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 ...


43

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 ...


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 ...


23

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 ...


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 ...


17

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 ...


16

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, ...


13

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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

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 the search box: It ...


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/


7

In terms of interplanetary travel-time, there's a couple of different limits that are overcome as the presumptive technology-level increases (AKA sci-fi): 1.) Limited by Energy: spacecraft use a boost-and-coast method with gravity-assists where possible from planetary bodies along the way. (this is where human space-travel is at right now). Limited to ...


7

I don't know exactly how Flight Club does it, but I've created a simulation modeled on Joan Creus-Costa's launchsim and I believe it's probably not too dissimilar from what Flight Club does. I also got a lot of insight from Braeunig's Saturn V simulation page. The basic approach is discrete time simulation: start with known initial conditions and simulate ...


7

I can't believe no one's mentioned Orbiter 2010! Its a free game, similar to KSP, but without the building part, and with full-scale, n-body physics. There is a mod for it called Interplanetary which allows you to input your location, your destination, and the maximum time you have to get there, and it will tell you how much dV you need and give you a ...


7

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 ...


7

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 ...


6

Pettit's article doesn't mention the advantage of staging at all. All he's actually saying is that a hydrogen fueled single-stage-to-orbit launcher can't work on a planet 50% larger than Earth. Staging doesn't invalidate the Tsiolkovsky equation but it does work around the need to attain extreme propellant mass fractions in a single stage. As Hohmannfan ...


6

Rocket Propulsion Elements by Sutton is a good general reference. Chapter 7, Liquid Propellant Rocket Fundamentals, contains the basic equations that should get you started. Figure 7-7 is particularly good, showing a schematic gas generator engine with the equations that govern the performance of each component. You could probably gen up a decent ...


6

Okay, let's just take a few hypothetical situations here and see what we can come up with. You specifically mentioned going from Mars to Jupiter, and want something realistic, but quick. Let's assume you have a 1g acceleration capability. How you do that is up to your game really. To make things a bit simpler, I'm going to have two modes of operation, which ...


6

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 ...


6

The short answer is no, the calculations do not require a supercomputer. Any modern laptop has the computing power to handle the scenario. The long answer is that the particular orbit depicted in the movie is what's called a Planetary Cycler, which cycles between two bodies (Earth/Mars). You can use gravity assists at each body to put your spacecraft on ...


6

While it does not seem to offer propulsive orbit changes, the TestTubeGames Gravity Simulator demonstrates orbital motion in a web interface.


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