The Space Review: Review: Orbiter space flight simulator

Review: Orbiter space flight simulator

by Bruce Irving
Monday, November 14, 2005

I have to start this review with a warning and a disclosure. For anyone with an interest in space flight, the Orbiter space flight simulator can be addictive. And the disclosure: I’m already addicted. In spite of this, I will attempt to deliver a fair evaluation of this powerful freeware program for Windows PCs.

Background

Orbiter (www.orbitersim.com) is a space flight simulator, something of a cross between a conventional PC flight simulator and a planetarium or astronomy program. It features accurate physics (for both orbital mechanics and atmospheric flight), excellent 3-D graphics, and a first-person astronaut’s perspective. Aimed at space- and physics-related education and recreation, Orbiter is not a typical PC game. There are no weapons, explosions, or scores in Orbiter, and currently no built-in multiplayer capability. Because of its realism and detail, Orbiter is certainly educational—but it is also a lot of fun. You can think of it as a toolkit for simulating many aspects of space exploration, or as a virtual world for playing in space.

As with Microsoft Flight Simulator and similar “civilian” flight sim software, the fun in Orbiter comes in several forms. You can enjoy the beautiful solar system scenery; plan and carry out short or long flights (with the help of extreme time acceleration), orbiting or landing on planets and moons; master the intricacies of rendezvous and docking; recreate historic space missions; re-enter and land the space shuttle; and much more. You can also collect and fly detailed 3-D models of hundreds of historic, current, futuristic, and fictional spacecraft and space stations. If you are of a 3-D graphic design or programming bent, you can create your own Orbiter add-ons: spacecraft, space stations, planetary surface textures, 3-D surface bases, new navigation instruments, and more. You can find or share add-ons and discuss Orbiter and space flight issues through several very active web forums. The Orbiter on-line community includes space flight enthusiasts from all around the world.

Orbiter is a space flight simulator, something of a cross between a conventional PC flight simulator and a planetarium or astronomy program.

Orbiter is developed by Dr. Martin Schweiger of University College London. Dr. Schweiger started the Orbiter project in 2000 as an exercise in orbital mechanics programming and as an educational application for physics. Since then, he has brought out several major revisions, improving the technical breadth and depth of the program as well as the quality of the 3-D graphics. Recognizing that he could not develop every feature that every space fan would like, Dr. Schweiger also defined a powerful and flexible programming interface (SDK and API) to allow other programmers to extend the program in various ways. Although Orbiter is not open source, its open architecture has allowed the development of the huge online library of add-ons that exists today.

Using Orbiter

That’s all very nice, you might say, but what is it like to use? And how hard is it to learn? Orbiter operates much like a flight simulator: you have a simulated cockpit with multi-function displays (MFD’s) and other controls, and you click on-screen buttons with the mouse or use keyboard commands, like G for landing gear. You can use a joystick, which is nice for atmospheric flight in airplane-like spacecraft, but basic control of the spacecraft is usually done with the numeric keypad. This includes main and hover engines (if available) as well as attitude control thrusters (they toggle between rotation and translation) and aerodynamic control surfaces for atmospheric flight (for winged spacecraft).

Orbiter comes with several standard spacecraft, including the shuttle Atlantis, and many more are available as free add-ons. For training purposes, most people use the futuristic “Delta Glider” spaceplane, a powerful but still physically-limited craft that can take off from a runway, re-enter and land like the shuttle, and has sufficient fuel capacity to fly to Mars and beyond. It also has hover engines and fully mouse-active instrument panels (both 2-D and a 3-D “virtual cockpit”). It’s a pretty nice ride that will allow you to learn all the basic and advanced orbital maneuvers you will need.

Orbiter was developed originally with physics education in mind, and it offers an accurate and fun way to explore forces and motion, orbital mechanics, aerodynamic flight, and more.

As one example scenario, in “DG ISS Approach,” you are in a Delta Glider in low Earth orbit, 600 meters from the International Space Station and lined up for docking. Guided by the special docking MFD and HUD instruments, you need to slowly close the range while maintaining translational and rotational alignment with the docking port. This requires some practice and finesse, and when you finally manage to dock, you have a new appreciation for the astronauts who do this for real. Other scenarios require you to adjust your orbit to “synchronize” or rendezvous with the target instead of starting just 600 meters away. There are instruments for this too, as well as some very useful tutorials on the web.

Other tasks and missions

Orbiter comes with many pre-defined scenario files, which define one or more spacecraft and their states (e.g., landed on the Moon, orbiting Mars, docked with the ISS, etc.). You can fly any of the spacecraft in the scenario, and even switch between them during the mission. Although people often start out learning to fly the Delta Glider from KSC to Earth orbit, many scenarios start in space or on the Moon, where you can begin to learn orbital maneuvers before tackling the somewhat trickier tasks of atmospheric flight. Examples of tasks you can do with supplied spacecraft and scenarios:

  • Rendezvous and dock with the ISS or with the Mir space station (which is still in orbit in the Orbiter world)
  • Fly to the Moon, enter orbit and land at “Brighton Beach,” the default Moon base
  • Perform an EVA from the Atlantis, using your MMU to fly to and inspect a satellite
  • Take off from Olympus Base on Mars and go visit Phobos
  • Land the Space Shuttle from final approach to KSC’s runway 33
  • Use the Shuttle robotic arm to deploy the Hubble Space Telescope
  • Fly Voyager 1’s historic trajectory through the Jupiter system and on to Saturn

Add-ons

Add-ons for Orbiter are also free and cover a wide range of spacecraft, space stations, surface bases, planetary textures, and MFD’s (plug-ins for the instrument panel). Many of these reside on the web site www.orbithangar.com, and others can be found through the Orbiter forums. Add-ons usually include documentation and predefined scenario files that demonstrate and make use of the new tools. Here are a few examples.

  • Orbiter Sound 3.0 – Adds support for sound effects and music, greatly improving the Orbiter experience (Daniel Polli)
  • “Blue marble” high-resolution Earth textures (Jim Williams)
  • Interplanetary MFD (v4.2) – a powerful graphically-oriented orbital mechanics tool that runs within Orbiter, with many features for precise planning and control of flights to the Moon, Mars, or the outer planets (Jarmo Nikkanen)
  • Apollo Program (v6.4.2) – Detailed multi-spacecraft add-on that allows you to fly full Apollo missions or selected parts such as Moon landings (NASSP Team)
  • Shuttle Fleet (v3.8.2) – Greatly enhanced add-on version with better graphics, launch autopilot, configurable payloads, and more (Don Gallagher, Dave Hopkins)
  • Space elevator – Demonstrates the flexibility of Orbiter’s add-on architecture, introducing an entirely new class of propulsion (Yuri Kulchitsky)

Educational application

Orbiter was developed originally with physics education in mind, and it offers an accurate and fun way to explore forces and motion, orbital mechanics, aerodynamic flight, and more. Students can also visually explore the Solar System and study geography from space by turning on Orbiter’s configurable object labels. They can also learn about the history of rocketry and space flight by recreating historic missions (add-ons start with Robert Goddard’s early rockets and include Vanguard, Ranger, Mercury, Gemini, Viking, Voyager, Apollo, Soyuz, and many more historic craft). Orbiter is accurate enough to recreate actual eclipses, to perform gravitational slingshot maneuvers for interplanetary flights, and even to follow a shuttle launch in real time (as some enthusiastic shuttle fleet add-on users did for STS-114 in July). There are many user-written tutorials on the web, and some materials specifically geared toward teaching are beginning to arrive.

Any issues?

Orbiter is free and is easy to download and install, and it is remarkably stable for a program of its complexity. Because it is freeware, there is no formal technical support, although experienced users on the Orbiter Web Forum often answer questions for new users. One nice feature is that Orbiter installation makes no changes to Windows system files, so it can be uninstalled by simply deleting its installation folder. One issue is that many add-on spacecraft have no instrument panels, so you must use key commands for most operations, although there are other add-ons that partially compensate for this. The documentation is quite good, though it is mainly a reference manual. There is some in-simulation help available, and many tutorials are available to supplement the manual.

