In a book I'm reading, there is a figure showing the inside of a cockpit of a Space Shuttle.The labels point out various pets including an aluminum plate, an avionics bay, and an open grid panel, as below:

Rendering of the Space Shuttle cockpit

I have searched on Google but have struggled to figure out what they are and what they are for.

Here is the figure in the Italian version, hope it will help.

enter image description here


1 Answer 1


tl;dr that picture is very poorly labeled and contains at least two errors.

This is probably the original that has been copied over the years, from the 1982 Shuttle News Reference .

enter image description here

An "avionics bay" is a volume filled with computers and other 'black boxes'. There were three of them in the Orbiter's crew compartment as shown in this drawing from the SCOM. The equipment in them was cooled by either forced-air cooling or by coldplates serviced by the Orbiter's water cooling loops. (There were also three unpressurized aft avionics bays in the Orbiter aft fuselage; the equipment in them was cooled by coldplates served by the Freon cooling loops.)

The "instrumentation rack" in your drawing appears to refer to the Development Flight Instrumentation Unit, a rack of instrumentation flown only during the early "developmental" flights of the first Orbiter, Columbia.

enter image description here

Here is a picture I took of equipment in one of the avionics bays in an Orbiter when it was in the Orbiter Processing Facility (OPF).

enter image description here

'Aluminum plate' and 'open grid panel' appear to refer to structural elements, although 'open grid panel' is an error. The picture shows it between the flight deck (upper compartment) and mid-deck (lower compartment) but there was no grid there, just two rectangular access holes.

You can see in this picture from the STS-131 mission that there is no open gridwork in the area called out in the illustration. Mission Specialist Naoko Yamazaki is in one of the access holes.

enter image description here

The 'lower deck' shown in the illustration was commonly referred to as the 'Lower Equipment Bay' or the 'ECLSS1 bay', and was quite cramped. The beer-keg-like cylinders in the drawing would seem to be the supply and waste water tanks, which were indeed located in that area.

Here (again from an Orbiter in the OPF) is a picture of those tanks I took in the Lower Equipment Bay.

enter image description here

1 Environmental Control and Life Support System

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I don’t want to edit just for a single letter, but I believe you mean between and not beyween $\endgroup$
    – Edlothiad
    Aug 4, 2018 at 12:08
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you very much @OrganicMarble for your answer, I've edited my question, I want to include the Italian version of that figure. May be it will help? $\endgroup$ Aug 4, 2018 at 13:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.