The scenarios seem to have many but ultimately nothing is decided.
Initially, NASA had expressed their intension to sell spaceships to the end of their service at a cost of $ 42 million each. Indeed, it seems they are no longer for sale as reported by CNN. So here comes the hit that the U.S. press that these days the question: “Do you have a garage large enough to park a shuttle?“.
In fact already some twenty museums are interested in you owned it, including the Smithsonian in Washington, which already exhibited the Enola Gay, the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, and one of NASA‘s shuttles, the Enterprise. Even the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, run by a private firm, has come forward.
Not a few problems that arise in that company. Consider that to get a shuttle to show to the public, we must first cleanse the radioactive components, able to carry them on the spot, what made only through the special Boeing 747 created for this purpose, the operation cost $ 6 million, and not least to build a structure to contain the Shuttle.
According to an estimate of the Kennedy Space Center could receive a more than 1.5 million visitors a year from their exposure. One estimate talks of possible $ 106 million receivable from a show like that.
The Space Shuttle
Born 70 years in the Space Shuttle was a new philosophy of space flight at the time, because the feature was intended to re-use ships to transport human space without losing any aircraft in the space mission, and without build “from scratch” the entire aircraft. It must be clear that more than orbiter, the spacecraft that is true, even after two booster side dropped in the rising phase are made to land accompanied by parachute into the ocean to be recovered and reused them too. This was in contrast to the “old philosophy” of losing the entire airplane in space if not for cell survival with passengers on board.
Over time, however, it was realized that this solution did not produce the desired effect of containing costs, than the solution to reconstruct a whole new aircraft for each mission, which is an example of the Russian Soyuz shuttle, which is currently the only spacecraft capable of carrying human astronauts in orbit to reach the International Space Station ISS.
- After 126 seconds the booster side come off the shuttle and continue the race with the remaining engines to hydrogen and liquid oxygen. The boosters are made to get loose with the parachute in order to be reused.
- After 4 minutes after launch, we reach the tipping point beyond which you can not stop the mission.
- After 7 minutes and 40 seconds is the final climb, with a load of 3g.
- After 8 minutes and 39 seconds the shuttle arrives in orbit, when the external tank is separated from Orbiter to about 44 km in height and main engines are shut off.
- At 10 minutes and 40 seconds after launch, after preliminary orbit at 140 km, two rocket engines, installed in the tail of the shuttle, perfect orbit according to specific part of the mission, the ISS is about 400 km.
Among the many uses beyond that provided for the Space Shuttle to transport large loads into orbit, the crew transfer to the International Space Station ISS, and forwards the return to Earth satellites.
The Disasters of Challenger and Columbia
An additional focus should be placed to the two disasters occurred during the service of this aircraft:
the Challenger accident of January 28, 1986 in the early stages of ascent to 73 seconds after takeoff, killing all seven astronauts on board.
And the Columbia February 1, 2003 in reentry, after the detachment of a fragment of the lining of the main tank in the early stages of detaching off causes a hole, fatal in later stages of return for the 7 astronauts aboard.
The Space Shuttle must give way to the new NASA program, the Constellation, which is a little “throwback” being a remake of the old Apollo program combined with new technologies of the Shuttle. Is not the idea of reusability at least not as the Shuttle, will consist of one class Ares rocket and Orion spacecraft, will carry 6 people.