What Space Shuttle Was Really Carrying and Why It Flew Backward

Date: 2020-11-13 11:41:41


Hey guys! Today, we’re going to look at that airplane-looking thing that once carried the astronauts, their gear, and whatever they’re transporting up to space. It still is the most complicated machine ever built by humans. For illustrative purposes, let’s head back in time to Cape Canaveral, Florida. It’s June 8, 2007. Here at the John F. Kennedy Space Center, we’ll follow one of the space shuttles on its mission, to understand how it works.

Launch is the most stressful part of the flight. The goal of Atlantis is orbit. The astronauts are pressed into their seats, watching the clouds zoom past. It’s at this moment that the astronauts experience a “G-force” of about 3. Sounds intense! Actually, it’s less “G’s” than pilots normally experience when they do a loop mid-air. Not exactly a problem for highly trained astronauts. Btw, do you know how austronauts return to Earth? We’ll talk about that, either.


Launch 0:31
Why shuttle orbits upside down 2:47
Back to Earth 3:37
The landing 4:19
A quick virtual tour 5:56
The Canada arm. What is it? 8:10
The space shuttle program cost about… 8:49

Music by Epidemic Sound

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