Space Shuttle Endeavor

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The space shuttle Endeavor is among the retired space shuttles of the NASA. The space shuttle Endeavor flew its first mission in May 1992 on mission STS-49 while its last mission was in May 2011 on mission STS-134. In total, it had served 25 missions of NASA’s Space Transportation System (STS). The space shuttle Endeavor has an orbiter the size of an Airbus A320 whose gross liftoff weight of 2000 tons. The stack has a length of 37.237m with boosters containing 3 space shuttle main engines with the ability to generate a thrust of 30.16MN. In perfect conditions, space shuttle Endeavor could loft a cargo weighing 24.31tons and seven crew members (up to 11 astronauts) to the low earth’s orbit. The space shuttle Endeavor had the capabilities to cruise to the operational orbit altitude of 190km to 960km at an orbital speed of 7743 m/s. Therefore to achieve such an altitude and orbital speed, a deeper analysis of Newtonian mechanics on rockets and gravitation would be required. According to the Newtonian mechanics, the celestial mechanics follows the Newton’s second law of motion where;

F ?=ma ?

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Where F ? is the vector form of the force required to move a celestial object, m is the mass of the celestial object while a ? is the acceleration of the celestial object. Assuming that the orbit of covered by the space shuttle endeavor is elliptic, then the orbital velocity would be explained by the expression

orbital velocity=?(GM(2/r-1/a) )

Where G is the gravitational constant, M is the mass of the object causing the gravity, r is the distance between the space shuttle and the center of the earth and a is the length of the semi-major axis. As the space shuttle left the earth, it followed a Kepler trajectory explained by the equation


Where M is the mean anomaly, E is the eccentric anomaly and ? is the eccentric.

The body of the space shuttle Endeavor, was made from the composite of the recycling of space shuttle Discovery and space shuttle Atlantis which made the construction its construction cost $1.7 billion cheaper. The most important missions of the space shuttle Endeavor was on mission STS 61 where it helped fix a problem with Hubble Space Telescope, mission STS-88 where it delivered the Unity node necessary for the completion of the International Space Station (ISS) and finally in its final mission STS-134 where it delivered an Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer physics experiment component to the ISS.

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