Space Shuttle Research Article from The Way People Live

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On first reaching orbit, the spacecraft carrying crew members to the space station trails behind the station by about eleven thousand miles. Every hour and a half, the spacecraft makes one complete orbit around Earth, and because it is traveling faster than the station, each orbit brings it seven hundred miles closer to the space station. The spacecraft will not reach the space station until the third day of its mission.

Preparations

During the nearly sixteen orbits it takes their spacecraft to approach the space station, about 240 miles above Earth, the astronauts prepare their ship for docking. They also ready any cargo they are bringing to the station for transfer between the two craft. If the ship is a space shuttle, it may be transporting space station modules in its cargo bay. In this event the shuttle's payload specialist—the astronaut who is an expert in the...

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This section contains 3,605 words
(approx. 13 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Space Shuttle Encyclopedia Article
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Space Shuttle from Lucent. ©2002-2006 by Lucent Books, an imprint of The Gale Group. All rights reserved.