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Topics - ApolloGirl

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Space Simulator was recently approved for publishing for Xiaomi in China. We are looking for people to help with English to Chinese translations to localise the game properly.
Any Chinese speakers interested please contact me for more detail.
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我们的游戏最近被批准在中国出版小米。 我们正在寻找帮助英语翻译成中文的人来翻译游戏。 如果您有兴趣,请联系我了解更多详情。

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General Discussion / Space Shuttle dock with ISS
« on: May 16, 2018, 03:56:42 PM »
Hi all,

Here are a couple of videos of gameplay footage of the second Space Shuttle scenario - Space Shuttle ISS Rendezvous.

The steps are roughly as follows:
1) RETRO relative to the docking target until relative velocity is about 0m/s.
2) Point to the target and get as close as possible to within about a couple of hundred meters.
3) Kill relative velocity.
4) Use manual control to align the spacecraft with the docking port.
5) And finally, use RCSTRAN to complete docking.

In this particular scenario, as the docking port of the ISS is on the other side, fly the Shuttle pass it and approach from the other side.

Hope this helps.

Space Shuttle ISS docking part 1
Space Shuttle ISS docking part 2

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General Discussion / spacecraft staying in orbit
« on: April 10, 2018, 11:12:17 AM »
From time to time we'll get a question similar to the one below:
"
when I put myself in orbit around a planet and I accelerate time, the orbit change itself and I'm no longer in orbit".

The reason why it seems that you're going off orbit is because there are two types of orbits simulated in this game. The yellow orbit is the analytic orbit. This is the idealised orbit that we're all used to seeing in textbooks. These are usually circular or oval shaped orbits that wrap neatly around the planet. The is what an idealised orbit. This is how an orbit would look like if there were only the planet and the spacecraft in the entire space.

Of course, there are other celestial objects in the Universe and in the game. The actual path of the orbit is not as neat. It is affected by all the other objects in the space, albeit, to a much smaller extent.

To see the actual or real orbit that your spacecraft will take, you need to look at the pink orbit. This orbit is calculated numerically and represent that path your spacecraft will actually take. More often than not, this will always deviate from the yellow path.



EXAMPLE:

1) We try to go to the Moon. We adjust Delta-V and Delta-T until the yellow analytic orbit extends beyond the Moon. 



2) But we know for sure that the path that your spacecraft will travel won't be that simple. To see the REAL path of the spacecraft, hit the COMPUTE button to calculate the path numerically. You will see a pink path calculated. This the more like the actual path that a spacecraft would travel in this situation.



3) Here we see that the pink path is too short and we don't see what happens around the Moon. To see further into the future we simply increase the Sim Step slider to extend the calculation further.


In this image, we see clearly how the two orbits differ and how orbits will shift over time due to the presence and movement of other gravitational bodies in the simulated space and other factors, such as changing mass, etc.

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General Discussion / menu text size
« on: March 09, 2018, 11:33:17 PM »
In case we didn't already mention, the menu text size in the Steam game is adjustable. If the text is too small just Ctrl and mouse scroll up to zoom in and increase text size.
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And to increase the control window size, just drag on the bottom-right corner of the window to adjust accordingly.

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General Discussion / STEAM QUICK LAUNCH GUIDE
« on: February 27, 2018, 09:15:59 AM »
As the Steam version is much more detailed, the launch procedure is slightly different. For the Steam version we recommend using the auto checklist option to run through the missions.

Use the CHECKLIST tab to select the corresponding checklist for your mission, then hit the AUTO button to run through the checklist automatically.

Here is the guide on Steam:
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1265506618


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General Discussion / STEAM for PC is LIVE!
« on: February 26, 2018, 12:45:18 PM »
Hi everyone,

Space Simulator is now available for PC on Steam in Early Access. The game is available at a discounted price for a limited time:
http://store.steampowered.com/app/529060
 

Thank you all again for your patience and support!

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General Discussion / steam release next Monday
« on: February 25, 2018, 11:39:24 AM »
I'm happy to announce that we'll be releasing Space Simulator for PC for Early Access on Steam Monday 25 Feb 2018. The game will be available at a discounted rate for a limited amount of time.

Thank you all for your patience and we hope to hear positive feedback!

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General Discussion / programmers that put man on the moon
« on: February 20, 2018, 10:27:47 PM »
Much of the ground work of putting man on the moon was done by a bunch of young ambitious programmers that worked round the clock to meet NASA's impossible deadlines. The software running on the simulators was key to the success of the missions as every maneuver carried out onboard was calculated in advance by IBM computers in the Real-Time Computer Complex at Johnson Space Center. 

These are some of the programmers that helped achieve NASA's missions:
https://www.techrepublic.com/pictures/photos-the-computer-programmers-behind-nasas-apollo-missions/

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General Discussion / SpaceX Falcon Heavy flight
« on: February 14, 2018, 08:48:25 PM »
The Falcon Heavy successfully launched for the first from Cape Canaveral on 6 February sending Musk's Tesla into orbit towards Mars. The flight proved successful in many ways. Two boosters returned to Earth. The Falcon Heavy is now the most powerful rocket able to lift  141,000 lb of payload. Only the Saturn V has delivered more payload into space. We are now one step closer to more affordable spaceflight.

