Monday, February 18, 2008
Mars for Less: Coming Soon. Really.
It has said "close to being publicly released" on this page since fall 2006, but now the Mars for Less add-on for Orbiter really is coming soon. Andy McSorley and Mark Paton have pulled together the files and finished up the basic documentation, and I've contributed a few edits and a bit of final testing. The add-on itself fills up a 23 MB zip file, and there are a bunch of additional add-ons recommended for the full experience, all described in the documentation. There are many scenarios to try.
I had forgotten how cool this stuff was since I was immersed in it for a few months in spring/summer 2006, working closely with Andy and Mark on the add-on parts and scenarios, and culminating in our paper and presentation at the 2006 Mars Society Conference, "Virtual prototyping of human Mars missions with the Orbiter space flight simulator" (the paper and slides can be downloaded from the bottom of this page).
Andy has pictures on his Mars for Less page, and I have quite a few in Flickr. There's a video too (just the Mars landing, a small but exciting part of the mission). Stay tuned...