A Conversation for The Creation of the Space Shuttle

shuttle development

Post 1


I watched the development of the space shuttle on tv as a high school and college student. I recall that the tiles were a problem and later the engine. The bell housing cracked everytime the engine was pushed beyond 50% rated thrust. More money was spend and the engine went to 54% of rated thrust before cracking the bell. At this time it was suggested that the SRB's from the Atlas be added. Many were against this as the SRBs were considered non-manrated. NASA had volumes of data that forbid the use of solid rockets where humans were concerned, due to thier inherent volatile characteristics and the fact that once turned on, could not be shut down. Money overcame safety and the SRB allowed the shuttle to lift into high orbit (the 50% main engine thrust was not enough to get the vehicle off the ground, let alone into a high orbit). Was there some Orwellian rewrite of History that neglects to mention this? I have not seen a shuttle history that mentions this ever. Comments plz. Btw, congrats on your article making the edited guide, very well written!

shuttle development

Post 2

Oberon2001 (Scout)

I saw a documentry on Channel 4 about the Space Shuttle Columbia and it mentioned exactly what you just said, along with the fact that the STS was the first vehicle to lift-off without a means of escape for the crew - the ejection seats mentioned in the entry were removed after the first few flights.
Admittedly this isn't in the article as most of the info I have on the STS programme comes from NASA. However, if it's ok with Jimster (or whoever) I'm happy for an addition that notes that the military pushed for SRBs, despite NASAs mis-givings.
There is quite a bit in the entry on the tiles (notably how many fell off during some tests and also during the first flight).
Glad you liked the entry smiley - biggrin

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