American space shuttle
The American space shuttle was a reusable space vehicle mostily used to supply the International Space Station modules for assembly. Its launch site was at Cape Canaveral.
The American space shuttle was composed of three main parts:
* Two solid fuel Boosters delivering 80% of the thrust at takeoff;
* The external tank, supplying fuel for the main engine during the launch;
* The orbiter, which housed the crew and was equipped to docking onto the International Space Station.
Out of the 6 shuttles built by the NASA (Atlantis, Discovery, Challenger, Columbia, Enterprise and Endeavour), 2 disintegrated: Challenger, on 28 January 1986 on takeoff (rupture of a seal in the booster), and Columbia, on 1 February 2003 on its re-entry into the atmosphere (a piece of insulation had been torn off during takeoff). This last incident cost the lives of the seven crew members and the grounding of shuttles until July 2005 when the shuttle Discovery was in turn grounded after the loss of 16 pieces of insulating foam, some from the exact area in the Columbia accident. The final shuttle flight was by Atlantis on 8 July 2011, landing on 21 July 2011, The shuttle was carrying a Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) Raffaello and a Lightweight Multi-Purpose Carrier (LMC).