Many tasks in Orbiter are challenging at first—thinking and maneuvering in 3-D and zero-G are not familiar experiences for most people.

With its emphasis on accurate space flight simulation and orbital mechanics, Orbiter is not all things to all space and astronomy enthusiasts. For one thing, although it displays accurate star positions, you can only fly within the solar system, and detailed information for bodies outside the solar system is not included. People who are looking for a more comprehensive view of the Universe can turn to many commercial, freeware, and shareware astronomy and planetarium programs. Celestia (http://www.shatters.net/celestia/) is one such freeware program, and it is often compared to Orbiter. Celestia does model other stars and even galaxies, offers many user-developed add-ons, and features a “space ship” interface. It’s an excellent program, but to allow quick trips to distant stars, the Celestia space ship is more of a magic carpet than a physical spacecraft model as in Orbiter. Depending on your goals, this can be a plus or a minus.

Conclusions

I’ve been a space flight enthusiast since childhood, collecting and reading books, watching videos, and in recent years, keeping up with space developments through the web. I’ve even played with a few space-related simulators in the past, but these were so limited physically and/or graphically that none of them held my interest for long. Orbiter is different. The combination of realistic physics, a well-designed flight-sim-like user interface, outstanding graphics, and expandability has created a “sweet spot” in terms of the immersiveness, the variety of experiences, and the range of challenges. Many tasks in Orbiter are challenging at first—thinking and maneuvering in 3-D and zero-G are not familiar experiences for most people. These require learning, and to me, learning is fun—especially learning about space flight. If you or someone you know has similar feelings, and until commercial space-tourist flights become available, Orbiter could be your winning (and free) ticket to space.

Bruce Irving (bruceirvingmusic [at] pobox [dot] com) is an optical engineer, private pilot, and space flight enthusiast. He is the author of a tutorial ebook for Orbiter, “Go Play In Space”. His blog “Music of the Spheres” discusses Orbiter, space issues, and a little bit of music.

Space Simulator в Steam

Игра в раннем доступе

Приобретите игру и начните играть — примите участие в ее развитии

Примечание: Данная игра в раннем доступе находится на стадии разработки. Она может измениться в будущем, а может остаться в текущем состоянии, так что, если вам не по вкусу то, что игра может предложить сейчас, рекомендуем дождаться её дальнейшего развития. Узнать больше

Почему ранний доступ?

“Our community has expressed strong interest to play the game in its current form on PC and we would like to make it available as soon as possible. Mobile user have been playing our game since 2015 so we are definitely ready to make it available on Steam. Many of our users have been waiting for the Steam version since 2015.

However, from a development perspective there is still a lot of content we’d like to add before we can consider the game complete. Ultimately we want to have all the Apollo Project missions and other space programs such as the Space Shuttle program, Soviet programs and current space programs as optional downloadable content.

The scope of the game is quite ambitious, so Early Access is the perfect way to start rolling out content, testing it and getting live feedback while we complete the content.”

Сколько примерно эта игра будет в раннем доступе?

Чем планируемая полная версия будет отличаться от версии в раннем доступе?

“The full version will have more content. The Early Access version will feature only the Apollo 8 mission. In the full version we hope to have all the Apollo Program missions from Apollo 8 to Apollo 13. That means the full version will have not just the Apollo Launch Vehicle and capsule, but also the Lunar Lander and Rover simulated down to the switch.

We also hope to formally introduce VR support in the full version.”

Каково текущее состояние версии в раннем доступе?

Изменится ли цена игры после выхода из раннего доступа?

Как вы планируете вовлекать сообщество в разработку игры?

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Об этой игре

Space Simulator is a realistic space flight simulator game featuring high-quality models, hi-res textures, IBL shaders, and a full-scale Solar System running on a proprietary purpose-built (double-float precision) physics library to create a better, faster and more realistic space flight simulator.

Gravitational forces, including moons and distant celestial bodies, orbit instabilities, resonances, etc. are calculated with utmost accuracy. The physics solver computes and predicts real n-body trajectories that vary in real time, allowing -for the first time- the player to design and fine-tune very complicated orbital maneuvers, eg, orbital slingshots, etc.

With the dynamic loading textures and multi-threaded physics running on GPU cores, the game reaches at 50-60 fps on most PCs with modest RAM requirements.

We are also implementing VR support for a fully immersive flight experience as well as support for all major joysticks and flight controllers.

We intend to release the game for an introductory price for a limited time only.

Space Simulator features a mix of high quality Steam specific missions while also having a legacy mode with all the missions, models, etc of the mobile version included for the convenience of our mobile players.

Steam Specific Missions: (Early Access) Chapter 1: The Apollo Days. Featuring a growing number incredibly detailed and realistic Apollo Program missions starting -at launch date- with Apollo 8 lunar orbit missions. In the following months, we will complete all relevant missions in the Apollo Program.

Included also is the mobile version content with:

Space Simulator features the complete Apollo 11 program missions. Players can choose to play particular missions or the entire Apollo 11 program from beginning to end: launch the Saturn V from Cape Kennedy; perform Trans-Lunar Injection, transposition rotation and docking; land on the Moon; power through the lunar ascent and rendezvous; and finally return back to Earth with reentry and splashdown.

• Space Transportation System

Space Shuttle fans can also enjoy a wide selection of Space Shuttle missions: launch from Cape Kennedy; rendezvous and dock with the International Space Station; return to Earth with reentry and play the final landing in day and night scenarios.

Space Simulator also includes a number of contemporary spacecrafts, such as the SLS (Orion) .We also plan to include SpaceX vehicles in the near future.

• Custom Free Roam Missions

Space Simulator is a realistic simulator of the entire Solar System with all its planets and major moons. Players can also choose to play custom free roam scenarios with general purpose spaceships.

All spacecraft cockpits will come with interactive multi-functional displays that provide information on every aspect of your flight data. We have orbit, surface, transfer, docking, flight, HSI and other display panels.

For Apollo enthusiasts, we have fully emulated the Apollo Guidance Computer and DSKY running actual code from the 60’s. You can run and control the Apollo spacecrafts exactly as how the astronauts did during their flight.

Ultimately, our aim is to create a realistic space simulator that is comprehensive yet easy to use and accessible to players at all levels with the most advanced graphics and rendering techniques.

All planets in the game are modeled with hi-res NASA imagery. Selected planets such as the Earth, Moon and Mars have 3D surfaces modeled from NASA altitude data. We try to use original audio as much as possible for Apollo and Space Shuttle missions.

Lift-off from the Kennedy Space Center; land on the Moon; enjoy the magnificent views of Earth from orbit; plan a trip to a faraway planet; practise your favorite orbital maneuvers ­doing gravitational slingshots, Hohmann transfer orbits; rendezvous and dock with the ISS; perfect your Space Shuttle landings or go to the edge of space and back with the hypersonic X-­15 space plane. The possibilities are endless and as unbounded as your wildest astronautic dreams!

Системные требования

    Минимальные:

    • ОС: Windows 7 64 bit
    • Процессор: Intel Core 2 Duo
    • Оперативная память: 4 GB ОЗУ
    • Видеокарта: SM3 512MB VRAM
    • DirectX: Версии 9.0
    • Место на диске: 4 GB
    Рекомендованные:

    • ОС: Windows 10 64 bit
    • Процессор: Intel Core i5 or newer
    • Оперативная память: 4 GB ОЗУ
    • Видеокарта: SM4 1GB VRAM
    • DirectX: Версии 10
    • Сеть: Широкополосное подключение к интернету
    • Место на диске: 4 GB
    • Дополнительно: Microsoft Text-to-Speech required to hear spoken checklists and radio control commands

Copyright
© 2015 Brixton Dynamics Ltd. All rights reserved. Space Simulator, the Space Simulator logo, Brixton Dynamics, the Brixton Dynamics logo are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Brixton Dynamics Ltd.

