Computer, Backup Flight Controller, Shuttle


Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

The Space Shuttle used five identical general-purpose computers for flight management and control. In the event of a failure of the Shuttle's primary avionics software system, one of the five general purpose computers would be designated as a "backup," and it would be connected to one of these Backup Flight Controllers. (An orbiter carried three of these.) These backup controllers were never needed in any of the Shuttle missions, but they were considered essential to the safety of the crew.

NASA tranferred this unflown controller to the Museum in 2012.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum


Credit Line

Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Johnson Space Center


  • Ferrous Alloy
  • Aluminum
  • Paint
  • Plastic
  • Electrical Connectors


3-D: 38.1 × 9 × 18.5cm (1 ft. 3 in. × 3 9/16 in. × 7 5/16 in.)

Country of Origin

United States of America



Inventory Number