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Validating the Space Transportation System: The First Flights of Columbia

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Article

“Validating the Space Transportation System: The First Flights of Columbia” by Anthony Young
Published in Quest Volume: 29 #1 (2022)

Abstract

The decision by NASA to employ the Space Shuttle for low Earth orbit missions under the rubric of reusability was a dramatic shift in human spaceflight for the space agency. The lure was lowering the cost of access to space but there were many other benefits besides that perceived motive. With reusability came the need for facilities to process the orbiters for their next mission and a process flow for the Solid Rocket Boosters and the External tank. Payloads also needed a dedicated facility. Existing facilities and equipment had to be modified or new ones built to support the Space Transportation System. New processing computing programs would automate much of the scheduling and launch vehicle checkout. As the first Orbiter, Columbia served as a testbed on its first missions for validating the reusable spacecraft concept and turnaround for each successive mission.


Citation

Young, Anthony. “Validating the Space Transportation System: The First Flights of Columbia.” Quest: The History of Spaceflight Quarterly 29, no. 1 (2022): 19-32.

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More Information

  • Archive ID # G301239
  • Format: Document (PDF)
  • Author/Creator:
  • Publication Year: 2022
  • Publisher: Quest
  • Copyright Status: Copyrighted
  • Copyright Holder: SPACE 3.0
  • Language: English
  • Number of Pages: 14
  • Type: History
  • Subject:
  • Collection: Quest
  • Availability: Digital Download