Monday, April 02, 2007

Back to the grinder ...

When Castorp and I started working on our [Censured] project, we decided very early on to be more methodological about it than what we did for the OctoberSky project. This mean that since January all we have done is making meshes, reading a lot of books and documents while writing our own documents. Thanks to Kyra's inputs, we have now a solid collections of facts, data and info on the spacecraft to be available within that Orbiter addon. My main contribution to the project so far (aside from the various R&D works and a bit of research) has been to work on the design of the addon. I know, it doesn't sounds too fun, but in fact it is most of the time (and the perfect occasion to get familiar with terms and concepts used in spacecraft design). Mostly I have been following the layout (and level of details) of the Mercury and Gemini manuals (and familiarization documents) and filling the gaps with what we know and what we think we know. Obviously accurate facts are hard to come by for anything related to the Soviet space program, so we have been taking some liberties. The Electrical Power System (EPS) design is a good example of the artistic freedom we took. With very little data on it, I designed the one we will implement in the addon to be very similar to the one used on the Gemini (and Mercury) spacecraft. It's likely to be historically incorrect, but at least it's technically sound. Now, as you will guess been a computer geek and all, I can't really stand working weeks after weeks on a document, so I came up with the idea of the R&D periods, where I can close OpenOffice and start the Visual Studio for some (most needed) (limited) coding time :-)

Speaking of R&D, I finished last night working on the framework to support the external panels I was talking about few posts ago. The following screenie shows a wrist watch displayed in a window (giving the current time in Moscow):

Anyhow, the coding fun's over for now ... time to start OpenOffice ;-) In case you are wondering, we don't exactly know when we will be starting to actually implement that addon. If I had to guess I'll said not before a couple of months ... maybe by summer?



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