Puzzle, Million Space Shuttle

This puzzle, which was made in about 1981, is often referred to as a pillow or cushion cube and was sold in the United States as the “Million Space Shuttle” puzzle. It is one of several Rubik’s Cube type puzzles formed by truncating a cube (see 2006.0061.13 and 2006.0061.10).
The top and bottom layers of the pillow cube are formed from the top and bottom layers of a Rubik’s cube by making a slice in each group of three small cubes that form an edge of the large cube. These three small cubes together are called a rectangular prism and include two corner pieces show three different colors and one edge piece that lies between the two corner pieces and shows two different colors. There are three visible edges along the length of the prism and the truncation of each of the prims is done by cutting the prisms in half through the visible edges that are not edges of the cube.
Truncating the prisms for both the top and the bottom layers of the cube gives a fourteen sided solid figure with four 3 X 1 rectangular faces (white, light blue, silver, and gold) two white 1 X 1 square faces, and four trapezoidal faces surrounding each of the white square faces. The trapezoids are made up of two right triangles and a rectangle and around one square they are green, yellow, orange, and red, while around the othery they are blue light green, light purple, and pink.
The Million Space Shuttle uses the same mechanism as the Rubik’s Cube to rotate layers of the puzzle. It is among Rubik’s Cube related items from the Cube Museum, which operated in Grand Junction, Colorado, from 1988 to 1991. For more information about the Rubik’s Cube of the cuboctahedron see 1987.0805.01.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 6 cm x 6 cm x 5.5 cm; 2 3/8 in x 2 3/8 in x 2 5/32 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Mathematical Recreations
Science & Mathematics
Twisting Puzzles
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Twisting Puzzles
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Cecil Smith
Additional Media

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