Jim Butcher (American, B. 1944) "Space Shuttle Landing" Signed and dated (1981) lower right. Original Oil painting on Canvas.
Provenance: Collection of James A. Helzer (1946-2008), Founder of Unicover Corporation.
This painting was originally published on the Fleetwood First Day Cover for the U.S. $3.20 Space Shuttle Landing Self-Adhesive Priority Mail Series stamp issued November 9, 1998.
NASA's Space Transportation System consists of a reusable delta-winged shuttle, known as the orbiter, two reusable solid-propellant booster rockets and an expendable tank containing liquid propellant. This large external tank carries more than 500,000 gallons of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen, which are mixed together and burned in the orbiter's three main engines. Combined with the rocket boosters, the engines produce about 7.3 million pounds of thrust at liftoff. Approximately two minutes after launching, the two solid rocket boosters consume all their fuel and are jettisoned from the external tank. The boosters slowly descend via parachute and splashdown in the ocean where they are recovered. Some eight minutes after launch, the external tank detaches from the orbiter and disintegrates in the Earth's atmosphere. The orbiter continues to soar upward until it reaches space, where it may exceed speeds of Mach 25! After all shuttle missions have been successfully completed, the orbiter begins its return to Earth. At about 10,000 feet altitude, it begins a very steep descent -- over 7 times that of a commercial airliner's approach and at speeds some 20 times higher -- to the landing strip. Unlike conventional aircraft, the orbiter lacks propulsion during landing and must glide to a complete rest. At 1,700 feet the orbiter's nose pulls up. At 90 feet the landing gear is deployed and 15 seconds later the orbiter touches down at speeds of 213 to 226 mph, with a colorful parachute billowing behind.
Image Size: 18.5 x 18.25 in.
Overall Size: 22 x 22 in.
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