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Old 03-26-08, 06:54 PM   #1
downtown
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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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Old 03-26-08, 06:56 PM   #2
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reverse thrust?
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Old 03-26-08, 07:04 PM   #3
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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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Old 03-26-08, 07:21 PM   #4
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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
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Old 03-26-08, 07:45 PM   #5
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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

Yes!! Due to tonights landing at night, you didn't have to see it in thermal imaging.
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Old 03-26-08, 09:22 PM   #6
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I think that may just be dirt off the runway spinning in the air of the turbulence.
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Old 03-26-08, 09:33 PM   #7
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need pics
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Old 03-26-08, 09:36 PM   #8
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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
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Old 03-26-08, 09:36 PM   #9
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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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Old 03-26-08, 09:49 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 03-26-08, 10:05 PM   #11
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cool, i've never seen that before
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Old 03-26-08, 10:12 PM   #12
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But it looks even cooler going up than coming down:

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Old 03-27-08, 04:41 AM   #13
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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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Old 03-27-08, 10:09 AM   #14
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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.
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Old 03-27-08, 02:33 PM   #15
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I think its air turbulence as seen in this pic
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