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Quiz about The Space Shuttle Orbiters
Quiz about The Space Shuttle Orbiters

The Space Shuttle Orbiters Trivia Quiz


On February 1, 2003 the seven astronauts on board the Shuttle Columbia were lost minutes before landing in Florida. This quiz is dedicated to them and all who have lost their lives in the name of science and exploration.

A multiple-choice quiz by ladymacb29. Estimated time: 6 mins.
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Author
ladymacb29
Time
6 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
113,725
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Difficult
Avg Score
5 / 10
Plays
1023
- -
Question 1 of 10
1. The first Space Shuttle Orbiter was named Enterprise. However, what was it originally going to be named? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. The first Orbiter whose name became the subject of a competition for children was which? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. While building two of the Orbiters in the 1980s, it was decided that some 'spare parts' should be made so it would be easier to fix one of them if they were damaged. Which two orbiters were these? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. Because NASA decided to have some spare parts made during the construction of two Orbiters in the 1980s, they were able to use these parts to construct an Orbiter to replace Challenger, which was lost in 1986. Which Orbiter was the eventual recipient of these 'spare parts'? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Which was the first Space Shuttle to fly in orbit of Earth? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. Which Orbiter was the first to land like an airplane (as in touching down instead of being thrown into water)? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. A decision was made not to modify the Enterprise from an approach-landing test vehicle to one that was capable of entering space. As this decision would mean that there would be only one Orbiter, another decision was made to convert another test vehicle (STA-099) into a fully-functional Orbiter. Which Orbiter became operational because of this decision? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. One result of the Challenger explosion was that NASA decided that it was too risky to carry a Centaur in the upper payload section of the Orbiter. Only two Orbiters had been modified to carry a Centaur in the upper payload section, the Challenger and ____. Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. The Space Shuttle Orbiters are very heavy objects. About how much does one weigh without the main engines installed? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. Columbia flew 28 missions before the crew and vehicle were lost during landing. The people who lost their lives were following a tradition of exploration on a ship bearing that name. Which of the following is not one of the accomplishments of a ship with the name Columbia? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. The first Space Shuttle Orbiter was named Enterprise. However, what was it originally going to be named?

Answer: Constitution

In honor of the 200th anniversary of the writing of the United States document, Constitution was the name first designated for the Orbiter. However, due to pressure from fans of the television series "Star Trek," the name was changed to Enterprise in honor of the ship in that series.

When the television series "Enterprise" premiered in 2001, the opening credits showed images of past ships with the name - including one of the Orbiter. Art imitates life which imitates art.
2. The first Orbiter whose name became the subject of a competition for children was which?

Answer: Endeavour

The name Endeavour comes from the name of James Cook's ship which, on its maiden flight, sailed to the South Pacific in order to take scientific measurements when Venus came between the Earth and the Sun. This helped scientists determine how far away the Earth was from the Sun. Cook's Endeavour is also said to be the "first long-distance voyage on which no crewman died from scurvy" because Cook had the foresight to make his crew eat foods like sauerkraut and an orange extract. (http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/resources/orbiters/endeavour.html)
3. While building two of the Orbiters in the 1980s, it was decided that some 'spare parts' should be made so it would be easier to fix one of them if they were damaged. Which two orbiters were these?

Answer: Discovery and Atlantis

This cost NASA an extra $389 MILLION dollars. Included in the list of 'spare parts' was "a spare aft-fuselage, mid-fuselage, forward fuselage halves, vertical tail and rudder, wings, elevons and a body flap" (http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/resources/orbiters/atlantis.html).
4. Because NASA decided to have some spare parts made during the construction of two Orbiters in the 1980s, they were able to use these parts to construct an Orbiter to replace Challenger, which was lost in 1986. Which Orbiter was the eventual recipient of these 'spare parts'?

Answer: Endeavour

Because 'spare parts' were used to build Endeavor, the contract to build the Orbiter was awarded 5 years AFTER the structural assembly of the Crew Module had begun. The Endeavour was delivered to the Kennedy Space Center in May of 1991.
5. Which was the first Space Shuttle to fly in orbit of Earth?

Answer: Columbia

Columbia was also the first Orbiter to be refitted with modifications like "the addition of carbon brakes, drag chute, improved nose wheel steering, removal of development flight instrumentation and an enhancement of its thermal protection system" (http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/resources/orbiters/columbia.html).

In 1999, it became the second Orbiter to be fitted with a 'glass cockpit' which is more high-tech than what it had been fitted with. The glass cockpit has a flat-panel display which is easier (and cheaper) to maintain than the systems it had been installed with.
6. Which Orbiter was the first to land like an airplane (as in touching down instead of being thrown into water)?

Answer: Enterprise

For nine months, the Enterprise underwent an approach and landing test program at Edwards Air Force Base. These tests also demonstrated that the Orbiter could fly in the Earth's atmosphere. Astronauts Fred Haise, Gordon Fullerton, Joe Engle and Dick Truly rotated as two-man crews testing Enterprise's free-flight landings. Also included in the test program was 'piggy-backing' the Orbiter onto a 747 shuttle carrier aircraft to make sure the airplane would be able to transport an Orbiter back to Florida after a landing.
7. A decision was made not to modify the Enterprise from an approach-landing test vehicle to one that was capable of entering space. As this decision would mean that there would be only one Orbiter, another decision was made to convert another test vehicle (STA-099) into a fully-functional Orbiter. Which Orbiter became operational because of this decision?

Answer: Challenger

Of the six Orbiters (Enterprise/OV-101, Columbia/OV-102, Challenger/OV-99, Atlantis/OV104, Endeavour/OV-105, and Discovery/OV-103), the only one which had a designation whose number was less than 100 was Challenger. This is because it had originally been a test vehicle designated STA-099. Challenger began its life as a static-test article and began conversion in 1979.

Although it was cheaper than converting Enterprise, engineers had to cut Challenger into 2 pieces so the simulated Crew Module could be replaced with a fully-functional one.
8. One result of the Challenger explosion was that NASA decided that it was too risky to carry a Centaur in the upper payload section of the Orbiter. Only two Orbiters had been modified to carry a Centaur in the upper payload section, the Challenger and ____.

Answer: Discovery

The 2nd and 3rd fully-operational Orbiters were the only two which were capable of such an operation. Even though a fueled Centaur was never flown inside an Orbiter's upper payload section at the time of the Challenger's demise, it was decided best not to use the modifications to the Discovery at the time.
9. The Space Shuttle Orbiters are very heavy objects. About how much does one weigh without the main engines installed?

Answer: 150,000 pounds

As they were built later than the others, Endeavour, Discovery and Atlantis each weigh around 151,000 pounds while Columbia weighed about 158,000 pounds, and Challenger about 155,000. Enterprise (though it was never a fully-operational Orbiter) weighs 150,000. Endeavor, Discovery and Atlantis weigh less than Challenger and Columbia due to advances in technology and lessons learned early-on in the Shuttle program.
10. Columbia flew 28 missions before the crew and vehicle were lost during landing. The people who lost their lives were following a tradition of exploration on a ship bearing that name. Which of the following is not one of the accomplishments of a ship with the name Columbia?

Answer: First ship to sail around South America

Robert Grey captained the Columbia through a dangerous area of a river in the South East of British Columbia - the river was later named after the ship. Later, Grey as Captain of the Columbia became the first American to circumnavigate the world as they carried otter skins to China and sailed back to Boston. Columbia is also the feminised version of the name Columbus - after Christopher Columbus.
Source: Author ladymacb29

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