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Space Shuttle - External Tank and Solid Rocket Boosters. The External tank was the largest part of the Space Shuttle Stack. It was manufactured By Lockheed Martin (previously Martin Marietta). It went through three major stages of development from Standard weight tank to lightweight tank, and finally the super lightweight tank. The orange colour was down to the spray on foam insulation. The Solid Rocket Boosters (SRB's) The prime contractor for the motor segments of the SRBs and the manufacturer of the vital solid fuel rocket segments was the Thiokol Corporation.The prime contractor for all the other components of the SRBs, was USBI, a subsidiary of Pratt and Whitney. These provided the primary thrust (83%) needed by the space shuttle. Spent SRB's were collected and refurbished unlike the massive external tank. Pics thanks to Mike Costello, from the Atlantis exhibit at The John F Kennedy space Center, Florida.