Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Lecture 03: Orbiter Sub-System Design

So, the coolest thing in the world on iTunes is this whole iTunes U thing, in which you can listen to lectures from schools and courses you might never be able to afford or get accepted into. I'm currently listening to a 44-hour lecture course on Aircraft Systems Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, because the entire course centers on the space shuttle. So I've been doing some reading, as well, because you never know when there's going to be a pop quiz, and I found out something pretty interesting:

The space shuttle always takes off from Cape Canaveral. Okay, everyone knows that. However, it doesn't necessarily always land there, as sometimes weather or other factors make it so that the space shuttle will land at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Fine, whatever, that's not terribly shocking. To get the shuttle from California to Florida, it has to be blown on the back of a specially configured Boeing 747-100. It's been this way for almost thirty years.

But here's the kicker: That 747, when flying from California to Florida, gets 125 feet per gallon.

AIM: therbmcc71

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