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The space shuttle was a type of reusable space vessel used by Humans on Earth during the late 20th and early 21st centuries. It was the earliest example of Human-designed shuttlecraft. Constructed by Rockwell International, and operated by the United States of America's NASA space agency, the shuttle played an important role in humanity's early exploration of space. (TOS reference: Spaceflight Chronology)

Specifications[]

The space shuttle was composed of three components, a reusable orbiter, a large fuel tank, and two booster rockets. After launch the fuel tank and the booster rockets would be jettisoned, and the orbiter would orbit the Earth. After the completion of the mission, the orbiter would reenter the atmosphere and make an unpowered descent to land like an airplane. (ST references: Spaceflight Chronology, Star Trek Chronology; TOS - The Lost Years novel: A Flag Full of Stars)

The space shuttle could accommodate a crew of seven, including the mission commander, a pilot, and five mission and payload specialists. Shuttle missions included scientific experiments, satellite and space telescope deployment, retrieval and testing. (Star Trek Magazine Issue 162: "Blast Off!")

Service history[]

NASA operated the wildly successful space shuttle fleet for twelve years from 1980 to 1992. They were superseded by the Lindbergh-class space ferry, active from 2003 to 2015. (ST references: Spaceflight Chronology, Star Trek Chronology)

In one potential alternate timeline, the shuttle Icarus accidentally introduced microbes to Earth that caused the Icarus plague in Florida, killing 5 million Humans in 1983. (TOS - US Comic Strips comic: "Getting Real")

Shuttles were used in low-Earth orbit to deploy satellites and supply the International Space Station in the time before Zefram Cochrane's first warp flight aboard the Phoenix. (ENT episode: "Broken Bow" opening credits)

In 2020, the Renaissance[3] (OV-165[4]) was a one-off second-generation[3][4] space shuttle prototype. (TOS novel: The Rings of Time)

Legacy[]

Starfleet warpshuttle.

In 2121, young Jonathan Archer, son of NX Program pioneer Henry Archer, owned a remote-controlled model of a broad space shuttle equipped with stubby warp nacelles. (ENT episode & novelization: Broken Bow)

In the 22nd century, the first six starships of the NX class were named after the NASA space shuttle orbiters of the late 20th century: Enterprise, Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour. (ENT - The Romulan War novel: Beneath the Raptor's Wing)

Captain Archer adorned his ready room wall with drawings of previous Earth vessels named Enterprise, including the orbiter OV-101. (ENT episode: "Broken Bow")

In the 2150s, the aerodynamic OTV type K42 shuttlepod resembled a miniaturised space shuttle. (ENT episode: "Strange New World")

In 2154, the Andorian Thy'lek Shran paid attention to the OV-101 drawing. Learning about its significance from Archer, Commander Shran in turned spoke about the ice cutter Kumari that his own IGS Kumari had been named after. (ENT episode: "United")

When production of NX-class ships resumed during the latter years of the Earth-Romulan War, the seventh's vessel was named Intrepid instead of Renaissance. (TNG novel: Indistinguishable from Magic)

The first vessel built from scratch to NX-class refit, or Columbia-class, specifications, was the USS Buran. (ENT - Rise of the Federation novel: Live by the Code)

The Buran was the space shuttle of the Soviet Union.

Known vessels[]

Renaissance (OV-165).

Over the years, NASA operated six Enterprise-type space shuttles, and a second generation prototype.

Appendices[]

Connections[]

United States space shuttles
US flag icon image. Enterprise (OV-101)Columbia (OV-102)Challenger (OV-099)Discovery (OV-103)Atlantis (OV-104)Endeavour (OV-105)Icarus (prototype)Renaissance (OV-165, 2nd gen.) NASA emblem icon image.
Starship classes and spacecraft types of Earth
ArrowAssistCavalryChristopherCosmosCZ-100DY-100DY-500DY-700DY-1100-classDaedalusDiscoveryDoppler (scout)EdisonGalliantGangesHopkinsHorizonIntrepid (Earth)J (freighter)LongMarshallMercury (scout)MessierMinutemanNeptuneNXPoseidonStriderVanguard (starship)Verne (Earth)Y (freighter)YorktownZeus Seal of United Earth.

Appearances and references[]

Appearances[]

References[]

External links[]

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