ALL ABOUT SPACE SHUTTLE
In this post, I'm sharing some important information on the Space shuttle.So the first question that comes to our mind is that, what is a space shuttle? Ok, so let's divide these two words and understand each of them one by one.As we all know space means a huge wide area in which the objects that exist and move have relative position and direction.
Now, what is a shuttle..? The shuttle can be termed as a vehicle or transport aircraft(spacecraft) which is launched vertically using SRB rockets and lands horizontally like an unpowered aircraft to make journeys between the earth and space.Combining these both two words together i.e. space and shuttle, it can be defined as a human spaceflight used to reach into space and establish a mission in space.The first space shuttle named "Enterprise" was introduced in September 1976, but it never completes the journey to space.But on 12th April 1981, Columbia shuttle [STS-1] was launched with a great boom in the history of NASA and it orbited the Earth 37 times before the entry into Earth's atmosphere.
Now let's understand some features of a Space Shuttle.So inside a space shuttle, there are mainly seven seats available for the astronauts.As we all know that space shuttle generally carries astronauts along with the satellite that orbits the earth to provide important geological information, transmission of T.V signals, Radio signals, information about several objects in space etc.But due to the advancement of technologies and need for some new discoveries, the heavy large machines & NASA's equipment are supplied into space for the establishment of International Space Station.Whenever a new launch takes place at the space station, then it is named as "Mission".For lifting up 2.5 million kilograms of a space shuttle from the launchpad to the nearest orbital space (180 - 640 km) above the earth's surface, the shuttle uses two main components: two solid rocket boosters (SRB) and the three main engines of the orbiter.Space shuttle comprises of mainly three parts.They are-:
1) The Orbiter2) The External Tank
3) The Solid Rocket Boosters (SRB)
The Orbiter is nothing but an airplane or spaceflight in which the seven astronauts reside and operates the whole functionality of the spacecraft, including the external tank and the two solid rocket boosters.After the launch, when the solid rocket boosters (SRB) detaches from the orbiter at an altitude of approx 45 kilometers, but then also the orbiter's main engine still runs and with that ignition power provided by the external tank, it reaches to the nearest orbital velocity.Here orbital velocity is (a velocity required to hold natural or artificial satellite inside the orbit) or it can be defined as a balance between inertia and gravity.
The External Tank (ET) contains liquid hydrogen fuel and also liquid oxygen oxidizer.To lift up the shuttle, it provides the mixture of these two liquid fuels to the shuttle's main three engines under some pressure.The external fuel tank is connected with the two solid rocket boosters (SRB) and the orbiter.The external tank (ET) is connected to the orbiter with the help of bipod fitting.At 113 kilometers away from earth's surface, the external tank (ET) detaches from the orbiter but only after the detachment of the two solid rocket boosters (SRB), which gets detached at a height of 45 kilometers from the earth's surface.External Tanks (ET) are not reused again and again and hence they are not recovered from the oceans.
The Solid Rocket Boosters (SRB) contains solid propellant fuel.The solid rocket boosters also called as SRB provides the main important initial thrust during the first two minutes of launch.The SRB's plays an important role at the initial stage of launch.It carries the External Tank (ET) and the orbiter to almost for a distance up to 45 kilometers from earth's surface and then it gets detached and falls into the ocean.The two solid rocket boosters (SRB) are designed for recovery and reuse.Hence they're recovered from the ocean and are used for the next mission.