NASA’s space shuttle carried people into space. The shuttle flew around, or orbited, Earth.The space shuttle was made of three main parts: the orbiter, the external tank and the solid rocket boosters.
source: nasa / image: Jared Owen
The orbiter was the part that looked like an airplane. The orbiter flew around Earth. The astronauts rode and lived in this part. The space shuttle launched like a rocket. But it landed like a glider airplane.
The solid rocket boosters and the main engines on the orbiter helped the shuttle blast off from Earth like a rocket.The two boosters dropped off the shuttle two minutes after launch. They fell into the ocean. A special boat picked the boosters out of the ocean. They were used again for another flight. The external tank dropped off the orbiter after it had used all the fuel in the tank.
The external tank would burn up over Earth. So the tank could not be used again.When the shuttle orbiter returned to Earth, it came down from the sky like an airplane. Wheels came out from underneath the orbiter. It rolled to a stop on a runway. Then NASA would prepare it to fly on another mission.via/read more: nasa