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Real World: Space Shuttle Thermal Protection System [Archived]

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  • Real World: Space Shuttle Thermal Protection System Archived

    4:58

    This NASA video segment explores how the space shuttle is able to go from frigid temperatures in space to extremely hot temperatures when entering the earths atmosphere. Find out how experts use sand to help protect the space shuttle successfully travel from one temperature to the next.

    [Archived 2014 - From 1981 through 2011, NASA space shuttles flew more than 130 times, carrying over 350 people into space and traveling more than half a billion miles. These archived videos, while dated due to the retirement of the shuttle and changes in other missions, contain information about the amazing technology and scientific contributions embedded within the space shuttle design.]

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  • NASA Space Shuttle TPS High-temperature reusable surface insulation & LI-900 heat tile

    9:07

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    The TPS was a system of different protection types, not just silica tiles. They are in two basic categories: tile TPS and non-tile TPS.[1] The main selection criteria used the lightest weight protection capable of handling the heat in a given area. However in some cases a heavier type was used if additional impact resistance was needed. The FIB blankets were primarily adopted for reduced maintenance, not for thermal or weight reasons.

    Much of the shuttle was covered with LI-900 silica tiles, made from essentially very pure quartz sand.[1] The insulation prevented heat transfer to the underlying orbiter aluminum skin and structure. These tiles were such poor heat conductors that one could hold one by the edges while it was still red hot.[3] There were about 24,300 unique tiles individually fitted on the vehicle, for which the orbiter has been called the flying brickyard. Researchers at University of Minnesota and Pennsylvania State University are performing the atomistic simulations to obtain accurate description of interactions between atomic and molecular oxygen with silica surfaces to develop better high-temperature oxidation-protection systems for leading edges on hypersonic vehicles.[4]

    The tiles were not mechanically fastened to the vehicle, but glued. Since the brittle tiles could not flex with the underlying vehicle skin, they were glued to Nomex felt Strain Isolation Pads (SIPs) with RTV silicone adhesive, which were in turn glued to the orbiter skin. These isolated the tiles from the orbiter's structural deflections and expansions.[1]

    Tile types Edit
    High-temperature reusable surface insulation (HRSI) Edit

    An HRSI tile. Note the yellow markings, which denote its exact location on the orbiter.
    HRSI tiles (black in color) provided protection against temperatures up to 1,260 °C (2,300 °F). There were 20,548 HRSI tiles which covered the landing gear doors, external tank umbilical connection doors, and the rest of the orbiter's under surfaces. They were also used in areas on the upper forward fuselage, parts of the orbital maneuvering system pods, vertical stabilizer leading edge, elevon trailing edges, and upper body flap surface. They varied in thickness from 1 to 5 inches (2.5 to 12.7 cm), depending upon the heat load encountered during reentry. Except for closeout areas, these tiles were normally 6 by 6 inches (15 by 15 cm) squares. The HRSI tile was composed of high purity silica fibers. Ninety percent of the volume of the tile was empty space, giving it a very low density (9 lb/cu ft or 140 kg/m3) making it light enough for spaceflight.[1] The uncoated tiles were bright white in appearance and looked more like a solid ceramic than the foam-like material that they were.

    The black coating on the tiles was Reaction Cured Glass (RCG) of which tetrasilicide and borosilicate glass were some of several ingredients. RCG was applied to all but one side of the tile to protect the porous silica and to increase the heat sink properties. The coating was absent from a small margin of the sides adjacent to the uncoated (bottom) side. To waterproof the tile, dimethylethoxysilane was injected into the tiles by syringe. Densifying the tile with tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) also helped to protect the silica and added additional waterproofing.

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  • How To Make NASAs Space Tiles

    8:37

    A behind the scenes look of the making of Thermal Protection Systems (aka heat shield tiles use on space vehicles) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. Jacobs Technology is the contractor making these thermal protection system tiles that were used on NASA's Orion and will be used on Dream Chaser. This is the first look into the facility by media since 2011.
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  • Thermal Protection System for Space Shuttle Orbiter

    2:52

    Footage from NASA Johnson Space Center that gives insight to the thermal protection system applied to a shuttle so that its integrity stays sound throughout the entire mission.

