I recently had the pleasure of visiting the Endeavour Space Shuttle at the California Science Center. I was very excited just like the many other visitors from small children to seniors. There was a lot of learn, and I was fascinated by this very complex NASA decommissioned orbiter which formed part of the Space Shuttle program. It is famous for being the fifth and last operational shuttle that NASA generated.
I saw the famous orbiter at the Samuel Oschin Pavilion. I began my tour at “Endeavour Together: Parts & People,” a linked exhibition which boasts Endeavour’s external tank and a large number of its artifacts. After I had inspected the exhibits and read information that was displayed next to them, I entered the Samuel Oschin Pavilion where the orbiter is on display.
Endeavour Together is a historic celebration of the space shuttle program, and those who made it a success. I really enjoyed looking at the shuttle’s images when the orbiter was being constructed in Downey and Palmdale California, as well as seeing the exhilarating videos of the magnificent and extremely powerful Endeavour in action. I also like the videos and feature images which showed the orbiter’s former missions and crew. The Endeavour boasts unique features which the other orbiters did not have. For example, they did not have the benefit of a drag chute, electrical connections and advanced mechanisms.
The round shaped nose at the front of the Endeavour is designed this way due to the fact that air resistance is around it. To that end, the shape is utilized to lower the resistance and enable the Endeavour to move into the earth’s atmosphere more easily. Because of what we have learned in class, I can say that the Endeavour was able to operate better beyond the earth’s atmosphere due to the lack of air resistance.
Upon examination of the Endeavour’s kinetic and potential energy at the time of the thrust, it is necessary to think about both forms of energy individually. In the case of the Endeavour’s kinetic energy, this will lower as the speed decreases because of the earth’s gravitational pull. Although, it should be noted that speed approaches zero rather than equates to it. In the case of the shuttle’s potential energy, it would escalate due to the fact that the height necessarily increases in accordance with the potential energy equation.
Endeavour’s main engines are controlled by the Rocketdyne Operations engineers. They regularly inspect variables including the pressure and temperature. The element nitrogen, which comes in the form of gas and liquid, has the capacity to resist high temperatures, and this can stop the a fire breaking out. Because of this, the shuttle’s two nose and four main tires are filled with nitrogen rather than oxygen. The Endeavour’s tires’ treads were really quite worn when I inspected them up close. I believe that the engineers used nitrogen filled tires for the Endeavour to assist the landing and give the tires a strong resistance to counteract the frictional intensity at the time of landing. If the shuttle makes a landing to the left, then friction appears on the right. Newton’s third law states that: “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, ” and this is the way in which the shuttle operated.
The Endeavour operates in a similar way to a balloon. If the latter is filled with air and this is then released, we notice that the air gets out of the spout in one direction as the balloon simultaneously moves the opposite way. Therefore, the balloon is the reaction, and the physical action is the air. This can be put on a parallel with the Endeavour when the reaction relates to the ground acting on it and pushing it upwards into the atmosphere, and the action taking place at the time the gases are dispersed and pushed toward the earth.