Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsAstronomy & Space · 10 years ago

Why did STS 1 land at Edwards Air Force Base instead of Kennedy Space Center?

Also, why does the shuttle rotate after takeoff? Why don't they just position it on the launch pad the way it is after the rotation?

2 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Best Answer

    The first few missions landed at Edwards because it had a MUCH bigger landing area, in case they were a little off in their navigation. It is after all an un powered glider and they can't use engine power to correct the landing targeting.

    The launch pad is an old Apollo launch pad and the shuttle has to sit on it so the service tower and hold down arms match up with the shuttle correctly. It is a lot cheaper to just turn each shuttle in flight after it launches than to rebuild the pad. After all, your wouldn't expect the Denver airport to build a new runway that points straight at New York just because the pilot of a plane going to New York didn't feel like turning the plane after takeoff.

  • 10 years ago

    Since they land visually the weather was bad (cloudy, rainy,windy)Better at Edwards AFB long dry lake bed.

    Well the shuttle passes through the atmosphere upside down.The thermal tiles are protecting the shuttle from friction.Reason for rotation don't know.

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