DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Space shuttle in orbit. Computer illustration of NASA's Space Shuttle in orbit over the Earth. Space Shuttles, flown by NASA since 1981, are reusable spacecraft. They are launched with an external fuel tank and two booster rockets, which have been jettisoned by this stage. An ascent to orbit takes about 9 minutes.
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