Spaceflight Simulator Free Download

Spaceflight Simulator 1.4.06

Retread and go beyond!

Spaceflight Simulator is a sort of a sandbox game, in which you get to design your own space rocket and explore the solar system. The game area doesn’t go much farther than Mars, but even so, there are plenty of challenges to overcome before you’d even consider going that far.

You start the game by building a rocket ship. You get several ship pieces, but there aren’t many ways in which you can combine them. Several fuel segments can be stacked on top of each other while a booster needs to be attached at the bottom. Yo can place several of these rockets in parallel using connectors but you can also stack rockets with detachable separation rings. The important thing is to place a command module somewhere on top, in order to have control over them.

The controls are rather simple, although the game itself poses a nice challenge curve. Unlike the Apollo astronots (typo intended), you are spared from analyzing a bunch of vector data to get your bearings. Instead, you can examine your vehicle and the surrounding space in two view modes. The regular view lets you admire it and gives you detailed control over individual engines, separation rings, connectors, landing gears, and parachutes. The map view lets you examine orbit trajectories, and also displays departure opportunities for reaching your designated destination target.

Spaceflight Simulator uses a simplified physics system that, albeit being completely 2D, still takes into account atmosphere, gravitational zones of influence and slingshot mechanics. The interface anticipates your trajectory for when it reaches a planet or moon’s area by showing a localized orbit curve. The orbit might not make sense if your ship is still too far off its way, but it will clear up once it meets the general trajectory line.

Letting aside the fact that you will certainly spend a few failed attempts at even reaching Earth orbit, getting to the Moon requires you to turn your circular orbit into an ellipse that’s wide enough to reach the path of the Moon. Even then, you will need to synchronize the ellipse’s apogee with the future position of the Moon so that you can have any chance at approaching it. Sounds daunting, doesn’t it? Luckily, the visual aids in the Map view are enough to let you know if you’re on the right track. However, whether you still have enough fuel to complete the job rest solely on your rocket design and your skill at conserving thrust. You can also save the game at any time, so, you can set up checkpoints, like having achieved Earth orbit, or being on a nice descent towards the surface of Phobos.

Now to some criticisms. Although the camera angle is mostly fixed, the direction indicator often turns up showing the wrong way, which makes it unusable, unfortunately. Some other problems include automatic detachment of the command capsule without any player input (more reason to save at key points) and graphical glitches during planetfall. These don’t happen on a regular basis however.

Conclusion

It is quite astonishing how a minimalist game can evoke such awe and recreate the heavy gut feelings that are associated with space travel. Too often space themed productions, be it movies or games, treat space transit like sailing the seas. Admittedly, although you need a real Faustian spirit to traverse the Atlantic with only a vague idea of what could lie beyond, launching yourself on top of a rocket to navigate through void and onto a moving orb is a whole different ball game. I suspect that if you enjoy games like Kerbal Space Program or Orbiter, you’ll most likely enjoy Spaceflight Simulator. It’s infinitely simpler than KSP, but it’s worth checking out. Godspeed!

Orbiter Space Flight Simulator for Windows

Orbiter Space Flight Simulator for Windows

Rated 4 out of 5 stars by 27 PRO members.

Orbiter is a unique flight simulator that lets users launch manned or unmanned flights into space. They can dock with space stations, repair satellites, and land on planets. The vast reaches of our solar system are open for Orbiter fans to explore. The system lets users compress time to shorten long adventures.

Space flight is accurately modeled; past missions can be recreated and new projects planned and launched. Pilots can spend hours launching payloads from Kennedy Space Center, visiting the International Space Center, or picking their way through the rocky rings of Saturn on a Delta-glider.

This is not a demo, it is a completely free (freeware) fully featured simulator.

New Version

This package has now been updated to the latest version (2016) edition. This is the latest version released by the developer and also works with the latest version of Windows 10. The package is quite a bit larger than the original release.

Shows the Nasa Space Shuttle in orbit over the Earth in the latest version of the Orbiter space flight simulator for Windows.

Orbiter was created in 2000 by developer Martin Schweiger. At the time, he wanted a simulator that accurately reflected physics-oriented flight modeling. The most recent version was released in August of 2010. Orbiter is freeware, not open-source. The core code cannot be altered. However, developers can create add-ons like new spacecraft using the Orbiter Software Development Kit. It provides code libraries, sample code, utilities and documentation needed to produce original designs. There is a special add-on forum at the Orbiter site to help programmers get started on the right foot.

An excellent teaching tool, Orbiter is used by many science, math, and technology classes to help illustrate diverse subjects from space flight to trigonometry. To get the most out of Orbiter, it helps to have some knowledge of orbital mechanics. Robert A. Braeunig’s Rocket and Space Technology website (http://www.braeunig.us/space/index.htm) is designed for space travel aficionados who desire to learn more than the basics but want to avoid complex concepts and theories.

Information for the Orbiter Wiki page:

Orbiter is a freeware space flight simulator program developed to allow users to operate simulated spacecraft using a detailed and realistic flight model. The developer, Martin Schweiger, felt that space flight simulators at the time were lacking in realistic physics based flight models and decided to write a simulator that made learning physics concepts enjoyable.

The simulator was first released on 27 November 2000 and several new versions have been released, with the most recent version 100830 released for free download on 30 August 2010.

Orbiter has now been used as a teaching aid in classrooms, and a large community of add-on developers has created a multitude of add-ons to allow users to fly assorted real and fictional spacecraft and adding new planets or solar systems.

Orbiter incorporates planetary motion, space physics, and gravitation. Users will find it takes some experimentation to get used to how these dynamics affect space travel. Once mastered, navigation becomes smoother and easier.

Spacecraft

Orbiter has both realistic and fictional spacecraft. Newer users find the fictional craft easier to pilot. They are also able to travel to distant parts of the solar system conventional vehicles cannot reach. The solar system consists of the sun, planets and large moons. The core product has no comets or asteroids. However, they can be included with an available add-on.

Using the keyboard or mouse, pilots interact with two Multi-function displays and one Head-Up Display. Developers can create custom controls, instruments, and virtual cockpits. Advanced players can incorporate TrackIR which allows Orbiter to follow their head movements and display the corresponding view.

Compatibility

Orbiter is Windows-only software, compatible with Windows 98/2000/XP/Vista/Win7 and Windows 10. The developers recommend a minimum of 4 GB RAM. Users will also need a DirectX compatible graphics card sporting at least 64MB of memory.

Realistic Approach

From its inception, Orbiter was developed to be a realistic simulator. Pilots are able to experience accurate planetary motion, free space travel, gravitation, and orbital decay. Advanced planetary system models are used to portray the positions of the Earth, Moon and planets in the solar system realistically.

Orbiter’s commitment to realism is reflected in the real spacecraft and space stations in the package. They include the Space Shuttle Atlantis, Space Station Mir, International Space Station, Hubble Space Telescope, and the Long Duration Exposure Facility Satellite. In addition to the real machines, Orbiter has fictional vessels including the Delta-glider space plane; Shuttle-A, a space freighter; Shuttle-PB, a small spacecraft; Dragonfly, a manned space tug; Luna-OB1, a space station inspired by the station featured in “2001: A Space Odyssey”; and Carina, a small payload satellite.

Developers have used Orbiter’s API to create extensive add-ons including spacecraft from the American Mercury and Apollo programs as well as the Soviet Vostok series. In addition to the spacecraft and stations previously listed, users have also developed new planetary bases and entire solar systems.

Enterprising Developers

Some users love the multiple ways to add features missing from the core package. For example, there is no sound capability in Orbiter out of the box. Several enterprising developers created “OrbiterSound,” and add-on with engine sounds, cabin noise, radio signals, and even mp3 music.

Other users love Orbiter’s gorgeous graphics and immersive experience. One fan said Orbiter was “closest to the old inner kid dream ‘being an astronaut’ I’ll ever be,” and provides a “sandbox the size of the solar system that let me free of doing whatever scenario I imagine.” (Orbiter-forum.com).

