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View Full Version : Highest Maximum orbit of space shuttle

trswartz
2006-Jan-17, 07:55 PM
Does anyone know what shuttle flight acheived the highest maximum orbit? :think:

hhEb09'1
2006-Jan-17, 08:48 PM
Does anyone know what shuttle flight acheived the highest maximum orbit? :think:Probably one of the Hubble missions. Let's see, here's a CNN page from 1997 (http://www.cnn.com/TECH/9702/21/shuttle.landing/) that says "The crew also boosted Hubble into a 385-mile-high orbit, the highest the telescope -- or a space shuttle -- has ever flown."

trswartz
2006-Jan-17, 09:00 PM
Thank you. I am teaching a fifth-grade class about the space program and wanted to compare how far the ISS and space shuttle orbits are compared to weather and communication satellites.

tlbs101
2006-Jan-17, 09:20 PM
Here's a good analogy.

The orbital height of the ISS, shuttle, or Hubble are approximately the same as driving across a medium-sized state in the US, while the height of broadcast comm. satellites are approximately the same as driving around the world (and the GPS satellites are about 1/2 way in between).

ToSeek
2006-Jan-17, 09:48 PM
Probably one of the Hubble missions. Let's see, here's a CNN page from 1997 (http://www.cnn.com/TECH/9702/21/shuttle.landing/) that says "The crew also boosted Hubble into a 385-mile-high orbit, the highest the telescope -- or a space shuttle -- has ever flown."

Wikipedia lists the initial Hubble deployment mission, STS-31 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STS-31) as reaching 615 km, as contrasted with STS-82's (the mission mentioned above) 574 km.

hhEb09'1
2006-Jan-17, 11:05 PM
Hmm...385 miles converted into kilometers by multiplying by 1.609344 is 619.6 kilometers. I suppose it could have boosted the Hubble to 619.6 and that would have been the highest Hubble had flown--and higher than any shuttle. One way to interpret it.

Sounds like it's close enough for trswartz's purposes.

ToSeek
2006-Jan-17, 11:30 PM
Okay, NASA gives (http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/missions/sts-82/sts-82-day-09-highlights.html) STS-82's altitude as 334 nautical miles, or 384 statute miles, and also notes that this is the highest altitude ever for Hubble, so after reviewing the play I'll go with STS-82.

hhEb09'1
2006-Jan-19, 08:26 AM
Okay, NASA gives (http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/missions/sts-82/sts-82-day-09-highlights.html) STS-82's altitude as 334 nautical miles, or 384 statute miles, and also notes that this is the highest altitude ever for Hubble, so after reviewing the play I'll go with STS-82.Weird. The wiki STS-82 page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STS-82) says 360 statute miles, which is the same for the NASA page (http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/missions/sts-82/mission-sts-82.html) referenced at the bottom of the wiki article.

PS: The wiki page has Apogee: 574 km in the Mission Parameters, Orbit Altitude: 360 statute miles in the Mission Statistics, and the body mentions the same 335- by 321-nautical-mile orbit mentioned in your article. Hows come no furlongs?

gwiz
2006-Jan-19, 08:35 AM
The Shuttle reaches its maximum atltitude with a series of manoeuvres, so the maximum altitude of the first orbit is less than the absolute maximum. Sources that quote a single orbital height may not have done the necessary review of all the orbital data for the mission.

hhEb09'1
2006-Jan-19, 08:39 AM
Sources that quote a single orbital height may not have done the necessary review of all the orbital data for the mission.In this case, the source for both figures appears to be NASA :)

gwiz
2006-Jan-19, 09:22 AM
In this case, the source for both figures appears to be NASA :)
The PR people may not have the necessary contact with the orbital mechanics people, after all, who but a bunch of nitpickers like us gives a monkey's?

publiusr
2006-Jan-25, 09:43 PM
Buran could take extra fuel in its payload bay and could fly higher than STS IIRC