Aerospace Legacy Foundation

Your portal to America's aerospace history

Aerospace Legacy Foundation (ALF) is a community based non-profit organization (501c3) including aerospace retirees and the public at large. Preserving Southern California's Aerospace and Aviation History including Downey's aerospace legacy.

Space Shuttle Orbiter

Shuttle Artwork Concepts

Previously Unseen Space Shuttle Concept Art

Previously Unseen Space Shuttle Concept Art

Sleek Space Shuttle concept.

Sleek Space Shuttle concept.

SPACE ART Space Shuttle Payload Bay Concept 1970′s (galaxy wire)

SPACE ART Space Shuttle Payload Bay Concept 1970′s (galaxy wire)

Space Shuttle orbiter concept artwork. Image- NASA

Space Shuttle orbiter concept artwork. Image- NASA

Space Shuttle concept artwork October 1976.

Space Shuttle concept artwork October 1976.

Space Shuttle orbiter concept artwork. Image- Tony Ivancic (NASA)

Space Shuttle orbiter concept artwork. Image- Tony Ivancic (NASA)

Space Shuttle Basics- Space Shuttle History from NASA

"In September 1969, two months after the first manned lunar landing, a Space Task Group appointed by the President of the United States to study the future course of U.S. space research and exploration made the recommendation that "…the United States accept the basic goal of a balanced manned and unmanned space program. To achieve this goal, the United States should …develop new systems of technology for space operation…through a program directed initially toward development of a new space transportation capability…"

In early 1970, NASA initiated extensive engineering, design, and cost studies of a space shuttle. These studies covered a wide variety of concepts ranging from a fully reusable manned booster and orbiter to dual strap-on solid propellant rocket motors and an expendable liquid propellant tank. Each concept evaluated development risks and costs in relation to the suitability and the overall economics of the entire system.

 

For all of the captive flights and the first three free flights, the orbiter was outfitted with a tail cone covering its aft section to reduce aerodynamic drag and turbulence. The final two free flights were made without the tail cone, and the three simulated space shuttle main engines and two orbital maneuvering system engines were exposed aerodynamically.

After numerous tests across the United States, the Enterprise was ferried across the Atlantic for several air shows across Europe. Finally, on November 18, 1985, the Enterprise was ferried from Kennedy Space Center to Washington, D.C. and became the property of the Smithsonian Institution.

The second orbiter, Columbia, was the first to fly into space. Perched atop the 747 shuttle carrier, Columbia arrived at Kennedy Space Center from Dryden Flight Research Facility on March 25, 1979 to be readied for the space shuttle's first flight on April 12, 1981".

 

 

Space Shuttle Concept Art 1970's

Space Shuttle Concept Art 1970's

"On January 5, 1972, President Richard M. Nixon announced that NASA would proceed with the development of a reusable low cost space shuttle system. NASA and its aerospace industry contractors continued engineering studies through January and February of 1972; finally on March 15, 1972, NASA announced that the shuttle would use two solid propellant rocket motors. The decision was based on information developed by studies that showed that the solid rocket system offered lower development cost and lower technical risk.

On September 17, 1976, the first orbiter spacecraft, Enterprise, was rolled out. A total of thirteen test flights were performed. The Enterprise was built as a test vehicle and not equipped for space flight.

Five captive flights, with the Enterprise perched atop a 747 jumbo jet with no crew and unpowered, were conducted to test the structural integrity of the craft. Three crewed captive flights followed with the crew operating the flight control systems in preparation for the first orbiter free flight. Finally, five free flights occurred with an astronaut crew separating the orbiter from the 747 shuttle carrier and maneuvering to a landing at Edwards Air Force Base".

Space Art Pics Space Shuttle

"For all of the captive flights and the first three free flights, the orbiter was outfitted with a tail cone covering its aft section to reduce aerodynamic drag and turbulence. The final two free flights were made without the tail cone, and the three simulated space shuttle main engines and two orbital maneuvering system engines were exposed aerodynamically.

After numerous tests across the United States, the Enterprise was ferried across the Atlantic for several air shows across Europe. Finally, on November 18, 1985, the Enterprise was ferried from Kennedy Space Center to Washington, D.C. and became the property of the Smithsonian Institution.

The second orbiter, Columbia, was the first to fly into space. Perched atop the 747 shuttle carrier, Columbia arrived at Kennedy Space Center from Dryden Flight Research Facility on March 25, 1979 to be readied for the space shuttle's first flight on April 12, 1981." More here...Space Shuttle Links

Windjammer deploys a satellite in Earth orbit.. The Windjammer was an early 1970's HTHL SSTO proposal initially developed by Boeing & North American Rockwell and later refined by Len Cormier in 1970-73.

