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Spacecraft capable of atmospheric entry and take-off carried by a larger starship. The shipskin of a shuttle includes hextiles of heat-ablative polyceramic sheathing designed for minimal air resistance and to protect against the heat of re-entry.


Shuttles are usually only capable of sub-light travel with a limited mission duration.

Shuttle engines are capable of operating in a dual mode:

  • In atmosphere ceramic-lined air ducts take in air which is concentrated by turbines and ignited in the reaction drive engine core to provide thrust, augmented by afterburners. Thrust ducts can be rotated to provide braking and vertical thrust to allow the shuttle to hover, although this requires additional fuel to be burned.
  • In vacuum or a thin atmosphere the engines burn propellant to provide thrust.

Smaller manoeuvring jets are used both in z-g and to aid emergency landing.

Types of Shuttle

Shuttles are divided into different types:


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