The shuttle is the first orbital spacecraft designed for partial reusability. It carries payloads to low Earth orbit, provides crew rotation for the International Space Station (ISS), and performs servicing missions. The orbiter can also recover satellites and other payloads from orbit and return them to Earth, but this capacity has not been used often.
Usually, five to seven crew members ride in the orbiter. The payload capacity is 50,000 lb (22,700 kg).
When the orbiter's mission is complete it fires its Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS) thrusters to drop out of orbit and re-enters the lower atmosphere.
During the descent and landing, the shuttle orbiter acts as a glider, and makes a completely unpowered dead stick landing.
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