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  • Size of a Space Shuttle

    The size of the Space Shuttle (in terms of height) is Space Shuttle184 ft (56.1 m). The diameter is 28.5 ft (8.69 in) and the mass has been measured at 4,470,000 lbs (equal to 2,030 t).

    Other Technical Specifications

    The payload to LEO capacity is 24,400 kg (53,600 lbs). For the payload to GTO it is 3,810 kg (8,390 lbs). It has 1 solid engine with a thrust of 2,800,000 lbf. The specific impulse is 269 s and the burn time is 124 s.

    The first stage (external tank) does not make use of engines. The shuttle uses 3 SSMEs at the Orbiter. The thrust is 1,225,704 lbf. The specific impulse is 455 s while the burn time is 480 s.

    The size of the Space Shuttle gives it a thrust of 53.4 kN (12,000 lbf) at the second stage. The impulse is 316 s. The burn time is 1,250 s.

    Technical Data for the Orbiter Endeavor

    The length is 37.2 m or 122.1 ft and the wingspan is 23.7 m (equal to 78 ft). Its height is 17.8 m (58.38 ft) and the empty weight is 162,000 lbs (78,000 kg). The estimated gross liftoff weight is 240,000 lbs (which is about 110,000 kg). The maximum landing weight of the Endeavor is 230,000 lbs (100,000 kg).

    The engine specifications are the following: 3 Rocketdyne Block IIA SSMEs, (sea level thrust of 393; the lbf is 800; 1.752 MN). The power is 104%.

    The size of the Space Shuttle Endeavor gives it a maximum payload of 55,250 lbs (25,060 kg). The payload bay specifications are 15 ft x 59 ft (4.6 m x 18 m).

    The Endeavor has an operational attitude of 190 to 960 km. The shuttle speed is 7,743 m/s (equal to 27,870 km/h or 17,320 mph). The crossrange is 2,009 km or 1,249 mi (that is 1,085 nmi).

    Crew Number

    The shuttle requires a minimum of two. However a lot of the missions today need seven. They are composed of the commander, the mission specialists, a pilot and sometimes a flight engineer. However, 11 people can fit in the shuttle.

    SLWT External Tank Information

    The size of the Space Shuttle’s LWT (super light weight tank) is 46.9 m /154 ft (length wise). The diameter is 8.4 m (28 ft). The empty weight is 58,500 lbs (26,535 kg) and the gross liftoff weight is 756,000 kg (1,670,000 lbs). The propellant volume is 534,900 US gallons.

    The solid rocket booster specs are as follows: the diameter is 3.7 m (12 ft) and it is 45.4 m (149 ft) long. The booster’s weight (empty) is 68,000 kg / 150,000 lbs.

    The gross liftoff weight is 571,000 kg or 1,260,000 lbs. The thrust is 2,800,000 lbf. The system stack is 56 m (180 ft) high. The liftoff weight is 2,000,000 kg (4,400,000 lbs).

    The size of the Space Shuttle has allowed it to deliver several important payloads through its years of service. Among them are the Spacelab, Magellan, Galileo and parts of the Space Station.

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