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Space Shuttle - Atari 2600 - Activision     HTML Manual    

Space Shuttle
Space Shuttle 2600 by Activision

Space Shuttle - a Journey into Space

Flight Manual

I.	Important Note about your Flight Deck Console

Game System	Flight Deck Console
Power On/Off	Internal Power
Color/B&W	Primary Engines
Left Diff.	Backup Engines
Right Diff.	Cargo Doors/Landing Gear
Game Select	Status
Game Reset	Activate Countdown

If the Primary Engines on your game system is inaccessible, the Left
Difficulty Switch (Backup Engines) should be used.  Otherwise, shutdown
Backup Engines and DO NOT TOUCH!

II.	Flight Preparations
	A.  Mission Profile
It is the 101st Shuttle mission of the Space Transportation System.  You are
at the helm of the Space Shuttle Discovery.  Approximately 210 nautical
miles above the Earth is your target: an orbiting satellite with 
intentionally programmed gyroscope problems.

Your mission is to launch, rendezvous, and dock with the satellite as many
times as you can, using the minimum of fuel, then return safely to Earth.
A word of caution: Each time you successfully dock, the satellite has been 
programmed to become even more erratic.

This is a total test of your piloting capabilities.  You will be evaluated
at the end of your flight.
	B.  Equipment Check
Status Switch - Your Flight Indicator.  Hold it down to make your Flight
Selection and to check the following important information: speed,
altitude, fuel, MET(mission elapsed time), and stats (see "Stat Messages" for
descriptions).  Also, hold down for two seconds during flight to re-start

Primary Engines - Your access switch to all SHuttle engines: Main Engines,
Orbiatl Maneuvering System, and Reaction Control System.

Backup Engines - Used only on game systems where Primary Engines (color/B&W)
is inaccessible.  Otherwise alwasy keep in shutdown mode.

Cargo Doors/Landing Gear - A dual function switch used to open and close your
Cargo Bay Doors, and to lower your Landing Gear.  More on this in later

Joystick Controller - A realistic directional hand controller.  Forward and
back moves Shuttle forward or back (X axis).  Left and right controls your
"plane" (left/right) movement (Y axis.).  With red button depressed, forward
or back stick movement moves shuttle up or down (Z axis).  See "Maneuvering
in Space" for further explanation.  Also, the red button has other uses in
launch, orbit, and entry phases as described in those sections.

	C.  Flight Selection
There are three separate flight modes.  Spend time with training flights:
#1 and #2 before taking on all the challenge of a real, unassissted Shuttle
mission (flt #3).  Flight mode can only be selected before countdown is

flight #1 Autosimulator - flight mode #1 is a combination demonstrationg
flight and autosimulator.  The Shuttle flies an abbreviated mission.  You do
not use any of the console controls.  In this flight mode, most aborts
(see "Abort indicator") are ignored.  Whenever you touch your Joystick, you
tkae control from that point on.  However, you will only need to use your
Joystick Controller to correct your Y axis, and land.

Flight #2 Simulator - All astronauts spend thousands of hours practicing in
ground-based simulators before flying an actual Shuttle mission.  In this
mode, experience the challenge and demands of a real mission with a couple of 
iimportant exceptions: You will never use any fuel units, so take your
time to complete a mission.  Also, your onboard computers will greatly 
assist you during flight by compensating for less than perfect piloting
skills.  Most aborts are overriden, but your flight indicator (stat message)
will alert you when you've erred.

Flight #3 STS 101 - A full-fledged Shuttle Flight.  All aborts are 
operative and flight conditions are quite realistic.  Good luck!

	D.  Flight Evaluation

Abort Indicator - If critical problems occur anytime during a flight, you
may receive a "Launch Scrub" or "Mission Abort" signal.  If this happens,
your flight has ended, and you must check your Status to find out what went

Ranking - If you safely land your Shuttle at Edwards Air Force Base, in
flight #3, your performance will be computer-evaluated.  Your ranking will be
determined by the number of successful dockings and the exact number of
fuel units you have remaining at the end of your flight:

Ranking	Description					Qualifications

Commander	Responsible for overall cre safety
		and flight execution			6+ docks 7500 fuel
Pilot		Second in command, assists in all
		flight functions			4,5	 4500
Mission		Qualified to coordinate mission		2,3	 3500
Specialist	scientific objectives			

Payload		Qualified to operate specific		1	 1
Specialist	payloads and coordinate Shuttle


II. Launch: Dawn, Cape Canaveral
	A. Objective
Launch your Space Shuttle and attain an altitude and orbit as close to the 
satellite's orbit as possible.

