Saturday, January 21, 2006

Orbiter Web: Virtual Spaceflight

Andy McSorley's space-related "Virtual Spaceflight" ( was one of the first sites I discovered when I started to play with Orbiter in March 2005, and it's still one of the best. It's a nicely organized site with tutorials, links to others' tutorials, information on and scenarios for various add-ons (especially Ken Bolli's wonderful To The Moon in 24 Hours, or TTM24), and much more, including some of his own add-ons. Andy continues to add content to the site, most recently a collection of links to Orbiter videos. He also has interests in many space issues and projects beyond Orbiter and maintains pages with descriptions and many valuable links.

Andy is also a frequent and helpful poster at the Orbiter Web Forum, and when I was asking there last summer for someone to test and proofread my in-work tutorial book for Orbiter (Go Play In Space), Andy volunteered and did a great job. He even offered to host the book on his site! Andy is a great guy and a great contributor to the international Orbiter community.

Since Andy lives in the UK, I assumed that his McSorley's Ale "skin" (pictured) for DanSteph's Delta Glider III was inspired by a local brew, maybe even something in the family. Nope. He told me he discovered it at McSorley's Old Ale House in New York City! The poet E.E. Cummings was one of many famous people who drank there and he even wrote a poem on it, in which he states that McSorley's is "the ale which never lets you grow old." So it looks like I'll have to get some. If it's true, it could be Andy's most valuable tip yet!

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