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 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.


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 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.


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.

Human Spaceflight Laboratory, Department of Space Studies, University of North Dakota

Human Spaceflight Laboratory

The faculty and staff in the Human Spaceflight Laboratory at the University of North Dakota are pleased to welcome you.

Since 2004, dedicated individuals, including students, faculty, and experts, have contributed to incorporating a human spaceflight component to the Space Studies Department at UND. This website is a living tribute to the work those individuals completed, the work that continues today, and the work we are striving towards in the future.

The UND Human Spaceflight Laboratory provides relevant, real-world experience to students from all over the world. The Human Spaceflight Laboratory offers formal involvement in Graduate/Undergraduate Research Positions, NASA projects, and activities related to human spaceflight. This involvement contributes to an enriched education for all involved students and staff.

The main focus of our research is the design and production of space suit and habitat prototypes. UND is the first university with a NASA-funded laboratory dedicated to designing and constructing space-exploration and planetary surface exploration suits. Our first suit, the North Dakota Experimental-1 (NDX-1) suit, was designed for use on the surface of Mars. Our second suit, the North Dakota Experimental-2 (NDX-2) suit, was designed for testing in lunar simulations.

UND is also the first university with two fully-operational spaceflight simulators. These simulators, which are part of the Human Spaceflight Laboratory initiative, are based on real-life models. The first simulator is based on NASA’s Apollo capsule, while the other is a mock-up of SpaceShip One, the world’s first privately-owned, successful sub-orbital space vehicle.

Our recent efforts involve the design, construction, and testing of an Inflatable Lunar Habitat (ILH), with an attached electric rover. The ILH consists of a frame surrounded by a “bladder” that isolates the habitat from the surrounding atmosphere. The electric rover is built with two attached NDX-2 planetary suits. The mission behind the joined habitat, rover, and planetary suits is the testing of a conceptual planetary (Moon/Mars) base.

You will find within this website information about our past, current, and future projects. For information beyond what is featured on this site please get in touch with us. We encourage you to get involved in the human spaceflight activities here at UND.


Our mission at the University of North Dakota Human Spaceflight Laboratory is to:

  • develop state of-the-art space suit components and Extra-Vehicular Activities (EVA) technologies for the space explorers of the 21st Century and beyond
  • collaborate with NASA on the development of space suits, their related systems, and support the space exploration objectives of the agency
  • cooperate with the aerospace industry and assist in the development of new-generation space suits for private spaceflight
  • be a part of educating the next generation of space engineers and space explorers in human spaceflight, human factors, and the design, construction, and operation of space suits

Education and Outreach

Group and individual tours of our facilities are available to students of all ages, as well as aerospace industry personnel. Attendees are shown the Space Suit Laboratory and Inflatable Lunar/Martian Habitat where they receive first-hand experience with the different elements of the Human Spaceflight Laboratory. These guests are also shown the simulators and are invited to fly a SpaceShipOne mission or dock with the International Space Station (ISS) at the Spacecraft Simulator Facility.

The Human Spaceflight Laboratory also gives graduate students hands-on experience providing opportunities for thesis and individual work. Many theses and conference papers have been produced as a result of the work with the Inflatable Lunar/Martian Habitat, simulators, and space suit prototyping conducted at this facility with UND professors.


We provide tours of the Space Suit Laboratory, Flight Simulator Facility, and the Inflatable Lunar/Martian Habitat for tours of all sizes and interests. Please contact us in advance to ensure availability.

Simulators, National Air and Space Museum

National Air and Space Museum

One Museum, Two Locations

Visit us in Washington, DC and Chantilly, VA to explore hundreds of the world’s most significant objects in aviation and space history.

Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall

Learn how aviation and spaceflight transformed the world.

Lunar Module LM-2

The lunar module represents one of humanity’s greatest achievements: landing people on another heavenly body.

STEM in 30

Don’t miss our fast-paced webcasts designed to engage students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math in 30 minutes.

