Encyclopedia Astronautica
Shuttle ISS



sts.jpg
STS
Credit: NASA
American winged orbital launch vehicle. Redesign of the shuttle with reliability in mind after the Challenger disaster reduced maximum payload to low earth orbit from 27,850 kg to 24,400 kg. When the decision was made to move the International Space Station to a high-inclination 51.6 degree orbit, net payload to the more challenging orbit dropped to unacceptable limits. The situation was improved by introduction of the Super Lightweight External Tank, which used 2195 Aluminium-Lithium alloy as the main structural material in place of the 2219 aluminium alloy of the original design. This saved 3,500 kg in empty mass, increasing shuttle payload by the same amount. The tank was first used on STS-91 in June 1998.

LEO Payload: 27,500 kg (60,600 lb) to a 204 km orbit at 28.50 degrees. Payload: 16,050 kg (35,380 lb) to a 407 km 51.6 deg orbit.

Stage Data - Shuttle ISS

  • Stage 0. 2 x Shuttle RSRM. Gross Mass: 590,000 kg (1,300,000 lb). Empty Mass: 88,000 kg (194,000 lb). Thrust (vac): 11,519.999 kN (2,589,799 lbf). Isp: 267 sec. Burn time: 123 sec. Isp(sl): 235 sec. Diameter: 3.77 m (12.36 ft). Span: 5.10 m (16.70 ft). Length: 45.46 m (149.14 ft). Propellants: Solid. No Engines: 1. Engine: RSRM. Other designations: Redesigned Solid Rocket Motor. Status: In production. Comments: After the Challenger disaster the redesigned solid rocket motors had a slight reduction in performance due to reliability improvements.
  • Stage 1. 1 x Shuttle Super Lightweight Tank. Gross Mass: 748,000 kg (1,649,000 lb). Empty Mass: 27,000 kg (59,000 lb). Isp: 453 sec. Burn time: 522 sec. Isp(sl): 361 sec. Diameter: 8.40 m (27.50 ft). Span: 8.70 m (28.50 ft). Length: 47.00 m (154.00 ft). Propellants: Lox/LH2. No Engines: 0. Engine: None. Other designations: Super Lightweight External Tank. Status: In production. The Super Lightweight Tank used 2195 Aluminium-Lithium alloy as the main structural material in place of the 2219 aluminium alloy of the original design. This saved 3,500 kg in empty mass, increasing shuttle payload by the same amount. This change was made in anticipation of Shuttle-Mir and Shuttle-ISS flights to high inclination 51.6 degree orbits. The tank was first used on STS-91 in June 1998.
  • Stage 2. 1 x Shuttle Orbiter. Gross Mass: 99,318 kg (218,958 lb). Empty Mass: 99,117 kg (218,515 lb). Thrust (vac): 6,834.303 kN (1,536,412 lbf). Isp: 455 sec. Burn time: 480 sec. Isp(sl): 363 sec. Diameter: 4.90 m (16.00 ft). Span: 23.79 m (78.05 ft). Length: 37.24 m (122.17 ft). Propellants: Lox/LH2. No Engines: 3. Engine: SSME. Other designations: Shuttle; STS (Space Transportation System). Status: In Production.

AKA: STS; Space Transportation System.
Status: In production.
Gross mass: 2,040,000 kg (4,490,000 lb).
Payload: 27,500 kg (60,600 lb).
Height: 56.00 m (183.00 ft).
Diameter: 8.70 m (28.50 ft).
Thrust: 28,190.00 kN (6,337,360 lbf).
Apogee: 204 km (126 mi).

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Associated Countries
See also
  • Shuttle The manned reusable space system which was designed to slash the cost of space transport and replace all expendable launch vehicles. It did neither, but did keep NASA in the manned space flight business for 30 years. More...
  • Winged In the beginning, nobody (except Jules Verne) thought anybody would be travelling to space and back in ballistic cannon balls. The only proper way for a space voyager to return to earth was at the controls of a real winged airplane. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...

Associated Stages
  • Shuttle Super Lightweight Tank Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 748,000/27,000 kg. Thrust 6,834.30 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 452.5 seconds. The Super Lightweight Tank used 2195 Aluminium-Lithium alloy as the main structural material in place of the 2219 aluminium alloy of the original design. This saved 3,500 kg in empty mass, increasing shuttle payload by the same amount. This change was made in anticipation of Shuttle-Mir and Shuttle-ISS flights to high inclination 51.6 degree orbits. The tank was first used on STS-91 in June 1998. More...
  • Shuttle Orbiter Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 99,318/99,117 kg. Thrust 6,834.30 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 455 seconds. More...
  • Shuttle RSRM Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 590,000/88,000 kg. Thrust 11,520.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 267 seconds. After the Challenger disaster the redesigned solid rocket motors had a slight reduction in performance due to reliability improvements. More...

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