Space shuttle drawings, clipart & coloring pages + 10 fun learning activities and craft ideas for kids!

Space shuttle drawings, clipart, coloring pages at PrintColorFun com
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Space shuttle drawings & space shuttle clipart

Space shuttles, with their sophisticated design and critical role in cosmic discovery, have a unique place in our quest for knowledge beyond Earth.

These complex machines, capable of leaving our atmosphere to venture into space, embody creativity and our drive to learn more about the universe.

Space shuttle color clipart at PrintColorFun com (2) Basics about space shuttles

Space shuttles, often described as the workhorses of space exploration, played an important role in advancing our understanding of the universe, and for expanding our overall scientific knowledge.

These remarkable spacecraft were designed for multiple missions — much like a plane — making them unique for space vehicles.

The magic of space flight

You could imagine a space shuttle as a powerful bird that can fly higher than any other, into the vast ocean space. It carries people and important equipment into orbit, where astronauts can learn more about planets and stars — and even how to live beyond the Earth.

After its mission, the space shuttle would return home, gliding back to land on a runway, ready to be prepared for its next adventure.

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Anatomy of a space shuttle

A space shuttle is made up of three main parts: the orbiter, which houses the astronauts and payload; the external tank, which holds fuel for the launch; and two solid rocket boosters, which provide the necessary thrust to escape Earth’s gravity.

Unlike other spacecraft, space shuttles are reusable — which was a significant advancement in space exploration technology.

VIDEO: “How did the Space Shuttle launch work?”

10 fun facts about space shuttles

  1. America’s first space shuttle, Columbia, was launched by NASA on April 12, 1981.
  2. Space shuttles can carry up to eight astronauts and over 50,000 pounds of payload into orbit.
  3. Unlike rockets, which can only be used once, space shuttles were designed to be used up to 100 times.
  4. The longest space shuttle mission lasted 17 days, 15 hours, and 53 minutes.
  5. Space shuttles have traveled a total distance of over 542 million miles–that’s like going to the moon and back more than 1,000 times!
  6. Each space shuttle tire could only be used once, and they were filled with nitrogen instead of air.
  7. The orbiter’s thermal protection system, or heat shield, contains over 24,000 individual tiles designed to protect it from the intense heat of re-entry.
  8. Space shuttles have helped build the International Space Station (ISS), launching modules and supplies.
  9. The Hubble Space Telescope was launched into space by the shuttle Discovery in 1990.
  10. The first American woman, Sally Ride, and the first African American in space, Guion Bluford, both flew on space shuttles.

Space shuttle coloring page clipart at PrintColorFun com (2) Craft ideas

  1. DIY space shuttle glider: Craft a simple space shuttle glider using card stock, markers, scissors, and glue. Decorate your shuttle with creative designs and then fold it to create wings. This glider can soar through your home, igniting imaginations about space travel.
  2. Space shuttle launchpad diorama: Build a launchpad diorama with a shoebox, construction paper, plastic bottles, and paint. Create a mini shuttle and depict a dramatic launch scene, complete with clouds of smoke made from cotton balls.
    Space shuttle color clipart at PrintColorFun com (1)
  3. Astronaut helmet with space shuttle visor: Transform a cardboard box into an astronaut’s helmet, complete with a visor decorated with images of space shuttles. Use aluminum foil, clear plastic, and markers for an authentic look.
  4. Reusable space shuttle model: Use recyclable materials like egg cartons and toilet paper rolls to construct a model of a space shuttle. Paint and add details for a realistic touch, showcasing the shuttle’s parts.
  5. Space shuttle bookmark: Craft a bookmark shaped like a space shuttle using card stock and ribbon. Decorate it with facts about space exploration, making reading time an educational journey.
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Space Shuttle - NASA 1981
Space Shuttle – NASA 1981

Learning activities

  1. Mission patch design: Astronauts often wear mission patches that represent their space missions. Encourage your child to design their own patch, incorporating elements like space shuttles, stars, and planets. Discuss the symbolism behind their choices.
  2. Gravity experiment: Explore the concept of gravity by comparing how objects fall on Earth versus how they might behave in the microgravity environment of a space shuttle. Use feathers, balls, and other objects to conduct simple drop tests.
    Space shuttle coloring clipart at PrintColorFun com (1)
  3. Space shuttle flight simulation: Create a basic flight simulation using a computer or tablet app that allows your child to experience what it’s like to launch, orbit, and land a space shuttle. Discuss the challenges astronauts face during these phases.
  4. Stargazing logbook: Encourage your child to keep a stargazing logbook, noting down observations and drawing constellations. Include research on how space shuttles have contributed to our knowledge of the stars and planets they observe.
  5. Space shuttle trivia game: Compile a list of trivia questions based on the fun facts and information about space shuttles. Make it a fun family game night activity, learning and laughing together.
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Vintage American space shuttle names

NASA’s US space shuttles were named Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour. The shuttle coloring pages here have a huge central fuel tank (in real life, it’s orange) and two solid rocket boosters on either side.

No longer in service, but a lasting legacy

NASA’s Space Shuttle program, a symbol of American ingenuity and space exploration, ended its 30-year journey in 2011. With the final landing of Atlantis (STS-135), the program retired to make way for new technologies. This shift allowed NASA to prioritize deep space exploration, with the potential for groundbreaking missions to Mars and beyond. The Space Shuttle’s legacy will forever mark a pivotal chapter in human spaceflight.

Note: You can get more in-depth information to learn more about the shuttle program on the NASA site


Photo of a real space shuttle

A low-angle view captures the early stages of the sixteenth launch of Space Shuttle Columbia on March 4, 1994. (Photo courtesy NASA)

Columbia in blue sky after the STS-62 launch in 1994 (Photo by NASA)


Space shuttle coloring page clipart

Space shuttle coloring page clipart at PrintColorFun com (2)

Space shuttle coloring page clipart at PrintColorFun com (1)

Space shuttle coloring clipart at PrintColorFun com (2)

Space shuttle coloring clipart at PrintColorFun com (1)


Space shuttle color clipart

Space shuttle color clipart at PrintColorFun com (1)

Space shuttle color clipart at PrintColorFun com (2)

Books that launch young minds into space

Books about space shuttles and space exploration can be a great way to supplement your child’s learning and curiosity!

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Space Exploration for Kids: A Junior Scientist's Guide to Astronauts, Rockets, and...
  • Betts, Dr. Bruce (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 88 Pages - 09/15/2020 (Publication Date) - Callisto Kids (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 2
1,000 Facts About Space
  • Hardcover Book
  • Regas, Dean (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 96 Pages - 12/06/2022 (Publication Date) - National Geographic Kids (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 3
The Complete Guide to Space Exploration (Lonely Planet Kids)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Kids, Lonely Planet (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 112 Pages - 09/15/2020 (Publication Date) - Lonely Planet (Publisher)
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Our Solar System: An Exploration of Planets, Moons, Asteroids, and Other Mysteries of...
  • Reichley, Lisa (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 182 Pages - 10/20/2020 (Publication Date) - Callisto Kids (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 5
The Space Shuttle Program (Kid's Library of Space Exploration)
  • Etingoff, Kim (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 56 Pages - 06/10/2016 (Publication Date) - Village Earth Press (Publisher)
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