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Space Shuttle

What are the two characteristics of the thermosphere make it necessary for us to use a space shuttle to get through it?

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August 20, 2012 3:00AM

All spacecraft returning to Earth, space shuttle or otherwise, experience extreme heating as they go through the upper levels of atmosphere. The shuttle orbiters used ceramic tiles and other heat protection. Capsules such as Soyuz, Dragon and Orion use heat shields which direct heat away from the vehicle.