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This picture shows a rear-view mirror mounted in front of and to the right of the shuttle pilot (arrow). What's it for - fuzzy dice holder, vanity mirror, or what??

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(image from https://images.nasa.gov/details-KSC-07pd0532, I added the arrow)

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The mirrors (the commander had one too) were to allow the front seat crewmembers to see panels located out of their range of vision while wearing the helmets. Specifically, panels L4 (located to the left of and beside the commander) and R4 (located to the right of and beside the pilot).

Panel L4 just had a lot of circuit breakers on it and wasn't normally used for launch and landing, but Panel R4 had some switches and talkbacks on it that were used while the pilot was suited. From the Ascent Checklist:

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More on the mirrors from the SCOM page 2.5-5:

The adjustable mirrors are installed at launch on handholds located between windows 2 and 3 for the CDR and windows 4 and 5 for the PLT. During ascent and entry, the CDR and PLT use the adjustable mirrors to facilitate seeing controls that are in the obscured areas of their vision envelope. On orbit, mirrors can be removed and stowed, if desired.

Here are what panels L4 and R4 looked like (also from the SCOM):

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Not for checking makeup or holding fuzzy dice!

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  • $\begingroup$ Strange design choice; either someone wasn't paying attention during helmet design or during panel placement. $\endgroup$ – Ludo Jun 12 at 10:50

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