Images/Screenshots

The archive orbiter-2016.zip has 12 files and directories contained within it. View them

File Contents

This list displays the first 500 files in the package. If the package has more, you will need to download it to view them.

Filename/Directory File Date File Size
Orbiter2016.exe 07.01.19 2484.97 MB
Screenshots 07.01.19 0 B
florida2_new.jpg 07.01.19 335.71 kB
florida5_new.jpg 07.01.19 423.88 kB
florida6_new.jpg 07.01.19 121.74 kB
florida9_new.jpg 07.01.19 188.81 kB
mars_hebes_chasma.jpg 07.01.19 210.25 kB
moon1_new.jpg 07.01.19 271.56 kB
moon3_new.jpg 07.01.19 126.88 kB
terrain2_new.jpg 07.01.19 264.20 kB
flyawaysimulation.txt 10.29.13 959 B
Go to Fly Away Simulation.url 01.22.16 52 B

Editorial

Like any flight simulation fan, I’m a big fan of trying out something new, something interesting. So, it was to my rather animated surprise that someone had finally taken aviation to a whole new level within the simulation world with the release of Orbiter.

Rather than being able to get myself caught up in the madness of it all, though, I’ve been able to find the time to sit down and give Orbiter a real shot and see what I make of it.

For a start, let me just say that I’m someone who spent many hours playing old-school space-based flight games for years. So I’ve always wanted to be able to take off in a proper NASA style shuttle, do some landings on satellite and even land on different planets.

It’s this kind of amazing feature that I believe simulation has to tap into more; the vast majority (like all) of us will never set foot on another planet, so it would be nice to see it more accurately represented in flight simulation in general. So, I was delighted to finally come across this excellent simulator and give it a try myself.

For a product that was created more than a decade ago, it’s still got really impressive graphical capacity – compare it to games that came out at the same time and it seems to stack up far better. I’ll admit that at first the controls threw me and felt a bit restricted, but this purely from being used to games of modern eras that have afar more fluid and developed control scheme.

As a project with the budget and size it had, though, Orbiter absolutely shines through.

It makes a mockery of typical conventions that you need a huge budget to make something impressive, as it’s taken on aspects of flight simulation that none of the big hitters have been too willing to try and get involved in.

This is one of the best educational tools I’ve come across in terms of simulation, too. It’s got a lot going for it as it uses many different scientific classes to create something that you can actually learn from.

This is what sets apart simulation from a game; with this, you’ll start picking up the very smallest pieces about everything involved within the rather terrifying – yet amazing – world of space flight.

If you compare this to some of the most recent mods out there, that have tried to move into the space world bit by bit, It’s really easy to see where they get their inspiration from.

Despite having never heard of Orbiter when I was younger, I’m kind of glad that I didn’t as it would have probably sucked me up into a time vortex of its own! It’s hugely addictive, even today with so much modern choices waiting for you.

It might be a bit limited in comparison to its modern brethren, but in terms of what it brought to simulation as a whole, I’m not sure I’ve seen a more effective piece of hardware.

Adam McEnroe

Adam McEnroe is a flight sim enthusiast who has been simming since the days of FS95. Adam writes all of the download section editorials after testing each of the files. Adam has extensive knowledge using various flight simulator packages and thoroughly tests the files before writing about them. Adam also like to fly real-world aircraft in his spare time and is training for his PPL.

Should you wish, you can contact Adam via email at [email protected]

Installation of Add-on Aircraft/Scenery

Most of the freeware add-on aircraft and scenery packages in our file library come with easy installation instructions which you can read above in the file description. For further installation help, please see our Knowledge Center for our full range of tutorials or view the README file contained within the download.

Download Spaceflight Simulator for PC

Spaceflight Simulator for PC

DOWNLOAD NOW
Stop looking for the best app, we have found it for you. With a pretty good average note of 4.6, Spaceflight Simulator is THE application you need to have. And the 1,000,000 persons who have already install it will tell you the same.

Images of Spaceflight Simulator

Spaceflight Simulator in details

If you are interested, some numbers may please you :

  • The latest version of this application is 1.4.06
  • Last update was on September 9, 2018.
  • The category of the app is: Stefo Mai Morojna
  • The total number of downloads is: 1,000,000
  • And the OS you need to use or play on PC/Mac : Windows (XP, Windows 8, Windows 10, Windows Vista, Windows 7) and Mac OS (macOS Sierra, macOS High Sierra, OS X 10.11, OS X 10.10

Last update details

IMPORTANT FOR NEW PLAYERS:
I’m aware of the current lack of good instructions, i’m working on it as a top priority.
Until the new instructions are out, I would recommend this moon tutorial: https://youtu.be/bMv5LmSNgdo
There are also instructions available in the main menu.

Thank you for your patience, good luck exploring the stars

Description of Spaceflight Simulator

Here is a short description of the app to let you know more about it :

This is a game about building your own rocket from parts and launching it to explore space!

• Realistically scaled planets, with some up to hundreds to kilometers in size, and million of kilometers of space between them.
• Realistic orbital mechanics
• Open universe, if you see something in the distance, you can go there, no limits, no invisible walls.

Current planets and moons:
• Mercury
• Venus ( A planet with a extremely dense and hot atmosphere)
• Earth ( Our home, our pale blue dot )
• Moon ( Our celestial neighbour)
• Mars ( The red planet with a thin atmosphere)
• Phobos ( Mars inner moon, with rough terrain and low gravity)
• Deimos ( Mars outer moon, with a extremely low gravity and a smooth surface)

We have a really active discord community! https://discord.gg/v8u5Y9C

Video tutorials:
Orbit tutorial: https://youtu.be/5uorANMdB60
Moon landing: https://youtu.be/bMv5LmSNgdo

Spaceflight Simulator on PC and Mac

DOWNLOAD NOW
To have it yourself on your computer Mac or PC, you just have to follow the steps below :

If you prefer to have it on your smartphone, it is also easy to download it :

Orbiter 2016 Space Flight Simulator

Orbiter Space Flight Simulator 2016 Edition

Explore the solar system on your PC!

Fed up with space games that insult your intelligence and violate every law of physics? Orbiter is a simulator that gives you an idea what space flight really feels like – today and in the not so distant future. And best of all: you can download it for free!

Orbiter Space Flight Simulator 2016 Edition

Explore the solar system on your PC!

Fed up with space games that insult your intelligence and violate every law of physics? Orbiter is a simulator that gives you an idea what space flight really feels like – today and in the not so distant future. And best of all: you can download it for free!

Launch the Space Shuttle from Kennedy Space Center and rendezvous with the International Space Station.

Recreate historic flights with addon spacecraft packages: Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Vostok and more.

Plan interplanetary slingshots and tour the solar system with futuristic spacecraft.

Find and explore new worlds. Orbiter contains high-resolution models of many celestial bodies.

Design your own rockets, or download addons created by other users.

Learn about the concepts of space flight and orbital mechanics by playing and experimenting.

You are the commander of your spacecraft. Welcome to the flight deck!

Planetary bodies now support terrain elevation maps for modelling mountain ranges.

Write your own Orbiter plugin modules, and learn the basics of C++ programming along the way.

Thanks to the cloud, Microsoft Flight Simulator is back, and it – s real – GeekWire

Flight Simulator is back, and it’s real: Microsoft uses cloud to help classic franchise soar again

by Alan Boyle on September 30, 2019 at 12:01 am September 30, 2019 at 12:02 am

RENTON, Wash. — Thanks to Microsoft’s hyper-realistic new version of Flight Simulator, I now know what it’s like to fly a Cessna 72SP Skyhawk airplane over my neighborhood … then crash it into the next street over.

And in connection with a daylong preview of the pre-alpha version of the simulation software, I got to fly a real Cessna almost as close to my real neighborhood. Thankfully, without crashing.

Both adventures were eye-openers for a guy like me — a guy who had never taken a flight lesson before, and whose only previous experience with flight simulation programs has been to crash (or nearly crash) virtual spaceships.

But even a newbie like me can appreciate the effort that went into the first full refresh for Microsoft’s classic Flight Simulator in 13 years.

