Space Shuttle

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NASA's Space Shuttle includes a reusable manned spacecraft capable of delivering up to 25,000 kg of cargo into low Earth orbit. The four primary elements are the Orbiter (Rockwell), two Solid Rocket Boosters (Thiokol), External Tank (Lockheed) and three Space Shuttle Main Engines (Rocketdyne). A crew of up to eight (minimum two) is accommodated for up to 16 days in a shirt-sleeve environment. Crossrange maneuvering capability during unpowered descent to a runway landing is 2,035 km; acceleration loads do not exceed 3 g during ascent or reentry. In operation, the Shuttle is launched vertically with all main engines firing. At an altitude of about 45 km, after some 2 minutes, the boosters separate for recovery and refurbishment. The Orbiter continues under SSME power until about 8 min 50 s after launch, when the external tank separates for destructive reentry. Earlier missions required two OMS burns to attain operational orbit but a direct ascent technique is now employed, omitting the OMS-1 burn and relying on the OMS-2 burn at apogee about 45 min after launch.


First launch: 12-Apr-1981
Number launches: 114 to end-2005
Launch sites: KSC pads 39A/39B
Principal uses: US manned capability to beyond 2010 (four reuseable Orbiter fleet), 25,000 kg payload delivery to LEO, satellite retrieval/in situ repair, short-duration science platform, Space Station assembly/servicing
Vehicle success rate: 98.25% to end-2005
LEO (204 km, 28.45o): 21,140 kg OV-102, 24,950 kg OV-103/104/105; each additional 1 km altitude reduces capacity by 25 kg, each crewmember beyond 5-person size reduces capacity by 230 kg into basic orbit
LEO (204 km, 57o): 14,800 kg OV-102, 18,600 kg OV-103/104/105 (57o is usually the highest inclination flown from Florida, but dog-legging provides access to higher angles)
LEO (204 km, 98o Sun-synchronous VAFB): 13,426 kg OV-103/104/105, assuming use if Advanced Solid Rocket Motors. Neither VAFB nor ASRM will be used
Molniya (925 x 39,450 km, 63o): 3,563 kg using IUS via 222 km, 57o parking orbit
Crossrange: 2,040 km max; 1,020-1,300 km used operationally by NASA
Availablity: typically 7-8 flights/year manifested but with restricted commercial access
Cost: restricted commercial access, STS-27 military mission cost to NASA in Dec-1988 was reported at $375 million
Number of stages: 1 + 2 strap-ons + payload injection stages
Overall length: 56.14 m (orbiter 37.24 m)
Launch mass: about 2,040,000 kg
Landing mass: 104,328 kg max normal, 108,860 kg max on abort
Launch thrust: 34,677 kN sea level (three SSMEs firing at 104%/1,754 kN each, two SRBs at 14,680 kN each; SSMEs throttle down to 65% by 35 s and up to 104% by 65 s)

Length: 46.88 m
Diameter: 8.40 m
Dry mass: 35,430 kg for earlier version, later reduced to 29,930 kg in later models, 26,330 kg for aluminum-lithium alloy Super LightWeight version
Oxidizer: liquid oxygen
Fuel: liquid hydrogen
Propellant mass: about 730,000 kg
Pressurization: 3.0 atm LH2, 1.43 atm LOX
Feed lines: supplies SSMEs through two 43.2 cm diameter outlets
Insulation: 25 mm-thick polyurethane foam
Separation: after about 530 s, 110 km altitude, for destructive reentry

Length: 45.46 m (including forward skirt and nose fairing)
Diameter: 3.71 m
Empty mass: each 82,879 kg
Propellant: TB-H1148 HB Polymer
Propellant mass: each about 504,000 kg
Thrust: combined thrust 29.36 MN SL (maximum thrust at launch reducing by 1/3 after 50 s)
Burn time: about 124 s
Steering: nozzle gimbaled ±8o by two hydraulic actuators
Separation: after burnout at about 124 s, 45 km altitude (triggered when pressure falls to 3.4 atm), the boosters are separated pyrotechnically and fall into the Atlantic for recovery. Landing speed <100 km/h under 3 x 41 m diameter parachutes
Separation motors: 16 flown per Shuttle mission; each 73 kg mass, 34.5 kg HTPB propellant, 0.8 s burn time, 82.6/129.5 kN vac avg/max thrust, 78.1 kNs total impulse

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The SRM is cast in four segments in Utah and then transported by rail to KSC, Florida, where they are stacked vertically in pairs either side of the ET on the mobile launch platform in the Vehicle Assembly Building. After burnout, the boosters are separated pyrotechnically and fall into the Atlantic for recovery. The motors are cleaned, disassembled and returned to Utah for refurbishment and reloading.
First flown: 12-Apr-1981
Length: 38.47 m
Diameter: 3.71 m
Mass at ignition: 569,636 kg
    type: TB-H1148 HB Polymer; 16% aluminum, 70% ammonium perchlorate
    shape: 11-point star forward; double taper cylinder center segments; triple taper cylinder aft
    mass fraction: 0.883 (501,746 kg propellant)
Burn time: 123.7 s action, 111.4 s web
Thrust: 11.52 MN average, 14.77 MN max
Specific impulse: 268.0 s vac
Total impulse: about 1,300 MNs vac
Expansion ratio: 7.72:1 (3.80 m nozzle exit diameter)
Pressure: 62.1 atm max, 45.0 atm average

First flown: 12-Apr-1981
Number flown: 30 to end-1995
Dry mass: 3,177 kg
Length: 4.24 m
Maximum diameter: 2.39 m
Mounting: gimbaled by hydraulic actuators ±10.5o pitch/yaw
Engine cycle: staged combustion
Oxidizer: liquid oxygen, delivered at 408 kg/s
Fuel: liquid hydrogen, delivered at 68.0 kg/s
Mixture ratio: 6.0
Oxidizer turbopump: 261 kg mass, 28,500 rpm, 17,900 kW, 292.5 atm discharge pressure
Fuel turbopump: 351 kg mass, 46,230 kW, 415 atm discharge pressure
Thrust: 1,668/2,091 kN SL/vac at 100%, throttleable 65-109% in 1% increments. Launch is made at 104%
Specific impulse: 452.9 s vac, 363 s SL
Time to full thrust: 4.2 s
Expansion ratio: 77.5:1
Combustion chamber pressure: 204 atm (100% thrust)
Combustion chamber temperature: 3,300oC (100% thrust)
Burn time: 520 s typical, 761 s max

Application: Space Shuttle orbit/deorbit insertion, circularization
First flown: 12-Apr-1981
Number flown: 14 to end-1995
Dry mass: 118 kg
Length: 1.96 m
Maximum diameter: 1.17 m
Mounting: gimbaled ±7o yaw, ±6o pitch by two electromechanical actuators for thrust vector control
Engine cycle: pressure-fed
Oxidizer: nitrogen tetroxide (6,743 kg in each pod)
Fuel: MMH (4,087 kg in each pod)
Mixture ratio: 1.65
Thrust: 26.7 kN vac
Specific impulse: 316 s vac
Expansion ratio: 55:1
Combustion chamber pressure: 8.62 atm
Burn time: qualified for 500 starts, 15 h/100 mission life, longest firing 1,250 s, deorbit burn typically 150-250 s

Boeing's 2-stage all-solid IUS is designed to deliver payloads of >2,000 kg directly into GTO from LEO following launch by either Shuttle or expendable Titan.
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