 21 seconds), Enterprise (OV-101), lake bed Runway 17
1977 Sep 13 - Enterprise flight 5 Edwards. Second free flight, ALT, tail cone on, Edwards (5 minutes, 28 seconds), Enterprise (OV-101), lake bed Runway 17
1977 Sep 23 - Enterprise flight 6 Edwards. Third free flight , ALT, tail cone on, Edwards (5 minutes, 34 seconds), Enterprise (OV-101), lake bed Runway 15
1977 Oct 12 - Enterprise flight 7 Edwards. Fourth free flight, ALT, first tail cone off, Edwards (2 minutes, 34 seconds), Enterprise (OV-101), lake bed Runway 17
1977 Oct 26 - Enterprise flight 8 Edwards. Fifth free flight, ALT, final tail cone off, Edwards (2 minutes, 1 second), Enterprise (OV-101), concrete Runway 04
1977 Nov 15 - First ferry flight test, Edwards Edwards. First ferry flight test, Edwards (3 hours, 21 minutes), Enterprise (OV-101)
1977 Nov 16 - Second ferry flight test, Edwards Edwards. Second ferry flight test, Edwards (4 hours, 17 minutes), Enterprise (OV-101)
1977 Nov 17 - Third ferry flight test, Edwards Edwards. Third ferry flight test, Edwards (4 hours, 13 minutes), Enterprise (OV-101)
1977 Nov 18 - Fourth ferry flight test, Edwards Edwards. Fourth ferry flight test, Edwards (3 hours, 37 minutes), Enterprise (OV-101)
1977 Dec 9 - Complete approach and landing flight tests Edwards. Complete approach and landing flight tests, including ferry flights, Enterprise (OV-101)
1979 Mar 9 - Shuttle carrier aircraft/Columbia test flight Shuttle carrier aircraft/Columbia (OV-102) test flight at NASA Edwards
1979 Aug 1 - Start long-lead fabrication crew module, Discovery
1981 Apr 12 12:00 - Space Shuttle STS-1 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1981 Nov 12 15:10 - Space Shuttle STS-2 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1982 Mar 22 16:00 - Space Shuttle STS-3 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1982 Jun 27 15:00 - Space Shuttle STS-4 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1982 Nov 11 12:19 - Space Shuttle STS-5 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1983 Apr 4 18:30 - Space Shuttle STS-6 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1983 Jun 18 11:33 - Space Shuttle STS-7 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1983 Aug 30 6:32 - Space Shuttle STS-8 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1983 Nov 28 16:00 - Space Shuttle STS-9 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1984 Feb 3 13:00 - Space Shuttle 41-B Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1984 Apr 6 13:58 - Space Shuttle 41-C Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1984 Jun 26 - Shuttle Discovery Pad Abort Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A. The countdown for the second launch attempt for Discovery's maiden flight ended at T- 4 seconds when the orbiter's computers detected a sluggish valve in main engine #3. The main engine was replaced and Discovery was finally launched on August 30, 1984.
1984 Aug 30 12:41 - Space Shuttle 41-D Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1984 Oct 5 11:03 - Space Shuttle 41-G Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1984 Nov 8 12:15 - Space Shuttle 51-A Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1985 Jan 24 19:50 - Space Shuttle 51-C Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1985 Apr 12 13:59 - Space Shuttle 51-D Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1985 Apr 29 16:02 - Space Shuttle 51-B Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1985 Jun 17 11:33 - Space Shuttle 51-G Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1985 Jul 12 - Shuttle Challenger Pad Abort Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A. The countdown for Challenger's launch was halted at T-3 seconds when on-board computers detected a problem with a coolant valve on main engine #2. The valve was replaced and Challenger was launched on July 29, 1985.
1985 Jul 29 21:00 - Space Shuttle 51-F Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1985 Aug 27 10:58 - Space Shuttle 51-I Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1985 Oct 3 15:15 - Space Shuttle 51-J Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1985 Oct 30 17:00 - Space Shuttle 61-A Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1985 Nov 1 - STS-51-H STS-51-H Planned EOM-1/2 shuttle mission. Cancelled due to payload delays.
1985 Nov 27 0:29 - Space Shuttle 61-B Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1986 Jan 12 11:55 - Space Shuttle 61-C Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1986 Jan 28 16:38 - Failure. Space Shuttle 51-L Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B. Apogee: 15 km.
1988 Sep 1 - STS-51-K STS-51-K Planned Spacelab-D1 shuttle mission. Cancelled after Challenger disaster. No crew selected; renamed STS-61A
1988 Sep 29 15:37 - Space Shuttle STS-26R Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1988 Dec 2 14:30 - Space Shuttle STS-27R Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1989 Mar 13 14:57 - Space Shuttle STS-29R Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1989 May 4 18:47 - Space Shuttle STS-30R Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1989 Aug 8 12:37 - Space Shuttle STS-28R Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1989 Oct 18 16:53 - Space Shuttle STS-34R Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1989 Nov 23 0:23 - Space Shuttle STS-33R Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1990 Jan 9 12:35 - Space Shuttle STS-32R Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1990 Feb 28 7:50 - Space Shuttle STS-36R Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1990 Apr 24 12:33 - Space Shuttle STS-31R Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1990 Oct 6 11:47 - Space Shuttle STS-41 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1990 Nov 15 23:48 - Space Shuttle STS-38 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1990 Dec 2 6:49 - Space Shuttle STS-35R Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1991 Apr 5 14:22 - Space Shuttle STS-37R Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1991 Apr 28 11:33 - Space Shuttle STS-39 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1991 Jun 5 13:24 - Space Shuttle STS-40 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1991 Aug 2 15:02 - Space Shuttle STS-43 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1991 Sep 12 23:11 - Space Shuttle STS-48 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1991 Nov 24 23:44 - Space Shuttle STS-44 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1992 Jan 22 14:52 - Space Shuttle STS-42 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1992 Mar 24 13:13 - Space Shuttle STS-45 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1992 May 7 23:40 - Space Shuttle STS-49 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1992 Jun 25 16:12 - Space Shuttle STS-50 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1992 Jul 31 13:56 - Space Shuttle STS-46 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1992 Sep 12 14:23 - Space Shuttle STS-47 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1992 Oct 22 17:09 - Space Shuttle STS-52 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1992 Dec 2 13:24 - Space Shuttle STS-53 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1993 Jan 13 13:59 - Space Shuttle STS-54 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1993 Mar 22 - Shuttle Columbia Pad Abort Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.

