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Shuttle External Markings
This section has valuable information for modelers and it was made possible after a thorough Internet photo research of the Space Shuttle from launch and landing phases to mark the differences between external markings on all Orbiters. Part of this project was made possible by using the SIM #3 Space Shuttle book from Mike Mackowski, it was an excellent source of information to start with. External marking differences are noted on the Shuttle's nose tiles, top of crewcabin, crew hatch patterns, payload bay door hinges, vent door markings on walls, labels for urine and water dump ports on walls, black tiles on OMS pods, OMS patterns, tail, and markings on wings.
The table below shows on what missions the main modifications took place for the first time for each Orbiter. My Shuttle papermodels are based on these configurations.
Click the following files to see every Shuttle External Marking modification (gif format). These files will help you build an accurate Shuttle model for any mission.
Enterprise OV-101 became the Flight Test Orbiter for the Approach and Landing Tests missions in 1977. Check the original external markings for Enterprise here and the markings used in 1983 at the Paris Air Show Tour here.
External Tank / Solid Rocket Booster Modifications
Since the early years of the Space Shuttle program, the External Tank and Solid Rocket Boosters also underwent different modifications. Important things to note are: External Tank changes in nosecone colors, intertank section changes, fuel tubing modifications, PAL ramps and bipod changes. SRB changes in nosecone patterns, stripe patterns, Systems Tunnel variations and ET attachment ring modification. The following links show all the stack configurations.
All stacks completed
Stack2a (STS-51F Interstage details) Thanks to Jester from nasaspaceflight.com forum
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