Friday, March 30, 2007

Replayed relocation

The Soyuz that the current ISS crew used to get to the ISS close to 6 months ago was relocated (by the same crew + Suni) yesterday. I, for once, missed the event live but hopefully the whole thing (I beleive) is available (47mb) from Space-Multimedia. These guys are really life-savers ;-) The video have some really nice shots, that's one 20 minutes investment you won't regret.

Now, I'm wondering if the crew took any pictures during the "flight" and if so, will they be posted on the usual expedition gallery? Hmm ... well in fact, to be honest I don't care too much for picture of the ISS ... I'll be more interested by pictures of the Soyuz ... but as the whole ISS' crew was on that Soyuz no one was taking pictures from the ISS ... oh well.

In case you missed it, Suzy has resumed her Russian space program blog. Be sure to check it out weekly (at least) for some good commentaries and links.


Monday, March 26, 2007

RocketCam envy

Needless to said, I did watch the second launch of Falcon I last week ... Sadly not in real time as after the abort following ignition (hats off for the quick recycle btw) I was thinking that it will take weeks before they try again 9_9 so I closed my feed and biked home. Obviously, I was quite disappointed when I got home and found out that it did after all launch ... Luckily, recordings of the live event were made available soon after (HQ video from SpaceX), and it was pretty darn cool, love these shots during staging ( have a recent article on what happen during the flight)! This video prompted be to send an quick email to my fellow team-mates stating that when we get to making the launch vehicle for [CENSURED] we will provides similar views, so that the launch and staging can be observed. Sure, it's totally not realistic, but hey after all, this is a video game, so we can deviate a bit from our usual hardcore line :-)

Speaking of deviating, I have spend the past week working on some more R&D which we will be using on that secret project of ours, as well as for OctoberSky. Castorp cames up with the crazy idea (not so in fact) of getting ride of the panels dedicated to items casually used during a mission (such as a watch, a notebook etc ...) by having such items in external Windows that the player could call up at anytime, anywhere ... so, for example, if you wanted to see what time it is in Baikonur while you are in orbit, you will call up the appropriate floating panel which you could then leave on screen (or more to a second screen if you have such setup):

Now, the tricky part is that I'd like these floating panels to be fully compatible with the basic Orbiter panels, so that objects (such as a switch or button ...) could be placed on either without requiring to be re-coded ...

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Like a sunflower ...

While I can't openly talk about [CENSURED] yet, I can at least post about some of the things we have been outfitting our Soyuz addon with. However, you should know that we are mainly using it as technological guinea pig, while the new project is still on the drawing boards. Anywho, last week I was bitten by the "how can I orient a vessel according to the sun" bug. Right before falling to a real bug (some sort of cold/flu) I managed last week to write a program (to run inside our virtual GPC) that when running will aim to orient the solar panels towards the sun, using the attitude control thrusters. Gotta said it's pretty cool to see that 7K-OK tracking automatically the sun during the sunlight part of its orbit :-)

Being just for testing purpose, that program isn't historically accurate obviously. For example, once the proper solar attitude is reached, it's likely that CMG type devices should be used to maintain the orientation within certain limits while the vessel moves along its orbital path, in order to conserve propellant.