The countdown for Columbia's launch was halted by on-board computers at T-3 seconds following a problem with purge pressure readings in the oxidizer preburner on main engine #2 Columbia's three main engines were replaced on the launch pad, and the flight was rescheduled behind Discovery's launch on STS-56. Columbia finally launched on April 26, 1993.


1993 Apr 8 5:29 - Space Shuttle STS-56 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1993 Apr 26 14:50 - Space Shuttle STS-55 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1993 Jun 21 13:07 - Space Shuttle STS-57 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1993 Aug 12 - Shuttle Discovery Pad Abort Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.

The countdown for Discovery's third launch attempt ended at the T-3 second mark when on-board computers detected the failure of one of four sensors in main engine #2 which monitor the flow of hydrogen fuel to the engine. All of Discovery's main engines were ordered replaced on the launch pad, delaying the Shuttle's fourth launch attempt until September 12, 1993.


1993 Sep 12 11:45 - Space Shuttle STS-51 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1993 Oct 18 14:53 - Space Shuttle STS-58 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1993 Dec 2 9:27 - Space Shuttle STS-61 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1994 Feb 3 12:10 - Space Shuttle STS-60 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1994 Mar 4 13:53 - Space Shuttle STS-62 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1994 Apr 9 11:05 - Space Shuttle STS-59 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1994 Jul 8 16:43 - Space Shuttle STS-65 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1994 Aug 18 - Shuttle Endeavour Pad Abort Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.

The countdown for Endeavour's first launch attempt ended 1.9 seconds before liftoff when on-board computers detected higher than acceptable readings in one channel of a sensor monitoring the discharge temperature of the high pressure oxidizer turbopump in main engine #3. A test firing of the engine at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi on September 2nd confirmed that a slight drift in a fuel flow meter in the engine caused a slight increase in the turbopump's temperature. The test firing also confirmed a slightly slower start for main engine #3 during the pad abort, which could have contributed to the higher temperatures. After Endeavour was brought back to the Vehicle Assembly Building to be outfitted with three replacement engines, NASA managers set October 2nd as the date for Endeavour's second launch attempt.