	B. Launch Checklist
Launch Phase - As you fire your enormous main engines and liftoff from the
pad, you'll be going through 3 separate phases.  The numbers 1,2,3 on you
initial computer screen refer to: (1), firing of the SRB's (solid rocket
boosters), which really shakes the shuttle, (2), maximum acceleration, and
(3), approaching engine shut down.  The X indicates MECO, (Main Engine

Thrust - Notice the two, long horizontal bars on the control panel on your
screen.  "T" stands for thrust, "C" stands for computer.  The "C" arrow
represents a signal from the onboard computer indicating the proper thrust
needed during each phase of liftoff.  You control "T" (thrust) using the
red button on you Joystick.  Always keep both "T" and "C" arrows aligned.
Whenever the "T" arrow flashes, you are wasting fuel and should immediately
increase or decrease thrust.

Hold Down Bolts - Though your engines are firing, you won't leave the 
ground until MET +3.  The "Hold Down Bolts" will keep your Shuttle on the
ground until MET +3 to compensate for the mechanical strain on the Shuttle
from firing your engines.

Trajectory/Plane - In additio nto regulating thrust, you'll need to also
follow the proper trajectory (forward-back on Joystick), and constantly
correct your "plane" (left-right on Joystick).

Line Horn - If you stray from the correct launch trajectory, you will waste
fuel.  To alert you when this is happening, a warning horn will sound.  You'll
find this feature helpful in avoiding an abort situation.

Separation - A yellow flash at about 65 nautical miles will indicate Solid
Rocket Booster separatio n(SRP SEP).  Another flash shortly after MECO, (Main
Engine Cut-Out), will alert you that the main External Tank has fallen away
into the Indian Ocean (ET SEP).

	B. Launch Sequence
1. Internal Power on.
2. Primary and Backup Engines Shutdown.
3. Cargo Door closed/Landing Gear up.
4. Activate Countdown.
5. At MET-015 activate Primary Engines.
6. At MET-004 ignite Engines by pressing red button on Joystick.  Match
"T" arrow with "C" arrow during launch.
7.  As Shuttle rises, watch both dots on the computer screen.  You must
follow the indicated launch trajectory AND continually correct your "plane"
by keeping your Shuttle centered in the small box at right:
	Move Joystick forward to move dot left, backward to move dot right.
	Move Joystick left or right to correct plane.
8. At about 205 nautical miles, quickly shutdown engines.  The closer you come to the 210 altitude, the closesr you'll be to the satellite's orbit.

Launch & Ascent Summar - Flying the Shuttle into orbit is an  extremely 
challenging task.  Following a roller coaster path, you must match your
thrust with the computer indicator, stay on the proper trajectory as plotted on
the altitude display, and correct your plane as indicated in the small green
box.  Each area is critical.  Incorrect trajectory will cost precious
fuel and may abort your mission.  A great elevatio nin the plane setting at
MECO will make satellite docking difficult.

III. Stabilizing Orbit
	A.  Objective - Establish a stable orbit by adjusting Shuttle pitch
to enable visual contact, and by opening Cargo Bay Doors for heat release.
	B. Stable Orbit Checklist

Nose Down Maneuver - When the Shuttle first achieves orbit, the nose of the
craft is pointed up out of the line of sight of the satellite.  In order
to dock, you must see the satellite.  So it's necessary to bring the nose
down, which is done by adjusting pitch (the up-down movement of the nose of
the Shuttle).

Cargo Bar Doors - One of your first taqsks in orbit will be to open the
Cargo Bay Doors.  This is vital and must be accompolished within first
orbit.  The radiaqtors that shed excess heat generated by the Shuttle are on
the inner surfaces of these doors.  If the doors remain clossed, heat builds up
within the vehicle, and a warning horn will sound.  You then have 30 seconds
left to open Cargo Bay Doors.  If the doors aren't quickly opened, the
mission will have to be aborted.

	C. Sequence to Stabilize Orbit
		1. Activate Primary Engines.
		2. Push Joystick forward to set -28 pitch.
		3. Shutdown Primary Engines.
		4.  Open Cargo Bay Doors.

