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What makes the Discovery orbiter different?

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posted on Jul, 6 2006 @ 06:24 PM
In case no one else has addressed this-

Discovery is always the return to flight vehicle, even if other orbiters are refurbed and ready. Discovery is chosen for the higher orbit missions and important payloads like Hubble and TDRS satellites... Discovery was chosen on several occasions for DoD payloads that yet remain undisclosed.

It's not the newest, but it's the newest of the first production run (pre-Endeavor) of the shuttle fleet... Challenger was noted to be the best handling (aerodynamically), Columbia was regarded as a 'hot rod', and endeavor is the lightest and most robust, with newer systems (not counting the upgrades the whole fleet got in the last ten years)... Atlantis and Discovery were always just assumed mediocre vehicles.

Does it have an extra little kick? Al-Ti-Ni superalloys? Voodoo thermal protection systems?

If there are any supporting or denouncing arguments or articles... please post 'em.

[edit on 7/6/2006 by aerospace]

posted on Jul, 6 2006 @ 06:58 PM
Maybe it was built on a Wednesday

posted on Jul, 7 2006 @ 03:01 PM

Originally posted by fatman
Maybe it was built on a Wednesday

Yeah, it's a possibility that it just seems bettwr put together... There are tons of random variables in manufacturing a huge machine like that... but still... launching against the advisement of the engineering review board at NASA?

Perhaps someone found a four-leaf clover near it one day and they declared it the lucky ship?

posted on Jul, 7 2006 @ 03:05 PM

Originally posted by aerospace

Al-Ti-Ni superalloys?

Can I have the long definition of that please?

Voodoo thermal protection systems?

lol, funny


posted on Jul, 7 2006 @ 04:20 PM
Discovery has the fuzzy dice and the DVD player.

There could be any reason at all for it. It uses less fuel going to the higher orbits, it's remote arm works a little smoother, anything at all.

To compare to what others have said, we had two EC-135 Looking Glass planes on Hickam, they were built one after the other on the assembly line. One flew like a dream, you trimmed her up, and let go and she stayed straight and level no matter what you did to her. The other one, you trimmed her up, let go, and after about 2 minutes you were trimming her again. It's amazing how two things that were built so close together can be so different when in operation.

posted on Jul, 8 2006 @ 11:27 AM
Maybe Discovery is used as a platform to test the new safety precautions and methods to counter the debris problem, they don't want to make unnecessary changes to the other shuttles.

Looking forward to STS-115 slanted for launch in late August with Atlantis in the limelight. However, it is possible that Endeavour or Discovery will be used due to any schedule changes.


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