Posts Tagged ‘spacecraft glider’

How the Space Shuttle Lands: Landing as a Glider

Space Shuttle Landing

Most of us have seen a space shuttle blast off into space.  Using massive amounts of rocket fuel and rocket propulsion, it lifts off through Earth’s atmosphere and into outer space.  During lift-off, it loses some of its booster rockets as part of the process, reducing the amount of thrust it has at its disposal.  At the end of its mission, the spacecraft re-enters Earth’s atmosphere, with the goal being a safe landing and the safe return of the crew aboard.  Yet, without having the engines that a typical passenger jet would have or the fuel to power them once the shuttle enters the atmosphere, the space shuttle seems as though it would be difficult to control and steer during its landing.  How does a space shuttle land safely?

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