Successful deployment and landing tests on NASA's NB-52B validated engineers' predictions, led to addition of the braking chute to the shuttle fleet.
Real-world tests of shuttle tires on modified jetliner pinpointed the rough surface of the Kennedy runway as the culprit in STS-23 tire explosion.
Early in the space shuttle program, NASA Dryden F-104 jets were used to flight-test various advanced shuttle Thermal Protection System materials.
NASA's F-8 Digital Fly-By-Wire research aircraft provided flight-test data to resolve the space shuttle's pilot-induced oscillation problem.
About 25 unique vehicles and their operators wait at the runway on landing day to assist a space shuttle and its astronauts after touchdown.
What it is like to dive at the runway from 28,000 feet on an approach just like the one the shuttle uses at landing.
After 29 years of supporting space shuttle missions, the payload changeout room hosts its last shuttle cargo.
NASA's Glenn Research Center made many contributions to the Space Shuttle Program, helping the shuttle stretch the boundaries of what humanity could accomplish in space.
Two booster recovery ships stand ready on shuttle launch day.
Tracking station ends its mission with the final shuttle flight.
The Approach and Landing Tests in 1977 evaluated the shuttle orbiter’s aerodynamic flight control systems and subsonic handling characteristics.
Highly skilled technicians ready shuttles for flight in processing bays at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida
Precision landings by the X-24B lifting body in 1975 led to the decision to not include jet engines on the space shuttles to aid landing approaches.
A small group of specially certified aerospace technicians called spacecraft operators help ensure the shuttle is ready to fly.
Astronauts flying on the shuttle depend on other astronauts to strap them in for launch.
The Astrovan carried shuttle crews, history and tradition.
Using multiple sources, teams keep a close watch on each space shuttle launch.
The launch pad is equipped with all the elements needed to safely send a space shuttle into orbit.
NASA's T-38s would not be mistaken for a space shuttle, but they are necessary tools for astronaut training.
Launching a space shuttle requires a unique nerve center at NASA's Kennedy Space Center.