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Q:

What material was used for the space shuttle landing gear?

A:

The main landing gear used for the Space Shuttle Orbiter was able to withstand up to 60,000 kg (132,000 pounds) of landing force per main landing gear tire. The wheels of the landing gear are made with forged aluminum, making them both strong and light. Each tire is made of 16 different fabric layers laid out in a bias-ply design. In a bias-ply design, layers are criss-crossed, maximizing the strength of the tires. Each tire was filled with nitrogen to a pressure of approximately 300 pounds per square inch. Nitrogen is used in most aircraft landing gear tires because it is stable at most altitudes and temperatures. Also, nitrogen gas molecules are larger than oxygen gas molecules, so it is harder for nitrogen to escape from the tires over time.

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