Friday, October 14, 2005

For starter ...

In order to fly myself to the moon, there is a rather large amount of knowledges and experiences that I need to acquire. Right now, I can see three main categories:
  1. Astronomy
  2. Mechanics (Spaceflight and Orbital)
  3. Apollo Hardware
1 & 2 are obviously tighly coupled and are definitly the major challenge facing me. Of course, the level of knowledge required in Astronomy can be limited, afterall I'm just flying to the moon and not writing a thesis on Quazar :) As the Apollo's Orbiter add-on is getting more and more realistic and complexe a good knowledge of the real Apollo hardware&software is a must. Hopefuly, this can be worked on in parallele to the Astronomy & Physics studies ...

Like I was saying in my previous post, I intend to proceed step-by-step, using as background the historical Apollo missions and slowly build my experience, starting with a (heavily) modified Apollo VII mission. Well actually ... with a set of missions, the idea been that I won't move forward (from VII to VIII and so on) until I'm fully satisfied with my level ...

Here's a first idea of what I hope to learn and master using the VII mission(s):
  • basic orbital mechanics (phasing, plan change, orbit change)
  • docking simulation
  • rendez-vous
  • re-entry
  • CSM controls & displays
  • knowledge of the basic ACG programs
hmmm .. yeah all that :-| .... so to help myself remember what need to be done, I have started working on establishing a flight plan loosely following the style and contents of the original Apollo missions:

However, a proper flight plan contains lots of information that are not easy to compute, such as the sunset and sunrise times for the spacecraft.... So it may seems like a trivial task, but filling-in the flight plan involve to know a lot of astronomy and orbital mechanics .. and this is a very good way to put to use what I'm suppose to learn :-)


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