The motorboat, by Jean-Pierre Luminet

This is the thirteenth of my “Illustrated Space Chronicles”. maybe If you want to get my book in its unedited paperback form (first edition 2019 or paperback 2020), don’t deprive yourself!

The Space Shuttle

At the beginning of 1969, amid the euphoria of the success of the lunar missions, NASA learned that a follow-up would be given to the project. Apple. Some ideas are developed in it: the airport, the lunar base, the journey to Mars, the spaceship. But the Vietnam War weighed on the budget. NASA recognizes the need to lower costs. Until now, rockets, capsules and ships were intended for single use. The U.S. government is lobbying the Congress to grant funding for a reusable vehicle that will lower the cost of launching a rocket and end the hopes of European and Soviet competitors.

This is how the airplane was born, a true technology based on the model airplane with delta wings with an evolving image.

Early photographs of the US Space Shuttle (NASA, 1960s)

The launch of the first plane Colombia, April 12, 1981, was a great television moment. The power of boosters in firing is amazing. After several maneuvers in orbit, the rocket landed two days later at a space station. For the first time, a crew came back from space and landed in the same shape as a plane on a runway. This was a success, although many heat resistant tiles were damaged.

On April 12, 1981, the space shuttle Columbia was launched.
At left, John Young and Robert Crippen in the cockpit of Columbia during its first flight. On the right side, return to Earth after the girl jumps. © NASA

Five types of aircraft were produced and flown between 1981 and 2011: Colombia, Finding out, It’s difficult, Atlantic a Effort.

In their early days, their mission was to launch civil and military satellites. They place large telescopes in high orbit, as is well known Hubble Space Telescope and X-ray tracking Chandra.

Shuttle Discovery left the Kennedy Space Center on April 24, 1990, carrying the Hubble Space Telescope in its hold.

At the end of the 1990s, their main goal was to serve the Russian air base. Mir saidthen joining the orbit of the parts of the international airport.

In addition to its scientific successes, the project will prove to be a great success, both intellectually and professionally. First psychological, based on two plays. In 1986, the plane It’s difficult, carrying seven aircraft, exploded seventy-three seconds after takeoff. The shock to the public’s attention was more serious as this shooting was more publicized than previous ones due to the presence of young teacher Christa McAuliffe. The US military withdrew from the project and the bikes were banned from flying for two and a half years, the time to improve them. The second disaster occurred in 2003: the shuttle Colombia It broke as it returned to earth, killing all seven flying birds on board.

The space shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after takeoff on January 28, 1986.

Business can’t. The launch of the vehicle was more efficient than the conventional rocket launch. Not only were they quickly repaired as expected between the two planes, but the cost of repair became prohibitive, and eventually the United States abandoned the release of civilian and military satellites through this method. It was decided to retire the car fleet. The last flight was in July 2011.

Shuttle Atlantis completed the last flight of the crew in July 2011 to resupply the International Space Station (mission STS-135).

In total, the five American airlines produced 135 aircraft over thirty years.

Other countries have developed car projects, but most have been abandoned due to their complexity and cost. This is the case ofHermesEuropean rocket-launched vehicle project Ariadne 5.

In 1988, the Soviets successfully launched a space shuttle, without a crew. But due to the collapse of the USSR, the project could not be continued. Car parking Buran becomes the property of Kazakhstan, it cannot be used. sign of decay, Buran it was destroyed in 2002 when the building it was housed in collapsed…

The Buran cargo ship on the back of the Antonov super jet

Since then, it was created in 2004 by an independent company that was used again to complete a suborbital flight. The boat SpaceShipOne reached a height of 111 kilometers before stopping at its launch site. This success initially gave rise to hope for the development of the tourism industry, but this resulted in a series of failures and failures.

The SpaceShipTwo of Virgin Galactic, the company of the British billionaire Richard Branson, crashed on November 1, 2014 in the Mojave Desert in California, killing one person and seriously injuring him and putting a serious problem in the dream of air travel.

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