Mar 17, 2011

The Space Shuttle

When people think about the space shuttle, I think they'll get a mental image of this photo below;

But, actually this is only one out of 3 major parts of the shuttle. This is the space shuttle;
The big orange tanks are called ET (which doesn't stand for extra-terrestrial, it stands for "external tank"), the 2 white boosters at either side are called SRBs (solid rocket boosters), and, finally, the orbiter vehicle.
space shuttle external tank fallingThe ET feeds fuel to the space shuttle main engines, which are the 3 boosters on the orbiter. It's jettisoned after the main engine cutoff, and here you can see how it looks like. Looks like a blimp or something.. Except that it's falling down at a great speed. It's not reusable.
The SRBs are, on the other hand, reusable. They fall down into the ocean and... well, watch this vid to get an idea. It's beautiful, the fall to Earth. You should watch it from around 2:00.
And, last, there is the orbiter. But, I hate to say this but I ran out of time to use my PC, so I should probably leave it there for now.
I'll write about the orbiter on the next article.

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