1994 Sep 9 22:22 - Space Shuttle STS-64 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1994 Sep 30 11:16 - Space Shuttle STS-68 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1994 Nov 3 16:59 - Space Shuttle STS-66 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1995 Feb 3 5:22 - Space Shuttle STS-63 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1995 Mar 2 6:38 - Space Shuttle STS-67 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1995 Jun 27 19:32 - Space Shuttle STS-71 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1995 Jul 13 13:41 - Space Shuttle STS-70 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1995 Sep 7 15:09 - Space Shuttle STS-69 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1995 Oct 20 13:53 - Space Shuttle STS-73 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1995 Nov 12 12:30 - Space Shuttle STS-74 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1996 Jan 11 9:41 - Space Shuttle STS-72 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1996 Feb 22 20:18 - Space Shuttle STS-75 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1996 Mar 22 8:13 - Space Shuttle STS-76 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1996 May 19 10:30 - Space Shuttle STS-77 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1996 Jun 20 14:49 - Space Shuttle STS-78 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1996 Sep 16 8:54 - Space Shuttle STS-79 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1996 Nov 19 19:55 - Space Shuttle STS-80 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1997 Jan 12 9:27 - Space Shuttle STS-81 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1997 Feb 11 8:55 - Space Shuttle STS-82 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1997 Apr 4 19:20 - Space Shuttle STS-83 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1997 May 15 8:07 - Space Shuttle STS-84 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1997 Jul 1 18:02 - Space Shuttle STS-94 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1997 Aug 7 14:41 - Space Shuttle STS-85 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1997 Sep 26 2:34 - Space Shuttle STS-86 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1997 Nov 19 19:46 - Space Shuttle STS-87 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1998 Jan 23 2:48 - Space Shuttle STS-89 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1998 Apr 17 18:19 - Space Shuttle STS-90 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1998 Jun 2 22:06 - Space Shuttle STS-91 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1998 Oct 29 19:19 - Space Shuttle STS-95 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1998 Dec 4 8:35 - Space Shuttle STS-88 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
1999 May 27 10:49 - Space Shuttle STS-96 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1999 Jul 23 4:31 - Space Shuttle STS-93 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
1999 Dec 20 0:50 - Space Shuttle STS-103 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
2000 Feb 11 17:43 - Space Shuttle STS-99 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
2000 May 19 10:11 - Space Shuttle STS-101 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
2000 Sep 8 12:45 - Space Shuttle STS-106 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
2000 Oct 11 23:17 - Space Shuttle STS-92 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
2000 Dec 1 3:06 - Space Shuttle STS-97 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
2001 Feb 7 23:13 - Space Shuttle STS-98 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
2001 Mar 8 11:42 - Space Shuttle STS-102 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
2001 Apr 19 18:40 - Space Shuttle STS-100 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
2001 Jul 12 9:03 - Space Shuttle STS-104 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
2001 Aug 10 21:10 - Space Shuttle STS-105 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
2001 Dec 5 22:19 - Space Shuttle STS-108 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
2002 Mar 1 11:22 - Space Shuttle STS-109 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
2002 Apr 8 20:44 - Space Shuttle STS-110 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
2002 Jun 5 21:22 - STS-111 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
2002 Oct 7 19:46 - STS-112 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39B.
2002 Nov 24 0:49 - STS-113 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.
2003 Jan 16 15:39 - STS-107 Cape Canaveral. LC: LC39A.

Bibliography:

  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page, Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: http://hea-www.harvard.edu/~jcm/space/space.html.
  • Isakowitz, Steven J,, International Reference to Space Launch Systems Second Edition, AIAA, Washington DC, 1991.
  • Jenkins, Dennis R,, Space Shuttle: The History of Developing the National Space Transportation System, Motorbooks International, ISBN 0-9633974-4-3, 1996.
  • Isakowitz, Steven J, Hopkins, Joshua B, and Hopkins, Joseph P, International Reference to Space Launch Systems Third Edition, AIAA, Washington DC, 2000.

 
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