posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 12:28 PM
If you want to learn, learn. If not, don't pretend to.
You guys even still cling to the press corps term of "In orbit" when the astronauts and Mission Control team say "On Orbit." I would explain
further but that is apparently useless with you guys.
Source: KSC Mission Timeline
The entry phase of flight begins approximately five minutes before entry interface, which occurs at an altitude of 400,000 feet. At EI minus five
minutes, the orbiter is at an altitude of about 557,000 feet, traveling at 25,400 feet per second, and is approximately 4,400 nautical miles (5,063
statute miles) from the landing site. The goal of guidance, navigation and flight control software is to guide and control the orbiter from this state
(in which aerodynamic forces are not yet felt) through the atmosphere to a precise landing on the designated runway. All of this must be accomplished
without exceeding the thermal or structural limits of the orbiter.
The entry phase is divided into three separate phases because of the unique software requirements. Entry extends from EI minus five minutes to
terminal area energy management interface at an altitude of approximately 83,000 feet, at a velocity of 2,500 feet per second, 52 nautical miles (59
statute miles) from the runway and within a few degrees of tangency with the nearest heading alignment cylinder in major mode 304.
TAEM extends to the approach and landing capture zone, defined as the point when the orbiter is on glide slope, on airspeed, and on runway centerline,
which occurs below 10,000 feet and is the first part of major mode 305. The orbiter attains subsonic velocity at an altitude of approximately 49,000
feet about 22 nautical miles (25 statute miles) from the runway.
Approach and landing begins at the approach and landing capture zone, an altitude of 10,000 feet and Mach 0.9 and extends through the receipt of the
weight-on-nose-gear signal after touchdown, which completes major mode 305.
The forward RCS jets are inhibited at entry interface.