SST - Space Shuttle Technology Overview Quiz
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SST - Space Shuttle Technology Overview Quiz

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Questions and Answers

What type of propellants did the External Tank hold for the Main Engines?

Liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen

Which company built the Solid Rocket Boosters for the Space Shuttle?

Thiokol Corporation

At what speed did the Space Shuttle reach during launch?

Close to Mach 20

How did the Space Shuttle return to Earth after completing its mission in orbit?

<p>Glide back down and land on a runway</p> Signup and view all the answers

Why did the Space Shuttle program come to an end in 2011?

<p>Budget constraints and limited commercial potential</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is being developed as a successor to the Space Shuttle, according to the text?

<p><strong>Vulcan</strong> rocket</p> Signup and view all the answers

Who initiated the design studies for an orbiting spaceplane in 1972?

<p>NASA</p> Signup and view all the answers

What concept did the Orbiting Reentry Vehicle evolve into in the early 1970s?

<p>Single Stage To Orbit (SSTO)</p> Signup and view all the answers

What were the three main components of the Space Shuttle?

<p>Orbiter, External Tank, Solid Rocket Boosters</p> Signup and view all the answers

Which company was NOT involved in designing or building components of the Space Shuttle?

<p>Hughes Aircraft Company</p> Signup and view all the answers

What accelerated plans for the shuttle development in the 1960s?

<p>President John F. Kennedy's commitment to send astronauts to the Moon</p> Signup and view all the answers

What concept lost out to the Shuttle Concept in 1976?

<p>VentureStar Single Stage to Orbit (SSTO)</p> Signup and view all the answers

Study Notes

SST - A Brief Overview of Space Shuttle Technology

The Space Transportation System (SST) is commonly known as the Space Shuttle, which was a partially reusable orbital spacecraft system operated by NASA from 1981 through 2011. This article provides a brief overview of the history behind this remarkable technology.

Origins and Development

The idea for developing a reusable space vehicle dates back to the late 1950s when Wernher von Braun began studying how rocket engines could be modified to operate like airplane engines. However, it wasn't until President John F. Kennedy's 1961 commitment to sending astronauts to the Moon before the Soviet Union that plans for the shuttle were accelerated.

In 1972, NASA initiated design studies for an orbiting spaceplane called the Orbiting Reentry Vehicle. The following year, this evolved into the Single Stage To Orbit (SSTO) concept, with two versions developed--the VentureStar Single Stage to Orbit (SSTO) and the Hughes VentureStar SSOT. In 1976, these concepts lost out to the Shuttle Concept, which became the final design of the Space Shuttle.

Design and Construction

The Space Shuttle had three main components: the Orbiter, which housed the crew and payload; the External Tank; and the pair of Solid Rocket Boosters. These parts were designed and built by various contractors, including Boeing, Rockwell International, and Lockheed Martin.

External Tanks

The External Tank, made primarily of aluminum alloy, held liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants for the Main Engines located within the Shuttle's fuselage.

Solid Rocket Boosters

The Solid Rocket Boosters were built by Thiokol Corporation and gave the Space Shuttle its lift off power. Each booster contained six solid fuel segments packed around a hollow steel casing.

Launch and Return

At launch, the Space Shuttle would reach speeds close to Mach 20 before the first stage separated, leaving the External Tank and the Solid Rocket Boosters behind. Once in orbit, the Shuttle would return to Earth and glide back down, landing on the runway like an aircraft.

Retirement and Future Plans

After 135 missions between 1981 and 2011, including deployments of satellites, construction of the International Space Station, and scientific research, the Space Shuttle program came to an end due to budget constraints and limited commercial potential. Now, efforts are being made to develop a successor to the Space Shuttle, such as the proposed Vulcan rocket.

In conclusion, the Space Shuttle represented a significant milestone in space exploration, demonstrating a new level of reusability and versatility that continue to influence modern space travel today.

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Test your knowledge about the history, design, construction, and missions of the Space Shuttle, also known as the Space Transportation System (SST), through this informative quiz. Explore the technology behind this iconic spacecraft and its impact on space exploration.

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