Science brain teasers require understanding of the physical or biological world and the laws that govern it.
Why is it that a plane is allowed to take off and fly in a thunderstorm, but the space shuttle is not?
The exhaust plume of the space shuttle effectively grounds the space shuttle for a considerable part of its initial flight. Therefore, the shuttle could be struck by lightning. A plane is not grounded, so it does not conduct lightning.
Apr 11, 2008
|Wow. I learned something. |
May 02, 2008
|Excellent! I didn't know that! |
Jun 14, 2008
|great job |
Jun 14, 2008
|Never knew that! nice to learn something new |
Mar 18, 2009
|While true that aircraft are not "grounded", they can sometimes be (and have been) damaged by lightning passing through the plane.|
Apr 09, 2009
Aug 14, 2009
|I still wouldn't like it if the plane I was in was struck by lightening...|
Oct 28, 2009
|Hi! I had been wanting to share some information on the quiz. |
Both Space Shuttle and Aircraft are earthed to a common potential.
Both Aircraft and Shuttle have static dischargers... to cast off charge which the body may have received due to flying thru thunderstroms (also popularly called CB and/or Cumulonimbus clouds) or flying thru ionosphere (D, E, F1 F2 layer and other cosmic radiation for the space shuttle.)
It is incorrect to assume that aircraft are permitted to fly thru thunderstroms. Moreover aircraft usually have centimetric weather radar, to avoid flying thru CBs.
Flying thru a CB has hazard of both static electricity, lightning strike and STRUCTURAL FAILURE.
Airlines have flying schedules to make good and certified by the manufacturer for operations in wet conditions. (not thunderstroms)
The exhaust plumes have nothing to do with grounding a space shuttle. Aircraft also have grounding wires to Ground the aircraft upon landing.
Shuttle have very different design both structural and aerodynamic. They also have very different operating speeds and navigation systems. A detour, diversions is no big deal for an aircraft and its an everyday affair. Fuel is variable.
If you would want more information on the same please ask. I am an airline pilot by profession.
The quiz answere draws incorrect inference to an interesting observation.
Mar 09, 2011
|Couldn't a plane still be struck by lightning? What difference does it make whether it is grounded or not? Its still at a lower potential than the surrounding air (in case of lightning passing through) and should then have an equal probability of being struck by lightning! Am I wrong? Please let me know.|
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