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Shuttle Mission Simulator Motion Base Arrives at LSFM

Event Date: Apr, 12 2022

Tuesday, April 12

The original simulator that trained every Space Shuttle crew will now be part of the LSFM permanent collection. Join us Tuesday, April 12 as the historical Shuttle Mission Simulator Motion Base (SMS – MB) arrives at LSFM.

The community is invited to see the SMS – MB with FREE ADMISSION from 4 – 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 12

In April 2022, volunteers completed a 5,000 hour restoration project of this original 1970s Link Flight Simulation simulator. It was delivered to Johnson Space Center in support of the first Space Shuttle Mission in 1981. SMS complex at the Johnson Space Center included three full-fidelity, fully functional Space Shuttle Orbiter cockpit replicas that were used to train Space Shuttle flight crews and mission controllers. These included the Motion Base, the Fixed Base, and the Guidance & Navigation Simulator (GNS). The Motion base, displayed at LSFM, included the forward portion of the cockpit mounted on a hydraulically powered full motion system. It was used mostly for ascent and entry/landing training.


The three Shuttle simulators shared the following features and characteristics:

  • Fully functional switches, circuit breakers, displays, and dynamic flight controls, providing a very realistic simulation of Space Shuttle operation
  • Dynamic out-the-window digital displays, including earth features, stars, sun, moon, landing runways, weather, payloads in the payload bay, and other spacecraft as appropriate (i.e. the International Space Station or other rendezvous targets)
  • A realistic data telemetry and voice interface to the Mission Control Center in support off light controller training in conjunction with flight crew training
  • Highly detailed software modeling of the vehicle systems as necessary to make the simulator look like the real vehicle to the Mission Control Center
  • Use of the actual vehicle on-board computers, displays, and on-board computer software, necessary to provide completely realistic training
  • Thousands of simulated vehicle system malfunctions programmed into the software to provide the needed training scenarios for the flight crew and flight controllers
  • Partial mockup of the lower-level flight deck area, including a functional galley (Fixed Base simulators only)
  • A large computer complex making it all work

NASA Displays at LSFM

Many of NASA’s programs are rooted in aviation. Showcasing this area of Texas aviation history, the SMS-MB joins other NASA items currently on display such as the Small Pressurized Rover and Centaur Humanoid Robot.

These NASA displays are included in your general admission and FREE for members.

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