Saturday, October 27, 2007

Harmony Achieved on ISS

The STS-120 and ISS crews quickly got down to business and installed the Harmony Node in its temporary location on Friday. Some things will be shuffled a bit after Discovery heads for home to allow the new module to be installed in its permanent location (basically where Discovery is now). Once it is there, the European and Japanese science lab modules will have a place to connect, and the ISS will grow even larger.

I've installed the STS-12o flight supplement pack provided by "David413" for the Shuttle Fleet 3.9.4 add-on for Orbiter, and just ran some scenarios to have a look and snap a few pictures, in part to understand the geometry of what they are building up there (it's great to be able to spin the things around in 3D, change viewpoints, zoom in, etc.). Dave has already provided scenarios for planned events through flight day 8.

BREAKING NEWS: I looked back at the Orbiter forum and noticed a post by "texasf1racer" about a new Orbiter video he put together using the Shuttle Fleet with the STS-120 supplements. This video has some great shots and excellent music, and it really shows what you can do with this stuff. After some dramatic launch shots and the installation of Harmony, he compresses the rest of the mission into just a few minutes including re-entry and landing. Fair enough since the real mission is still in progress! Check this out if you want to get an idea of what a free space flight simulator can do - the video is produced with real skill, but the physics-based animation is all done by Orbiter itself.

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