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  • Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster Pt 5: Heat resistant tiles -- BBC

    2:00

    Discover key moments from history and stories about fascinating people on the Official BBC Documentary channel:
    Part five of six. The investigation into the disaster quickly turned to the shuttle's heat resistant titles which covered the body of the vehicle. In particular, the tiles which coated the wings came under close scrutiny. Were these tiles truly as indestructible as everybody had believed? Clip taken from the BBC Horizon programme Last Flight of the Columbia Watch more high quality videos on the new BBC Worldwide YouTube channel here:


    This is a commercial channel from BBC Studios. Service & Feedback

  • Space Shuttle Reentry In-depth

    19:28

    Here's how NASA managed to bring a massive winged spacecraft from orbit to a smooth runway landing. Don't be rescued from outer space, fly back in style.

    Thank you to my Lunar Orbit Patreon supporters MrKumquat, Dashane Du Plessis, BullYen, Christian Bradley Hubbs and Patrick Gerkamp.

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    0:00 Introduction
    0:43 Velocity-Drag State Space
    2:39 Drag: AoA & Alpha Modulation
    5:21 Drag: Bank Angle
    7:27 Control Effectors
    10:00 Cross Range & Azimuth Error
    12:24 Guidance Phases
    15:29 TAEM

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  • Space Shuttle Thermal Tile Demonstration

    1:31

    Recorded this video during my KSC tour 1 day before the launch of the Atlantis Space Shuttle for STS-135, the last Space Shuttle mission.

    ==Updated June 3, 2013==
    Thanks everyone for your interest and positive responses to this video! I just want to reiterate that this video may be used and reproduced for non-profit, educational purposes, so long as citation is given back to this YouTube video. For for-profit licensing and commercial usage, contact licensing@viralhog.com.

    For information about the Space Shuttle thermal tiles, how they work, what they are made of, and other thermal insulation used on the Space Shuttle, check out this very informative brochure here:

  • Space Shuttle Heat Protection - Last Flight of Spaceshuttle Columbia - BBC

    2:00

    This fascinating BBC documentary looks at the factors contributing to Columbia's disaster, including the heat resistant tiles covering the body of the vehicle.

  • Why spacecraft are not fully covered with heatshield

    5:14

    Spacecraft returning from orbit or deep space have heat shields to protect them from the friction of the air during reentry. What's interesting is that these spacecraft are covered only partially with heat shield. That's strange. We'll find out why in this episode of Something ain't right.

    More on spacecraft reentry


    Simply Space: This video talks about deorbiting and reentry.

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  • NASA Columbia Space Shullte Launch and Re entry from Pilots View video

    3:40

    The Space Shuttle Columbia disaster occurred on February 1, 2003, when, shortly before it was scheduled to conclude its 28th mission, STS-107, the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated over Texas and Louisiana as it reentered Earth's atmosphere, killing all seven crew members.

    During launch, a piece of foam insulation broke off from the Space Shuttle external tank and struck the left wing. When the Shuttle reentered the atmosphere, the damage allowed hot gases to penetrate and destroy the internal wing structure, which rapidly caused the spacecraft to break up.[1]

    Most previous shuttle launches had seen similar, if more minor, damage from foam shedding, but the risks were deemed acceptable.[2] After the launch, some engineers suspected the damage, but NASA managers limited the investigation, under the rationale that the Columbia crew could not have fixed the problem.[3]

    Mission STS-107 was the 113th Space Shuttle launch. The mission was delayed 18 times[4] over the two years from the planned launch date of January 11, 2001, to the actual launch date of January 16, 2003. (It was preceded by STS-113.) The Columbia Accident Investigation Board determined that this delay had nothing to do with the catastrophic failure six months later.[4]

    The Columbia Accident Investigation Board's recommendations addressed both technical and organizational issues. Space Shuttle flight operations were delayed for over two years, similar to the delay following the Challenger accident. Construction of the International Space Station was put on hold, and for 29 months the station relied entirely on the Russian Federal Space Agency for resupply until Shuttle flights resumed with STS-114 and 41 months for crew rotation until STS-121. Major changes to shuttle operations, after missions resumed, included a thorough on-orbit inspection to determine how well the shuttle's thermal protection system had endured the ascent, and keeping a designated rescue mission at the ready in case irreparable damage was found. Missions were also restricted to flights to the ISS (so that the crew could use it as a safe haven if need be), except for one final mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.
    #rocket #space #nasa #spacex #elonmusk #mars #astronaut #moon #falcon #rocketlaunch #universe #spaceflight #rockets #spaceshuttle #apollo

