Now that the NASA shuttle programme is in the doldrums, Firebird's budget simulation may be the closest you'll get to seeing some space exploration on the small screen.
Space Shuttle is a fairly straightforward simulation, originally an Activision full-price title. Your aim is to rendezvous with an erratically-orbiting satellite (try saying that after a pint of booster fuel), and return to each as many times as you can before your supplies run out. Graphics are uncluttered, with a through-the-cockpit view and control displays which change according to mission phase.
Demo, automatic, and full mission modes give you the chance to practise before the big day, and a selection of propulsion options and telemetry displays add to the realism. The real difference between Space Shuttle and any other flight simulator is the contrast it gives between pure space navigation and the business of making a desert landing in heavy crosswinds. If you missed this one first time around, check it out now.
Reviewer: Chris Jenkins
Unusual budget flight simulator, nicely balancing the demands of realism with arcade-style excitement.