The Space Shuttle orbiter is the spaceplane component of the Space Shuttle. A partially reusable orbital spacecraft system that was part of the discontinued Space Shuttle program. The Orbiter is both the brains and heart of the Space Transportation System.

The Space Shuttle orbiter resembled an airplane in its design, with a standard-looking fuselage and two double delta wings, both swept wings at an angle of 81 degrees at their inner leading edges and 45 degrees at their outer leading edges. The vertical stabilizer of the orbiter had a leading edge that was swept back at a 45-degree angle.

There were five orbiters built to travel to space: Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavor. The Space Shuttle is made of up of the Orbiter Vehicle, the External Tank, and 2 Solid Rocket Boosters. Missions were launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.


The Crew Compartment consists of the Flight Deck, Mid Deck, and the Equipment Bay. Parts of the space shuttle include Fuselage, Wings, Thermal Protection System, Reaction Control System, and Space Shuttle Main Engines.

Most missions had 7 astronauts on board. When they do an EVA or “Space Walk” they can enter the Air Lock to go out into the Payload Bay. The Remote Manipulator System (RMS), also known as the Canadarm, is used used to move payloads around in space. The Orbital Docking System (ODS) was used to dock with the International Space Station (ISS).The Space Shuttle was retired from service on July 21, 2011.

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