Space Shuttles

Topics: Space Shuttle, NASA, Spacecraft Pages: 3 (839 words) Published: February 17, 2011
Space Shuttles: |
The Life of Them|
Kionna Jones |
7th period|

Space Shuttles
The Space Shuttle is an American spacecraft operated by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for orbital human spaceflight missions. The Space Shuttle is part of the Space Transportation System (STS). Space Shuttles are one of the most talked about aircrafts. The Shuttle is a reusable launch and reentry vehicle that saves on the costs that were once required to carry out a space mission. The Shuttle can also remove objects from orbit when their missions or lifetime has ended. Major missions consisted of launching numerous satellites and interplanetary probes, conducting space science experiments, and servicing and construction of space stations. A typical Shuttle mission lasts seven to eight days, but can go up to 14 days depending on what the mission was for. Although designs and construction of the Space Shuttle began in the 1970s, the concept of a spacecraft returning from space to a horizontal landing began with NACA, in 1954, in the form of an aeronautics research experiment later named the X-15. The NASA space program really began working when President Nixon signed the approval for the development of the Space Shuttle in 1972. The Space Shuttle development was a group effort by all groups at NASA. The first Shuttle produced was the Enterprise and its main goal was to practice entering the upper atmosphere and returning to earth with a safe landing. The first fully functional Space Shuttle was the Colombia and it did its first mission in 1981. The United States funded STS development and Shuttle operations. The Shuttle has been used for orbital space missions by NASA, the U.S. Department of Defense, the European Space Agency, and Germany. Each Space Shuttle is a reusable launch system that is composed of three main parts: the reusable Orbiter Vehicle (OV), the expendable external tank (ET), and the two reusable...
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