“Flight Simulator is actually older than Windows,” Jorg Neumann, head of the Microsoft Flight Simulator franchise for Xbox Game Studios Publishing, told me. “It’s the oldest franchise we have. So there’s always a desire to revitalize something like this. … This was just the right moment in time. It’s what I call convergence: We needed the right tech, we needed the right tools, we needed the right partners to really bring this back.”

Rendering tools have come a long way in the past decade, putting Hollywood-level graphics within the reach of game developers. Earth imagery has taken off, thanks to aerial and satellite-based reconnaissance. And cloud computing has opened new vistas for dealing with the massive mapping databases that have been created.

All those trends converged in 2016, when Neumann and his team started remaking Flight Simulator.

The project represents a renaissance for a title that served as an early demonstration of the potential of personal computers. First unveiled for the IBM PC in 1982, Flight Sim, as it’s known to its many fans, was effectively grounded as an active project a decade ago when Microsoft closed the Redmond studio that made Flight Simulator.

Microsoft went on to launch a spin-off called Microsoft Flight in 2012, but it never really took off and was shut down after several months. Another sequel, Flight Sim World, was made by Dovetail Games under license from Microsoft and launched in 2017, but it went off the market last year. A version of Microsoft Flight Simulator X is available on Valve’s Steam platform, but its underlying technology dates to 2006.

Much has happened in technology since then. The revitalized Flight Simulator, whose advent was announced in June at the E3 expo in Los Angeles, takes advantage of Bing Maps’ global imagery and the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. Then it adds artificial intelligence to flesh out the details, right down to populating the skies with clouds and putting leaves on the trees that I crashed through.

“We plant 1.5 trillion trees every day,” Neumann joked.

The result? Realistic re-creations of landscapes ranging from the city centers of Paris, New York and Seattle to the water tower and the recently rebuilt elementary school in my Eastside neighborhood.

That goes for everyone’s neighborhood, including Neumann’s.

“When I fly over my house, my car is parked in front,” he said. “It’s not just a simulation. It’s the real world.”

Creating a world to fly over

This month’s sneak preview, presented at Rainier Flight Service in Renton, was aimed at showing off the pre-alpha version of the new Flight Simulator for journalists, bloggers, influencers and seasoned users of Flight Simulator (known as “simmers”). Attendees were required to hold back on their reviews, their photos and even their tweets until the embargo lifted today.

One room was set aside for computer workstations, equipped with a Logitech simulation yoke and throttle as well as a Thrustmaster set of rudder pedals and a David Clark headset. Each workstation was emblazoned with an attendee’s call sign. (I made mine up specially for the meet-up: “AlienBoy.”)

The workstations for our pre-alpha tryout of Microsoft’s Flight Simulator were personalized with call signs. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)

“You’re the first people in the world to get a hands-on today,” Neumann told the standing-room crowd. But before they set us loose, Neumann and other developers in charge of the project explained how they kicked Flight Simulator’s level of reality up several notches.

Developers used a variety of strategies to create a virtual planet. They relied principally on 2 petabytes’ worth of Bing Maps’ aerial imagery, stored on Microsoft Azure servers. To re-create the 3-D look of 400 cities around the world in even finer detail, Flight Simulator draws upon high-resolution photogrammetric scans.

But wait … there’s more: Flight Simulator uses rendering tools that draw upon AI to fine-tune the 3-D imagery and fill in the gaps, ranging from remote stretches of terrain to buildings that are obscured in Bing’s pictures.

“Sometimes some aerial pictures can be covered with clouds,” said Lionel Fuentes, lead programmer at Asobo Studio in France, which partnered with Microsoft on the graphics. “Some areas are blurred on purpose.” (Fuentes later told me that the blurred-out areas are filled with generic graphics rather than, say, accurate renderings of missile silos.)

Asobo’s developers also dug deep into the physics of how light is scattered by hazy skies, how clouds are built with multiple layers of moisture, and how those clouds reflect and refract light. If you dial Flight Simulator’s settings just right, you can spot a double rainbow shining through a rain shower as you fly over a virtual Seattle.

A virtual rainbow shines amid sprinkles during a Flight Simulator flyover, with South Seattle College at the center of the image and downtown Seattle in the background. (Microsoft Pre-Alpha Illustration)

The same attention to detail was devoted to replicating the physics of flight — right down to the way raindrops stream across the windshield, and the way air flows around a mountain to create turbulence.

“It goes down to very small things, like trees, buildings. They also create turbulence when you fly over, like, downtown areas,” said Sebastian Wloch, co-founder and CEO of Asobo Studio. “So we simulate all that.”

The developers made high-resolution scans of cockpits as well, ranging from the trim little Cessna that I flew to big commercial jets.

Because so much data resides on the cloud, you’ll need a high-throughput connection to enjoy Flight Simulator to the max..”The better your bandwidth, the better your experience,” Fuentes said.

But if you’re bandwidth-challenged, don’t fret: The software is programmed to take maximum advantage of the connection that’s available. There’s even an offline simulation mode that’s based on real-life data, as well as a provision for pre-caching terrain data on your hard drive.

Thin blue lines trace how air flows over a mountain in Flight Simulator. (Microsoft Pre-Alpha Illustration)

Simulated flying vs. real-world flying

The new Flight Simulator is designed to let hard-core simmers dig deeply into the minutiae of instrument checklists, or allow newbies like me to skip the preliminaries and dive right in. High-fidelity audio replicates the sounds associated with takeoff, landing and in-air maneuvers. The controls let you display the full cockpit view, turn your virtual head to look out the windows, go to an outside-the-plane view or even get rid of the plane and look straight down.

Is the experience true to life? Wloch swears that it is.

“All of the aircraft have been designed and/or reviewed by people who have a lot of hours on the aircraft,” he said. “Every aircraft is different. We wanted them to not only be right on the numbers, but also feel right.”

To do that reality check, Microsoft partnered with airline pilots who put in tens of thousands of flight hours comparing the simulation with real-world flying. In one case, flight data readings were compared with the virtual plane’s performance in Flight Simulator — and pointed up a previously overlooked discrepancy in how the software calculated fuel consumption.

Since I’m a newbie, I can’t compare the new Flight Simulator with previous versions. But I can confirm that even a newbie can get a Cessna off the ground. I took off from a virtual version of Renton’s airport, and in just minutes I was flying over Seattle and Bellevue. Sure, I crashed when I tried to land back in Renton — but I marveled that I was able to stay up in the air for as long as I did, the first time around.

Adventurous fliers can try their hand at stunt aerobatics in Flight Simulator. (Microsoft Pre-Alpha Illustration)

That first flight turned out to be a classic case of beginner’s luck. For the next dozen times after that, my plane spun leftward into the trees just as it rose from the runway. I had to ask for help, and found out I should be using the rudder pedals to push the plane toward the right. (I totally ignored those pedals until I asked.)

I must have gone up in the air 40 times in all, and landed successfully just once. Several times, I crashed into the virtual trees of my own neighborhood in Bellevue while trying to get a close look at my house. It was pure frustration — and pure fun.

Then it was my turn to go up in a real Cessna with Justin Fancher, a flight instructor at Rainier Flight Service. He insisted that I take the left seat, which usually goes to the pilot in command. As we strapped in, Fancher told me Flight Simulator helped him prepare to be a pilot. “When it was time to actually train, I was less overwhelmed,” he recalled.

Fancher handled the controls from the right seat for the takeoff, but once we were in level flight, he let me take over. I’m sure I gripped the yoke a little harder than I needed to, but I successfully steered the plane through a turn over the Issaquah Alps for a close-up look at Snoqualmie Falls. Then I continued westward to Seattle.

I found that flying the real Cessna was easier than flying the simulated version. For one thing, Fancher adjusted the trim wheel so that the plane naturally stayed level. Heeding his advice, I led each maneuver with a push on a rudder pedal and followed up with a turn of the yoke — the opposite of what I was doing in the sim.

