‘Moonfall’ filmmakers saved NASA shuttle simulator now in museum

 In “Moonfall,” director Roland Emmerich’s new disaster film opening this week, a retired space shuttle plays a part in NASA’s attempt to save Earth. In reality, though, it was the movie makers that came to the rescue, saving a real NASA simulator from an uncertain fate.

Many Hollywood blockbusters have used the space shuttle as a set piece, adding an array of fictional flights to the fleet’s 135 historic missions. Filmmakers have typically shot these scenes by building or leasing mockups of the winged orbiter’s crew compartment. Other movies have used green screen and CGI to place their actors into virtual shuttles.