72

In your simulation, the camera (or the viewers perspective) is stationary in what seems like in an altitude of a geostationary orbit. However the ISS is not stationary, it is travelling 7.6 km/s. It completes one orbit in 92 minutes. The ISS orbiting is giving the illusion that the Earth is spinning that fast. Note: The Earth does still spin while the ISS ...


53

I want to allow students to tinker around with basic central force motion and see the ways in which conic sections are altered by thrust, etc. Seeing/enacting an example of rendezvous (maybe in a CW frame?) would be neat too. I definitely think Kerbal Space Program is the right answer here. The ways in which it departs from real-world space flight (such as ...


48

I help develop the RSS/RO/RP-1 mod suite (which, respectively, are and do: Real Solar System, which gives you the Sol system, appropriately sized and massed; Realism Overhaul, which gives you historical engines with historical masses, thrust, specific impulse, and rated burn times; and Realistic Progression One, which requires star trackers/radio beacons for ...


44

There are multiple mock-ups of the ISS, for various purposes: The Space Vehicle Mockup Facility at Johnston space center contains replicas of many modules of the ISS, some of them assembled together. The Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory is used for EVA training, and has a modules in the pool The Space Station Training Facility does not have full modules, but ...


37

For all simulators, the core question is: What is it trying to simulate? Real world space travel has many different motivations, like for instance: Science Military interests Money Prestige Ultimately, it's the goal that shapes what missions end up looking like. A game-like simulator will have trouble quantifying many of the underlying motivations. Can a ...


31

Well, developing low-thrust trajectories does take more computation than impulsive trajectories (e.g. like Voyager, which was done with rather primitive computers). You have no choice but to run many fully integrated trajectories. However it would not take a supercomputer of the future, or even a supercomputer of the present to search for and find ...


29

The diagram you show is the digital version of a drawing by someone with an Etch-a-Sketch: completely inaccurate. The diagram below is accurate, showing Pioneer 10 & 11 and Voyager 1 & 2 trajectories in a heliocentric, inertial reference frame, of course with the ecliptic N-S dimension collapsed. No retrograde, no dog-legs between planets. Every now ...


24

Personally, I teach orbital mechanics classes to preschoolers, elementary and middle school kids using a makeshift trampoline with stretchable cloth clamped to the rim. Place a heavy weight (e.g. a dumbell) in the middle to simulate a large massive body like the earth or the sun. Use marbles to illustrate a spacecraft or planets. You can easily show the ...


22

As others have noted, the ISS orbits the earth extraordinarily quickly, and that explains the discrepancy. However, there may still be a small error in your simulation. Whether or not there is an error depends on where you intend the "camera" to be. My suspicion is that your simulation was created as follows: Make a sphere at the origin, inclined 23 ...


20

That's generated by one of the Johnson Space Center robotics/EVA planning tools, called MAGIK (Manipulator Analysis-Graphic, Interactive, Kinematic). Here is a screenshot of a MAGIK video used when we were working on the Docked Late Inspection failure response on STS-131: (personal notes) The small squares are views from different cameras and the large view ...


19

Calculating an energy-optimal orbit for a simple thing like Earth->Mars is no big deal. Even using low-thrust engines doesn't add much to it. It would be tedious but you could do it on a calculator. However, that's not what they needed in the book & movie. The objective wasn't to get there as cheap as possible, the objective was to get there as fast ...


17

I made the images on wikipedia with my own software. The original on wikipedia is here: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lunar_libration_with_phase_Oct_2007.gif The main work needed is getting the proper position of the moon with its precessing elliptical orbit, while the orientation is based on a constant rotation rate. This book is an older one, ...


14

Flight Club creator here. Thanks for the ping @uhoh ;) @RussellBorogove got the implementation of the code spot on and it's actually almost exactly what I do. The only points that I feel are worth mentioning are that I use a leapfrog integrator instead of RK4, because it conserves energy over time and is reversible. This means that the 100th orbit will look ...


14

I am wondering whether there is a mathematical formula that we can use to calculate the drag force without empirical measurements. Yes, much modern rocket design is done with Computational Fluid Dynamics software instead of in wind tunnel testing. can we simply look at the system of one air molecule and the rocket, calculate the instantaneous change in ...


13

The ISS takes approximately 90 minutes to circle the Earth. This presumably results in the higher apparent speed of rotation.


