Using space shuttles are fast ways to get into space. The space shuttle is in space by less than five minutes. They can be used more than once, whereas many rockets can only be used one time. The booster rockets, the orbiter, and the fuel tank are the main parts of the ship. When it's time to go into space, the shuttle is lifted by it's two solid fuel boosters and it's three thrusters. When the shuttle is 32 miles above the ground, the booster rockets with solid fuel come off the shuttle. Six minutes later, the fuel tank comes off the shuttle, also. It takes off in a vertical position. When a space shuttle comes back to planet Earth, it lands just like how a plane would land. Space shuttles can take as much as eight members of the crew and it can hold thirty tons. The first shuttle was launched in 1981, which was called Columbia.
There are different parts of the space shuttle. The parts of the shuttle are the cargo bay, [which holds a satellite and other instruments] the cargo bay doors, the flight deck, the airlock tunnel, the robot arm, and the thrusters. Before space shuttles were invented, using rockets was the only way to get into space. There had to be some type of spacecraft that could be used to go into space more often. Then, the space shuttle, or the Space Transportation System was created. The space shuttle is 184 feet, or 56.1 meters tall. Shuttles weigh 4,500,000 pounds, or 2,040,000 kilograms. The space shuttle's wingspan is 23.79 meters. The cargo bay is very large. It is 60 feet, or 18.3 meters lengthwise and it's width is 15 feet, or 4.6 meters. When the space shuttle goes into orbit, the cargo bay can hold close to 50,00 pounds, or 22,680 kilograms, depending on what kind of space trip the crew is going on. The cargo bay has carried a research lab, called Spacelab and it has also carried satellites.
Purposes of the Space Shuttle
Shuttles are used for repairing or observations. Sometimes, shuttles go to space because of satellites that aren't working right. They have to be repaired or they might be taken back to Earth for taking a look at it. Then, it will be re-launched. A type of spacecraft that had to be fixed in space was the Solar Maximum Mission. There was a slight chance that a new satellite had to be built to take it's place. In space, there were other satellites that had to be fixed. The booster rockets that were connected to Westar VI and Palapa B-2 weren't working. These satellites weren't orbiting high enough. Westar VI and Palapa B-2 were repaired, then returned to Earth. They were launched into space again. For six years, the Long Duration Exposure Facility was orbiting. Then, it was fixed and taken back to Earth. Intelsat-VI was repaired in May 1992 when the space shuttle of Endeavour came into space. In 1993, the shuttle of Endeavour came to fix the Hubble Space Telescope because the vision of the telescope wasn't working right.