Chandra X-ray observatory celebrates its 20th anniversary

On July 23, 1999, the Space Shuttle Columbia blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center carrying the Chandra X-ray Observatory. In the two decades that have passed, Chandra's powerful and unique X-ray eyes have contributed ...

The exploration of space in 10 key dates

From the Soviet Union's pioneering satellite to the first man on the Moon 50 years ago, here are 10 key dates in space exploration.

Major shuffle at NASA in rush to meet Trump's moon deadline

NASA has replaced the head of its human space exploration directorate in a major shake-up, US media reported Wednesday, as the agency scrambles to meet President Donald Trump's ambitious deadline to return astronauts to the ...

Dormant viruses activate during spaceflight

Herpes viruses reactivate in more than half of crew aboard Space Shuttle and International Space Station missions, according to NASA research published in Frontiers in Microbiology. While only a small proportion develop symptoms, ...

NASA chief acknowledges more trouble with SLS rocket

The US space agency NASA on Wednesday cast a shadow on the future of its new heavy-lift rocket, the SLS—acknowledging development delays on a project that is already years behind.

page 1 from 23

Space Shuttle

NASA's Space Shuttle, officially named the Space Transportation System (STS), is the spacecraft currently used by the United States government for its human spaceflight missions and is scheduled to be retired from service in 2010. At launch, it consists of a rust-colored external tank (ET), two white, slender Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs), and the orbiter, which is a winged spaceplane in the narrowest sense.

The orbiter carries astronauts and payload such as satellites or space station parts into low earth orbit, into the Earth's upper atmosphere or thermosphere. Usually, five to seven crew members ride in the orbiter. The payload capacity is 22,700 kilograms (50,000 lb). When the orbiter's mission is complete it fires its Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS) thrusters to drop out of orbit and re-enters the lower atmosphere. During the descent, the shuttle orbiter decelerates from hypersonic speed primarily by aerobraking and then for the landing phase it acts as a glider, making a completely unpowered (deadstick) landing.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA