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Science | Space | 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 Rocket Engines Work

Believe it or not, the hardest part of space exploration is getting a spaceship off the ground. Explore the basics of propulsion and learn about both solid-fuel and liquid-fuel rocket engines.


How will the Mir space station be deorbited?

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

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

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

How Solar Sails Work

Solar sails will use the sun's power to send us further into deep space. Learn how solar sails will work and where NASA is testing solar sails. See more »

Can you make a rocket engine using hydrogen peroxide and silver?

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 »

Meteors burn up when they hit the Earth's atmosphere. Why doesn't the space shuttle?

In science, we are learning about the atmosphere. It protects us from meteors because it burns them up. So, why doesn't the space shuttle burn up? See more »

How Rocket Engines Work

How Rocket Engines Work

Rocket engines harness the energy to get a spaceship off the ground. Learn about solid-fuel rocket engines, liquid-propellant rockets and the future of rocket engines. See more »