Updated: Oct 19
During NASA’s Space Exploration Program, the Space Shuttle Served as Its Primary Means of Transportation for Astronauts, and Cargo Was Transported to and from Earth’s Orbit by It. April 12, 1981, marked the first flight of the space shuttle and a final landing was made by the shuttle on (July 21, 2011), There Were 135 Missions Launched by the Space Shuttle During Those 30 Years.
Image credit - https://www.space.com
This unit has so far transported 355 people into space. In addition to missions, it was also used to launch satellites. Using it, astronauts can repair the Hubble telescope and conduct military missions.
There were three main parts to the shuttle: the orbiter, the spacecraft that carried the crew and cargo into orbit; and the payload bay, where the load was stored. The orbiter had a capacity of 32 tons. Spacecraft take turns flying into space in five different ways. The second part of the shuttle was the external tank, which was the large orange fuel tank attached to the bottom of the orbiter. The third part consisted of two different pieces. For the first two minutes of a shuttle launch, a pair of long and thin white solid rocket boosters provided most of the external thrust tank. This was the large orange fuel tank that was attached to the bottom of the orbiter for launch. The third part was two pieces. A pair of white solid rocket boosters provided most of the thrust for the first two minutes of a shuttle launch. The solid rocket boosters were long and thin.
Solid rocket boosters and the main engines of the space shuttle were used to propel the space shuttle into space. The solid rocket boosters burned for approximately two minutes before dropping into the ocean. Special boats brought the boosters that dropped from the shuttle and fell into the ocean. Special boats brought them back so they could be used again. The shuttle’s main engines fired for another six minutes. The external tank dropped off the orbiter and then burned up in the Earth’s atmosphere At this point, the shuttle and its crew were in orbit.
Image credit- https://www.nasa.gov
As the orbiter approached Earth's atmosphere, it fired its engines to slow down, and then glided onto a runway. When the orbiter touched down on the runway, its parachute opened to help it slow down.
The three space shuttles used by NASA until the space shuttle program ended are now displayed in museums for the public to see. Discovery is at the Smithsonian's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. Atlantis is on display at the Space Center in Houston, Texas. Endeavour is now at Space Center Houston.