Fancher took back control of the plane so I could snap some pictures of the Seattle cityscape, plus shots of my neighborhood as we flew over Bellevue.

After Fancher landed the plane back in Renton, I found out why so many of my simulated takeoffs took a bad left turn. It turns out that Flight Simulator takes account of the slight weight imbalance when there’s just one pilot sitting in the cockpit’s left seat.

“If you’re alone, it’s going to have a small tendency to roll left,” Wloch told me. “It’s pretty subtle, but it’s there. If you fly the plane in the real world and you’re alone, you’ll notice you constantly have to push it right a little bit.”

If that bugs you, you can change the settings to balance the weight.

What’s next for Flight Simulator

Flight Simulator fans will get their first chance to sample the new version en masse as part of Microsoft’s “Tech Alpha” test program, which is due to begin in late October. To start the application process, head on over to FlightSimulator.com.

Microsoft will be fine-tuning the software and moving into beta mode over the next few months. The finished product will be released in 2020, starting with the PC version and following up with Xbox. There’ll be a multiplayer option as well.

“The baseline is, you can be online with friends,” Neumann said. But he and his team at Microsoft are still debating how much farther they’ll take the multiplayer concept.

“Somebody in the audience today said something about a co-pilot,” Neumann said. “We actually had that idea two years ago. We looked at it, and it didn’t seem like a high priority. But if the community tells us it is a high priority, then we will certainly look at that again.”

In one sense, Flight Simulator 2020 will never be finished. Because so much of the terrain imagery is stored in the cloud, it can be regularly updated with new construction and shifts in geography.

“The world is a living place, and it always evolves,” Fuentes said.

Fuentes and his colleagues at Asobo Studio have already seen that evolution in action: They’ve noticed shifts in the beaches around France’s Arcachon Bay on the Atlantic coast, possibly due to climate change and sea level rise.

Flight Simulator’s version of a Cessna 172 Skyhawk airplane soars over the simulated terrain of the Cascade Mountains. (Microsoft Pre-Alpha Illustration)

Flight Simulator will reflect those and other changes in the years ahead, with Microsoft making adjustments to keep pace with the real world and the world of cloud computing.

“We think of this whole thing as a 10-year journey,” Neumann told me.

Based on my one-day tryout, I’m ready to sign up for the journey — not so much to learn to fly, but to travel the world that Flight Simulator has built. And I’m probably not the only newbie in that frame of mind.

“Because we have reached a level of definition of the world that is so great you can actually enjoy the world as it is in real life from home, there is in this Flight Simulator iteration probably something that speaks to anyone,” David Dedeine, chief creative officer at Asobo Studio, told me.

“It’s what I call the tourist dimension,” he said. “Everyone is interested in seeing the beautiful places on Earth. Now, for the first time, this will be possible in the sim.”

Could there be new types of simulations from Microsoft that let you walk through those beautiful places, instead of flying over it? Neumann had a cagey answer.

“There are discussions about all kinds of things, almost overwhelmingly so,” he said. “Anything could be done, once you have the entire Earth.”

Love space and science? Sign up for our GeekWire Space & Science email newsletter for top headlines from Alan Boyle, GeekWire’s aerospace and science editor.

UT Dallas Professor Sets Spaceflight Simulation Game World Record – UT Dallas Magazine – The University of Texas at Dallas

UT Dallas Professor Sets Spaceflight Simulation Game World Record

Dr. Kevin Hamlen tested a theory he teaches his students within a spaceflight simulation game.

Computer science professor Dr. Kevin Hamlen was searching for the fastest route to a human colony 22,000 light years away in the game Elite Dangerous when the challenge started to look similar to a theory he teaches his students.

Hamlen, who was playing with his 6-year-old son, Will, would need to take risky shortcuts by scooping fuel from neutron stars to make long “hyperspace jumps” to beat the world record for reaching the farthest human colony (named Colonia) from Earth.

But which stars? And in what order? Traversing the galaxy without these dangerous maneuvers could take weeks, but using them without a careful plan could leave him stranded in deep space with little hope of rescue.

“I realized that the problem of finding the fastest way to get from Earth to Colonia is actually a famous graph theory problem we teach in computer science,” said Hamlen, Eugene McDermott Professor of computer science in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science. He said solving the problem involves analyzing a directed graph — often drawn as circles connected by arrows — to identify a least-cost path.

Dr. Kevin Hamlen and his son, Will.

“I thought it would be fun to see how well I could do using science to solve it,” Hamlen said. “I downloaded star map data and wrote some computer code to search for optimal flight paths, and then flew the route it discovered, with Will at my side calling out course corrections.”

The large dataset, with more than 1.3 million known neutron stars, required some coding finesse to analyze without large computers, Hamlen said.

“I used a number of algorithmic and programming tricks, such as pairwise heap data structures, a metric space transform, memory-mapped files for buffering data at high speed, and vector arithmetic operations available in modern Intel processors,” Hamlen said. “In all, it took me about four hours to write the code. After I was done, I could compute optimal routes between arbitrary stars in about one minute per 20,000 light years on my desktop PC.”

Using an A* (pronounced A-star) algorithm, Hamlen and Will reached their destination in 1 hour, 38 minutes and 11 seconds, beating the previous record by more than 12 minutes.

The online publication Sagittarius Eye chronicled Hamlen’s, aka Commander Falken’s, victory. (Online, the team is known as “Steve Falken,” named after the fictional computer scientist in the movie “War Games.”)

Dr. Hamlen has already beaten his own world record in Elite Dangerous. The professor said he used additional computer science theories he teaches students to broaden the space of possibilities that his algorithm could consider.

Hamlen was able to cut his flight time to 1 hour and 29 minutes (from his record-setting time of 1 hour, 38 minutes and 11 seconds).

“This weekend I refined my approach to beat the record by an even greater margin,” Hamlen said. “It’s probably the best I can get it.”

The best space games on PC, PC Gamer

The best space games on PC

Go beyond the infinite in these cosmic PC games.

The year is 2020 and despite how futuristic that sounds, us average folks probably won’t be headed to space for a weekend getaway any time soon. Until such a day as we can all escape Earth on a whim, here are some of the best games set in space to take you out to the unknown without actually leaving your room.

Whether you want to explore strange new worlds, seduce weird aliens, or become a feared galactic bounty hunter, there’s a space game for everyone on PC, and the following are currently the best examples you can play right now.

Outer Wilds

(Image credit: Mobius Digital)

Year 2019
Developer Mobius Digital
Link Official site

A first-person open world game about exploring a small solar system full of weird planets and odd cosmic phenomena. The catch? You’re trapped in a time loop, giving you just 20 minutes to explore at a time. Outer Wilds is reminiscent of games such as Her Story and Obra Dinn in the way you piece a puzzle together by discovering and connecting small, often seemingly unrelated details.

The Outer Worlds

(Image credit: Obsidian Entertainment)

Year 2019
Developer Obsidian Entertainment
Link Official site

Not to be confused with Outer Wilds, which is also a space adventure and also on this list, Obsidian’s latest RPG is a comedic action RPG that hearkens back to the studio’s days working on Fallout. You and your companions will hop around a solar system full of literally colorful environments and figuratively colorful characters. Corporations are the big bads of the retro space future where you’ll shoot up aliens, choose dialogue, and generally make a mess of every planet you show up on if it suits your fancy.

Homeworld Remastered Collection

Year 2015
Developer Relic/Gearbox Software
Link Official site

One of the best singleplayer RTS campaigns ever made, and beautifully remastered by Gearbox. The sight of thousands of your ships streaking across the game’s vividly colourful space-scapes is hugely dramatic. And battles are tense and tactical, with many types of ship to command, including colossal battleships. The Remastered Collection looks great on modern PCs and comes complete with the original Homeworld and its sequel.

Observation

(Image credit: Devolver Digital)

Year 2019
Developer No Code
Link Official site

The space station Observation has broken away from its Earth orbit and is drifting somewhere near Saturn. Its systems are malfunctioning, a fire has broken out, and the on-board artificial intelligence, SAM, is acting strangely. Things are not looking good for Dr. Emma Fisher, the reluctant hero of this sci-fi thriller from the studio behind Stories Untold. But what’s interesting about Observation is that you don’t play as Fisher. Instead, you play as the AI.

