8480 - Space Shuttle

Lego Technic 8480 - Space Shuttle - On the groundLego Technic 8480 - Space Shuttle - In space

Vital Stats

Set No. 8480
Set Name Space Shuttle
No. of Pieces 1366
Main Colour White
Electrics 9V Motor
Two pole reversers
Fibre Optic Element
Pneumatics None
My Rating 8/10
LB's Rating 8/10
Features Open/Close bay doors
Rotate satellite platform arm
Raise/lower satellite platform arm
Open/Close satellite solar panels
Flash through rocket motors
Raise/Lower wheels
Raise/Lower elevons
Unusual Parts Fiber optic element
Pole Reversers
Gear box mechanism
Alternate Models 1 (Submarine)


This is an unusual model. It makes a good change from the usual Technic diet of cars and cranes. The alternate model is unusual too - a submarine. I bought this one on ebay and it came with the box. The parts were all in such good condition (nice and shiny) that I did not go through the washing and drying hassle.

The construction is a bit difficult as the model is very fragile during the initial stages. The Little Builder was constantly frustrated by pieces falling off. He was pretty happy with the final model because of the various movements. Each step can be quite complex with the entire construction squeezed into 68 pages.

The model looks a lot like the real space shuttle with a good combination of black and white parts to look like the real thing. There are seven separate movements. The motors are turned on or reversed using pole reversers held in the neutral position using rubber bands. Four of the movements are controlled using a 9V motor and part of a gear box mechanism similar to the one seen on cars. This is used to channel the motor motion to one of four axles. I haven't seen this in any of the other models yet and seems to be an ingenious way to handle the problem of switching the motor between four outputs. With the right collection of parts, this could be used to control any number of movements in a model, provided you are OK with manually switching the outputs.

The various movements in the model are:

Gearbox Mechanism
Gearbox Mechanism
Main and Maneuvering Rocket Engines
Main and Maneuvering Rocket Engines
Satellite Platform Arm
Satellite Platform Arm with Satellite
Wheel and Elevon Controls
Wheel and Elevon Controls on the sides
Rocket Flash with Fiber Optic Unit
Rocket Flash with Fiber Optic Unit


Most of the times, when I buy a model on ebay, I get the box as well. In this case, I did. The box is the usual kind with a cover that lifts up and has an image on the inisde. The set also has a yellow plastic tray inside that is becoming rare with the newer models.

The top has an image of the shuttle, the bottom, an image of the submarine and the inside of the lid shows images of the mechanisms in the shuttle. The top of the lid also has a graphic of the fiber optic unit.

Box - Top
Box - Top
Box - Bottom
Box - Bottom
Box - Inside Cover
Box - Inside Cover
Detail - Fiber Optic Graphic
Detail - Fiber Optic Graphic

Links and References

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