Monday, January 31, 2011

Space Shuttle Infographic: From Steering Thrusters to Rudder/Speed Brake

"NASA's Space Shuttle – From Top to Bottom"
Karl Tate, Space.com (January 31, 2011)

Normally the Lemming gives a short quote from an article or post - but in this case it's one whacking great infographic, 9,338 pixels tall. And just a tiny bit wider than this blog's format likes. The Lemming checked - nothing's hidden, apart from the tip of the Shuttles tail in a drawing, and a tad bit of the right border of a photo.

It's a thorough piece - including a section on Launch Pad 39-A, an old Saturn V launch facility that NASA re-engineered for the shuttles.


A graphical representative of NASA’s space shuttle.

Source Space.com: All about our solar system, outer space and exploration

The embed code, by the wya, is Space.com's, except for the location of the infographic file. The Lemming's placed that on another server - in case Space.com shuffles its website. They've been pretty good about making it possible for folks to find their pages - but one never knows what's next.

About the Space Shuttle fleet: They've been a fine line of freighters, and the Lemming will be a little sorry to see them go. But time passes, and the Lemming's written about that before. September 23, 2010)

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3 comments:

Maurice Mitchell said...

Its amazing to think about what the shuttle could have looked like. Right now it looks like a plane, but it could have been so much more.

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...

Maurice Mitchell,

Yes - some of the early concept-stage designs were: remarkable. A fellow said of one, that it would involve building the biggest airplane in the world, giving it reentry capability, and then building a larger airplane to fly it into space.

The Space Shuttle represents what could be done with late-'60s/early-'70s technology. And worked, reasonably well, for decades.

There are many 'might have beens.'

There are, I think, a lot more 'maybes.' One particularly interesting emerging technology are hypersonic vehicles.

These aircraft fly so fast, it wouldn't take very much more to 'fly' them to orbit. Apart from a reaction control system for maneuvering, and a propulsion system that can operate without an appreciable atmosphere. No small engineering hurdles, come to think of it.

I embedded a short video, illustrating the Skylon spaceplane, in "Skylon: Spaceplane for 2019" (March 12, 2009). It shows how one outfit proposed to provide service to low Earth orbit and back.

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