Surviving Mars

Year 2018
Developer Haemimont Games
Link Steam

Leaving Earth behind, humanity heads to Mars to start a new colony: and you’re in charge of it. Your new civilisation will grow from one small dome in the Martian desert to a bustling, sprawling off-world metropolis. But just make sure you don’t run out of oxygen or power, because on this ruthless planet it’s a death sentence for every citizen under your control.

Tacoma

Year 2017
Developer Fullbright
Link Official site

The crew has mysteriously abandoned the Tacoma lunar transfer station, and you’ve been sent to investigate and recover its precious AI, Odin. This atmospheric sci-fi mystery from the makers of Gone Home is wonderfully written, with a cast of rich, nuanced characters telling a compelling story through interactive AR recordings. Exploring the hyper-detailed station is a delight thanks to the game’s extraordinary attention to detail, and the more you learn about Tacoma, the deeper the mystery gets.

Objects in Space

Year 2019
Developer Flat Earth Games
Link Official site

This unique twist on the space sim shares the trading and exploration elements of games such as Elite Dangerous, but feels more like commanding a submarine. You don’t see space itself; just a series of utilitarian rooms full of screens and machinery. There’s a lot to manage, and you play several roles at once: pilot, engineer, comms officer. But despite the limited view of your surroundings, you still feel like you’re hurtling through space in a starship.

Elite Dangerous

Year 2014
Developer Frontier Developments
Link Official site

An entire galaxy is your playground in this space sim. Starting with a basic ship and a handful of credits, you shape your own destiny. Do you become a fearsome pirate? A master trader? An explorer? The beauty of Elite is being able to play in a way that suits you. From thrilling dogfights to gentle exploration, there’s something for everyone. And its ships are all an absolute dream to fly, whether it’s a nimble fighter or a heavy duty cargo hauler.

EVE Online

Year 2003
Developer CCP Games
Link Official site

Live another life—in space! There’s nothing else like EVE Online on PC, a massively multiplayer RPG where everything is controlled by players. It’s a living galaxy in which thousands of capsuleers fight, trade, mine, and explore together. Break away from the relative safety of your police-patrolled starting system and you’ll find a ruthless, cosmic Wild West, where piracy, espionage and scamming are rife. Whether you’re fighting in a massive space war, where thousands of real-world dollars hang in the balance, or just exploring New Eden on your own, EVE is an unforgettable experience.

Everspace

Year 2017
Developer Rockfish Games
Link Steam

When you die in roguelike Everspace, you’re dead. But money earned carries over and can be spent on upgrades, which means you’ll be more powerful for your next run through the cosmic gauntlet. And these perks keep adding up, allowing you to travel deeper into space, and more boldly, with every successive attempt. It’s a compelling loop, and when you die you’re never frustrated: just excited to start again, wondering how far you’ll make it this time.

Dead Space

Year 2008
Developer EA Redwood Shores
Link Steam

Space is the perfect setting for a horror game, and Dead Space is, next to Alien: Isolation, one of the best examples of the scary sci-fi genre. Engineer Isaac Clarke is sent to investigate a stricken ‘planet cracker’ ship, the USG Ishimura, and finds the craft overrun with hideous, fleshy monsters. Taking cues from Alien and, quite blatantly, cult favourite Event Horizon, the first game in the series is still the best. The increased focus on action in the sequels killed it.

Star Wars: Empire at War

Year 2006
Developer Petroglyph
Link GOG

Developed by Petroglyph, a studio founded by Westwood veterans, this real-time strategy is one of the best Star Wars games on PC. The streamlined interface and accessible systems might turn off some hardcore strategy fans, but in the thick of its chaotic, thrilling land and space battles the game is irresistible—especially if you’re a Star Wars fan. And hero units like Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker only add to the excitement.

Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2

Year 2019
Developer Tindalos Interactive
Link Official site

A real-time tactics game about giant spaceships clashing in the Warhammer 40,0000 universe. Battles take place on a 2D plane populated by capture points and asteroid fields, and the ships handle like giant, deadly cruise liners. You can unleash fighter and bomber squadrons, launch torpedo barrages and laser attacks, and board other ships. The space battles are involving and spectacular and the campaign is satisfying—especially for 40K fans.

Endless Space 2

(Image credit: Amplitude Studios)

Year 2017
Developer Amplitude Studios
Link Official site

A stylish game of galactic conquest. Not the broadest or deepest 4X strategy game on PC, but an atmospheric afternoon-killer that blends strategic decision making with a beautiful presentation. Set in a vivid sci-fi universe, the game lets you explore mysterious star systems, discover the secrets of ancient races, build colonies on distant planets, and encounter aliens to meet and conquer.

Heat Signature

Year 2017
Developer Suspicious Developments
Link Steam

In this top-down sci-fi action game you board spaceships and use an array of weapons and gadgets to take out the crew. The genius lies in how much creativity you’re given to play your own way, inspired by the best immersive sims. And how you react to the chaos that erupts when your presence on the ship becomes known makes Heat Signature a powerful anecdote generator. Things might not always go to plan, but that’s just part of the fun.

Duskers

Year 2016
Developer Misfits Attic
Link Official site

Despite being viewed entirely through a retro-futuristic computer interface, Duskers is one of the scariest, most tense sci-fi horror games on PC. In it you pilot a fleet of drones searching derelict spaceships for fuel, upgrades, and clues about why the galaxy is so mysteriously devoid of life. The ships you board are crawling with strange creatures, which makes looking for clues in those narrow, dark corridors an especially nerve-racking experience.

Destiny 2

Year 2017
Developer Bungie
Link Official site

Bungie’s addictive FPS/MMO hybrid features some of the prettiest alien landscapes on PC. From the forested ruins of Earth and the vast seas of Titan, to the red jungles of Nessus and the volcanic Io, every location is a pleasure to loot-and-shoot in. The endgame doesn’t have the iron grip it perhaps should, but sci-fi fans will get a kick out of this vivid, colourful setting.

The Dig

Year 1995
Developer LucasArts
Link GOG

A mission to divert an asteroid heading for Earth goes awry, sending a group of astronauts to a distant, seemingly abandoned world. Some of the puzzles are maddeningly obscure, even for a LucasArts point-and-click adventure, but the colourful, bizarre planet feels genuinely alien. Great voice acting too, with X-Files star Robert Patrick playing the lead character.

Universe Sandbox 2

Year 2014
Developer Giant Army
Link Official site

This space simulator lets you become an all-powerful cosmic deity, manipulating replicas of real galaxies and solar systems and witnessing the (often catastrophic) results of your meddling. Increase the mass of Jupiter and you’ll see the rest of our solar system being sucked into it, or delete the Sun and watch Earth and the other planets drift away confused.

Event[0]

Year 2016
Developer Ocelot Society
Link Steam

Stranded alone somewhere near Jupiter on an old luxury starship, your only hope of returning home is an AI that has serious emotional problems. You interact with Kaizen using your keyboard, and sometimes it’ll be willing to help you. But then it’ll change its mind and decide the best thing to do is close the airlock and trap you outside the ship until you run out of air. A clever adventure with the understated mood of a ’70s sci-fi film.

Mass Effect 2

Year 2010
Developer BioWare
Link Steam

If you’ve ever fantasised about being Captain Picard, in command of your own starship, exploring the galaxy, meeting weird aliens, being confronted with cosmic dilemmas, then Mass Effect 2 is that in game form. It’s part Star Wars space opera, part brilliant Star Trek episode, and one of the best sci-fi games on PC. It doesn’t have the freedom of Elite and is largely a linear experience, but it takes you on an unforgettable journey around the galaxy, visiting bizarre planets and getting involved in the lives of the aliens who live on them. We love the whole series, but we all agree that this is our favourite.

