To infinity and beyond!

Fortunately for my sanity, Sgt. Grump lives near the office. So, every day Grump, Cableman and I take lunch at his house and spend an hour bitching about work, trying to figure out when Griffey will be hurt for the season (Grump’s a Reds fan/pessimist), poring over SGCBL stats, watching some TV, and playing with whatever new game has struck our fancy. We had our Myst phase, our Red Baron II phase, our MOHAA and Call of Duty phases. Our OOTP obsession continues. But the latest craze is Orbiter – A free space flight simulator.

Oh. My. God.

This is space geek heaven. A free, open-source space simulator that uses ultra-realistic flight controls and models. No clicking the “take me to Mars” button and letting the ship figure out how to get there. You have to navigate and do real burns to put yourself into real orbits. Now I know why there were three Apollo astronauts. It takes all three of us to fly the damned shuttle that comes with the basic game! (HINT: When you get bored during an ascent into orbit to dock with the ISS, resist the urge to hit the time-compress key unless you want to land in the middle of Africa in about 20 seconds.)

And the graphics are amazing!

If you have broadband, you must check out this site. They made videos using captures from the actual game! The third video is 38mb, but it is absolutely stunning.

Since it’s open-source, there are tons of add-ons for it. You can (and we plan on) flying missions from the beginning of the space program through realistic proposed missions to Mars and beyond. In fact, Grump sent me an e-mail with how he’s going to set up five separate Orbiter installations:

[1] “Historic – 1930’s thru late 1960’s”: (Earth 1962 Scenery) X-1, X-15, Vostok,
Mercury, Voskhod, Gemini.
[2] “Historic – Late 1960’s thru 1970’s”: (Earth 1975 Scenery) Apollo, Early Soyuz.
[3] “Present (1980-Present)”: (Standard Scenery) Shuttle, Modern Soyuz, Shenzhou, SpaceShipOne.
[4] “Near Future”: Planned & Concept vehicles (such as GEV, TTM24, etc).
[5] “Science Fiction”: VonBraun/Colliers, 2001, etc.

Obsessive? Who? Us? Pshaw!

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2 Responses to To infinity and beyond!

  1. Chari says:

    Just so I can sort of post on topic… I LOVE ME SOME RIVEN!!!! There. I feel much better now. [goes off to hunt for Riven CDs…]

  2. Dave says:

    Where did you learn about this great simulator? 🙂

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