what is hte angle of attack for the space shuttle when its entering the earths atmosphere coming back to earth

The shuttle has to have a specific attack angle hitting the atmosphere to prevent it burning up

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    The angle of attack (α) alpha (thrust angle relative to inertial velocity vector), depends on the weight load of the mission returning back to earth, the angle in which the Shuttle enters the Earth's atmosphere, the friction by the wind and by the g-forces upon the main fuselage if the shuttle.

    The Shuttle comes back at around 40 Degrees to the 'hypothetical' horizon (Earth is curved). As the shuttle falls at around 8-9 km/sec the g-forces are about 6Gs when the shuttle attempts a re-entry with its cargo hold empty.

    The angle of attack is hard to tell due to the increasing friction and decreasing speed of the shuttle which require extremely advance mathematical equations and a number of supercomputers to calculate the different factors.

    But usually its in the area of 36 to 22 Degrees

  • 1 decade ago

    The nose tilts up at a 40 degree angle

    Source(s): national geographic channel
  • 1 decade ago

    I believe it is a 30 to 35 degree angle.

    Although I heard that it could be as great as 45 degrees, but that is based off of a fictional movie.

  • Mas
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    According to my daughter who was at Scottish Space Camp in June for a week where she met cosmonauts and scientists its 40 degrees.

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  • 1 decade ago

    32 degrees

    Source(s): Star Trek
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    63 degrees

  • BeC
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    I thought it was 30 degrees but im not too sure.

  • 1 decade ago

    Nose up 28 degrees I think....

    Source(s): The film 'Space Camp'
  • 1 decade ago

    I'm guessing straight down. This would give the fastest possible entry, minimising re-entry time.

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