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General Discussion / barbecue roll
« on: December 17, 2017, 07:00:23 PM »
The Passive Thermal Control maneuver, aka the barbecue roll, is a maneuver used by the Apollo spacecraft on its coast to the Moon. The CSM rotates along its x-axis (along the length of the body) of about one revolution per 10 minutes or slower. The in order to disperse heat from the Sun and heat up the spacecraft evenly.  




Active torquing was required to maintain the desired attitude because the moment of inertia principal axes were not precisely aligned with the spacecraft axes. This was accomplished by using the rotational hand controller to create a pure torque about the roll axis, instead of using the active attitude control mode.

This maneuver was first successfully tested in Apollo 7.
In Apollo 13, the crew performed a barbecue roll before powering down the spacecraft to avoid further thermal damage to the ship. 

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General Discussion / Saturn V fuel vapor
« on: December 14, 2017, 08:10:08 AM »
Ever wondered was that steam coming out of the side of the Saturn V rocket is? If you look closely, you'll see vapor steaming out of the top of the fuel tanks hours prior to launch.



All the three stages of the Saturn V use liquid oxygen (LOX) as oxidizer. The LOX is kept liquid at about -183 degrees Celsius. To main this temperature it continuously boils off and is replenished through the fill and drain line between loading and prepressurization.

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General Discussion / Early Access roadmap ahead
« on: December 11, 2017, 09:48:29 AM »
As many of you already know Space Simulator is coming soon to Steam Early Access. We plan to roll out the game in various stages through Early Access. 

Initial launch will include a detailed Apollo 8 mission. This includes launch, translunar injection, lunar orbits and return to Earth.

In the following months we plan to finish work on the Lunar Module to release Apollo 9, which was the first mission with the LM, then Apollo 10 and 11, etc. in successive months. 

Once all the Apollo missions are in place we'll start implementing the Steam Space Shuttle missions. This will likely be 6-12 months down the track from now.

Of course, if time permits we will enable VR to make this a truly immersive experience.

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General Discussion / apollo 8 earthrise
« on: December 11, 2017, 09:32:26 AM »
Many of us know that famous earthrise image showing a profound contrast between the gray of the Moon and blue of the Earth and the dark of space.




Although entrenched in the popular imagination, this image was in fact not the first photograph ever to be taken of the Earth by a human. 

The first ever picture taken of the Earth rising from the Moon was taken a minute before the above iconic image, but in black and white.

As Apollo 8 circled the Moon for the fourth time, LM pilot Bill Anders spots the Earth coming over the Moon's western horizon through window 5. Interestingly, the crew saw the horizon of the Moon running down vertically. The gap between the Earth and the horizon is much smaller than in the later pictures. 



Facing us is the Atlantic Ocean with the terminator running between South America and Western Africa.

Soon realizing the opportunity at hand, Anders quickly geared up a color roll to take that famous image through the rendezvous window.

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General Discussion / IMU, REFSMMAT and P52
« on: November 29, 2017, 06:49:53 PM »
A very brief intro of these essential concepts of the Apollo Guidance and Navigation system.
 
The attitude (orientation) of the Apollo spacecraft was measured by the inertial measurement unit (IMU). The IMU was a set of three nested gimbals that supported a platform at the center. The three gimbals separated the platform from the spacecraft so that the orientation of the platform remained the same while the spacecraft moved around it. The spacecraft's attitude could be calculated relative to the platform's orientation.



The IMU measurements only make sense if we know which way the platform was oriented in space. Here is where the REFSMMAT comes in. A REFSMMAT (reference to a stable member matrix) is a way to express orientationis. It is a set of numbers that describe the orientation of the IMU platform. Since the spacecraft moves substantially with respect to the Earth and Moon, an inertial reference is used. The REFSMMAT is defined with respect to the stars. 

The IMU drifted out of alignment with the REFSMMAT over time. Periodically, and prior to burns, the platform had to be realigned. This realignment is called a P52. A P52 is performed by sighting two stars with a sextant. The computer compares the star's actual position with where it thinks it should be to calculate the amount the platform has drifted.

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General Discussion / the burn PAD
« on: November 29, 2017, 02:06:27 PM »
How burns were actually performed in the Apollo missions?

In preparation for each burn, mission control would calculate the currently trajectory, and the magnitude and direction of the upcoming burn. Mission control then writes down the details of the required burn on a standard grid form called a pre-advisory data (PAD). 




Capcom then reads the values on the PAD to the crew, which then writes down its own copy. The crew then reads it back to mission control to check the values have been copied correctly. Ultimately, the crew punches the numbers on the PAD into the DSKY, which then performs the required burn.

The PAD includes information on when the burn should occur, the amount by which it should change the spacecraft's velocity, and the direction in which the spacecraft should be pointing at the time of the burn.

So far we have sufficed with a throttle lever for firing up the engine. For the Steam version we are stepping up the game to include also simulation of burns performed with PAD numbers. 

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