How-To Geek

Inside NASA’s Shuttle Trainer

After more than 30 years of service, NASA has retired their full-scale shuttle training simulator. Take a photo tour and learn where you can visit the trainer and crawl around inside for a more hands-on experience.

The trainer is currently on display at the Charles Simonyi Space Gallery at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington. For those of us unable to visit the trainer in person, Wired Magazine has a full photo tour at the link below.

Get Inside the Replica that Trained Every Shuttle Astronaut [Wired]

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 11/20/12

Comments (2)

  1. TheFu

    The shuttle program had many simulators. I never got to see this one. sniff, sniff.

    My first job interview while still in college was to work on the STA – Shuttle Training Aircraft. This was a G3 airplane that the astronauts practiced landings in. It was taken up to 20K or 30K ft, then the main landing gear was put down, engines placed into full reverse thrust and the pilots were supposed to land it. Landing was 20ft off the ground, or so – the G3 is lower to the ground than the real shuttles. Over the years, I think they added G4 aircraft too. is more accurate than my flawed memory.

    That job offer never came, I’d accepted a different position with the same company. Two of my college friends worked on the STA software for over 5 years at Ellington Field.

    At the same location was a static simulator too. I can’t recall the exact purpose – landing, flights, whatever. It wasn’t for on-orbit simulation. It sat upstairs inside a hanger in a fish-bowl room. As you entered the room, there was a thick line on the floor (sorry, I don’t recall the color) and warning signs all around that halon gas was used for the fire suppression system. Basically, if you were inside that line, you would die if the fire suppression system activated. The equipment was more important than your life to the government.

    There were simulators for practice using the robotic arm too.

    Lots-o-cool things around space flight and big government projects. I love HUGE hardware.

  2. OldSalt

    When are they going to add this to Microsoft® Flight Simulator? Can’t wait to see the assessories that go with it…

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