How High Does a Space Shuttle Fly?


Quick Answer

The U.S. Space Shuttles flew at a variety of altitudes depending on their individual missions, mostly between 190 to 330 nautical miles above the Earth. The highest mission flown by a Space Shuttle was STS-82, where the shuttle reached 335 nautical miles to service and boost the Hubble Space Telescope.

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Full Answer

Each Space Shuttle had slightly different capabilities, since the design varied slightly from orbiter to orbiter over the life of the Space Shuttle program. Columbia, for instance, was much heavier than later shuttles, making it difficult to reach the altitudes of orbital targets like the Hubble telescope, Mir or the International Space Station.

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