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Space Transportation Systems

Space Transportation Systems (STS) are the systems and architectures that deliver payloads and humans to outer space. Learn about space shuttles, rockets and other spacecraft.

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How to Pilot a Starship

Cars are so 20th century. You need your very own starship (and a quick tutorial on operating it). Before you press a single button on your vessel, read this article. It might even tell you why that pilot's seat is designed for square buttocks.


Why are space shuttle launches delayed so frequently?

Space shuttle launch delays seem to be a common occurrence every time a space shuttle mission is scheduled. Learn about causes of space shuttle launch delays. See more »

How did Lockheed win NASA's Orion contract?

How did Lockheed win the Orion contract over the manned-space-experts Grumman and Boeing? Check out some of the expert speculation. See more »

How the EZ-Rocket Works

Learn about the technology behind the EZ-Rocket and see how XCOR plans to expand on it in the future with the Rocket Racing League and Xerus. See more »

How the Delta IV Heavy Works

It's bigger, stronger, more efficient and more precise: The Delta IV Heavy is arguably the greatest rocket built to date. It can put 13 tons of satellite payload into its intended orbit with fuel to spare, and that's just the beginning. See more »

How Solar Sail Technology Works

In this article, HowStuffWorks will show you how solar sail technology works, take an in-depth look at the Cosmos-1 mission. See more »

I've heard that Russia's Mir station will be brought down out of orbit and crashed to Earth soon. How will they do that? See more »

How Space Shuttles Work

In its nearly 30-year history, the space shuttle program has seen exhilarating highs and devastating lows. Learn all about the space shuttle program. See more »

How Space Stations Work

Space stations allow astronauts to live and work in Earth orbit. Learn about space stations and how space stations work in this article. See more »

How Solar Sails Work

Learn how solar sail technology works, take an in-depth look at the Cosmos-1 mission and find out what solar-sails mean for future space travel. See more »

At a drag race, I once saw a rocket car that was supposedly powered by spraying hydrogen peroxide on a silver mesh. The resultant reaction produced huge amounts of pure white smoke and apparently enough thrust to propel the car rapidly down the track. Does hydrogen peroxide really react with silver that way? See more »