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External Tank

The largest element of the shuttle vehicle is the external tank. It supplies fuel and oxidizer to the space shuttle main engines during launch.

Liquid Oxygen Tank
Contains liquid oxygen and delivers it under pressure through a feed line.

Houses external tank instrumentation components.

Liquid Hydrogen Tank
Delivers a maximum flow of over 47,000 gallons of hydrogen per minute.

Thermal Protection System
Consists of sprayed-on foam insulation and premolded ablator materials.

External Tank Hardware
Includes valves, fittings, sensors, and umbilical equipment.

Range Safety System
A range safety system provides for dispersing tank propellants if necessary.

Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 04/07/2002
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