Fine Structure

Looking Back on Shuttle Glide Tests

If you're not lucky enough to be within driving distance to Edwards Air Force Base where Atlantis landed earlier this weekend, you should at least take a short trip back to a time where the main test Shuttle Enterprise (nee Constitution) was hoisted atop a modified 747, flown to somewhere between 10 and 26 thousand feet in the air and let go. This was done a total of five times in preparation for a real Shuttle launch and landing. A short article about just that for your perusal.

An interesting thought: would it be better to taxi Atlantis some height above California and let her glide back home? Fuel savings? Maybe not. More fun? Definitely yes.

http://grin.hq.nasa.gov/ABSTRACTS/GPN-2000-000218.html ]

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