Thursday, March 7, 2019

Space Shuttle

We just learned about the Ariane rocket.

Another famous rocket is the Space Shuttle, made in the USA in 1981.

This was a kind of airplane made for doing work in outer space, and then bringing people home.
The space shuttle had two big rockets to help it launch called "Solid Rocket Boosters" or SRBs.
These are the tall skinny white rockets on either side of the shuttle.

These SRBs used solid rocket propellant, together weighed about 2.6 million pounds, were about 150 feet long, and 12 feet wide.
When the shuttle was launched, these rockets helped bring it to 28 miles up into the sky, at a speed of over 3,000 miles per hour.
They used gimbaled thrust like we learned about, to tilt the engine nozzle and steer the rocket, and they used gyroscopes to make sure they were going the right way.
After these rockets ran out of fuel, they would let go of the shuttle and fall to earth with a parachute.
When they made it down to earth, they were found and fixed up and reused over and over again.

The Space Shuttle main engine, called the SSME uses liquid fuel, and has three rocket engines with nozzles at the bottom of the space shuttle.
These engine nozzles also used gimbaled thrust, just like the SRBs.
It holds its fuel in a giant fuel tank called the Space Shuttle external tank (ET).
The ETs weighed over 70,000 pounds, was over 150 feet long, and 27 feet wide.

During launch, the SSME would burn the fuel in the fuel tank for about eight minutes, and then it would drop off the ET which would fall into the ocean and never be reused.

After it was coming back from space it used small thrusters called the Reaction Control System or RCS to help steer it down, and then it mostly flew down to earth like a glider.

The space shuttle flew 135 missions into space, from 1981 to 2011.

(from: wikipedia - space shuttle)

Space Shuttle Launch Audio - play LOUD (no music) HD 1080p - indiegun

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Seismite