The space shuttle is a vehicle used to transport people into space and then bring them back on earth. NASA, has four space shuttles in use: Columbia, Atlantis, Discovery, and Endeavour. Shuttles are different from other spacecraft because they are reusable-they can go into space more than once. Space shuttles are built to fly up to 100 missions, or space flights. They land on a runway in almost the same way an airplane lands after a flight.

Parts of shuttle

The space shuttle system includes four parts, the orbiter spacecraft, two solid rocket boosters or (SRBs), and an external fuel tank. The SRBs and the three main engines on the orbiter provide the thrust, or force, needed to take the shuttle into space.

The large external tank holds the fuel for the main engines. The external fuel tank is not reusable, but the SRBs can be reused many times. They float back to earth on parachutes and land in the ocean.

Shuttle Statistics (Facts)

Length: 122 feet (37 m)

Body width: 23 feet (7 m)

Wingspan: 78 feet (24 m)

Height with gear extended: 56 feet (17 m)

Weight on earth, when empty: 150,000 - 165,000 pounds (68 000 - 75 000 kg)

Each shuttle has a slightly different weight.

Before the launch

For most missions, the countdown to liftoff begins three days before the launch. A huge machine called a crawler slowly takes the shuttle from the VAB to the launch pad, the area from witch the shuttle lifts off. Many jobs must be done in a certain order during the countdown. The countdown is stopped at certain times to allow things to be fixed and double-checked. When only one hour and 40 minutes remain in the countdown, the crew boards the shuttle.
The Space Shuttle, Written by Jacqueline Langille & Bobbie Kalman.
Big image

Space shuttle

Big image


Picture of a toy space shuttle, looks real. This is how one looks when its finished and ready to take off

Big image


Landing back on earth from mission.
Big image


Space shuttle taking off.


The solid rocket boosters (SRBs) provide about 71 percent of the main force necessary to lift a shuttle into space. The remaining 29 percent of the thrust is supplied by the orbiter's three main engines.

The main engine's external fuel tank primarily contains: liquid hydrogen

The external fuel tank of the shuttle's main engines is mostly filled with liquid hydrogen. While the engines burn both liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, these substances are stored in a 6:1 ratio in favor of liquid hydrogen. The engines draw enough liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen to empty a family swimming pool every 10 seconds.
Sts-132: Space Shuttle Atlantis LAUNCH ( 14 may 2010 ) Closed-Captions