Development of the Space Shuttle

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The development of the Space shuttle has allowed many opportunities to explore the universe. There is so much about the other planets and space that we do not know about. Space shuttles allow people to travel into space and allow things to be sent into space. There has been six space shuttles: Enterprise, Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavor. Currently they are all on display at various museums and centers throughout the United States with the exception of the two, Challenger and Columbia, that were destroyed in flight. Space shuttles not only enable greater exploration, but they allow supplies to be taken to a space station. The first space shuttle ever, called Enterprise, was built in 1976.1 It was originally developed as a test shuttle, without the ability for actual spaceflight, and was the only of the six shuttles that never made a trip out of the atmosphere. Enterprise is currently on display at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City and has been since July 2012.2 Even though Enterprise never made it to space, it is still helpful in further space shuttle research. For example, after the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated, Enterprise was studied and tested in order to discover what caused the accident.3 After Enterprise, a new kind of space vehicle began to be built. “The space shuttle's components include: the orbiter, three main engines, the external tank, and two solid rocket boosters. Altogether, the launch weight is about 4.5 million pounds.”4 The first ship to be built like this was Columbia. The difference between this and Enterprise was that Enterprise did not have engines or a heat shield. The orbiter is the aluminum part of the space shuttle, built to last over 100 flights, th... ... middle of paper ... ...Franklyn M. The Story of the Space Shuttle: Columbia and Beyond. New York: Philomel Books, 1979. Print. Brown, Irene. “Bravo Galileo A Tribute to the Little Spacecraft that Could.” Popular Science 261.5 (2002): 1. eLibrary. Web. 13 Dec. 2013. Collins, Mary. “Ready for It’s Close-Up.” Smithsonian 11 (2005): 1. eLibrary. Web. 11 Dec. 2013. Petty, John Ira. “Space Shuttle Components.” Spacecraft: Space Shuttle Orbiter. NASA. Web. 12 Dec. 2013. Smithsonian Institution. After Sputnik: 50 Years of the Space Age. New York: HarperCollins, 2007. Print. “Space Shuttle Overview: Challenger (OV-099).” Kennedy Space Center. NASA, April 12, 2013. Web. 13 Dec. 2013. Voice of America News/ FIND. “First Space Shuttle Goes on Public Display.” VOA News, 19 July 2012. Web. 11 Dec. 2013. Walter, William J. Space Age. New York: Random House, Inc, 1992. Print.
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