- The orbiter structure
is divided into several major sections and is constructed mostly
- Consists of the upper
and lower fuselage, houses the crew compartment.
- The three-level crew
compartment includes the flight deck, middeck, and equipment bay.
- The middeck airlock
is large enough to accommodate two suited astronauts at once.
Forward Fuselage and Crew Compartment Windows
- The orbiter has 11 windows.
- An aerodynamic lifting
surface that provides conventional lift and control for the orbiter.
- Forms the payload bay
area, interfaces with the forward fuselage, aft fuselage and wings.
Payload Bay Doors
- Are opened shortly after
orbital insertion to provide for vehicle heat dissipation.
- Consists of an outer
shell, thrust structure and internal secondary structure.
Orbital Maneuvering System/Reaction Control System Pods
- Attached to the aft
fuselage, house the OMS/RCS propulsion components.
- Thermally shields the
main engines during entry, provides pitch control trim during
- Consists of a structural
fin surface, a rudder, a tip and a lower trailing edge.