View Full Version : Expansion - Space Shuttle

17th Mar 2009, 23:03

Sorry if this in the wrong place, but I remember concorde stretched a fair bit during Supersonic Speeds. Does the space Shuttle do the same thing or are we going onto another level, such as rocket science?



17th Mar 2009, 23:39
I don't think it would be in the frictional heating zone long enough, it gets to orbit a little over eight minutes after liftoff.


763 jock
17th Mar 2009, 23:52
And when Sir Isaac is in the pilots seat? :rolleyes:

18th Mar 2009, 00:06
I'd imagine that during reentry most of the shuttle's structure is protected from large thermal expansion. The difference between Concorde and the shuttle is that the shuttle is largely clad in thermal materials eg the heat shield and thermal blankets.

Google throws this up:

SPACE SHUTTLE ORBITER SYSTEMS (http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/technology/sts-newsref/sts_sys.html)

Far too close to my nightmares from University for me to read in any depth, but try searching for 'thermal expansion' to see the structures in place to protect the shuttle's structure from thermal expansion/reentry heat and the sudden temperature changes from the cold of space to the heat of reentry

(Before anyone picks me up on it, I'm aware there are a few other subtle differences between the shuttle and Concorde)

19th Mar 2009, 13:42
Thanks everyone for the replies.

Cyclone733 Ill have a read of that, thanks.

20th Mar 2009, 04:16
I think the SR-71 would be closer to the Concorde than the shuttle as far as dealing with the thermal effects of supersonic flight. The Blackbird grows several inches during high speed flight (but then the thing is 100+ ft long to start), leaks fuel (JP-7) on the ground, and has corrugated surfaces on parts of the wings, all due to airframe heating.

With the Concorde and SR-71 the issue is one of prolonged heating (hours) while the shuttle deals with extreme heating but for a bounded period (a few minutes).

20th Mar 2009, 05:42
I have a couple of tiles from Buran. One can heat the surface to white while holding the other side in one's hand.

20th Mar 2009, 08:48
Bugger. I thought from the thread title they might be recruiting..