The Shuttle shows you its belly


in Bombs and rockets, Geek stuff, Space and flight

In order to permit an inspection of the thermal tiles that protect the vehicle from the heat of reentry, the Space Shuttle did a backflip for the cameras while orbiting at abouty 7,700 metres per second. This was done using the dual hypergolic engines of the Orbital Maneuvering System, burning monomethylhydrazine with a nitrogen tetroxide oxidizer. The BBC has a relatively low resolution video of the event.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Milan February 11, 2008 at 11:46 am

The camera taking the footage is sitting on the ISS. The maneuver is standard ever since the loss of Columbia. The purpose is to get the Shuttle in an attitude where the crew on ISS can take high definition pictures of the entire heat shield, so any significant damage can be discovered, as already noted by jouke.


Obscure and useless unit of force February 12, 2008 at 5:01 pm

The ASR standard unit of suckiness is the Lovelace (Ll).
This is defined as: One Lovelace is the amount of force (measured in dynes)
it takes to draw a round ball weighing e Troy Ounces down a tube it fits
exactly (in air) at a speed of pi attoparsecs/microfortnight.

Like Farads, this is a rather large measurement. Thus, Plan 9 sucks a few
mLl, for instance, while your average Microsoft product achieves many Ll.

Milan February 13, 2008 at 10:03 am

one dyne = 1.0 × 10^(-5) newtons
2.71828183 troy ounces = 84.5480158 grams

The size of the tube depends on the density of the ball.

3.14159265 attoParsecs = 0.0969395039 meters
1 microfortnight = 1.2096 seconds (14 days, converted to seconds, times 1×10^(-6)

Lindi February 14, 2008 at 1:07 am

I’m not exactly sure what you’re calulating but this reminds me that the astronaut project for CSA/NASA is finally complete…working (slowly) on some more publications :) You know, in my ‘spare time’ here at OT school …

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