Passion for Pinball

near the shuttle
In front of the Space Shuttle Columbia for STS-109.

Ed was born in Aruba in the Dutch Caribbean, and works in Code 442 on the Hubble Space Telescope Development Project.  He has built hardware that was installed on Hubble during the previous three Servicing Missions.   One of his passions outside of work is refurbishing and playing pinball machines.

Ed's collection of pinball machines.

The pride and joy of his collection is his 1985 Williams Space Shuttle machine.  It has been extensively refurbished.  This included a touchup painting of the cabinet, a new backglass, and a clearcoated playfield.

  Ed's Space Shuttle pinball machine.

overall view
The Space Shuttle machine playfield. 

It is widely believed by collectors that this machine saved the pinball industry in the mid 80's.  It was the first to combine multi-ball, spoken voice, ramps, and a playfield toy (the Shuttle) into one machine.  It temporarily halted the decline of the pinball industry, and many more machines were made after that.

The playfield of the Space Shuttle machine features a graphic of the Hubble Space Telescope!
Note that HST was launched five years AFTER this machine was made.

Before and after picture of the restoration of the Space Shuttle machine.

meeting gene kranz
Parts of Ed's Space Shuttle machine has been signed by NASA luminaries such as
John Grunsfeld, Mike Massimino, Gene Kranz and Gunther Wendt

In addition to the Space Shuttle, Ed also has the following titles: Indiana Jones, Medieval Madness and Flash. 
Of these, the Medieval Madness is considered the most collectable and most wanted machine in the world.
It has been consistently been ranked #1 by collectors for the past several years.

pin table
In addition to pinball machines, Ed has also made a few pieces of pinball furniture
including this pinball coffee table.

pin table view
This non-working table is an example of pinball machines used for artwork and
decoration.  A complete and working playfield was added to this coffee table.
(This table will be seen at the Goddard Day display).

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(c) Edward Cheung, all rights reserved.