Share Your Story

Apollo 11 was a global event. What did that historic mission mean to you? Share your story and read what others have to say.

Our scientists are involved in current research focused on the Martian climate and geology. Find out what we’re discovering.

Wall of Honor

Recognize your favorite air or space enthusiast. Add his or her name to the Museum’s Wall of Honor.

We continue to welcome guests to our museums and programs as we closely monitor the coronavirus situation. See our message to visitors.

You are here


Things to Do

Virtual Reality, Interactive and Capsule Simulators

Try our motion-based Virtual Reality space adventure (VR Transporter) or Fly or Ride in our capsule (Ride Simulator) or interactives (Flight Simulators) and experience the thrill of being a part of the action! Located in the Go Fly Zone (Gallery 110).

VR Transporter

Be ‘transported’ into space and see the Earth as never before with our state-of-the-art motion-based virtual reality ride using the latest visual display technology! With our electronic VR goggles, you will be immersed in the action as you look in any direction during the adventure. The VR Transporter makes you feel as though you are there!

Apollo 11 & Beyond: Climb aboard a massive Saturn V rocket and blast off for adventure to witness humankind’s first inspiring steps on the Moon. Glimpse how small steps will lead to giant leaps in the future as the exploration of Mars begins!

Spacewalk – Danger in Orbit: Leave the safety of the Space Shuttle cargo bay on an exciting extravehicular activity (EVA) as you tour around the International Space Station. Your mission is to test out a new manned-maneuvering unit. Witness the dangers of living and working in space.

Cosmos Coaster: Take a white-knuckle journey at fantastic speeds from the Earth to the Moon and to many worlds beyond. Your futuristic rail car careens through the cosmos to show you many VR vistas you could only dream of, including the Earth, Moon, Venus, Mars and Neptune!

Interactive Flight Simulators

Fly combat sorties in simulators that let you control the action and perform 360-degree barrel rolls!

Try your skills in many aircraft, including the P-51 Mustang, F-18 Hornet, A-10 Thunderbolt II, F-16 Fighting Falcon, P-40 Warhawk, F-4 Phantom II and more!

Ride Simulator

Choose your adventure and take an exciting trip in our passenger ride simulator. Ride experiences include*:

Wings: Flights of Courage: From the first powered flights to the supersonic speeds of the jet age, many courageous pilots have pushed the limits of technology. Envision the thrill of flying along with the Wright Brothers, the Tuskegee Airmen, the Blue Angels and other daring aviators!

Destination: Black Hole: Travel aboard a futuristic spacecraft through the Universe and glimpse planets, stars and the mysterious black hole, Sagittarius A*, at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy.

Red Baron: Hop into the open cockpit of a triplane and head into danger with the most infamous ace of World War I. Experience barnstorming and heroic engagement in this intense aerial dogfight over European towns and battlefields.

Discovery: Space Mission Hubble: Join a crew of brave astronauts and blast off into space to witness the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope! Glimpse far-away galaxies, stars and nebulae and brace yourself for a fiery re-entry to Earth.

Moon Mission: A futuristic moon mission turns from “routine” to “crisis” when a meteor shower strikes. Survival depends on a fast emergency evacuation. Stay calm and remember your training! Join other astronauts in this thrilling escape from the collapsing surroundings of their Moon base.

* Additional ride experiences available. Ride menu subject to change.


You may purchase tickets at the Simulators or IMAX ® Theater box offices. No reservations are required.

VR Transporter:
$11.00 with the purchase of an IMAX ticket

Interactive Flight Simulators:
$9.00 with the purchase of an IMAX ticket

Ride Simulators:
$7.00 with the purchase of an IMAX ticket

Payment Options:
Cash, VISA, MasterCard and Discover


Gallery 110 on the first floor, east end of the Museum.

