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The aerodynamic challenges of the design and development of the space shuttle orbiterThe major aerodynamic design challenge at the beginning of the United States Space Transportation System (STS) research and development phase was to design a vehicle that would fly as a spacecraft during early entry and as an aircraft during the final phase of entry. The design was further complicated because the envisioned vehicle was statically unstable during a portion of the aircraft mode of operation. The second challenge was the development of preflight aerodynamic predictions with an accuracy consistent with conducting a manned flight on the initial orbital flight. A brief history of the early contractual studies is presented highlighting the technical results and management decisions influencing the aerodynamic challenges. The configuration evolution and the development of preflight aerodynamic predictions will be reviewed. The results from the first four test flights shows excellent agreement with the preflight aerodynamic predictions over the majority of the flight regimes. The only regimes showing significant disagreement is confined primarily to early entry, where prediction of the basic vehicle trim and the influence of the reaction control system jets on the flow field were found to be deficient. Postflight results are analyzed to explain these prediction deficiencies.
Document ID
19850008600
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Young, J. C.
(NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Underwood, J. M.
(NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Hillje, E. R.
(NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Whitnah, A. M.
(NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Romere, P. O.
(NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Gamble, J. D.
(NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Roberts, B. B.
(NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Ware, G. M.
(NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Scallion, W. I.
(NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Spencer, B., Jr.
(NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 12, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1985
Publication Information
Publication: Space Shuttle Tech. Conf., Pt. 1
Subject Category
Space Transportation
Accession Number
85N16909
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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