NASA The Space Shuttle Orbiter Trainer Virtual Tour

Oct 21 2023 - Oct 21 2023

NASA The Space Shuttle Orbiter Trainer Virtual Tour

The Space Shuttle Orbiter Trainer: A Gateway to Astronaut Excellence

The Full Fuselage Trainer (FFT) stands as a remarkable full-scale replica of the space shuttle orbiter, with the notable exception of its wings. This intricate training tool played a pivotal role in shaping astronauts for their journeys into the cosmos. The FFT was an indispensable asset for general familiarization training, emergency egress exercises, and honing essential skills such as galley operation, payload bay system management, and lighting procedures. Moreover, it served as a versatile test bed for implementing crucial upgrades to the space shuttle fleet.

Crafted with precision and dedication, the FFT found its origins within the confines of NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC) in the 1970s. It earned the distinction of being the most senior member of the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility (SVMF), nestled within Building 9 at JSC in Houston, Texas. The SVMF served as a cradle of learning, housing a spectrum of space shuttle mockups, including the FFT, alongside life-sized replicas of the principal pressurized modules of the International Space Station.

While the SVMF's mockups were adorned with flight-like systems and structures, they did not encompass what are conventionally recognized as flight simulators, akin to those used to train aviators. Instead, the FFT and its SVMF companions played a pivotal role in preparing astronauts for their celestial sojourns. This encompassed training in the finer points of spacecraft upkeep, in-flight maintenance, stowage organization, and ingress and egress procedures.

The training process for astronauts was nothing short of an odyssey. Depending on the mission's specific objectives, it typically spanned at least a year, often extending beyond. Every crew invested an extensive 100 hours or more within the SVMF, participating in over 20 separate training sessions. This immersive training journey demanded a multifaceted team, comprising experts with diverse skills and experiences, who orchestrated the development, maintenance, and operation of the SVMF.

From ingenious designers and adept engineers to astute project managers and skilled electronic and shop technicians, the SVMF was a collaborative epicenter of expertise. It was here that the most accurate mockups were meticulously crafted, serving as the vital bridge between Earth and the boundless expanse of the cosmos. The SVMF allowed astronauts to fine-tune their skills, validate systems and procedures, and become the trailblazers of space exploration.
  • Oct 21 2023 - Oct 21 2023



Mon ‒ Fri: 09am ‒ 07pm

Adults: $25
Children & Students free


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