The United States Space Shuttle Is White. Why Is It White And Not Black?


2 Answers

Taylor Edgar Profile
Taylor Edgar answered
White makes for a better heat reflecting surface, a vital consideration when re-entering the Earth's atmosphere at high speed. Black, on the other hand, absorbs heat, which is why you don't see many black fridges outside of student flats.

Another advantage to the Space Shuttle being white is that it provides good contrast for all those TV pictures of space walks that are beamed back to Earth.

Black, of course, would be a sexier colour, and might make the Space Shuttle appear to be a little bit thinner. But with those exhaust ports at the back, it's bum would look big in any colour.
Jack Spink Profile
Jack Spink answered
Hello. The reason why the Space Shuttles are painted white is to help reduce, (by reflecting), heat. One of the problems in space is that items that are exposed to direct sunlight get VERY hot! If the skin were black, the Shuttles would be VERY HOT!!  In case you don't know, as soon as possible after they get to orbit, the Shuttle Crews open the payload bay doors. There is tubing in the doors to help dissipate the heat.

I hope this answers your question

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