132 – The Space Shuttle (Part 1, Systems)

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This is the first of two episodes on the the Space Shuttle’s systems and operations. We talk to Davide Sivolella, an aerospace engineer who has written a quite technical book on the shuttle. In this episode we talk about some of the shuttle’s systems, including the structure, the engines, the boosters and the thermal protection system.

A Correction: Davide mentioned that the external tank is manufactured in New Jersey. This is wrong. It is built in Lousiana.

A related omega tau episode is episode 43, Flying the Space Shuttle.

Listener Jake found the flight rules as a PDF online..

21 Responses to 132 – The Space Shuttle (Part 1, Systems)

  1. Pingback: Vorhersage Sonntag, 13.10.2013 | die Hörsuppe

  2. obvious says:

    obvious link to MITs Aircraft Systems Engineering Course

    22 Video Lectures on the Space Shuttle

  3. obvious says:

    meh, just saw you already included the link, should have read the links more carefully. sry.

  4. Jochen says:

    Wow, what an insightful episode – thanks a lot David and Markus!

  5. Jürgen says:

    The initial testing of digital fly-by-wire-systems started in 1972 on an F-8, using Apollo flight computers:

  6. Pingback: Magazin KW42: Sprachstörungen | die Hörsuppe

  7. Markus Hanke says:

    The YouTube link to “Space Shuttle Thermal Tile Demonstration” is broken. It should be “” not “\u003dPp9Yax8UNoM”.

  8. MaNo says:

    Right! Now that you say that I remember reading about it in some software architecture book. Thanks for the comment!


  9. MaNo says:

    Thx! Damn encoding problems! Fixing it now!

  10. Robert Coates says:

    An excellent episode Markus! As a life-long fan of the space program (I was 22 when Apollo 11 landed) I found your interview with Davide very interesting, especially the USAF’s influence on the Shuttle’s design. I am very much looking forward to Part 2. Keep up the good work! Regards, Rob, Perth, Western Australia.

  11. MaNo says:

    Thank you, Robert :-)

  12. Jochen says:

    This is what I love about this podcast: again I’ve learned about influences and interests as background for decisions on technical structures like the Shuttle which I never would have heard about in normally spreaded documentations as in TV or similar.

    Great job to always find the right interview partners and to ask exactly the right questions. Also to have an understanding for what the “normal” listener should have explained one more time or in more detailled matter!

    Thanks again!

    And I’m eagerly looking forward to part II of this episode!

  13. MaNo says:

    Thanks Jochen :-) I’ll publish Part II later this week or on the weekend!

  14. Pingback: Fragen / Technisches zum Space Shuttle - Seite 6 -

  15. walter says:

    another great episode, perfect. many thanks, on to part 2 :)

  16. MaNo says:

    Thanks Walter :)

  17. Rick says:

    Thanks for another fantastic episode. I really enjoy learning about the space program, especially at this exceptional level of detail.

  18. MaNo says:

    Thx :-)

  19. Pingback: Omega Tau Podcast Interview with FLARM Developer | Soaring Cafe

  20. Pingback: 162 – Shuttle Mission Control | omega tau

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