Physical Science

3529 Words Oct 26th, 2008 15 Pages
Physical Science
I have learned from my twenty years of service in the U.S. Air Force, significant background knowledge of the history of the space shuttle. In September 1969, two months after the first manned lunar landing, a Space Task Group appointed by the President of the United States to study the future course of U.S. space research and exploration made the recommendation that "…the United States accept the basic goal of a balanced manned and unmanned space program.
To achieve this goal, the United States should …develop new systems of technology for space operation…through a program directed initially toward development of a new space transportation capability…"
According to Cox (1962), many responsible observers felt that we
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Rutondo (1994) emphasized that the craft should possess sufficient thrust to allow it to pass through the speed of sound as rapidly as possible
During the first stage ascent I have learned that after about two minutes, when the shuttle is about 45 kilometers (28 miles) high and traveling more than 4,828 kilometers per hour (3,000 mph), the propellant in the two boosters is exhausted and the booster casings are jettisoned. They parachute into the Atlantic Ocean, splashing down about 225 kilometers (140 miles) off the Florida coast. The empty boosters -- the largest solid rockets ever built -- are recovered by special NASA ships to be eventually refilled with fuel and launched again. The solid fuel used by the boosters is actually powdered aluminum -- a form of the same metal you find in foil wraps in your kitchen -- with oxygen provided by a chemical called ammonium perchlorate.
After the main engines shut down, the shuttle is in an egg-shaped orbit that, if nothing changed, would cause it to re-enter the atmosphere above the Pacific Ocean, the same as what happens to the external
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