STS's mains characteristics

Characteristic Value
Mass of STS at the beginning, t 2046
Thrust at launch, tf 3076
Specification of the Orbiter
Mass at launch, t 109
Maximum mass at landing, t 96
Payload mass, t 20
Volume of the crew cabine, m³ 71
Dimensional specifications
Length, m 34.24
Wingspan, m 23.79
Height, m 17.25
Length of the payload bay, m 18.3
Diameter of the payload bay, m 4.6
Quantity of flight 100
Mass of the structure, t 68.586
Heat shield tiles, number 24000
Circular work orbit, km 185 to 1000
Crew 7
Total mass of the 1st stage, t 1180
Mass of solid fuel, t 950
Pulverulent aluminium powder (combustible), % 16
Perchlorate of ammonium (combustive), % 69.6
Iron oxyde powder (catalyst), % 0.4
Polybutadiene Acrylonitrile or Hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (polymer), % 12
Epoxy curring agent (catalyst), % 2
Total mass of the 2nd stage, t 757
Mass of oxygen, t ~600
Mass of hydrogen, t ~100
Engine of the 2nd stage (SSME)
Thrust on the sea level (100% thrust), tf 170
Thrust in vacuum (100% thrust), tf 213
Dimensional specifications of the STS
Height, m 56.14
Width, m 23.79
Dimensional specifications of the 1st stage
Height, m 45.6
Diameter, m 3.71
Dimensional specifications of the external tank
Height, m 46.9
Diameter, m 8.4
1st stage, flight 20
2nd stage (external tank), flight 100 (1)
Azimuth of launch, ° 35-120
Minimal duration between 2 consecutive flights, days 25

The former Soviet Union's analogue was Energiya-Buran launch system. The decision go forward with development of system was made in 1974-1976 the program was slow to up. The Buran (snowstorm or orbiter was not launched atop Energiya launch vehicle until 1988, an Energiya test launch was successfully without the Buran in During the 1988 test flight, flew two orbits without a and successfully returned to Earth. turned out to be the one and only flight. The was put on hold and cancelled in 1993.

Beyond appearances, however, there are several technical differences between the two systems. Perhaps the most significant that the U.S. Shuttle was intended to carry people into but on its only flight, Buran flew without a crew, it was designed to accommodate crews as well. At one clearly the U.S. Shuttle was as a follow-on program to Apollo and Skylab projects that send humans aloft on a basis. As Tom Wolfe described The Right Stuff, the U.S. NASA aerospace cultures were dominated by pilots and then by so some might say that people, not just payloads, into was always a priority. This still true today, as NASA's spaceflight efforts on Shuttle and International Space Station spark the imagination and pave the way and budgetarily for robotic spacecraft ground-based astronomy, and even aeronautics.