Toy, Space Shuttle

This toy allows the purchaser to play with a relatively accurate model of a Space Shuttle orbiter. From its first mission (STS-1) in 1981 until the present, the Space Shuttle has served as the primary vehicle for human spaceflight for NASA. Its distinctive shape and covering of white and black tiles have become the icon of American spaceflight in the late 20th Century. Although each individual orbiter has distinctive characteristics, including a name emblazoned on its side, this toy replicates many of the details shared by all of the Shuttle orbiters. Toys like this one are marketed to appeal to youth and hobbyists interested in the technology of space exploration.

Valerie Neal, a National Air and Space Museum curator who oversees artifacts from the Space Shuttle program, donated it to the National Collection in 2003.