Into the Black: The Extraordinary Untold Story of the First Flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia and the Astronauts Who Flew Her by Rowland WhiteThe real-life techno-thriller from a bestselling author and aviation expert that recaptures the historic moments leading up to the launch of the space shuttle Columbia and the exciting story of her daring maiden flight.
Using interviews, NASA oral histories, and recently declassified material, Into the Black pieces together the dramatic untold story of the Columbia mission and the brave people who dedicated themselves to help the United States succeed in the age of space exploration. On April 12, 1981, NASA’s Space Shuttle Columbia blasted off from Cape Canaveral. It was the most advanced, state-of-the-art flying machine ever built, challenging the minds and imagination of America’s top engineers and pilots. Columbia was the world’s first real spaceship: a winged rocket plane, the size of an airliner, and capable of flying to space and back before preparing to fly again.
On board were moonwalker John Young and test pilot Bob Crippen. Less than an hour after Young and Crippen’s spectacular departure from the Cape, all was not well. Tiles designed to protect the ship from the blowtorch burn of re-entry were missing from the heat shield. If the damage to Columbia was too great, the astronauts wouldn’t be able to return safely to earth. NASA turned to the National Reconnaissance Office, a spy agency hidden deep inside the Pentagon whose very existence was classified. To help the ship, the NRO would attempt something never done before. Success would require skill, perfect timing, and luck.
Set against the backdrop of the Cold War, Into the Black is a thrilling race against time and the incredible true story of the first space shuttle mission that celebrates our passion for spaceflight.
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The reason I ask is most other spacecraft with tiles used seem to have the same design. To simplify: white is good for reflecting heat back and black is good for radiating heat away. The expected heating mechanism and temperatures determine what the best solution will be. The white, the much lower mainly solar radiation loads. Note that the standard X, together with the Mercury and Gemini cabins not the aft heatshield domes were non-ablative and pretty much black for the same reason.
Each shuttle is covered by more than 24, of the six- by six-inch blocks. Most of the tiles are made of silica fibers, which are produced from high-grade sand. Silica is an excellent insulator because it transports heat slowly. The silica fibers are mixed with water and chemicals, and the mixture is poured into molds, which are zapped in microwave ovens at 2, degrees to fuse the silica fibers. Tiles are too brittle to attach to the orbiter directly.
Its white and black exterior is marred with black streaks, and some labelhqs.org readers have wondered why NASA's shuttles - a longtime.
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Why the space shuttle can withstand reentry temperatures up to 2,300 degrees.
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A secondary goal was to protect from the heat and cold of space while in orbit. The TPS covered essentially the entire orbiter surface, and consisted of seven different materials in varying locations based on amount of required heat protection:. Each type of TPS had specific heat protection, impact resistance, and weight characteristics, which determined the locations where it was used and the amount used. Reentry heating differs from the normal atmospheric heating associated with jet aircraft, and this governed TPS design and characteristics. The skin of high-speed jet aircraft can also become hot, but this is from frictional heating due to atmospheric friction , similar to warming one's hands by rubbing them together.