	D. Stable Orbit Summary - Nose pitch down and Cargo Bay Door events
must be performed on the first orbit revolution before any on-orbit
operations can be attempted.

IV. Docking: 210 Nautical Miles in Space

	A. Objective - Properly correct the speed and position (Z,Y,X axes)
of your Shuttle to successfully rendezvous with the satellite.
	B. Docking Checklist

Maneuvering in Space - There are two separate ways to maneuver your Shuttle
in space.  For major maneuvers (30 nautical miles or more) the Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS) can be used.  This system (explained in a later section)
takes a good deal of understanding and experience to use effectively. So,
when first starting out, use the Reaction Control System (RCS).  These
clusters of rocket engines in the Shuttle's nose and tail can move the
Shuttle about its three major axes X,Y,Z (called transitional) or about
its yaw or pitch (rotational).

Shuttle Speed and Position - Speed is just as important as position.  Never
allow your speed to drop below mach 17.0, or your altitude to fall below
195 nautical miles, or you'll burn up in the atmosphere!  Your X motion to 
satellite is dependent upon your speed, not the RCS engines.  To move toward
satellite you must increase speed to greater than mach 23.9 (the satellite's
speed).  When you make your final approach to satellite, keep your speed
close to mach 23.9.

Drifting - As you move closer to the satellite, constantly go back and forth
to check all axes.  Settings continually shift, and the satellit movement is

V.  Docking; 210 Nautical Miles in Space

"S" Curve - On computer screen #2, the "S" line indicates both the Shuttle's
and the satellite's ground track around the Earth.  The flashing dot is
your Shuttle, the solid dot is the satellite.  Notice as you track the
satellite, your X axis will suddenly change significantly as the satellite
"wraps around" the tracking line.  This is because the orbital tracking line
wraps around the display as a real orbit would wrap around the Earth.

Docking Screen - You'll use the "S" curve screen until you get fairly close
to the satellite.  Then, two smaller radar screens will appear.  The left
screen shows your Z axis, (up-down), and a wide view of your Y axis,
(left-right).  The right screen, which you'll use more, shows the X axis
(left-right) and micro (close in) Y axis (up-down).

Multiple Dockings - Every time you dock, you receive a "Rendezvous" sign
and a certain number of fuel units.  However, each docking becomes more and
more difficult.  So, for each successive docking, you receive more fuel.
After each docking, the satellite has been programmed to sail a good
distance away from your Shuttle.  Wait until it settles (x= +128 or -128)
before beginning another docking procedure.

DOCKING SEQUENCE: Match the position of your Shuttle with that of the
satellite's by correcting your Z, Y and X axes preferably IN THAT ORDER.
        1.  Correct Z axis to 0: Hold down red button and tap Joystick
        forward.  A negative number means the satellite is below you, so
        push the Joystick forward to dive.  A positive number means the
        satellite is above you, so pull the Joystick back to climb.
        2.  Correct Y axis to 0: Tap the Joystick to the right.  A positive
        number means the satellite is right of you, so push your stick
        right to line up with it.  A negative number means it is left of
        you. Push Joystick left to line up with satellite.
        3.  Correct X axis:  Tap the Joystick back.  A positive number means
        the Satellite is ahead of you.  A negative number means it is behind
        you.  To increase Shuttle speed, push Joystick forward.  To decrease
        speed, pull Joystick back.  Use Status switch to check Shuttle
        4.  Dock:  All axes must be adjusted to 0, and stabilized for 2
        seconds, then you will receive a "Rendezvous" signal, indicating
        you've docked.

DOCKING SUMMARY:  You are attempting to dock with a satellite that is
travelling at Mach 23.9 and 210 nautical miles above the Earth.  You will
either need to slow down or speed up to rendezvous (X axis).  Also, you will
need to be at the same altitude (Z axis), and position (Y axis).  All of
these maneuvers are interrelated - changing one can affect the others.  And,
in flight #3, the longer you take to dock, the more fuel you'll use!  It is
also better to tap the Joystick than hold it down (saves fuel).

