Rockwell International space Shuttle

Punching skywards, the Space Shuttle is launched vertically like a rocket; it operates as a spacecraft, yet returns to Earth as a glider. The first orbital spacecraft designed for partial reuse, it comprises t lie Orbital Vehicle and two Solid Rocket Boosters. Woth reusable, and an expendable External Tank. Only the orbiler, resembling an
aircraft with double delta wings, goes into orbit; its tank and boosters are jettisoned during ascent.
On re-entering Earth’s atmosphere at 300,000ft, elevons mounted at the trailing edge of the wings take over
to control roll and pitch. The craft crosses the Californian coast at 100.000ft and Mach 5 but reduces speed rapidly; when line-up begins for the runway, its speed slows to Mach 2.5 at 82,000ft. Full aero-dynamic control is gained as the thrusters are deactivated: the Shuttle is now an inefficient glider and must be landed first time, every time.
Once likened to a “space truck”, the Shuttle has proved a versatile craft, ferrying large payloads to various orbits, providing crew rotation for the International Space Station, and performing servicing missions. The five shuttles have flown more than 116 missions; two of these – Columbia and Challenger – were tragically lost.

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