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Space shuttle
Before the invention of the space shuttle, spacecraft were
used only once. Some of their parts were left in space,
Did you know?
some burned up in the atmosphere, and some crashed When in orbit, a space shuttle
back to Earth. Astronauts returned to Earth by splashing orbiter circles the Earth once
every 90 minutes at a speed of
down into the ocean inside a section of the spacecraft, or 18,000 mph (28,800 kph).
by parachuting from the spacecraft before it crash-landed.

Into orbit and back again


Read the captions below and look at the pictures. Number them 1 to 6 to show what happens on a space shuttle mission.

Protective silica The orbiter’s main Eight minutes The orbiter The orbiter Two minutes after
tiles glow as the engines and rocket after takeoff, the remains in glides in to land liftoff, the rocket
orbiter reenters boosters fire external fuel tank orbit for up on an ordinary boosters fall back
the atmosphere. together at liftoff. drops away. to two weeks. runway. to Earth.

Parts of the orbiter


Read the captions below about the space shuttle orbiter. Draw a line to link each one to the correct part of the picture.

The mechanical arm


The payload bay carries moves objects in and out The payload bay
the payload (cargo) such of the payload bay. doors are opened in
as satellites or space orbit to prevent the
station parts. orbiter from
overheating.

The cabin houses the


crew. It contains The wings have no
the flight deck and function in space but
bunks. An airlock Black silica tiles protect help the orbiter glide
gives access to space. the craft from burning as it when it lands.
reenters the atmosphere.

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited


Answers

Activity Answers
Space shuttle
Into orbit and back again

1 2 3
The orbiter’s Two minutes Eight minutes
main engines after liftoff, the after takeoff, the
and rocket rocket boosters external fuel tank
boosters fire fall back to drops away.
together at Earth.
liftoff.

4 5 6
The orbiter Protective silica The orbiter
remains in tiles glow as the glides in to land
orbit for orbiter reenters on an ordinary
up to two the atmosphere. runway.
weeks.

Parts of the orbiter


mechanical arm
payload bay payload
cabin bay
doors

wings
black silica tiles

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited