The advancement in technology has allowed humans to reach outer space and explore cosmic objects and planets. This has led to a substantial increase in the organizations working to explore space as well as the cost of research and development in this sector. Different types of space shuttles are used for that purpose. If we evaluate the space shuttle in the form of numbers, we come across many astonishing facts regarding the major shuttles which include Discovery, Columbia, Endeavor, Atlantis, and Challenger.
Earth Orbits by Space Shuttles
Space shuttles are not just “big”. They are huge and one of the main reasons for this is because they contain a high quantity of fuel as well as other types of electro-mechanic systems which provide power to the space shuttle. Different types of space shuttles have covered massive distances.
From this graph, it can be seen that the Discovery Shuttle has covered about 5,380 Earth Orbits followed by Columbia Shuttle which has covered 4,808 Earth Orbits. The Endeavor Shuttle and the Atlantis Shuttle are close competitors which have achieved 4,671 and 4,648 Earth Orbits. Lastly, the Challenger Project has not reached the high numbers as of now but it has still been at 995 Earth Orbits.
Miles Traveled by The Space Shuttle
Most of you might not be familiar with the term “Earth Orbits”. This is mainly because it is a scientific aspect. To make it easily understandable, Graph 2 provides an idea of how many miles have been traveled by the same space shuttles. To let you know how big these numbers are, the whole circumference of Earth is about 24,901 Miles.
Discovery shuttle has had most Earth orbits which is why it has covered about 148,221,675 miles to date. The Columbia Shuttle has covered about 121,696,993 Miles. Close Competitors Endeavor and Atlantis have covered 122,883,151 and 120,650,907 respectively. Lastly, the Columbia Shuttle has covered about 23,661,290 Miles.
Total Crew for All Missions
The total crew of a space shuttle includes the number of people who are dedicated to each aspect of one shuttle. This includes technicians, scientists, computer operators, astronauts, trainers, doctors, and many other members as well whose primary task is to ensure that all the aspects regarding the space shuttle along with its crew members are good to go at all times.
For the five major programs, the numbers are as follows
- Discovery had 252 crew members
- Atlantis had 203 crew members
- Endeavor had 173 crew members
- Columbia had 160 crew members
- Challenger had 60 crew member
Time (In Space) (In Days) For Each of the 5 Space Shuttles
Space Shuttles travel at really high speeds. This is one reason why they have been able to cover so many miles or Earth Orbits. Nonetheless, another way to evaluate this is in the number of days that were required for each of these space shuttles to travel the provided number of miles.
Since Discovery was the biggest mission and traveled the most, it took about 365 days which is about 1 year. Columbia spent about 300 days in space. Close competitors Endeavor and Atlantis traveled 299 and 293 days, respectively. Challenger spent only 62 days.