For more information call

Simulator Ride Safety Requirements

VR Transporter and Interactive Flight Simulator riders must be 48 inches tall. Ride Simulator passengers must be 42 inches tall to ride unless accompanied by an adult.

All simulators are full-motion rides. Do not ride if you have back, neck, or heart trouble or if you are pregnant.

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.”

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Space Mission Simulator – Challenger Learning Center of Tallahassee

Space flight simulator

The Tiny Explorers program is for our early learners ages 3-5. Two programs are available: Space themed activities and viewing One World, One Sky in our Downtown Digital Dome or Light and shadow activities and viewing In My Backyard in our Downtown Digital Dome. You can choose between a two hour program at the CLC that features hands-on activities and the dome show ($10 per students, $200 minimum for up to 40 students) or our off-site program where we come to you. The off-site option features one and a half hours of hands-on activities and demonstrations and each student will also receive a ticket to come see a show in our Downtown Digital Dome ($15 student, $200 minimum for up to 40 students)!


The Space Mission Simulator is the perfect setting for students to suspend their disbelief and travel to space. During the K-1 “Mars Explorer” mission students use simple words and pictures to achieve their mission. The “Asteroid Explorer” mission for 2nd and 3rd graders uses beginner reading vocabulary and easy to follow directions. Fourth graders become “Comet Explorers” and have a blast doing hands-on activities and working in space. All missions include standards-aligned STEM activities. All programs feature a grade-level appropriate planetarium show with a “pre-show” presented by one of our instructors in the Downtown Digital Dome.

In all missions, on-board astronauts in the spacecraft simulator conduct science experiments related to a space theme. A two-hour program for up to 44 students is $350 and includes 30 minutes in the spacecraft simulator, one 30 minute hands-on activity and a planetarium show. A three-hour program for up to 66 students is $500 and includes 40 minutes in the spacecraft simulator, two additional hands-on activities and a planetarium show.

NEW! Moon Explorers (K – 5th grade)

Go forward to the Moon in our new Moon Explorers mission highlighting the Artemis Program of 2024. During the mission, students will blast off to the Moon and conduct hands-on science experiments in our spacecraft simulator.

Kindergartners and first graders program Ozobots to perform tasks on the Moon. A paper model build of the Space Launch System is included in the 3-hour program.

Second and third graders program Sphero robots to perform tasks on the Moon. A paper model build of the Space Launch System is included in the 3-hour program.

Fourth and fifth graders experience a space science demonstration. A lunar geology activity is included in the 3-hour program.

Mars Explorers (K – 1st grade)

During the spacecraft simulation, students blast off from the “Red Planet” and launch into space and complete science experiments before launching CubeSats to the moons of Mars. A paper model build of the Space Launch System is included in the 3-hour program.

Asteroid Explorers (2nd – 3rd grade)

Modeled after NASA’s Osiris-Rex mission to the asteroid Bennu, students travel to the asteroid to collect a sample using the TAGSAM (Touch and Go Sample Arm Mechanism). The mission includes a paper model build of the Atlas V rocket used in the mission. A model TAGSAM build is available in the 3-hour program.

Comet Explorers (4th – 5th grade)

Comet Explorers honor the Challenger 51L crew and continue their mission to study Comet Halley. In the spacecraft, student astronauts build and launch a probe to gather data on the comet. Problem solving skills are necessary, as new events occur that can change the mission. A space science demonstration is included. A LEGO build of a Saturn V rocket model is included in the 3-hour program.

Earth Explorers (6th grade and up)

Students are sent on a mission to the International Space Station (ISS) to complete hands-on experiments and make Earth observations. A major hurricane is heading towards Florida and the ISS crew is tasked with gathering data and sending vital landfall information back to Earth. Emergencies may occur that require teamwork and critical thinking. The 2-hour program includes a Dynamic Demo. The 3-hour program includes a Dynamic Demo and a gyroscope build.


