What if... No 3 green on Space Shuttle Landing?

fast89pony

Well-Known Member
Im sure most of you have seen the shuttle landings on TV before. And a few lucky ones in person. The time between gear extension and mains touchdown is a mere 17 seconds. I know the chances of a gear extension failure on the space shuttle are slim to none. But obviously the shuttle is not invincible to failures. I.E. Challenger and Columbia. As well as many other failures im sure, though not leading to such disasters. 17 seconds is a pretty short amount of time to execute any (memorized im sure) checklist for such an event. I wonder what the plan of action is and how many different senarios they run in the simulators for this. Could be interesting having only 2 down with a touchdown speed of about 200 kts. It could happen...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOxZsbyjSb8
 

kiloalpha

Well-Known Member
I'm sure NASA engineers have probably thought about it. I'm thinking it's a mechanical free fall with maybe some spring assistance. It really doesn't need to retracted until it's on the ground and being prepped for the next mission. Kinda like when you do the emergency gear procedure on the Twin Comanche.
 
R

Roger, Roger

Guest
My guess...
Test the light.
Pull the emergency gear handle.
Land, 3 green or not.
 

USMCmech

Well-Known Member
The gear on the shuttle is blown down by compressed air, probably the most reliable method of gear exthension.

If they don't lock for some reason, I guess there isn't time to do anything about it.
 

JoelT

Well-Known Member
I have flown in the actual space shuttle simulator a few times. My wife's uncle was a technician on it. Anyway as just a gee-whiz kinda thing, the shuttle, like many older aircraft does not have green lights for gear. Instead it has little mechanical wheels behind small windows. So, you might say "gear down, three wheels" rather than "down, three green". At least that was the way we did it in the T-34.

I found this article on how the system works:
http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/technology/sts-newsref/sts-gear.html
 

MQAAord

Scheherazade
Staff member
There is no go-around for the shuttle, as far as I know. So, whatever indication for proper gear deployment there may be, if it's not indicating "locked", there's not a whole lot that can be done about it at that point anyway....


*disclaimer- I'm obviously not a space shuttle pilot, the above is just my observation/opinion...
 

CirrusMonkey

No Real Usefulness
I'm sure NASA engineers have probably thought about it. I'm thinking it's a mechanical free fall with maybe some spring assistance. It really doesn't need to retracted until it's on the ground and being prepped for the next mission. Kinda like when you do the emergency gear procedure on the Twin Comanche.

If I were able to talk the smart talk, this is how I would have said it. Makes complete sense. Good post.
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
So there's no "Go Around! Flaps 20, positive rate/gear up/heading select (or LNAV), bug 180"?
 

AirVenture

Well-Known Member
I'm sure it could make pretty decent belly landing given the flat bottom of the shuttle. The foam surfacing would be shredded to bits, but would probably also cushion the landing a bit.
 

MFT1Air

Well-Known Member
The gear on the shuttle is blown down by compressed air, probably the most reliable method of gear exthension.

If they don't lock for some reason, I guess there isn't time to do anything about it.

I know what you meant was HYD1 hydraulics and gravity bring the gear down; should there be a failure of the hydraulics, pyrotechnics is the last resort.

And as I've said before on this forum, anyone who wishes to visit Johnson Space Center, for Jetcareer members, the invitation is open! :)
 

MFT1Air

Well-Known Member
There is no go-around for the shuttle, as far as I know. So, whatever indication for proper gear deployment there may be, if it's not indicating "locked", there's not a whole lot that can be done about it at that point anyway....


*disclaimer- I'm obviously not a space shuttle pilot, the above is just my observation/opinion...
Nope, you're not, and neither am I; but guess what? You're still 100% correct. :D
 

TurdBird

Well-Known Member
MFT1Air, I was hoping you were going to drop in! :D

I'm going to take you up on that visit one day!
 
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