Cushion, Backrest, Orbiter Commander-Pilot Seat, Shuttle


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Moving Beyond Earth exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Collection Item Summary:

This backrest seat cushion fit into place on the original commander-pilot seats in the Space Shuttle flight deck, or cockpit. At the time, the astronauts wore fabric coveralls and often were seated in the orbiter for hours before launch. Made of foam with a sturdy quilted fabric cover, cushions gave the astronaut a comfort layer on the metal aircraft seat frame. When the heavy original seat frames were replaced by lighter-weight ones and crews switched to pressure suits for launch and entry, the cushion style changed accordingly. NASA gave the Museum two of the original seats, but without the padded cushions. Fortunately, the California Science Center had a set and generously donated it to the Museum.

Collection Item Long Description:

Inventory Number


Credit Line

Gift of California Science Center Foundation


Country of Origin

United States of America


fabric, metal, Velcro, Tempur-pedic foam


  • 3-D (Flat): 79 × 40 × 3cm (31 1/8 × 15 3/4 × 1 3/16 in.)
  • Padded backrest is 22 in. long with 8 1/2 in extended flap

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

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


SPACECRAFT-Manned-Parts & Structural Components

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