  • Astronauts uncover nicks on shuttle from launch

    2:22

    (13 May 2009) SHOTLIST
    Space - 12 May 2009
    1. Wide of camera boom and shuttle tail over Earth ++MUTE++
    Houston - 12 May 2009
    2. Mid of NASA graphic displaying Shuttle extending camera on boom for inspection ++MUTE++
    3. Wide of Mission Control ++MUTE++
    4. Mission controllers UPSOUND (English) Mission Control speaking to astronauts: Right now, everybody's feeling pretty good that it's not something particularly serious. We just want to make sure we do the right thing and complete all the analysis.
    Space - 12 May 2009
    PLEASE NOTE: STROBING ON PICTURE
    5. Inspection of damaged starboard wing ++MUTE++
    Houston - 12 May 2009
    6. Mid of NASA briefing
    7. Mid of Deputy Shuttle Programme Manager, LeRoy Cain demonstrating on shuttle model where damage occurred
    8. Close of shuttle model
    9. SOUNDBITE (English) LeRoy Cain, Deputy Shuttle Programme Manager:
    The area's not as critical in terms of the same amount of damage in another area might be more critical. The damage itself appears to be relatively shallow. And there doesn't appear... It's not a very large area of damage. So those are the things that were conveyed to us today. Again, I would stress to you, it's very preliminary, but we are thinking that we probably will not even need a focused inspection in this area.
    10. NASA STILL photo of damage on wing
    11. NASA STILL photo of shuttle with debris suspected of causing the damage highlighted by red circle
    Houston - 12 May 2009
    12. Mid of mission briefing
    13. SOUNDBITE (English) Tony Ceccacci, Lead Flight Director:
    We did see, probably about 21 inches (53.3 centimetres) in all, but four tiles with some dings in them and, to me, I'm not the tile expert and that, but they looked very minor, but we're going to let the folks go ahead and take a look at it, follow the standard process and determine what we need to do next on those.
    Space - 12 May 2009
    14. Pan of shuttle heat shields ++ MUTE ++
    STORYLINE
    Space Shuttle Atlantis astronauts uncovered a 21-inch (53.3 centimetre) stretch of nicks on their space shuttle on Tuesday, but NASA said the damage did not appear to be serious.
    The damage was likely the result of debris that came off the fuel tank shortly after lift off on Monday.
    The astronauts were inspecting their ship while racing to the Hubble Space Telescope when they came across the nicks spread over four to five thermal tiles.
    A NASA photo shows what appears to be about ten white scuff marks around the edge of the shuttle where the right wing joins the fuselage and the belly curves up to the top of Atlantis.
    This repair mission is especially risky - a rescue shuttle is on standby for the first time ever - because of the debris-littered orbit of Hubble.
    Unlike other space flights, the astronauts can't reach the international space station because it is in a different orbit than the telescope.
    NASA managers said they were not too worried on Tuesday, telling reporters that this type of damage looks similar to nicks seen in the past five or six missions that were safe.
    The area is not as critical as other parts on the shuttle wing, deputy shuttle program manager LeRoy Cain said in a Tuesday afternoon news conference.
    The damage itself appears to be relatively shallow and it's not a very large area of damage, he explained.
    Again, right now, everybody's feeling pretty good that it's not something particularly serious, Mission Control could be heard telling the astronauts.
    We just want to make sure we do the right thing and complete all the analysis, they added.
    The debris strike was detected in launch images as well as sensors embedded in the wings.
    NASA said the nicks on Atlantis are in a less sensitive location.
    Nothing so far has been found that would require a rescue.


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  • Welcome Back! Discovery Lands Safely at Kennedy

    7:54

    Space shuttle Discovery and seven astronauts ended a two-week journey of more than 6.2 million miles with a Tuesday morning landing at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Returning to Earth aboard the orbiter were STS-131 Commander Alan Poindexter, Pilot Jim Dutton, and Mission Specialists Stephanie Wilson, Rick Mastracchio, Clay Anderson, Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger and Naoko Yamazaki of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. The STS-131 mission to the International Space Station included three spacewalks, the installation of equipment outside the ISS, and the transfer of thousands of pounds of cargo and supplies from the orbiter's payload bay to various locations on the station.

  • What is the Space Shuttle landing like?