The Space Mission Simulator offers the next best thing to actual space flight with a Mission Control room and an orbiting Spacecraft laboratory. During a simulation, students work together as astronauts, scientists and engineers to complete one of four scenarios outlined below. What seems to be a routine exploration becomes filled with exciting challenges and emergencies.

A two-hour mission (flown in both Mission Control and Spacecraft) is $400 for up to 32 students and includes teacher in-service training, classroom curriculum materials and follow-up activities. One-hour mini-missions are available for $250 for up to 16 students that are flown in the Spacecraft.

Rendezvous with a Comet (5th Grade)

Embark on a mission to Rendezvous with Comet Encke and send a probe to gather data on the comet. Students use their problem solving skills to determine if the mission should continue as planned or if a different course is necessary.

Return to the Moon (6th Grade)

For the first time since 1972, a crew of astronauts is returning to the moon. Their mission is to establish a permanent base for Earth observation and determine whether off-Earth settlements are possible. Teams work together and ensure a safe lunar arrival. Sponsored locally by Shell.

Voyage to Mars (7th Grade)

It is the year 2076. A crew of astronauts has been living and conducting research at Chryse Station on Mars for the last two years. The replacement crew is on a nine-month journey to Mars to replace the existing crew of astronauts and continue their mission.

Expedition Mars (8th Grade and up)

Set in the future when humans have established mission control on the Martian Moon Phobos, spacecraft astronauts are on a mission to the surface of Mars to search for water and evidence of life. The astronauts find themselves in a high-risk situation and must work together to solve the problems and complete the mission.


Photo Credit: Bow Stern Marketing Communications

Space travel is for all ages at the Challenger Learning Center! Become engineers and astronauts in our Mission Control room designed after NASA Johnson Space Center and an orbiting space station modeled after the laboratory on the International Space Station. Adult group missions are great for church groups, neighborhood associations, sororities & fraternities, business teams or other civic groups.

Looking for a unique and fun way to boost employee communication, teamwork and problem-solving skills?
Bring your team to the Challenger Learning Center where crew members work as scientists and engineers to fly a simulated space mission in our space station lab and mission control room. The missions are tailored to meet the specific needs of your group.

  • Up to 32 adults (2 hours) – $400
  • Mini-Mission: Up to 16 adults (1 hour) – $250

Extend your experience by renting one of our facilities or add on IMAX or Planetarium shows!

To book your Space Mission Simulation, please call our Sales Coordinator at 850.645.7777.

IMAX and Planetarium shows and Dynamic Demos & Learning Labs can be added to your mission for added learning and fun!

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.

Space Flight Simulation to Study Effects of Micro-gravity Through Bed Rest – Full Text View

Space Flight Simulation to Study Effects of Micro-gravity Through Bed Rest (FAP)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.

Flight Analogs/Bed Rest Research Project (FA/BRRP) provides NASA with a ground-based research platform to complement space research. By mimicking on Earth the conditions of weightlessness experienced by the human body in space, NASA can test and refine scientific theories and procedures to develop countermeasures to protect humans from the effects of the space travel. The use of ground analogs, such as bed rest, are essential because access to the resources required to conduct studies in space is very limited, and the expense of studies significantly greater than those conducted using flight analogs. Future space exploration will challenge NASA to answer many critical questions about how humans can live and work for extended missions away from Earth.

Flight analog testing is critical to NASA to validate countermeasures, given the few opportunities to use flight platforms as the Shuttle retires; also, the US has only 1-2 International Space Station (ISS) crewmembers per Expedition. The Flight Analogs/Bed Rest Research Project is one way NASA will devise ways to ensure astronaut safety and productivity on extended missions to the moon and Mars.

