Last look inside space shuttle Atlantis

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14 Responses to “Last look inside space shuttle Atlantis”

  1. what_do_you_care says:

    A good museum display would keep it lit. Maybe even have simulated readings. Alas it will probably be left dark.

    • mccrum says:

      It’s my understanding that museum displays will keep the orbiters far away from a visitor’s touch, let alone allow them inside to see the cockpit.

  2. dculberson says:

    That is so beautiful!  And its beauty comes from its functionality and esthetics.  I could sit in those seats for hours just looking at all the controls and displays.

  3. D. Keith Higgs says:

    I half expected to read that this was Xeni’s media pit.

  4. This needs to be bigger to be set as wallpaper.

  5. odds says:

    What’s really fascinating is that most of the instruments you see did not even exist when Atlantis was first launched in 1985.  Flat-screen instruments weren’t even a gleam in an engineer’s eye back then.

    Wow did they make some major mods.

    • Chairboy says:

      The way they made the mods is also fascinating.  Atlantis launched, as did the entire shuttle fleet, with CRT-based displays that extended deep into the panel and weighed quite a bit.  During the glass panel upgrade, NASA considered how they wanted to update the control systems and then adopted a conservative strategy. 

      Here’s why: The code running the OV flight control system is not only complicated, it’s also very well tested.  Software Quality Assurance was performed to an almost unprecedented degree on these programs and the people who had written and tested them were largely retired or otherwise unavailable at that point.  To reduce risk while still gaining real advantages in equipment reliability without incurring prohibitive costs, they focused their efforts on emulating the old displays. 

      The glass panel units (which weighed much less, consumed less power, etc etc etc) accept the signals that the old monitors did and show them as they did, but they additionally can be switched back and forth like a flying KVM.  They actually added safety capability by making it so the various PFDs could be interchanged as needed at the click of a button. 

      End result: the operation costs of the displays was lower, the view was clearer, the reliability was higher, and the cost was a fraction of what it would have been to re-write the whole system from the ground up. 

      Just something I thought would be worth sharing, hope someone else finds this as interesting as I do.

      • nixiebunny says:

        This is quite common in avionics. I know a guy who works in graphics for commercial aircraft, and he’s still getting requests to build stuff to standards that were obsolete 20 years ago. The company’s ticket to the big bucks is that it wrote an implementation of X Windows that’s FAA certified.

      • matt headley says:

        Very interesting, thanks.

  6. Gilbert Wham says:

    I remember the Shuttle Sim I had om my old 486 DX33. Crashed that sucker a thousand times. Damn, but they hard to fly, thos suckers…
     

  7. willyboy says:

    Kinda looks like my old dell laptop.

  8. spocko says:

    I hope that they are saying they are “mothballing” them but will keep at least one ready to restore when they find out an alien fleet is on the way. Imagine how embarrassing it would be for us, we couldn’t even meet them in low earth orbit.

    “If you would like to meet on one of your space craft please let us know.

    “Um we used to have ‘em but they are all in Museums not.”

    “I see, because you developed better space craft?”‘

    “Um no, we just  went back to our old 3 men in a box on top of a chemical cocktail of explosive force to get out of the gravity well.”

    “It seems odd that you would return to a more primitive method of space travel. ”

    “Yeah, but it’s okay because instead of spending money on exploring space we were able to channel it to killing other humans, so don’t try and mess with us. ”

    “So you have a planetary defense grid that can stop kinetic weapons from space ? ”

    “Oh yeah, we totally have that. We even made a video game about it. 

    • Except that space capsules like the Apollo CSM are much more versatile than the shuttle. Apollo could have been flown to mars if we had a pressing need. The shuttle was always confined to low earth orbit. Apollo was a much more impressive system. What if the hypothetical aliens landed in tycho crater and waited politely for us to drop around for dinner?

  9. zachstronaut says:

    I see they have hexadecimal keypads!!! So cool.

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