Windjammer deploys a satellite in Earth orbit.. The Windjammer was an early 1970's HTHL SSTO proposal initially developed by Boeing & North American Rockwell and later refined by Len Cormier in 1970-73.

Pre-White Knight 2 concept - the Conroy Virtus 2 x B-52 fuselages to transport Shuttle Orbiter

Pre-White Knight 2 concept - the Conroy Virtus 2 x B-52 fuselages to transport Shuttle Orbiter

North American Rockwell again refused to pick a favored concept and only noted that a case could be made for either solid or liquid boosters depending on.... Image-  NASA

North American Rockwell again refused to pick a favored concept and only noted that a case could be made for either solid or liquid boosters depending on.... Image-  NASA

Photograph of an Artist's Concept of a Sleek Space Shuttle Craft

Photograph of an Artist's Concept of a Sleek Space Shuttle Craft

"The Space Shuttle is the world's first reusable spacecraft, and the first spacecraft in history that can carry large satellites both to and from orbit. The Shuttle launches like a rocket, maneuvers in Earth orbit like a spacecraft and lands like an airplane. Each of the three Space Shuttle orbiters now in operation -- Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour -- is designed to fly at least 100 missions. So far, altogether they have flown a combined total of less than one-fourth of that. " NASA

"See you there...."

"See you there...."

Skylab, 1972. Image credit NASA

Skylab, 1972. Image credit NASA

This November 6, 1975 photo shows a scale model of the Space Shuttle attached to a 747 carrier, inside NASA's 7 x 10 wind tunnel.(NASA)

This November 6, 1975 photo shows a scale model of the Space Shuttle attached to a 747 carrier, inside NASA's 7 x 10 wind tunnel.(NASA)

A technician works on sensors installed in the back end of a scale model of the Space Shuttle in NASA's 10X10 foot wind tunnel, on February 15, 1977. Image- NASA

A technician works on sensors installed in the back end of a scale model of the Space Shuttle in NASA's 10X10 foot wind tunnel, on February 15, 1977. Image- NASA

Space Shuttle models 5-11- 1972. Image- NASA

Space Shuttle models 5-11- 1972. Image- NASA

"Columbia was the first Space Shuttle orbiter to be delivered to NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., in March 1979. Columbia and the STS-107 crew were lost Feb. 1, 2003, during re-entry. The Orbiter Challenger was delivered to KSC in July 1982 and was destroyed in an explosion during ascent in January 1986. Discovery was delivered in November 1983. Atlantis was delivered in April 1985. Endeavour was built as a replacement following the Challenger accident and was delivered to Florida in May 1991. An early Space Shuttle Orbiter, the Enterprise, never flew in space but was used for approach and landing tests at the Dryden Flight Research Center and several launch pad studies in the late 1970s. 

Downey, California's Proud Legacy

 Primary Shuttle work done in Downey and final assembly in Palmdale/Lancaster.

November 1978  Mock-up of the Space Shuttle on display at the Rockwell Plant in Downey. Scott Harrison, LA Times.

November 1978  Mock-up of the Space Shuttle on display at the Rockwell Plant in Downey. Scott Harrison, LA Times.

Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey inspects mock-up of engine section of space shuttle during visit to North American Rockwell plant in Downey June 5, 1972.

Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey inspects mock-up of engine section of space shuttle during visit to North American Rockwell plant in Downey June 5, 1972.

Queen Elizabeth visits Rockwell plant in Downey, 1980's. She is inside the Space Shuttle mock-up in the DEI Room, sitting with George Jeffs. Image- Aerospace Legacy Foundation Archive.

Queen Elizabeth visits Rockwell plant in Downey, 1980's. She is inside the Space Shuttle mock-up in the DEI Room, sitting with George Jeffs. Image- Aerospace Legacy Foundation Archive.

Shuttle Orbiter Mock-Up in DEI Room, Building 001, Rockwell, Downey 1970's.

Shuttle Orbiter Mock-Up in DEI Room, Building 001, Rockwell, Downey 1970's.

Space Shuttle mock-up at Rockwell in Downey, California, 1970's.

Space Shuttle mock-up at Rockwell in Downey, California, 1970's.

Space Shuttle orbiter with beautiful profile over the Earth...

Space Shuttle orbiter with beautiful profile over the Earth...