VI.  Deorbit Burn

A.  Objective: To turn the Shuttle around, fire the engines, and decelerate to
the proper speed.

B.  Deorbit Checklist
        1.  Deorbit Burn Maneuver: You must first turn the Shuttle around so
        that it is travelling tail-first.  Then, in order to maintain the
        proper altitude, set your Z axis and pitch.  Once completed, fire
        the engines to decelerate.  (If he Z axis and pitch are not set
        properly, firing the engines will make your Shuttle climb or dive).
        After the deorbit burn, the Shuttle must thenbe reoriented
        nose-forward to the proper attitude for reentry.  Entering the
        atmosphere backwards will cause the Shuttle to burn-up.
        2.  Yaw: Left-right rotation of the nose of the craft.
        3.  Satellite Interference:  Before attempting a deorbit burn, you
        must allow the satellite to pull a safe 128 nautical miles away from
        the shuttle.  If you don't, your deorbit burn will be unsucessful,
        and you'll never leave orbit!

C.  Sequence for Deorbit Burn
        1.  Check X axis by tapping Joystick back.  Wait until x=128 miles
        BEFORE proceeding (x=+128 or -128).
        2.  Using Status switch, check your speed.  Pull Joystick back or
        push Joystick forward to set speed at Mach 23.9.
        3.  Correct Z axis to 0.
        4.  Activate Primary Engines.
        5.  Turn Shuttle around by pushing Joystick left to set yaw at -128.
        6.  Pull back or push Joystick forward to set pitch at -004.
        7.  Display speed (SP/m), speed in Mach, using Status switch.
        8.  Ignite engines by pressing red fire button.  Hold down button
        until speed = 19.0.
        9.  Reset yaw to exactly 0.

D.  Deorbit Summary - Deorbit is one of the most critical phases of your
        flight.  Following completion of orbital operations, the Shuttle
        is oriented to a tail-first attitude, then decelerated to a
        necessary speed for reentry.  The orientation of the Shuttle is
        established by the RCS engies, and deceleration is provided by the
        larger OMS engines.  You begin to lose altitude once you've slowed
        the Shuttle down below the actual velocity needed to sustain your
        210 mile orbit.

VII.  Reentry

A.  Objective: to establish and maintain the correct pitch, yaw and speed;
        follow the correct trajectory; and properly manage heat build-up
        during reentry.

B.  Reentry Checklist
        1.  Entry Interface: This is the point in your flight where
        atmospheric entry officialy begins.  As the Shuttle descends,
        atmospheric drag dissipates tremendous energy, generating a great
        deal of heat.  This heat quickly builds up (portions of the
        vehicle's exterior reach 1540 degrees Celsius).  Pitch and speed
        must be correct to properly utilize the Shuttle's Thermal
        Protection System.
        2.  Terminal Area Energy Management: After entry interface, you must
        closely follow the proper descent trajectory in order to maintain
        enough altitude and speed to reach the final touchdown point.  This
        process of conserving your energy by maintaining the correct position,
        altitude, velocity and heading is called Terminal Area Energy
        Management (TAEM).
        3.  Loss of Signal:  During reentry, the Shuttle superheats the gas
        of the upper atmosphere, creating flashes of color outside your
        window.  Heat strips electrons from the air around the Shuttle,
        enveloping it in a sheath of ionized air that blocks all
        communication with the ground.  So, at 160 miles, you will experience
        a temporary partial loss of signal (LOS).  Keep a close eye on you
        radar at this point.  You will receive intermittent signals which you
        need to use to correct your course and plane.
        4.  Descent Screens:  On your reentry screen, "X" indicates cut-off
        of your OMS engines (deorbit burn).  "T" indicates the Terminal
        Area Energy Management Phase.  "L" indicates your transition to final
        landing approach.  The small box at left is your plane indicator.

B. Reentry Sequence
        1.  Pull back Joystick to set +24 pitch for proper reentry attitude.
        2.  Close Cargo Bay Doors.
        3.  Follow reentry course on computer screen.  Pull stick back to go
        right; push forward to go left.  Left and right on stick centers

C.  Reentry Summary - There are three important stages to Reentry: Entry
        Interface, TAEM, and LOS.  Position, altitude, velocity and heading
        must all be exact to both properly manage the tremendous heat
        buildup and correctly position your shuttle for the Final Approach.

-------------------Atari 2600 Instructions Archive-------------------

This document obtained from the History of Home Video Games Homepage, 1997-1998 by Greg Chance

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