Toy, Space Shuttle, Friction Powered

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This toy in the shape of a Space Shuttle shows how visually identifable those long-serving spacecraft have become. From the 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 outline and covering of white and black tiles has become the icon of American spaceflight in the late 20th Century. As a result, although this small, friction-powered sparking toy lacks many of the specific details featured on the exterior of an actual orbiter, it is immediately recognizable as a Shuttle toy because of its shape and coloring.
Valerie Neal, the National Air and Space Museum curator who oversees the Shuttle era collection, donated this toy to the National Collection in 2003.
Jimmy Toys
Credit Line
Gift of Valerie Neal
Restrictions & Rights
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
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National Air and Space Museum Collection
Inventory Number
Country of Origin
shuttle: plastic
package: cardboard, plastic
3-D (Package): 27.9 x 15.2 x 7.6cm (11 x 6 x 3 in.)
3-D (Toy): 13.3 x 10.2 x 7.6cm (5 1/4 x 4 x 3 in.)
National Air and Space Museum
MEMORABILIA-Popular Culture