Guess how many switches and buttons are in a Space Shuttle

Just because the Space Shuttle program ended last summer doesn't mean the Shuttle dream is dead. One day, the U.S. is going to return to space in manned spacecraft and when that day comes, let's just hope there won't be as many physical switches and buttons as there were on the old Shuttles.

According to Space Flight Now, a Space Shuttle has over 1,000 physical system switches and buttons, each one controlling different "computers, pumps, circuits, heaters, valves, rockets and other components."

To keep them organized, every panel of buttons is divided into sectors: "O" for overhead, "C" for center, "F" for front, "A" for aft, "L" for left and "R" for right. But even trained astronauts aren't prone to forgetting which button controls what. For when the brain cells fail:

"Mission control would often guide astronauts to a specific switch by referencing where it lies in the crew cabin."

1,000 buttons might seem like a lot today, but you have to remember that the Endeavor was built in 1987 to replace the lost Challenger. We didn't have sophisticated touchscreen and software buttons back then or voice control.

Who knows, in the future, astronauts might just tell the onboard Siri to check the wings or make small adjust the boosters. It really makes you proud of how far we've come with digital evolution.

SpaceFlightNow, via GeekyGadgets

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