Space Shuttle


Design/Program: Steve Roney & Keith Robinson, Boyd Hays, Steve Montero

Graphics: Joe Ferreira, Peggi Decarli

Voice of Ground Control: Mayf Nutter

Voice of Onboard Computer: Fred Jones

Voice of Female Astronaut: Patti Dworken

Voice of Male Astronaut (player): Tony Pope

See also Intellivoice credits


"Columbia, this is Mission Control." All systems are go as you prepare your trek aboard the space shuttle. "We have ignition." You're at the controls from launch to landing as Mission Control keeps you informed. Repair satellites, refuel during orbits and perform other tasks. Seven different views and three voices help you accomplish your mission and make a safe landing. "Roger, out."


Space Shuttle was started by Steve Montero, assisted by new-hire Boyd Hays. A short time later Steve left Mattel and Boyd took over the project as solo programmer. He and artist Joe Ferreira put together a launch sequence and cockpit view of orbiting, reentry and landing, before Boyd also left. Steve Roney and Keith Robinson adopted the project, defining the actual gameplay of matching orbits with and capturing satellites. Joe did new cargo bay animations; Peggi Decarli designed a Mission Control map of the earth, showing the orbits.

As the game was nearing completion, Intellivoice development was canceled. Steve and Keith saved the game temporarily by changing the voice to enhancement only, but ultimately Marketing felt Space Shuttle was too much simulation, not enough game, and canceled it.

FUN FACT: Joey Silvian, who directed the voice recordings, was sometimes a bit obsessive about capturing just the right sound and personality. For the voice of Ground Control, he insisted on flying in an actor from Houston. During the recording session at Fred Jones's studio on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, the actor kept talking about Pink's -- a famous hot dog stand also in Hollywood. He went on and on about the fantastic chili dogs he had there last time he was in town. Finally, Joey turned to Fred and said "Can you get this guy a Pink's chili dog so we can get to work?" "Sure thing," Fred replied, picking up the phone. Joey had a hard time explaining when Fred Jones's bill arrived and it included not only a charge for six Pink's chili dogs, but for the limousine and driver Fred had hired to chauffeur the dogs to the studio.

FUN FACT: Midway through development, Activision released an Atari 2600 game called Space Shuttle -- A Journey Into Space. A brainstorming session was held to come up with a new name for our game. No new name was decided on, but the list that came out of the meeting gives some indication of just how these brainstorming sessions tended to go:

  • Earth Orbiter
  • Shuttle Orbiter
  • Orbitrak
  • Shuttle Mission
  • Mission Orbit
  • Open and Shuttle
  • StratoRover
  • Mission Control
  • Shuttle Pilot
  • Shuttle Commander
  • Star Pilot
  • Shuttle Off to Buffalo
  • Shuttle Diplomacy
  • In Space You're Asked
  • Shuttle Cock
  • Take This Satellite and Shuttle It
  • BullShuttle