×
Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Arms Warships & Submarines Military Pay Scale Military Ranks
HOME
AIRCRAFT / AVIATION
MODERN AIR FORCES
COUNTRIES
MANUFACTURERS
COMPARE
BY CONFLICT
BY TYPE
BY DECADE
COLD WAR

Space Shuttle Discovery (OV-103)


Reusable Space Shuttle Orbiter (1984)


Aviation / Aerospace

1 / 23
Image from the United States Department of Defense.
2 / 23
Image from the United States Department of Defense.
3 / 23
Image from the United States Department of Defense.
4 / 23
Image from the United States Department of Defense.
5 / 23
Image from the United States Department of Defense.
6 / 23
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
7 / 23
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
8 / 23
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
9 / 23
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
10 / 23
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
11 / 23
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
12 / 23
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
13 / 23
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
14 / 23
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
15 / 23
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
16 / 23
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
17 / 23
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
18 / 23
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
19 / 23
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
20 / 23
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
21 / 23
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
22 / 23
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
23 / 23
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.

Jump-to: Specifications

Space Shuttle Discovery became the third American shuttle to enter service, joining the Columbia and the Challenger - both later lost in accidents.



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/21/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
Six reusable space shuttle orbiters were built for the United States space program by Rockwell International - these becoming Atlantis, Challenger, Colombia, Discovery, Enterprise and Endeavor. Two were lost during missions (Colombia and Challenger) while four served their terms and retired as museum showpieces. Discovery, given the Orbiter Vehicle Designation of "OV-103", was born through a contract awarded on January 29th, 1979 and recorded its first mission on August 30th, 1984. Its final mission occurred on February 24th, 2011.

A total of 39 missions were flown by Discovery and involved some 252 crewmen covering just over one year of time in space (365 days, 22 hours). Her retired frame is on exhibit at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia (2016).

Discovery was of a slightly modified, lighter design compared to Columbia by the time it entered formal service, benefitting from testing completed on the frames of Columbia, Challenger and Enterprise prior. In 1983 she was to receive the liquid-fueled "Centaur-G" booster system but the Challenger incident derailed this installation. In 1995, she underwent a major refit to keep her a viable spacecraft for the near future.

During her time aloft, Discovery managed several notable achievements for itself, her crews and the United States space program. STS-41-D marked the second American woman in space, Judith Resnick (she would tragically perish in the Challenger disaster later). STS-31 saw the launching of the Hubble Space Telescope and STS-63 marked the first time the shuttle would be piloted by a female. STS-95 marked the return of astronaut John Glenn into space, then aged 77, making him the oldest man to accomplish the feat. STS-96 saw Discovery become the first shuttle to dock with the International Space Station (thirteen total docking actions were eventually recorded) and STS-92 became the 100th mission completed by the space shuttle program. STS-133 went down in history as Discovery's final mission.

On several occasions, and during warmer ties with the Russians, Discovery also docked with the Soviet-Russian space station "Mir".

STS-26 and STS-114 became notable missions in their own right for it was Discovery that put the American space program back on track following the mission disasters of Challenger and Columbia.

The end of Discovery's career finally arrived on March 9th, 2011 when she was formally decommissioned from active service in the NASA orbiter fleet. The enter fleet has since been retired from active service.

Specifications



Service Year
1984

Origin
United States national flag graphic
United States

Status
RETIRED
Not in Service.
Crew
7

Production
1
UNITS


Boeing Company / Rockwell International - USA
National flag of the United States United States (retired)
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)


Length
122.2 ft
(37.24 m)
Width/Span
78.1 ft
(23.80 m)
Height
56.6 ft
(17.25 m)
Empty Wgt
171,961 lb
(78,000 kg)
MTOW
242,508 lb
(110,000 kg)
Wgt Diff
+70,548 lb
(+32,000 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base Space Shuttle Discovery (OV-103) production variant)
Installed: 3 x Rocketdyne Block II SSMEs developing 393,800lbs of thrust (1,181,400lbs at launch); 2 x Orbital Maneuvering Engines developing 12,000lbs of thrust.
Max Speed
17,318 mph
(27,870 kph | 15,049 kts)
Ceiling
1,049,869 ft
(320,000 m | 199 mi)
Range
1,249 mi
(2,010 km | 3,723 nm)


♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030


(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base Space Shuttle Discovery (OV-103) production variant. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database. View aircraft by powerplant type)
None.


Space Shuttle Discovery - Base Designation
OV-103 - Orbiter Vehicle Designation


Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft


Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods.

Advertisements





Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies


2022 Military Pay Scale Army Ranks Navy Ranks Air Force Ranks Alphabet Code DoD Dictionary American War Deaths French Military Victories Vietnam War Casualties

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft, and SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane.


Facebook Logo YouTube Logo

www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-