Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Demo day(s)!

In case you have missed (too bad 'cause there was some magnificient shots in there!) the second day of demo of the ATV's rendezvousing with the ISS, you can head for Space-Multimedia (once again a space geek life-saver!) where the complete coverage, recorded of NASA TV, is available. If everything goes as planned, the ATV should dock to the station this coming Thursday ... another exciting space event to watch :-) Also, the ATV blog folks have made available a video showing some of yesterday events, built from the telemetry received during the mission. It's worth a look, albeit a bit boring I must said ...

On the Orbiter's addon front, I'm sort of back on the drawing block at this time. About a week ago, we decided to once again downgrade our first addon, in order to reduce the scope of it and make our lives a bit easier and release something sooner. This doesn't mean that we are moving aways from our high realism/details goals. Quit the contrary actually, since we are only reducing the addon scope. I know this must sounds a bit cryptic, but things should start to get clearer as we get moving along.

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Sea Launching

Just in time for last week launch of the DirectTV-11 satellite, MajorTom and his team have released their first version of a long overdue Sea Launch addon for Orbiter. I have been playing a bit with it and enjoying it. The launch platform could use more detailing (it's planned for next release), but the automatic guidance works well in both delivering the payload to a parking orbit then boosting it (thanks to its 3rd stage Block DM-SL) into a Geosynchronous orbit. Haven't been follow much before the Zenit-3SL launches, I had in mind that the 3rd stage was used to insert the payload into its definitive orbit, but in fact it is not the case since the payload is inserted into a elliptical orbit with an apogee at Geosynchronous altitude and a low perigee (<200km) . It is then up to the satellite to raise its perigee over the course of several burns.


Monday, March 17, 2008

From STS to Jupiter 120

Once again, the DIRECT 2.0 folks have come-up with some great visual to help folks (like myself) better understand what this project means in term of evolution from the Space Shuttle to Constellation. This time, it's not some neafty wallpapers, but a great video taking the current STS stack and modifying it into a Jupiter 120's stack. Check this out:

Big kudos to extracripsy75 for putting the video on YouTube!


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The lure of 3D cockpit #2

Few weeks ago, I was talking in a blog entry on the latest AMSO release, of a hybrid concept for the 3D cockpit (I prefer to call them console than cockpit, 'cause they are not necessary cockpit). Since I have finally managed to get the concept advanced enough to have anything to show, here's a screenshot of an hybrid console in action:

What you are seeing, here is a test panel located in a part of a 3D console. The idea, if you recall, is to render 2D panels on 3D surfaces, and allow the player to interact with them (e.g clicking on a button) directly from the 3D view, while supporting the possibility to open a panel simulatenously in a 2D view (as shown above), where the rendering and interaction capabilities will be better. Needless to said, both the 3D and 2D version of the same panel are linked so that any actions in one is reflected in the other. Since the Windowed version of the panel can be resized, it is then possible to have it only showing a small part of it (e.g the clock), allowing the player to keep an eye on important controls/displays while changing the view mode to external, to another vessel, or more simply looking somewhere else.

I have put a lot of hope and efforts into this, I sure hope it's going to turn out as good as it sounded (to me at least) ...