Cool Surface Grinding Aluminum images

A handful of good surface grinding aluminum photos I discovered:

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: Space Shuttle Enterprise (starboard full view, aft)

Image by Chris Devers

See far more images of this, and the Wikipedia write-up.

Details, quoting from Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Space Shuttle Enterprise:

Rockwell International Corporation

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Overall: 57 ft. tall x 122 ft. long x 78 ft. wing span, 150,000 lb.
(1737.36 x 3718.57 x 2377.44cm, 68039.6kg)

Aluminum airframe and physique with some fiberglass features payload bay doors are graphite epoxy composite thermal tiles are simulated (polyurethane foam) except for test samples of actual tiles and thermal blankets.

The 1st Space Shuttle orbiter, &quotEnterprise,&quot is a full-scale test vehicle utilised for flights in the atmosphere and tests on the ground it is not equipped for spaceflight. Although the airframe and flight control components are like those of the Shuttles flown in space, this car has no propulsion method and only simulated thermal tiles because these features have been not needed for atmospheric and ground tests. &quotEnterprise&quot was rolled out at Rockwell International’s assembly facility in Palmdale, California, in 1976. In 1977, it entered service for a nine-month-extended method-and-landing test flight program. Thereafter it was utilized for vibration tests and fit checks at NASA centers, and it also appeared in the 1983 Paris Air Show and the 1984 World’s Fair in New Orleans. In 1985, NASA transferred &quotEnterprise&quot to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum.

Transferred from National Aeronautics and Space Administration

• • •

Quoting from Wikipedia | Space Shuttle Enterprise:

The Space Shuttle Enterprise (NASA Orbiter Automobile Designation: OV-101) was the first Space Shuttle orbiter. It was built for NASA as component of the Space Shuttle plan to perform test flights in the atmosphere. It was constructed with no engines or a functional heat shield, and was therefore not capable of spaceflight.

Initially, Enterprise had been intended to be refitted for orbital flight, which would have produced it the second space shuttle to fly soon after Columbia. Nevertheless, throughout the construction of Columbia, information of the final design and style changed, especially with regard to the weight of the fuselage and wings. Refitting Enterprise for spaceflight would have involved dismantling the orbiter and returning the sections to subcontractors across the nation. As this was an expensive proposition, it was determined to be significantly less costly to construct Challenger around a body frame (STA-099) that had been developed as a test article. Similarly, Enterprise was regarded as for refit to replace Challenger right after the latter was destroyed, but Endeavour was built from structural spares as an alternative.


Building started on the initial orbiter on June 4, 1974. Designated OV-101, it was originally planned to be named Constitution and unveiled on Constitution Day, September 17, 1976. A write-in campaign by Trekkies to President Gerald Ford asked that the orbiter be named following the Starship Enterprise, featured on the tv show Star Trek. Despite the fact that Ford did not mention the campaign, the president—who throughout Globe War II had served on the aircraft carrier USS&nbspMonterey&nbsp(CVL-26) that served with USS&nbspEnterprise&nbsp(CV-6)—said that he was &quotpartial to the name&quot and overrode NASA officials.

The style of OV-101 was not the exact same as that planned for OV-102, the initial flight model the tail was constructed differently, and it did not have the interfaces to mount OMS pods. A massive quantity of subsystems—ranging from main engines to radar equipment—were not installed on this vehicle, but the capacity to add them in the future was retained. Rather of a thermal protection technique, its surface was primarily fiberglass.

In mid-1976, the orbiter was utilised for ground vibration tests, permitting engineers to evaluate information from an actual flight automobile with theoretical models.

On September 17, 1976, Enterprise was rolled out of Rockwell’s plant at Palmdale, California. In recognition of its fictional namesake, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and most of the principal cast of the original series of Star Trek had been on hand at the dedication ceremony.

Strategy and landing tests (ALT)

Main article: Strategy and Landing Tests

On January 31, 1977, it was taken by road to Dryden Flight Study Center at Edwards Air Force Base, to commence operational testing.

