Orbiter space flight simulator
Orbiter 2006 Freeware Space Flight Simulator Released
The Orbiter 2006 Freeware Space Flight Simulator
London (SPX) May 10, 2006
The release of Orbiter 2006, the latest version of this comprehensive freeware space flight simulator, has been announced. Orbiter offers accurate physics, excellent 3D graphics, astronomy features, and a first-person astronaut’s perspective. Created as an educational project by Dr. Martin Schweiger of University College London, Orbiter has been in development since 2000.
Orbiter allows users to virtually experience many aspects of space flight, including launching to orbit, orbital maneuvering, rendezvous/docking with the International Space Station, deploying satellites from the space shuttle, and even flying to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
It comes with several simulated spacecraft, including the space shuttle Atlantis and the futuristic “Delta Glider,” which takes off like an airplane and has sufficient fuel and power for interplanetary flights. Open architecture allows the world-wide Orbiter community to create a wide range of add-ons, hundreds of which are available on-line.
These allow users to simulate complete Apollo missions, recreate historic exploration missions such as Voyager, try out NASA’s next generation CEV, and even fly many fictional spacecraft from movies and books.
The 2006 version adds a number of significant new features, including an integrated “mission builder” (Scenario Editor), support for high resolution “level 10” planetary surface graphics, enhanced lighting effects, improved mouse-based user interface features, and a flight recorder (to record and play back space missions within Orbiter).
Several annotated flight recording “movies” now supplement the tutorial features of the Orbiter PDF documentation. Additional user-written tutorials for Orbiter are also available on the web, including a free e-book called Go Play In Space.
Orbiter is an excellent resource for space flight enthusiasts, teachers and students of astronomy and physics, and even for aerospace and media professionals who can use it to accurately and dynamically illustrate space missions. Orbiter 2006 is available for free download at several web sites linked from the main site (www.orbitersim.com), where additional information and a gallery of program screen shots are also available.
For more information, contact Orbiter’s author, Dr. Martin Schweiger (UK, information above), or in the USA, contact Bruce Irving (MA-based author of Go Play In Space), [email protected], (508) 835-1177