Tuesday, August 14, 2007

AMSO - Apollo Beckons

Apollo 11 on the Pad
Following some discussions on the Orbiter web forum, I downloaded and looked briefly at a few missions in AMSO 1.13 (Apollo Mission Sim for Orbiter) by Alain Capt (ACSoft) with help from Luis Teixeira and various others. It's a huge project, encompassing all of the main vehicles and sites of the Apollo missions from 1968 to 1972. I've only run a few things to get an idea what it looks like, and I have to say, it is visually stunning, and the autopilots I tried (Saturn V launch and Apollo 11 PDI/landing) worked perfectly.

AMSO Neil's Dilemma #1
This is something that will take time to explore, so probably not this week (too busy with work). The "Neil's Dilemma" picture shows the final seconds before Apollo 11 landed on the Moon, when Neil Armstrong took manual control to avoid a large crater and a boulder field. The Saturn V picture above shows some of the detail in the rocket and in the service tower. The 3D models and textures are really great. To be continued...

N.B. It blows my mind that Apollo 9 was the first test of the LM in Earth orbit (March 3-13, 1969), then Apollo 10 flew to the Moon to test the lunar orbit procedures, but didn't land (May 18-26, 1969), and then Apollo 11 flew for the first landing (July 16-24, 1969). All of this happened in FIVE MONTHS! Of course JFK's end of the decade deadline was fast approaching (and they managed to squeeze in Apollo 12, November 14-24, 1969 for good measure).

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