Can space shuttles fly like airplanes?

Can space shuttles fly like airplanes?

A spaceplane is a vehicle that can fly and glide like an aircraft in Earth’s atmosphere and maneuver like a spacecraft in outer space. Three types of spaceplanes have successfully launched to orbit, reentered Earth’s atmosphere, and landed: the Space Shuttle, Buran, and the X-37.

How does the space shuttle glide?

The Space Shuttle flies as a glider during reentry and landing. During ascent, thrust is provided by the three Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSME’s) at the base of the orbiter and the two Solid Rocket Boosters (SRB’s) that are joined to the orange External Fuel Tank (ET).

How does the space shuttle stay balanced?

The short answer is that the Shuttle has her own engines which balance out and add to the thrust from the solid boosters.

How does space shuttle fly back to Earth?

For a successful return to Earth and landing, dozens of things have to go just right. Once the orbiter is tail first, the crew fires the OMS engines to slow the orbiter down and fall back to Earth; it will take about 25 minutes before the shuttle reaches the upper atmosphere.

Why do planes not fly directly over the Pacific Ocean?

Airplanes often avoid air paths that take them over Mt Everest or the Pacific Ocean. This is because “the Himalayas have mountains higher than 20,000 feet, including Mt Everest standing at 29,035 feet. However, most commercial airplanes can fly at 30,000 feet.”

Could the shuttle go to the moon?

“The space shuttle is designed to travel in low-Earth orbit (within a few hundred miles of the Earth’s surface). It does not carry enough propellant to leave Earth’s orbit and travel to the moon,” the space agency stated. “We all pointed out that the shuttle could never actually get to the moon.

How much energy does it take to launch the space shuttle?

Orbital launch The speed needed to maintain an orbit near the Earth’s surface corresponds to a sideways speed of about 7.8 km/s (17,400 mph), an energy of about 30MJ/kg. This is several times the energy per kg of practical rocket propellant mixes.

What do spaceships use to move in space?

Reaction forces do indeed work in a vacuum. Spacecraft are usually equipped with a reaction control system (RCS). The movement of this gas from the spacecraft is what provides the reaction force to propel it in the opposite direction.

Why did they need wings for the Space Shuttle?

development of the Space Shuttle was its aerodynamic design, which had to satisfy the conflicting requirements of a spacecraft-like re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere where blunt objects have certain advantages, but it needed wings that would allow it to achieve an aircraft-like runway landing. It was to be the first winged vehicle to fly through

How did the Space Shuttle return to Earth?

The shuttle vehicle was uniquely winged so it could reenter Earth’s atmosphere and fly to assigned nominal or abort landing strips. The wings allowed the spacecraft to glide and bank like an airplane during much of the return flight phase.

How is the Space Shuttle similar to an airplane?

It has many of the same parts as an airplane except for its engine configurations. The orbiter has wings that create lift. It uses a double-delta wing configuration to achieve the most efficient flight during hypersonic speed as well as providing a good lift -to-drag ratio during landing. For control, each wing has an “elevon”.

What makes a space shuttle fly like a brick?

Sailplanes have over 50:1, so that’s the kind of performance a sane person would expect from a vehicle that’s meant to do nothing but glide. An actual brick has glide ratio of about 1:10. In fact, the Space Shuttle flies more like the best sailplanes (11× difference) than like a brick (45× difference).