Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Real and Simulated ISS

The NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day today shows the International Space Station over the Ionian Sea, photographed by the STS-118 shuttle crew in August 2007 after they had undocked from the ISS. Using a shuttle fleet undocking scenario for STS-118 and with some help from Orbiter's scenario editor, I quickly set up a similar situation and captured a shot of Endeavour positioned to take the space station's picture as shown in today's APOD. The time of day was probably not the same (judging from water color) and you can tell that Orbiter doesn't simulate seasonal terrain changes (southern Italy in mid-August is apparently quite dry, while Orbiter shows a lot of green). But I think it's still pretty cool that you can do this.

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