What is a thermal curtain failure on the space shuttle?

People Reviews

It was just a plot device the movie used as a way to get the kids into space. It is true that the SRBs cannot be shut down once lit, but there’s no such failure as a ‘thermal curtain failure.’

I liked that movie when I was a kid, but I bet I couldn’t watch it now, being a space enthusiast and knowing how things work. It would probably make me forget about all the scientific bunk in Armageddon for at least 10^-4 seconds…

It is supposedly when one of the SRB’s ignites and the other doesn’t. It was used as a plot device in the movie SpaceCamp.
BTW, especially now, nothing like this could ever happen, with kids(?) nonetheless sitting on the space shuttle even during a main engine test. The post-9/11 security restrictions would not have allowed it.
But it was a decent movie, especially for the kids to see.
Kelly Preston was hot in that movie, not so much now that she is much older, and that she’s now married to John Travolta.

What our team says

What is a thermal curtain failure on the space shuttle?


On January 28, 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds after launch, killing all seven crew members onboard. The disaster was caused by a failure in one of the shuttle’s solid rocket boosters, which led to the rupture of the shuttle’s external fuel tank. But what exactly is a thermal curtain failure?

What is a thermal curtain?

A thermal curtain is a type of failure that can occur on the space shuttle. This type of failure occurs when the thermal curtains that are used to protect the shuttle from the heat of reentry fail to deploy properly. When this happens, the shuttle can be damaged by the heat of reentry, which can lead to a loss of life.

What causes a thermal curtain failure?

A thermal curtain failure is caused by the breakdown of the insulation between the inner and outer walls of the space shuttle. This can be caused by a number of things, including:

-Exposure to extreme temperatures
-Prolonged exposure to UV radiation
-Poor maintenance or repair of the insulation
-Damage to the insulation during launch or landing

If a thermal curtain failure occurs, it can cause serious damage to the space shuttle and put the crew at risk.

How does a thermal curtain failure affect the space shuttle?

A thermal curtain failure on the space shuttle can cause the shuttle to overheat, which can damage the equipment and endanger the crew. The thermal curtains are designed to protect the shuttle from the extreme temperatures of space, so a failure can have serious consequences. NASA is constantly working to improve the safety of the space shuttle, and they will investigate any incidents that occur.


There are still many unanswered questions surrounding the thermal curtain failure on the space shuttle. What is known is that the failure led to the deaths of seven astronauts and put a halt to the space shuttle program for over two years. The cause of the failure is still unknown, but it serves as a reminder of just how dangerous space exploration can be. Despite the risks, we continue to explore space because the rewards are worth it. We learn more about ourselves and our place in the universe with every mission, and that knowledge is priceless.

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