A single player video game for the
Atari 2600 Video Computer System and Sears Video Arcade
Intended for use with the left joystick controller and a color television.
GAME BY: Bill Hood
Cover Photo: NASA
Graphics: Jean Baer
Typesetting: Colonial Composition
Prep Dept. Coordinator: Elaine Adkins=20
Printing: Monarch Services
Any cartridge which fails will be replaced when returned to:
The Avalon Hill Video Game Company
4517 Harford Road, Baltimore, Maryland 21214
As with any video game, turn off television and game when not in use.
The Avalon Hill Video Game Company
All Printed Material, Video Game and Audio Visual Display
SHUTTLE ORBITER IS AVALON HILL'S TRADEMARK NAME FOR ITS SPACE
SHUTTLE MANEUVERING GAME Atari and Atari 2600 Video Computer Systems are
trademarks of Atari, Inc. Sears and Sears Video Arcade are trademarks of Sears
You are the pilot of the space shuttle Challenger. Your mission is to
complete the construction of a space station in as short a period of
time as possible. There are ten sections remaining to be transported to and
installed in the space station. The sections are available at the orbiting
Factory. Additional fuel is available at the orbital Depot.
Ensure the joystick you intend on using is securely plugged into the
LEFT controller port. Insert the game cartridge and turn your game system on.
GAME LEVEL SELECTION
When first turned on or after pressing RESET, the title display will
indicate game level 1. To play a more difficult game, move the joystick
up (or down) to select game 2 or 3. For a practice session (no orbital
debris), select game Q. When the desired game level is displayed, press the
joystick fire button to initiate liftoff.
THE ORBITAL DISPLAY
Once in orbit you will see the Orbital Display. At the top of the screen is
a view of the earth and various objects in orbit. The white object
represents the Challenger. The gold object is the Space Station under
The red object is the orbiting Factory, and the green object is the orbital
Depot. Orbital debris is not displayed.
On the lower half of the screen is the Altitude Indicator. The bars indicate the
orbital altitude of the Challenger, Space Station, Factory, and Depot. This
helpful in matching orbits for rendezvous.
The elapsed time since entering orbit and the remaining fuel on-board
are displayed at the bottom of the screen.
BASIC ORBITAL MECHANICS
Maneuvering between orbits follows one basic principle, If you are at
a lower altitude than another object, you will orbit the earth faster than
the object. If you are at a higher altitude than another object, you will
orbit the earth slower than that object. The greater the difference in
altitudes, the greater the relative orbital speed.
If you desire to rendezvous with an object that is ahead of you, you
should choose an orbit with a lower altitude to gain on that object. When you
are near the object, you should increase altitude to match the orbit. Adjust
your position by moving slightly higher to drop back, or by moving slightly
lower to move ahead. Then return to the same orbit as the object you seek.
Fire main engines
Alternate (Raise orbit)
Control \ ---------
| o | Fire CMTs
Fire CMTs <| O |> (Advance)
(Drop Back) | |
For Main Engines
When you are close to another orbiting object, you will automatically
be switched to a maneuvering display.
You must first rendezvous with the Orbiting Factory in order to pick up a
section of the space station.
You maneuver the shuttle by changing orbits. If you pull down on the joystick
the orbit will lower and
the Factory will move upward and to the left on the display, If you push up on
you will raise your orbit and the Factory will move down and to the right on the
To keep the shuttle and Factory from drifting together or apart, you must adjust
so that the middle of the Factory is horizontally centered with the shuttle.
You can maneuver forward or backward in your orbit without gaining or losing
altitude by using the
Compensated Maneuvering Thrusters (CMTs). You control the CMTs by pushing the
Once you have maneuvered the shuttle close to the Factory, press the fire button
gain control of the astronaut. Note that the blue band above the clock shifts to
the joystick controls the astronaut and returns to blue when the joystick
controls the shuttle.
Move the astronaut out of the shuttle to the door at the top of the Factory.
require that the astronaut be tethered and that he remain in sight of the
cockpit. Additionally, the
Challenger's engines cannot be fired while an astronaut is outside the shuttle.
If the astronaut cannot
reach the door you will have to return the astronaut to the shuttle and maneuver
closer. When the astronaut reaches the door he will be provided a section for
the space station.
Return the astronaut to the shuttle and press the fire button once to stow the
section and regain control
of the shuttle. If you chose to pick up a second section, press the
fire button again to gain control of the
astronaut and repeat the above procedure. Be sure you are
controlling the astronaut so you don't mistakenly
drive the shuttle into the factory. When you have loaded the shuttle,
press the fire buffoon so that the band
above the clock is blue and maneuver the shuttle away from the
Factory toward your next destination.
You will automatically be switched to the Orbital Display when you sufficiently
clear the Factory.
When the shuttle is low on fuel, rendezvous with the Orbital Depot. You must
line up the nose of the
shuttle into the slot on the left side of the Depot without bumping into
it. Maximum fuel load for the shuttle is 9000 kgs.
ALIGN TOP OF SECTION WITH TOP OF MARK
In order to complete the space station, you must properly insert the
last ten sections into the proper place. After you rendezvous with the Space
Station, move the astronaut out of the shuttle near to the rotating
station. If you hold down the fire button while the astronaut is out of
shuttle the space station will slow its rotation to facilitate insertion of the
section. The section must be inserted so that it properly fits one of
the gaps in the left side of the space station. If the section hits the space
station or is inserted into the wrong gap, it will be damaged and you will have
to return it to the Factory for replacement. If the station is inserted
correctly it will remain attached to the space station. If you have carried a
second section in the shuttle, return the astronaut to the shuttle and press
the fire button TWICE to get the second section.
The earth recently passed through the tail of a comet and a ring of
debris is forming around the earth. The ring is orbiting in the opposite
direction of the shuttle. When you are near the ring the display will
shift from the orbital display until you have passed through the debris.
You win the game when you successfully install all ten sections of the
Space Station. The elapsed time in orbit and game difficulty level will
You lose when you run out of fuel, failing to complete the space
station. The elapsed time in orbit is displayed above the game difficulty
and the number of sections successfully installed.
Any time the shuttle hits the Factory, Depot, Space Station, or debris
it will be damaged and leak fuel. The greater the number of hits, the
greater the rate of fuel loss.
Any time the Challenger hits an object there is at least a 25% chance
you will damage your cargo. Due to packing constraints, if you are carrying
two sections and hit an object, you will definitely damage one section
possibly both. You can only examine the sections at the Factory or Space
If the section has no prongs on the right-hand side, it is damaged and
cannot be used. If one of the two sections being carried is damaged, the good
section will be brought out first by the astronaut.
The shuttle consumes more fuel carrying two sections (damaged or not)
than carrying one section, and more fuel carrying one section than with no
Only one refueling should be necessary for the truly proficient pilot.
No switches other than the ON/OFF, COLOR/BW, and RESET switches are used.
You can pause the game by pushing the COLOR/BW switch to the BW =
To resume, push to the COLOR position. The RESET switch will start a new =