In the Flight Analogs Project (FAP), volunteers spend many days in a controlled research environment in the Flight Analog Research Unit (FARU) in Galveston, TX. In the current campaigns, volunteers will undergo three phases in the bedrest projects: 1) pre-bedrest baseline testing, 2) a bedrest phase, and 3) the recovery period. Bed rest results in many physiologic changes similar to those seen in astronauts. Pre bed rest is used to gather baseline data against which the bed-rest phase data will be compared. Researchers then monitor how the volunteers’ bodies change over the course of the study and how quickly they recover once they are allowed to resume normal activities. Post bed rest is used to monitor recovery from bed rest. In longer campaigns, return to the unit for follow-up testing may be requested after 1, 3, 6, and/or 12 months.

THE COUNTERMEASURE AND FUNCTIONAL TESTING STUDY (CFT) will test the effectiveness of exercise on loss of muscle, bone and cardiovascular function. Participants will perform an exercise program in a system called the standalone Zero Gravity Locomotion Simulator (sZLS), a “vertical treadmill” that removes the weight from the long axis of the body to simulate exercise as it is done in space. Resistance (weight lifting) exercise will be performed on special weight machines. Before and after 70 days of bedrest, participants will be tested on a corresponding set of physiological measures. Specific exercises and intensities are rotated such that each workout is different, with some days being heavier and some lighter. Results of the study will help understand which mission tasks might be affected by changes in physiology during space flight and design countermeasures to prevent or minimize impairment to these physiological systems

The ALTERNATE COMPRESSION GARMENT STUDY (ACG) will determine effectiveness of compression garments on regulating blood pressure and other body systems after extended periods of head-down bed rest. Participants in the experimental group will wear custom-fit compression garments and undergo evaluation on their response to an upright tilt test and a corresponding set of physiological measures before and after 14 days of bed rest. These participants will be compared to another group of participants who did not wear the compression garments. Results of the study will help scientists determine the time it takes for the cardiovascular system to re-adapt to upright posture, determine whether wearing compression garments during recovery is necessary to protect against dizziness and loss of consciousness often experienced after space missions, and determine the effect of wearing custom fit compression garments on the amount of time needed to readjust to a normal, upright posture.

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


    • 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

    • 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

© 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.

Electronics students help reboot space shuttle flight simulator, Hawaii Community College

Electronics students help reboot space shuttle flight simulator

During the past several months, a group of community partners, including Hawai‘i Community College Electronics Technology students, restored a space shuttle flight simulator that had been sitting unused and in disrepair at the Pacific Aviation Museum on O‘ahu.

On Thursday, January 28, which was the 30 th anniversary of the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger, the flight simulator was unveiled during a ceremony at Kea‘au High School.

The restoration of the flight simulator and the unveiling ceremony were done in honor of Ellison Onizuka, an astronaut who grew up in Kona and perished when the Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff.

Rob Kelso, the Executive Director of the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES), was a friend and colleague of Onizuka’s. Kelso spearheaded the restoration project, which was performed by Kea‘au High School students working in a variety of trades programs, including the Construction Academy that is administered by Hawai‘i CC; Hawai‘i CC students in the Electronics Technology program; and the Hawai‘i Civil Air Patrol.

“I think he would absolutely love this and he’d be very proud that his heritage is connected to these kids,” said Kelso.

Bernard “Chip” Michels, an Electronics Technology Instructor at Hawai‘i CC, said he and his students faced a complex task as they worked to restore the control panels in the simulator.

“There is about 5,000 feet of wiring harness on the back side of the panels,” said Michels. “There are more than 800 switches on the panels. The wiring harnesses were hand-made with a twist rate of 12 wraps per foot. The wire was then soldered to the switch terminals.”

“The challenge of this was corrosion,” Michels added. “When the shuttle was at the Pacific Aviation Museum it was left out in the weather. Needless to say the harsh salt air raised havoc on the components. Each switch had to be tested for continuity, and each terminal had to be polished so that the solder would have a chance of bonding. We then proceeded to construct two power supplies from scratch. We went as far as doing load calculations and fabricating our own printed circuit boards (PCB). This included laying out the PCB, etching and assembly. We then did adjustments to the power supplies to match the loading requirement.”