The ballistic capsule was a partly reusable launch system and orbital space vehicle operated by the U.S.

The ballistic capsule was a partly reusable launch system and orbital space vehicle operated by the U.S. National natural philosophy and house Administration (NASA) for human spacefaring missions. The system combined rocket launch, orbital space vehicle, and re-entry spaceplane with standard add-ons. the primary of 4 orbital check flights occurred in 1981 resulting in operational flights starting in 1982. it absolutely was used on a complete of a hundred thirty five missions from 1981 to 2011 all launched from the Kennedy house Center, Florida.
Major missions enclosed launching various satellites, heavenly body probes, the Hubble house Telescope (HST), conducting house science experiments, and constructing and conjugation the International space platform. Major parts enclosed the orbiters, retrievable boosters, external tanks, payloads, and supporting infrastructure. 5 space-worthy orbiters were built; 2 were destroyed in mission accidents.The ballistic capsule at launch consisted of the satellite Vehicle (OV), one external tank (ET), and 2 Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs). it absolutely was launched vertically sort of a typical rocket with thrust from the 2 SRBs and 3 main engines. throughout launch, the external tank provided fuel for the orbiter’s main engines. The SRBs and ET were jettisoned before the satellite reached orbit. At the conclusion of the orbiter’s house mission, it laid-off its thrusters to drop out of orbit and come in the lower atmosphere. The satellite decelerated within the atmosphere before flying sort of a heavier-than-air craft however with reaction system thrusters before landing on an extended runway.