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  1. #1
    Senior Member downtown's Avatar
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    Space Shuttle Landing ?

    I just watched the space shuttle landing at night on the NASA channel. Do any of you know what the two flames shotting up in front of the tail are? I have googled it and nothing. Just wondering if they are used for lights since the shuttle cant have regular lights.
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  2. #2
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    reverse thrust?

  3. #3
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Wiki mentions

    After landing, the vehicle stands on the runway for several minutes to permit the fumes from poisonous hydrazine, used as a propellant for attitude control, to dissipate, and for the shuttle fuselage to cool before the astronauts disembark.

    This leads me to believe that you saw flames coming from hydrazine fueled attitude control thrusters.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
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  4. #4
    Videre non videri
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    Do you mean what you see between 7:25 and 7:35 in this clip?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQkqCCRAa38

  5. #5
    Senior Member downtown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdCf View Post
    Do you mean what you see between 7:25 and 7:35 in this clip?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQkqCCRAa38

    Yes!! Due to tonights landing at night, you didn't have to see it in thermal imaging.
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  6. #6
    Spelling Snob Hobartlemagne's Avatar
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    I think that may just be dirt off the runway spinning in the air of the turbulence.

    The first rule of flats is You don't talk about flats!

  7. #7
    Gorntastic! v1k1ng1001's Avatar
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    need pics

  8. #8
    Spelling Snob Hobartlemagne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by v1k1ng1001 View Post
    need pics
    Do you mean what you see between 7:25 and 7:35 in this clip?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQkqCCRAa38

    just watch the clip

    The first rule of flats is You don't talk about flats!

  9. #9
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    Those are the auxiliary power units. They burn hydrazine to spin turbopumps that pressurize hydraulic fluid for the aerodynamic control surfaces and a few other things during landing. The exhaust is pretty hot and sometimes visible as flame.

    I don't think it's normally that bright (definitely not in the daytime), but it looks really wicked on the infrared camera, which they sometimes show on the TV feed, too.
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    Senior Member ryder47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by v1k1ng1001 View Post
    need pics

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540...19267#23819267

    MSNBC video show the flames real well. Commentator claims is the APU's (auxilarly power units) venting which are apparently powered by Hydrazine. Found several references on the net regarding the APU's venting.

  11. #11
    Gorntastic! v1k1ng1001's Avatar
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    cool, i've never seen that before

  12. #12
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    But it looks even cooler going up than coming down:

    "The internet is a place where absolutely nothing happens. You need to take advantage of that." ~ Strong Bad

  13. #13
    Senior Member downtown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryder47 View Post
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540...19267#23819267

    MSNBC video show the flames real well. Commentator claims is the APU's (auxilarly power units) venting which are apparently powered by Hydrazine. Found several references on the net regarding the APU's venting.
    Thanks for that video, that shows exactly what I saw.
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    Senior Member Will G's Avatar
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    Three APUs, one started prior to deorbit burn and the other two start after the deorbit burn. All three run throughout approach and landing. The hydrazine powered APU's are the reason you see the that the first people to the shuttle following landing is the guys in the biohazard suits. They are doing checks for hydrazine leaks since hydrazine is not something you want to inhale. Some military jets, like the F-16, also uses a hydrazine powered APU to power flight controls if the primary engine quits.
    Flying a jet is no different than riding a bicycle. It's just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes.

  15. #15
    Spelling Snob Hobartlemagne's Avatar
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    I think its air turbulence as seen in this pic

    The first rule of flats is You don't talk about flats!

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