Space Shuttle Mission Control

NASA’s Space Shuttle program has officially been scuttled, but the mission continues with Electro Toy Co.’s Space Shuttle Mission Control box.

The box is a sturdy, wooden box that kids can carry around to remote launch locales such as:

  • inside a huge washing machine cardboard box
  • the car
  • upstairs

Key Features

Power Up

To turn the system on, open the red switch cover marked Master Arm, and flip the switch up. Ed Harris will let you know if you are go or no-go for launch. (You are go).

Launching

To initiate a launch, hit the Big Red Launch Button. The countdown will begin. (Note: The timer is not really 15 actual seconds, it is closer to 10.) If the button is pressed before the timer hits zero, it will reset to 15.00. When the countdown timer reaches 0 the Shuttle will launch! Two LEDs will light up for a few seconds behind the shuttle image, simulating the Solid Rocket Boosters’ twin blasts of superheated ammonium perchlorate and atomized aluminum. While the SRBs are firing, 1-3 randomized audio clips will play from the box. After the launch is over, the timer will display 00.00. Pressing the BRLB again will reset the timer to T-15.00.

Overload Mode

If the Power Level is turned up too high, the system will Overload and Light Bugs will start crawling all over the Power Meter. This will interrupt the launch countdown, and the 3 push button switches won’t work while the bugs are around. (The toggles are not software-controlled so they will work). The bugs last for 30 seconds and then everything else can resume, assuming you turned down the power level. You can also restart the system with the Master Arm switch to kill the bugs (again, assuming the power was turned down below critical level).

Switches and Buttons

The 3 toggle switches and 3 pushbutton switches are labeled with different functions associated with a real shuttle launch. They are fun, sturdy tactile switches and each one activates a bright LED. (That is all they do.)