Here's How NASA Taught the Space Shuttle to Fly Like a Glider Using Trial and Error

Test it until it's flawless.
Derya Ozdemir

Have you ever wondered what it takes to fly a space shuttle like a glider? NASA had to learn through trial and error. NASA engineers needed to know that Space Shuttle Columbia, the first of five Space Shuttle orbiters to fly in space, would fly like a glider so that it could be landed, hence Enterprise was built. Enterprise's primary objective was to learn how to fly, so it was only utilized as a test ship and never made it into space.

The video embedded above by the YouTuber Scott Manley features the Space Shuttle Enterprise's career's worst landing, and many would argue this was the worst landing by any space shuttle. This would be the final approach and landing test flight, as well as the space shuttle's first landing on a firm concrete runway. To be fair, the test pilots did successfully land the plane, albeit with a bit of a wobble and bounce.

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But it didn't end there. The video will take you through how NASA learned to fly the Space Shuttle like a glider, so if you want to learn more, make sure you watch the video above and enjoy!

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