Stellaris

Year 2016
Developer Paradox
Link Official site

Developed by Paradox, of Crusader Kings and Europa Universalis fame, this sci-fi epic puts the ‘grand’ in grand strategy. Explore the universe, form alliances with alien factions, and engage in the odd large-scale space battle. The multitude of systems makes Stellaris a powerful story generator, and you never know what strange beings you’ll meet among the stars.

Alien: Isolation

Year 2014
Developer Creative Assembly
Link Official site

Amanda Ripley, daughter of Ellen, is hunted through a dilapidated space station by a xenomorph in this incredible survival horror. Taking its cues from Ridley Scott’s original 1979 film, it’s a masterpiece of slow-burning tension. And the station itself, Sevastopol, is a great example of lo-fi sci-fi, with chunky retro-futuristic tech and eerie flickering lights. One of the most faithful movie adaptations ever, and a great horror game in its own right.

No Man’s Sky

Year 2016
Developer Hello Games
Link Official site

This is one of the most dazzlingly colourful sci-fi universes on PC, and being able to seamlessly transition from space to the surface of a planet is an impressive technical feat. The addition of features like base-building and a mission system in recent updates give you a lot more to actually do when you touch down on these worlds, and the procedural generation algorithm has been tweaked to make for weirder, prettier planet surfaces.

Star Wars: TIE Fighter

Year 1994
Developer Totally Games
Link GOG

A rare opportunity to be the bad guy in George Lucas’s beloved space opera. With a variety of Empire-themed missions—dogfights, escorts, attacking capital ships—and a story to follow, it’s one of the best Star Wars games LucasArts ever published. Of course, you can replace this entry with Star Wars: X-Wing if you’d prefer to play as the boring old Rebel Alliance.

FTL: Faster Than Light

Year 2012
Developer Subset Games
Link Steam

FTL mixes turn-based and real-time strategy together to capture the experience of captaining a Star Trek-style spacecraft. It’s a strong roguelike, too, with a backdrop of a familiar yet fun sci-fi universe that comes with its own semi-humorous lore and a neat set of narrative beats that make the journey to its finale endlessly exciting. Being able to name your ship and crew makes it all the more heartbreaking when they die together in enemy space.

Wing Commander: Privateer

Year 1993
Developer Origin Systems
Link GOG

Fans of the series will argue endlessly about which Wing Commander is the best, but we love Privateer’s darker feel. It’s a rich sandbox in which you can be a mercenary, a pirate, a merchant, or a mix of all three. You jump between systems looking for bounties to hunt and ships to rob, and the first-person dogfights are a thrill. There’s a linear story, but the real joy lies in doing your own thing and carving your own path through the stars.

EVE: Valkyrie

Year 2016
Developer CCP Games
Link Official site

If you have a VR headset, this is the game to play on it. In Valkyrie you get to experience EVE Online’s famous space battles from the more intimate perspective of an individual fighter pilot. The feeling of being strapped into a cockpit, hurtling through space at immense speeds, is a visceral one. And the combat has been tuned specifically for virtual reality.

Kerbal Space Program

Year 2015
Developer Squad
Link Official site

Wrestle with gravity and the laws of physics as you build your own spacecraft and attempt to explore the cosmos. A robust, compelling sandbox of possibilities that’s as funny as it is clever. Escaping Kerbin’s atmosphere and landing on the Mun (without exploding) for the first time with a ship you’ve built yourself is about as satisfying as PC gaming gets.

Take On Mars

Year 2013
Developer Bohemia Interactive
Link Official site

If you like your space games a little more grounded, try Arma developer Bohemia’s Take On Mars. It’s a space exploration and colonisation simulator largely based on real astro-science. You can build a Curiosity-style rover and explore the surface of the red planet or construct your own Martian colony. A game for folk who want the sci without too much of the fi.

Sins of a Solar Empire

Year 2008
Developer Ironclad Games
Link Official site

Mixing real-time strategy with 4X elements, Sins is a game of galactic conquest. Choose a faction, gather resources and become a mighty space-lord. Commanding its real-time wars is thrilling, but combat isn’t always the answer: you can use diplomacy to conquer systems too. A refreshingly slow-paced RTS with some truly massive space battles to stare slack-jawed at.

Space Engineers

Year 2013
Developer Keen Software House
Link Official site

Harvest asteroids for building materials then craft them into floating bases, flyable spaceships, and more besides. You can hover around the map with a jetpack or build a gravity generator to walk safely on the surface of bigger asteroids. One of the best co-op build-’em-ups on PC.

Starbound

Year 2013
Developer Chucklefish Games
Link Official site

Terraria-esque survival with a science fiction twist. Hop between randomly generated planets on a starship, hunt alien creatures for food, build colonies and underground bases, and try not to die in the process. A brilliant sci-fi sandbox with a charming art style. Playable races include robots, beings made of solar energy, ape-like creatures, and colourful wingless birds.

SpaceEngine

Year 2010
Developer Vladimir Romanyuk
Link Official site

Do you like feeling small and insignificant? Then play SpaceEngine, which features, incredibly, the entire universe. Or at least the bit we know about. Focus on Earth, then pull back at top speed, and you suddenly become aware of how you’re on a tiny speck of dust hurtling through an endless void. The tech is remarkable, allowing you to travel effortlessly between galaxies and land on planets. But besides exploring, there isn’t much else to it.

Spaceflight Simulator APK download – Free game for Android SAFE

Spaceflight Simulator

Package com.StefMorojna.SpaceflightSimulator
Version 1.4.06 (58)
Updated September 08, 2018
Size 32.1 MB
Installs 5,000,000+
Category Simulation
Developer Stefo Mai Morojna

Spaceflight Simulator, developed by Stefo Mai Morojna., is truly a great app that has gained an impressive rating on Google Play Store with 5,000,000+ installs. This app is listed in the Simulation category of app store. You can choose to download and install the app on most Android devices using apk files for free. No doubt, Google Play is the safest place for app download, but for some unknown reasons, it happens to work improperly or you fail to access the store. In such cases, the best alternative is to download Spaceflight Simulator apk from a trusted third-party.

Download Spaceflight Simulator for Android Mobile

Spaceflight Simulator [32.1 MB] 2020 apk download is supported by a wide range of phones running Android 4.1+( Jio, Samsung Galaxy, Nokia, Sony, LG, Huawei, Vivo, Oppo, Xiaomi, Realmi, HTC, Moto (Motorola), Philips, Nexus, OnePlus, Honor, Asus, BenQ, Acer Liquid, alcatel etc.). You can also find to download all versions of the app ( the latest) with 100% original apk files taken from Google Play without any modifications at apkTovi.com. (Check if the apk file is original). Also, we are always quick to update the new version as soon as it is released on Google Play. For the best experience, you’re highly recommended to download and install Spaceflight Simulator latest version 1.4.06 apk because of its improvements, bug fixes and outstanding added features.

Download Spaceflight Simulator for PC/Windows 7/8/10

If you want to experience the game on desktop with maximum performance and frame rates, downloading and installing Spaceflight Simulator apk for PC or laptop using an Android emulator can be a good choice. You can run the app on your computer with Bluestacks, which supposedly tops the list of Android emulators for PC. But if your computer has insufficient space to run this emulator well, then there are chances of facing lags in its normal working. In such case, you can choose to run Spaceflight Simulator apk on any Microsoft Windows without Bluestacks by using other software such as KOPLAYER, MEMu, and Nox app player, etc.You can see the detailed instructions of how to download an apk file on mobile or pc so that you can download Phone Booster Cache Clean apk successfully on your Android phone or PC.

Download Spaceflight Simulator for Android TV box, Smart TV (Sony, Xiaomi, Skyworth, air tv, Philips), Android car or Android wear

You’re using other Android devices but you can’t download Spaceflight Simulator directly from Google Play, then go ahead to manually download the apk file. This procedure comes in quite handy because not all Android apps have made their way to the Android TV’s Play Store. By transferring over the downloaded APKs, you can experience any Android apps on your preferred devices without any costs.