Shuttle engine "Out test"

Shuttle engine "Out test"

Shuttle Columbia

Lettering of word "Columbia" on that orbiter at Rockwell International

Lettering of word "Columbia" on that orbiter at Rockwell International

"Columbia was the first Space Shuttle orbiter to be delivered to NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., in March 1979. Columbia and the STS-107 crew were lost Feb. 1, 2003, during re-entry. The Orbiter Challenger was delivered to KSC in July 1982 and was destroyed in an explosion during ascent in January 1986. Discovery was delivered in November 1983. Atlantis was delivered in April 1985. Endeavour was built as a replacement following the Challenger accident and was delivered to Florida in May 1991. An early Space Shuttle Orbiter, the Enterprise, never flew in space but was used for approach and landing tests at the Dryden Flight Research Center and several launch pad studies in the late 1970's." NASA

Looking aft toward the cargo bay of NASA's Space Shuttle Orbiter 102 vehicle, Columbia, Astronauts John Young (left) and Robert Crippen preview some of the intravehicular activity expected to take place during the orbiter's flight test, at Kennedy Space Center October 10, 1980. Image NASA. More here...

Looking aft toward the cargo bay of NASA's Space Shuttle Orbiter 102 vehicle, Columbia, Astronauts John Young (left) and Robert Crippen preview some of the intravehicular activity expected to take place during the orbiter's flight test, at Kennedy Space Center October 10, 1980. Image NASA. More here...

NASA space shuttle Columbia hitched a ride on a special 747 carrier aircraft for the flight from Palmdale, California, to Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on March 1, 2001. Image- NASA

NASA space shuttle Columbia hitched a ride on a special 747 carrier aircraft for the flight from Palmdale, California, to Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on March 1, 2001. Image- NASA

 

Shuttle Enterprise

Part of the crew of the television series Star Trek attend the first showing of America's first Space Shuttle, named Enterprise, in Palmdale, California, on September 17, 1976. From left are Leonard Nimoy, George Takei, DeForest Kelly and James Doohan  

Part of the crew of the television series Star Trek attend the first showing of America's first Space Shuttle, named Enterprise, in Palmdale, California, on September 17, 1976. From left are Leonard Nimoy, George Takei, DeForest Kelly and James Doohan

 

Shuttle Atlantis

A view photographed from the International Space Station in 2007 shows the Space Shuttle Atlantis above the Earth, as the two spacecraft were nearing their link-up in Earth orbit.

A view photographed from the International Space Station in 2007 shows the Space Shuttle Atlantis above the Earth, as the two spacecraft were nearing their link-up in Earth orbit.

 

Space Shuttle Discovery

Rollout of space shuttle Discovery is slow-going due to the onset of lightning in the area of Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on August 4, 2009. The rollout was in preparation for launch on the STS-128 mission to the International Space Station

Rollout of space shuttle Discovery is slow-going due to the onset of lightning in the area of Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on August 4, 2009. The rollout was in preparation for launch on the STS-128 mission to the International Space Station

 

Space Shuttle Endeavour

The docked space shuttle Endeavour, backdropped by a nighttime view of Earth and a starry sky are featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 28 crew member on the International Space Station, on May 28, 2011.

The docked space shuttle Endeavour, backdropped by a nighttime view of Earth and a starry sky are featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 28 crew member on the International Space Station, on May 28, 2011.

Space Shuttle launch configuration. NASA. More here...

Space Shuttle launch configuration. NASA. More here...

 

The Space Shuttle- By William Shatner (Below)

NASA Space Shuttle's Final Voyage of Atlantis  (Below)

Space Shuttle STS-112 Atlantis Space Station Assembly ISS-9A S1 Truss 2002 NASA

 

To Boldly Go- The space shuttle program has had a remarkable run ...

“It’s going to go down as a remarkable achievement and its legacy will be very strong. I t’s been inspirational to the nation, and its success has made an enormous contribution to our future in space.” – John Mulholland, Vice President and Program Manager, Boeing Space Shuttle Program
— Boeing

 

Shuttle Carrier Aircraft - Space Shuttle Endeavour Landing at LAX

 

Space Shuttle Enterprise OV-101

Space Shuttle Enterprise OV-101

 

 

The Space Shuttle

A Proud Heritage

Orbiter heat tile work at Rockwell International

Orbiter heat tile work at Rockwell International

Orbiter Enterprise in vertical position

Orbiter Enterprise in vertical position

Piggyback! Enterprise and special 747.

Piggyback! Enterprise and special 747.

Flight director Charles R. Lewis (left) studies a chart display on his console's monitor in the mission operations control room (MOCR) in the Johnson Space Center's Mission Control Center, in April of 1981. Image- NASA

Flight director Charles R. Lewis (left) studies a chart display on his console's monitor in the mission operations control room (MOCR) in the Johnson Space Center's Mission Control Center, in April of 1981. Image- NASA

At NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, this space shuttle mock-up, dubbed Pathfinder, is attached to the Mate-Demate Device for at fit-check on October 19, 1978

At NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, this space shuttle mock-up, dubbed Pathfinder, is attached to the Mate-Demate Device for at fit-check on October 19, 1978

Space Shuttle 101 assembly. Image- Boeing
Space Shuttle orbiter work at Rockwell

Space Shuttle orbiter work at Rockwell