    6:48

    Former NASA astronaut William F. “Bill” Readdy answers questions during Flight School: Blast Off!! The full video is available at

  • Space Shuttle Discovery Landing

    7:54

    Credit: NASA
    Good news, there's a 'go' forecast at KSC, CAPCOM Rick Sturckow radioed from Mission Control. No precipitation concern inside of 30 miles, all the shower activity's kind of to the east of that 30-mile circle. The main concern is going to be fog. Fog is not in the forecast, but that's what we're having Fergie (astronaut Chris Ferguson) look at for the T-38 (weather assessment) flight.
    So it's going to be few (clouds) at 2,000 (feet), scattered 5,000, scattered 12,000, seven miles vis and the winds are zero-eight-zero (at) four, peak six knots, Sturckow said. So that's all good news. We'll keep an eye on the fog for the first opportunity.

    We understand, Houston, thanks a lot, commander Alan Poindexter replied from Discovery. That sounds like a great forecast.

    Click to subscribe! The most viewed aviation channel on YouTube. #AIRBOYD #AvGeek

  • How the thermal protection system work in the Space Shuttle?

    1:34

  • Real World: Shuttle Safety Archived

    5:33

    Learn about the safety measures implemented to protect the shuttle's astronauts. Computer modeling and simulation is used to help engineers evaluate the probability of malfunctions in everything from shuttle valves to the thermal protection system.

    [Archived 2014 - From 1981 through 2011, NASA space shuttles flew more than 130 times, carrying over 350 people into space and traveling more than half a billion miles. These archived videos, while dated due to the retirement of the shuttle and changes in other missions, contain information about the amazing technology and scientific contributions embedded within the space shuttle design.]

  • Space Shuttle Thermal Tile Demo

    1:39

    A brief demonstration of how heat-resistant shuttle tiles can be made in the laboratory. They can easily (somehow) he hand-held even though they are white-hot.

  • NASA Ames Develops Woven Thermal Protection System

    4:03

    The Woven Thermal Protection System (WTPS) project explores an innovative way to design, develop and manufacture a family of ablative TPS materials using weaving technology and testing them in the arc jet to establish the viability of the concept of weaving TPS.

  • Shuttle Tile Physics

    7:33

    SASM Science and Technology Coordinator Michael Sibbernsen visits the Morning Blend to demonstrate the amazing properties of the Space Shuttle tiles. He even brews-up a real comet! Taped on, and first broadcast on Tuesday, Friday, May 18. 2012.

    Note: Event and exhibit dates referred to in this video may have passed. Check for the most current Calendar of Events.

    Morning Blend is Copyright © 2013 Journal Broadcast Group. Used with permission.

  • Technical Seminar: Thermal Protection Systems

    1:15:43

    Hypersonic vehicles differ significantly from rocket-based vehicles in their architecture and mission. The high temperature gradients and structural loads are Achilles heels. This presentation discusses recent advances in thermal protection systems and hot structures for hypersonic vehicles and the technical challenges that need to be overcome. Aired March 20, 2007.

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  • NASA Ames Develops Woven Thermal Protection System

    4:03

    The Woven Thermal Protection System (WTPS) project explores an innovative way to design, develop and manufacture a family of ablative TPS materials using weaving technology and testing them in the arc jet to establish the viability of the concept of weaving TPS.

  • Real Martians Moment: Orions Thermal Protection System

    1:07

    Jeremy Vander Kam works as the Orion Thermal Protection System (TPS) manager at NASA's Ames Research Center. Orion's TPS or heat shield is the largest ablative heat shield ever made and is vital technology to helping astronauts safely return to Earth after a Mars mission. At Ames, lots of Arc Jet testing is conducted with very small samples of the ablative material to evaluate how they’ll do on reentry into the earth’s atmosphere. The Orion TPS group is excited about playing such a huge role in this next giant leap NASA is taking by sending humans to Mars and, most importantly safely returning them home.

  • Our World: How Sand Protects the Shuttle Archived

    5:11

    In this NASA eClips video segment, learn how NASA uses sand to protect the space shuttle. The shuttle must have a protective covering that can withstand extreme temperature changes when it enters and exits Earths atmosphere again and again. In this video segment find out how the shuttle tiles are made from sand and how the sand is used as a protective layer to keep the astronauts and the shuttle safe.

    [Archived 2014 - From 1981 through 2011, NASA space shuttles flew more than 130 times, carrying over 350 people into space and traveling more than half a billion miles. These archived videos, while dated due to the retirement of the shuttle and changes in other missions, contain information about the amazing technology and scientific contributions embedded within the space shuttle design.]

