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  Prototype Enterprise: missing main engines?

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Author Topic:   Prototype Enterprise: missing main engines?
New Member

Posts: 4
Registered: Feb 2004

posted 04-10-2013 03:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Myron   Click Here to Email Myron     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I see the space shuttle Enterprise often and am confused about whether it has the three engines on its tail as the other shuttles do. Since it never flew into space, it needed no engines. It merely was a glider.

If the tail cone was removed, what would be underneath, three engines or just a large, blank area?

Jim Behling

Posts: 537
From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 04-10-2013 06:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It had engine simulators because to perform as a test glider for the shuttle program, it would need something to reflect the same mass and center of gravity (cg) — and even aerodynamics — of engines. Otherwise, it would not fly with the same software or responses.


Posts: 182
From: Streamwood, IL USA
Registered: Feb 2012

posted 04-10-2013 06:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not a blank space. The space was occupied by replicas of the main and OMS engines, or at least their exhaust bells and thrust chambers.

Engineers wanted to replicate the aerodynamic flow of an actual orbiter during descent to test the controls. I may be wrong, but I believe the engines' weights were mimicked by ballast so Enterprise would balance just like a real orbiter too.

Hart Sastrowardoyo

Posts: 2123
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 04-10-2013 10:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In the shots I've seen (and taken) of Enterprise head-on with Discovery, Discovery seems to sit lower than Enterprise. Is this because Enterprise was made to weigh the projected 150,000 pounds of an orbiter (as well as not having real main engines) and the spaceworthy orbiters weigh more?

All times are CT (US)

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