Shuttle Carrier Aircraft

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by spensiero
Last updated 5 years ago

Discipline:
Science
Subject:
Technology
Grade:
8

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Shuttle Carrier Aircraft

The 747 Shuttle Carrying Aircraft lands carrying the Space Shuttle Endeavour

SS Atlantis docks with the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft

StatisticsWingspan- 195 ft 8 inLength- 231 ft 10 inHeight- 63 ft 5 inWeight- 905,318,053 lbsAirspeed- 250 knotsFirst used- 1977Retired- 2012SummaryThe Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) were two Boeing 747s obtained by Nasa in 1974 (Modified 1977) from American Airlines and in 1989 (Modified 1990) from Japan Air Lines. Modifications included the removal of most interior furnishings, as well as the addition of struts to hold the Space Shuttle and additional vertical stabalizers on the tail of the aircraft to steady the aircraft from the instability caused by the Shuttle. The SCA was used to transport the Shuttles to the Kennedy Space Center, as well as testing the Shuttle's gliding characteristics. Following the cancellation of the Space Shuttle Program, the SCA was used to transport other aircraft, including mulitple Space Shuttles to their respective museums and the Phantom Ray UAV. The SCA was official retired in 2012.

Shuttle Carrier AircraftAt Dryden Filght Reasearch Center

NASA's Shuttle-Ferrying Jet Dismantled for Move to Space Center HoustonThe SCA may be retired, but it is not done moving. The jumbo jet is about to be moved from its current location at Ellington Field in Houston to its permanent home at the Johnson Space Center.Once there, it will be paired with a mockup Space Shuttle Independence. But before the SCA reaches its permanent home, it will have to travel almost 8 miles on two major roads. In order to make this trek, the SCA will have to be partially dismantled and then reassembled at Johnson Space Center.On the night of the move in late April or early May, the SCA will be paraded through the streets, no doubt being watched by many enthusiasts and the general population.

The SCA and Phantom Ray

SCA and Discovery

SCA seperates from Enterprise

Other ModificationsOther modifications to the SCA included a flight-crew escape system consisting of an exit tunnel from the flight deck to the bottom of the aircraft and an explosive hatch release system to help the crew escape the plane quickly if there were an emergency. More powerful engines were also installed.


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