Sunday, December 24, 2006


I just posted a couple of Orbiter videos of my own on YouTube. These are slight re-works of clips I recorded last summer for my presentation of "Virtual prototyping of human Mars missions with the Orbiter space flight simulator" (300k PDF) at the Mars Society Conference in Washington, DC. This paper used the Mars for Less mission concept developed by Grant Bonin as an example, implemented as an Orbiter add-on by Andy McSorley and Mark Paton. I took the 1:50 clip (above) of the final moments of Mars entry, descent, and landing (EDL, brilliantly designed by Mark Paton) and added an excerpt of a pseudo-classical synthesizer recording that I did back in 2002. I called it "Elegy After Vaughan Williams" because the shifting tonality vaguely reminded me of some of Ralph Vaughan Williams' compositions. I knew I'd eventually find something to do with that little musical doodle.

The other clip is very brief (0:34) and starts with a close-up of a female astronaut (courtesy of Greg Burch) standing at our spartan Mars base in Vallis Dao, pans around her, then zooms out until Mars is just a pixel. The music is an excerpt from Ravel's Daphnis et ChloƩ ballet. I used this clip on the title slide of the presentation.

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