Model, Space Shuttle, Straight-Wing Low Cross-Range Orbiter Concept


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Moving Beyond Earth exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Collection Item Summary:

NASA used this Space Shuttle orbiter concept model in wind tunnel tests to learn about the flight characteristics of the vehicle's shape. Although the orbiter would spend most of its time in space, its aerodynamic shape would affect its passage through the atmosphere during launch and descent. This straight wing model would have less cross-range maneuverability during final descent; that is, without engine power during the downward glide, it would have to complete its descent very close to a runway. However, straight wings meant a lighter-weight orbiter and less surface heating during reentry. NASA transferred a variety of wind tunnel and concept models to the Museum after settling on the final Space Shuttle design.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Credit Line

Transfer from NASA Ames Research Center


Resin, paint, steel


Model: 16 x 42 x 29cm, 3.3kg (6 5/16 x 16 9/16 x 11 7/16 in., 7 3/8lb.)

Country of Origin

United States of America


MODELS-Wind Tunnel

Inventory Number