  • Thermal Protection Systems

    12:25

    This activity challenges students to solve a real-world problem that is part of the space program while learning about heat and heat transfer.

  • NASA Thermal Protection System Facility Press Tour - June, 2015

    5:13

    Showing newest improvements in NASA's thermal protection shielding system's components. Ready for Orion!

  • ZrB2 based Thermal protection system

    10

    Zirconium diboride based Thermal protection system for aerospace vehicles. For more details check:

  • UPITN 29 10 79 NEWLY DESIGNED SPACE SHUTTLE TILES

    4:21

    (29 Oct 1979) As NASA's reusable shuttles return from space missions, the friction which occurs as it enters the earths atmosphere has traditionally subjectedparts of the shuttle's exterior to temperatures as high as 2700 degrees causing some level of damage to the shuttle itself. Specially developed ceramic-coated tiles mounted on the surface of the spacecraft will now make it possible for the shuttle's to withstand repeated heating and cooling - expected to weather 100 round trips - with the nedd for replacement. The tiles are manufactured in Sunnyvale, California. Starting out as silica fibres, the dry cotton like material is mixed with water, and cast into large blocks from which several of the actual shutle tiles will later be made. The tiles are hetaed in an oven and later cut into quarters; the shaping and surface finishing is done with computer-controlled milling and diamond tooling. The tile is the covered with its ceramic coating, and a silicone polymer is applied, and again after each flight. Each tile is given a permanent serial number that designates its exact location on the shuttle. As a final check, the 31,000 tiles needed to protect the shuttle are inspected by computerised measuring machines


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  • Space Shuttle Thermal Protection System TPS Tile

    1:01

  • SPACE SHUTTLE THERMAL SHIELD TILES

    4:32

  • What is Thermal protection system ?

    12

    Thermal protection system are used for protecting high speed vehicles from high temperature and pressure during re-entry and hypersonic travel.

  • Thermal Protection System Checked

    26:01

    Mission managers discuss results of the inspection of Endeavour's tiles by the Orbiter Boom Sensor System.

  • Space Shuttle Tile Demonstration

    1:09

    A piece of space shuttle tile absorbing heat from a torch

  • Thermal Protection Systems

    12:25

    This activity challenges students to solve a real-world problem that is part of the space program while learning about heat and heat transfer.

  • 2018 Sr Design Team 36 Infant Thermal Protection System

    2:29

    Infant Thermal Protection System - student produced content

  • Shuttle Heat Shield in Good Shape

    21:28

    A late-mission inspection of shuttle Atlantis' thermal protection system by the STS-132 showed the heat shield appeared to have suffered no damage from space debris during its stay at the International Space Station. Commander Ken Ham, Pilot Tony Antonelli and Mission Specialists Garrett Reisman, Steve Bowen, Mike Good and Piers Sellers are scheduled to conclude their 12-day mission to the International Space Station with a landing Wednesday morning at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

  • NASA | Multifunctional Hot Structure Heat Shield

    2:03

    At NASA Langley, a heat shield concept is being developed that integrates a carbon-carbon hot structure with a light weight blanket insulation. The resulting shield would have less mass and be more efficient compared to the traditional thermal protection systems.

  • Solar 60: Space Environment Testing for Thermal Protection System

    1:37

    Parker Solar Probe's Deputy Lead Mechanical Engineer Felipe Ruiz and Thermal Protection System (TPS) Lead Engineer Betsy Congdon - both from Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab - discuss how the spacecraft undergoes space environment testing with a special version of the TPS.

    Learn more:

  • Space Shuttle Tile Demo

    1:49

    My quick 60 second demo of a Space Shuttle thermal tile.

  • Lecture 5: Orbiter Structure + Thermal Protection System

    1:57:47

  • Thermal Protection System Research

    9:01

    UARC researchers, working in close collaboration with colleagues at NASA's Ames Research Center, are investigating fundamental research questions necessary to design and develop thermal protection materials to support future NASA missions.

  • Sylvia Johnson on NASAs thermal protection systems

    9:06

    Sylvia Johnson, branch chief for the Thermal Protection Materials and Systems Branch of the
    NASA Ames Research Center, discusses applications related to thermal protection systems that she and her team have been developing for NASA space vehicles. She describes the differences between reusable TPS used, for example, with the space shuttle, and ablating single-use ceramics that are designed to undergo specific chemical and physical changes as the vehicle reenters the Earths atmosphere. Another area Johnson discusses is ultrahigh temperature ceramics that are being used for the design of leading edges and nose tips for hypersonic vehicles. Johnson also shares some of her early work in her ceramic science career.

