Thursday, October 06, 2005

"we have lift-off, lift-off at 7:51 a.m. Eastern Standard Time."

Well ... hello there! ... Welcome to this blog which is very likely to bore you to death, causing you to leave and never come back to it :-) As you may have seen in the header part of this blog, I'll be posting here about Astronomy, spaceflights and more specificaly about the Apollo missions.

Since I was very little, I have always been facinated about Space and the various programs (well Okay ... mostly about the US one), spending countless hours of my childwood flying LEGO spacecraft around my room, reading space related books or watching space movies. Like (I hope ...) many other kids, I also went as far as simulating been an astronaut in my bed during many school nights when I really should have been asleep :-)

Sadly, my maths and physics grades were never as a good as my enthusiasm for spaceflight and astronomy, so when time came to choose what I will be doing for the next 40 years (or so), the airlock's hatch refused to unlock, canceling forever my EVA .... dang! :-|

Many moons have passed since this cruel episode .... and like many other geeks, I have always spent a good amount of my time following the various space programs ... checking the latest images from the Mars rovers, watching live on the Internet the liftoff of the Discovery space shuttle ...but I never really took the time to dive into the technical side of spaceflight (human or robotic) and complement the few basic astronomy knowledge I have ... shame on me (I guess) :-(

About 2 weeks ago, I stumbled on Orbiter , a free spaceflight simulator developped for the past 5 years by Dr. Martin Schweiger. Hundreds of people have been building Add-Ons for this great software adding new spacecrafts, rockets and so on on a daily basis.

One of the most well done addition to Orbiter is the one simulating the Apollo program. It's really amazing the see what the people working on it have done! A whole moon mission can be simulated (in real-time if desired) from liftoff to reentry, including (of course) landing on the moon! The focus of the people behind this add-on is to make it as realistic as possible, and as you can easily guess, flying to the moon is no piece of cake, even in a simulator :-)

After a few days of playing around, I suddently realize that this was the perfect opportunity for me to dive into the technical side of spaceflight and finaly learn more about astronomy. Orbiter and the Apollo add-on been the prefect playground for learning and experimenting!

So, what can you expect to see here? Well ... my goal is to use this blog to chronicle my progress in learning basic Astronomy and spaceflight mecanics (as my maths and physics skills need to be seriously brushed-up, it's going to take some time ...) and in learning and mastering the Apollo spacecraft (Crew and lunar module) as it is simulated within Orbiter. So don't expect to see a report on my own Apollo XI mission anytime soon ;-)

Before I end this rather long first post, I'd like to state that as my mother tongue is (obviously) not english, my posts will probably be rather full of grammar errors and spelling mistakes. Please bare with me, the more I post, the more it will improve ... or the more you will get used to it and won't notice it, eh!? :-D


Blogger Amon said...

Well done on a nice blog DarthVader. I was searching for information on astronomy telescopes and came across your post - not quite what I was looking for related to astronomy telescopes but very interesting all the same!

Well, it's a new year - in fact it's almost the Chinese New Year. I'm still putting together astronomy lesson plans for the first and second semesters. This year the budget allows us to purchase a new telescope for the science group. That's great so we're still juggling the numbers how to get best bang for the buck! Not the 'big bang' you understand LOL. I'm coming down on the side of the Meade LX200GPS 12" Schmidt-Cassegrain. Let's wait and see.

If you do have a moment, please take a look at my new site on: Astronomy for Kids .

A happy new year to everyone!

9:11 AM  

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