Space Shuttle Attitude Director Indicator (ADI) as removed from a high fidelity Space Shuttle simulator.
Although a critical part of countless flight simulations, the unit was no longer needed after the Space Shuttle avionics were upgraded to a “glass
cockpit” design (see NASA fact sheet pdf for more about the MEDS upgrade).
Markings indicate that this instrument had been modified from a Flight Director Attitude Indicator (FDAI) originally made for an Apollo Lunar Module (LM)
Nameplate indicates NASA contract number NAS9-1100, which was the Grumman contract for the Apollo LM.
Pitch Rate scale shows that markings from the original LM design - additional scale graduations and the nomenclature “PITCH RATE” - have been painted over. Also note remnants of the roll gimbal lock red warning zone between the 255 and 285 degree index lines, which has also been painted over in black.
United Space Alliance markings indicate the operations and maintenance contractor’s use of the instrument in supporting the Space
Shuttle Program through 2006.
Compare NASA photos of the flight version of the Apollo LM FDAI (at bottom left), and the flight version of the Space Shuttle ADI (bottom right). Note that the artifact appears nearly identical to the LM flight unit, with the addition of an airplane symbol and roll axis markings as needed for the Space Shuttle instrument.
NASA astronauts have used this artifact for flight simulations spanning the Apollo moon landing program of the late 1960’s, through most of the Space
Finally retired from space program service in April 2009.
Views inside the unit reveal a blue anodized aluminum frame supporting the meter movements and control circuits.
In contrast to the Apollo FDAI, this unit uses slip rings (stacked gold rings with gold spring contacts) to make electrical contact with the rotating ball assembly.
Manufacturing date stamped inside the unit shows April 22, 1968, 15 months before the first Apollo moon landing in July, 1969.