I noticed two very peculiar screens in the picture attached taken during STS-49, Endeavour's maiden flight. The screens are the round ones, and have text displayed. they are somewhat reminiscent of a CDC-6600 console, but are detached and much larger. They look a bit anachronistic, as they are next to a couple large workstation monitors and a laser printer (which seem stationed between positions 12 and 13).

Does anyone know what were those screens and what was being displayed there?

Mission control during STS-49


1 Answer 1


I asked my friend and former shuttle FDO Roger Balettie about this, he kindly gave me permission to quote him

..those are "Eidophor" displays - similar in nature to the much larger versions back in the Bat Cave behind the 10x10 and 10x20 front displays. They were used early on in the Shuttle Program for the FDOs to have clear overlays to put onto the projected ascent and entry displays put onto those two GIANT round monitors. I remember seeing several FDOs having grease pens and marking the overlays up to identify certain abort boundary call marks, or other important events on the trajectory. Then, as the mission events unfolded, they could easily see their real time data and these easier-to-modify overlays together.

During orbit phases, we just used them as regular displays - giving the FDO and TRAJ together 5 total displays to have up. Plus, as you can see, the top of the display case was excellent real-estate for storage. 😀

Roger's website about space, being an FDO, and the Trench is here: https://balettie.com/space/


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