Facts about the Space Shuttle
The space shuttle, also known as a Space Transportation System, is a partially reusable rocket-launched vehicle developed by the United States that is designed to go into orbit around Earth, transport people and cargo to and from orbiting spacecraft, and glide to a runway landing on its return to Earth’s surface. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is an acronym for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The Space Transportation System (STS) launched into space for the first time on April 12, 1981, and flew 135 times until the program ended in 2011.
The space shuttle is 184 feet long and weighs 4.5 million pounds.
The space shuttle was the first piece of reusable space exploration technology.
Although over 600 astronauts have flown to space on the space shuttle, only about seven can fly out at once.
The space shuttle’s longest orbit lasted 17 and a half days.
The space shuttle takes off like a rocket but lands like a plane.
The space shuttle’s fuel is mostly made of oxygen and hydrogen.
The majority of space shuttle launches occurred during the day.
In 1981, the first space shuttle test flight took place.
The space shuttle carried out 135 missions.
The space shuttle was retired in 2011 so that NASA could focus on less expensive methods of space exploration, such as exploring beyond our solar system.
There were five space shuttles: Enterprise, Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, and Atlantis.
All space shuttles launched from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center.
Both the Challenger and the Columbia were destroyed in accidents that claimed the lives of 14 astronauts.
Weather conditions such as precipitation, lightning, wind, and humidity were carefully considered before a space shuttle could launch.
Because space shuttles did not have software that could handle a year change while in orbit, missions were never conducted between December and January.