12

UC Boulder has a project, PhET, that has many free, interactive, in-browser math and science modules. They have one called Gravity and Orbits that's written in HTML5, making it compatible with most modern browsers (including Safari on iPads). If you click the 'For Teachers' drop-down, you'll find it even has quite a few resources for lesson planning with ...


12

Spaceflight Simulator An Android software, but it's possible to run it on a PC as well. It's 2d, so it's much simpler to use than 3d software. There are some premium features ($4 unlocks all of them forever), but the free version is enough to launch missions to all the planets in the inner Solar System, and to put space stations in orbit and dock to them. ...


11

Probably too basic for what you want but Osmos (https://osmos-game.com/) has modes where the player is basically orbitting an attractor and has to change orbit to rendezvous with other objects in different orbits. This teaches the basic idea that you can't just thrust towards your target and expect to get there. Another mode involves multiple attractors ...


10

In three dimensions you need six numbers. What you are asking about is how to convert from one set of six numbers, three position coordinates and three velocity components (note that simply direction is not sufficient), to another set of six numbers, the six orbital elements. I'm not going to give you the equations, but I'll get you started. You can ...


10

Note: there were a lot of training simulators. This answer concentrates on the Shuttle Mission Simulators. There were mockup type simulators like the Crew Compartment Trainer (CCT) that replicated the crew module interior very well. They weren't computer-driven though - most of the switches did nothing. Here's the CCT set up in a museum. Image source ...


10

As many of the comments have already mentioned, there are several different reasons people might recommend the use of Fortran over Matlab. One of the most straightforward answers is that a lot of legacy (read: validated) code is written in Fortran, and depending on your job function, learning to use Fortran might make you more productive - for instance, if ...


10

This is done in a anechoic chamber. Such chambers are padded on the inside with material that absorbs electromagnetic waves. On the outside, the rooms are shielded like a Faraday cage, so that no external radiation enters the room. They put the whole satellite in the room and by putting a transmitter and receiver in the room in the right locations and using ...


9

'masquerading' is a bit of a misnomer. Lying in bed simulates some of the effects that zero gravity has on the body. This article has a decent introduction: NASA needs more volunteers for its bed-rest study, which helps doctors understand what a lack of gravity does to the body. In the lunar study, you lie down for 21 days, with your body tilted so your ...


9

Nearly all Earth training was performed in the A6L model spacesuit (seen in the pictures above). Actual missions flew with the A7L model suit. Differences include: The outer (EVA) layer of the A6L had separate torso and pants, with entry at the waist. The EVA layer of the A7L was one piece, with entry at the back. Some astronauts were never expected to ...


9

There was a Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT) performed late in the training flow for each mission in which the crew would fly out to Florida where their Orbiter was stacked on the pad. This constituted a full-up simulation of the countdown with the firing rooms staffed. Intrusive/extra-expensive activities weren't done - no fluids were actually ...


8

Software written in the US? If your launch is anything but a toy rocket that goes up a few hundred feet and if you expect any decent level of accuracy/fidelity from the simulation, probably not. Software written elsewhere, perhaps. ITAR is a US-specific concept. The problem is that the very same software that will let you simulate a high energy launch with ...


8

Keywords: Horizons tutorial I'll work one example all the way through, and include the exact output you should get so you can check your results. Then you can change one item at a time to get the rest of the things you need. Go to https://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/horizons.cgi Ephemeris Type Select the Vector Table: Target Body Type the word "Earth" into ...


8

Okay, since the agreement seems to be that this is on topic and I'm a pilot I'll take a shot. The quick answer is yes, because the simulated gravity is generated from the airplane's lift, other forces are balanced out. Longer answer is slightly more complicated: Can you simulate martian gravity using an airplane, absolutely yes. Here's how a parabolic ...


8

I think literally the first game ever created by Stephen R. Russell (I heard about it through a book on J. C. R. Licklider) was a game called SpaceWar. The idea is to shoot your opponent whilst avoiding getting sucked falling into the gravitational void in the centre. There's numerous emulators for it - for example https://www.masswerk.at/spacewar/


8

It is possible to compute rather than measure the drag on an object. However the answer to the specific technique you suggest: can we simply look at the system of one air molecule and the rocket, calculate the instantaneous change in momentum of the air molecule after collision as the resistive force, and then sum up the forces experienced by all air ...


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