  • Camera Captures Clean Heat Shield

    18:21

    Discoverys twelfth day in space is highlighted by the safety inspection of its thermal protection system, or heat shield, by a camera attached to the spacecrafts Orbiter Boom Sensor System.

  • Real World: Space Weather

    5:39

    On our NASA site at:
    This NASA video segment looks at space weather and examines the major ramifications space weather can have on Earth. The Van Allen Probes, formerly known as the Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP), have been operating since their launch in August 2012. This mission was in a planning stage at the time of this video's production. For current information about this mission, go to:

  • NASA Now: Materials Science: Thermal Protection Systems

    5:48

    Metallurgical and materials engineers use science, technology and mathematics to study different types of materials. They analyze the materials to determine what they are made of and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses after concluding how they will be used. NASA metallurgical and materials engineer Alma Stephanie Tapia explains the importance of picking the right materials to build safe spacecraft for space exploration.

  • Real World: Lunar Excavation Blade Archived

    5:04

    Learn how NASA engineers use mass efficiency, a measure of size to productivity, to evaluate the excavation blade that could be used on future lunar missions. The blade can help astronauts build landing pads or protective berms.

    [Archived 2014 - Not all missions make it from design to launch. These archived videos describe missions that that would have taken humans back to the moon and unmanned aerial vehicles to Mars. While the actual missions were aborted, the technology and science behind the missions pushed innovation to new levels.]

  • SPACE SHUTTLE CHALLENGER DISASTER JANUARY 28, 1986 RAW FOOTAGE XD10134

    3:19

    Raw footage of the loss of the Space Shuttle Challenger (silent film footage).

    On January 28, 1986, the NASA Space Shuttle orbiter undertaking mission STS-51-L and the tenth flight of Space Shuttle Challenger (OV-99) broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, killing all seven crew members: five NASA astronauts, one payload specialist, and a civilian school teacher. The spacecraft disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 11:39 a.m. EST (16:39 UTC). The disintegration of the vehicle began after a joint in its right solid rocket booster (SRB) failed at liftoff. The failure was caused by the failure of O-ring seals used in the joint that were not designed to handle the unusually cold conditions that existed at this launch. The seals' failure caused a breach in the SRB joint, allowing pressurized burning gas from within the solid rocket motor to reach the outside and impinge upon the adjacent SRB aft field joint attachment hardware and external fuel tank. This led to the separation of the right-hand SRB's aft field joint attachment and the structural failure of the external tank. Aerodynamic forces broke up the orbiter.

    The crew compartment and many other vehicle fragments were eventually recovered from the ocean floor after a lengthy search and recovery operation. The exact timing of the death of the crew is unknown; several crew members are known to have survived the initial breakup of the spacecraft. The shuttle had no escape system,[a][1] and the impact of the crew compartment at terminal velocity with the ocean surface was too violent to be survivable.

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  • Real World: Changing the Way We Explore New Worlds

    6:06

    On our NASA site at:
    NASA engineers are using a unique new technology to overcome the challenges of entry, descent, and landing on a planetary body with an atmosphere. See how Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerators, or HIADs, can be used to land larger rovers at higher altitudes or safely bring cargo from the ISS back to Earth.

  • Endeavour Ready for Its Close-up

    23:20

    Highlighting space shuttle Endeavour's Flight Day 2 is the close inspection of the orbiter's thermal protection system (TPS) using a boom-attached camera to search for any damage the vehicle may have incurred during launch.

  • ATMOSPHERE: Space Shuttle Endeavour Space Shuttle Endeavo...

    38

    ATMOSPHERE: Space Shuttle Endeavour Space Shuttle Endeavour Arrives In Los Angeles on September 21, 2012 in Los Angeles, California

    Thanks for watching this video!

    Video Credit: Getty Images

  • Space Shuttle Tile Burn Demo at COSI Science Center

    34

    COSI hosted NASA this month for its 50th Anniversary Future Forum. COSI Faculty member, Jason, gave a demonstration to visitors showing how the tiles on the space shuttle help protect the vehicle from burning up in Earth's atmosphere. The demonstration shows how the technology of thin shuttle tiles protect against extreme heat.

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