Quiz: Test your shuttle knowledge

The shuttle era - test your knowledge

The end of the shuttle era is upon us. Manned spaceflight may or may not be revolutionised in the departing shuttle's wake, but the programme has certainly captured the world's imagination. But how much do you really know about it?

Shuttle landing (Nasa)

1.) Multiple Choice Question

Six shuttles have been built - but only five have flown in space. Which one below has not?

Enterprise orbiter
  1. Atlantis
  2. Discovery
  3. Endeavour
  4. Enterprise

2.) Multiple Choice Question

The giant vehicle that transports shuttles to the launch pad is nicknamed "The Crawler". Its surface is a square 27m by 27m - and weighs how much?

  1. 27.21 tonnes
  2. 272.1 tonnes
  3. 2,721 tonnes

3.) Missing Word Question

In 1983, * became the first American woman in space.

  1. Judith Resnik
  2. Sally Ride
  3. Lisa Nowak

4.) Multiple Choice Question

The shuttles' cargo bays have hoisted into space everything from International Space Station parts to space telescopes. What would fit inside them?

Shuttle cargo bay (Nasa)
  1. Four phone booths
  2. Three mid-size cars
  3. Two double-decker buses

5.) Multiple Choice Question

The shuttle was designed to be a flexible launch vehicle, playing host to flexible crew numbers. But what were the smallest and largest shuttle crew sizes?

Baudry and Chretien
  1. fewest: 2, most: 8
  2. fewest: 3, most: 9
  3. fewest: 4, most: 10

6.) Multiple Choice Question

OK, last of the tough ones: altogether, the shuttles have flown 848 passengers on 134 flights lasting a total of more than 1,320 days - but all told, how far have they gone?

Shuttle landing (Nasa)
  1. 8,593,824,265 kilometres
  2. 859,382,426 kilometres
  3. 85,938,243 kilometres

7.) Missing Word Question

The final shuttle mission will carry the first * to space.

  1. Yo-yo
  2. Food processor
  3. iPhone

Answers

  1. Enterprise was never fitted with engines or a heat shield; these were initially to be retrofitted after flight tests, but the final shuttle design was sufficiently different that Enterprise was retired to the Smithsonian Institution.
  2. The Crawler weighs in at 2,721 tonnes. It lugs the shuttle around at a maximum of 1.6km/h - making the trip from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the launch pad in about five hours.
  3. As with many space endeavours, the Soviets got there first - putting their first woman in space some 20 years before Sally Ride rode into the history of the American space programme.
  4. Two of London's double-decker buses would just fit inside the bays. The heaviest spacecraft launched from the bays was the Chandra X-ray telescope, weighing in at just under 23 tonnes.
  5. The first four shuttle missions carried just two crew members; the 61st and 71st carried eight passengers.
  6. With a total of 20,952 orbits of the Earth between them, the shuttles have flown a grand total of 859,382,426 kilometres. Perhaps they do deserve a rest.
  7. Hard to believe, but future astronauts may pull out their iPhones to navigate. The last shuttle mission will carry an iPhone with an application called SpaceLab for iOS - intended to aid astronauts' experiments, using the phone's gyro, accelerometer and cameras.

Your Score

0 - 2 : Low-Earth orbit...

3 - 4 : Moon landing

5 - 7 : Interstellar!

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