While at NASA Dryden, Enterprise was utilized by NASA for a variety of ground and flight tests intended to validate aspects of the shuttle system. The initial nine-month testing period was referred to by the acronym ALT, for &quotApproach and Landing Test&quot. These tests integrated a maiden &quotflight&quot on February 18, 1977 atop a Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) to measure structural loads and ground handling and braking traits of the mated method. Ground tests of all orbiter subsystems had been carried out to confirm functionality prior to atmospheric flight.

The mated Enterprise/SCA combination was then subjected to 5 test flights with Enterprise unmanned and unactivated. The objective of these test flights was to measure the flight qualities of the mated mixture. These tests had been followed with three test flights with Enterprise manned to test the shuttle flight manage systems.

Enterprise underwent five totally free flights where the craft separated from the SCA and was landed beneath astronaut manage. These tests verified the flight qualities of the orbiter design and were carried out under a number of aerodynamic and weight configurations. On the fifth and final glider flight, pilot-induced oscillation difficulties had been revealed, which had to be addressed before the first orbital launch occurred.

On August 12, 1977, the space shuttle Enterprise flew on its personal for the 1st time.

Preparation for STS-1

Following the ALT plan, Enterprise was ferried among a number of NASA facilities to configure the craft for vibration testing. In June 1979, it was mated with an external tank and solid rocket boosters (known as a boilerplate configuration) and tested in a launch configuration at Kennedy Space Center Launch Pad 39A.


With the completion of vital testing, Enterprise was partially disassembled to let certain elements to be reused in other shuttles, then underwent an international tour going to France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the U.S. states of California, Alabama, and Louisiana (during the 1984 Louisiana Globe Exposition). It was also employed to match-verify the never ever-employed shuttle launch pad at Vandenberg AFB, California. Finally, on November 18, 1985, Enterprise was ferried to Washington, D.C., exactly where it became property of the Smithsonian Institution.


Right after the Challenger disaster, NASA regarded making use of Enterprise as a replacement. However refitting the shuttle with all of the essential equipment needed for it to be utilised in space was regarded as, but as an alternative it was decided to use spares constructed at the same time as Discovery and Atlantis to develop Endeavour.


In 2003, right after the breakup of Columbia in the course of re-entry, the Columbia Accident Investigation Board performed tests at Southwest Research Institute, which employed an air gun to shoot foam blocks of similar size, mass and speed to that which struck Columbia at a test structure which mechanically replicated the orbiter wing leading edge. They removed a fiberglass panel from Enterprise’s wing to perform analysis of the material and attached it to the test structure, then shot a foam block at it. Although the panel was not broken as a result of the test, the influence was enough to permanently deform a seal. As the reinforced carbon-carbon (RCC) panel on Columbia was 2.5 times weaker, this recommended that the RCC major edge would have been shattered. Additional tests on the fiberglass had been canceled in order not to threat damaging the test apparatus, and a panel from Discovery was tested to decide the effects of the foam on a similarly-aged RCC leading edge. On July 7, 2003, a foam effect test produced a hole 41&nbspcm by 42.five&nbspcm (16.1&nbspinches by 16.7&nbspinches) in the protective RCC panel. The tests clearly demonstrated that a foam impact of the variety Columbia sustained could seriously breach the protective RCC panels on the wing major edge.

The board determined that the probable lead to of the accident was that the foam influence triggered a breach of a reinforced carbon-carbon panel along the top edge of Columbia’s left wing, permitting hot gases generated in the course of re-entry to enter the wing and cause structural collapse. This brought on Columbia to spin out of handle, breaking up with the loss of the complete crew.

Museum exhibit

Enterprise was stored at the Smithsonian’s hangar at Washington Dulles International Airport prior to it was restored and moved to the newly constructed Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum‘s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles International Airport, where it has been the centerpiece of the space collection. On April 12, 2011, NASA announced that Space Shuttle Discovery, the most traveled orbiter in the fleet, will be added to the collection once the Shuttle fleet is retired. When that happens, Enterprise will be moved to the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in New York City, to a newly constructed hangar adjacent to the museum. In preparation for the anticipated relocation, engineers evaluated the automobile in early 2010 and determined that it was protected to fly on the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft once once more.