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NeoZavier
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Re: Atlantis Mission to ISS (Orbiter) new [Re: David Knisely]
      #3838923 - 05/31/10 02:18 PM

Wow great detail!!! The next step is a Shuttle Simulator.

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David Knisely
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Re: Atlantis Mission to ISS (Orbiter) new [Re: NeoZavier]
      #3839865 - 05/31/10 10:42 PM Attachment (114 downloads)

Quote:

Wow great detail!!! The next step is a Shuttle Simulator.




Well, no, again, the program that creates this *is* a shuttle simulator. Orbiter allows you to fly the space shuttle Atlantis (or with the Shuttle fleet add-on, any of the four shuttles that operated in space in the past). The stock Atlantis has operating payload bay doors, radiators, and a manipulator arm, as well as the ability to deploy a space-walking astronaut. You can launch the shuttle, maneuver it, and rendezvous and dock with the International Space station, so it can simulate a number of different space shuttle missions. Here is a shot of two of the CRT displays in the cockpit as Atlantis docks with the International Space Station:


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GlennLeDrew
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Re: Atlantis Mission to ISS (Orbiter) new [Re: David Knisely]
      #3841483 - 06/01/10 07:16 PM

David,
I note that the representation of the RCS exhaust a few pics back is quaintly 'old-fashioned', in that it neglects the lack of atmosphere. The way thrust products in a vaccuum are rendered in all popular media that I've seen is quite unrealistic. They're treated as though the events were occurring at or near sea level, where the confining atmosphere provides a very effective brake on expansion. In a vaccuum, thrust produdcts literally expand explosively in a more nearly spherical 'bubble' at speeds reaching kilometers/second almost instantaneously.

The ultimate in kludgy effects come from the 'golden age' of film sci-fi, where we see what looks like an anemic lighter flame gently wafting out the back end of the rocketship, sometimes with curls of smoke rising convectively, no less.

But even very recent fare can be almost as excreble, the more so because we (humanity, collectively) now have sufficient experience. For example, one of the Star Trek: Next Gen movies represents thruster gases which look like gently emitting steam.


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David Knisely
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Re: Atlantis Mission to ISS (Orbiter) new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #3841572 - 06/01/10 08:24 PM

Quote:

David,
I note that the representation of the RCS exhaust a few pics back is quaintly 'old-fashioned', in that it neglects the lack of atmosphere. The way thrust products in a vaccuum are rendered in all popular media that I've seen is quite unrealistic. They're treated as though the events were occurring at or near sea level, where the confining atmosphere provides a very effective brake on expansion. In a vaccuum, thrust produdcts literally expand explosively in a more nearly spherical 'bubble' at speeds reaching kilometers/second almost instantaneously.

The ultimate in kludgy effects come from the 'golden age' of film sci-fi, where we see what looks like an anemic lighter flame gently wafting out the back end of the rocketship, sometimes with curls of smoke rising convectively, no less.

But even very recent fare can be almost as excreble, the more so because we (humanity, collectively) now have sufficient experience. For example, one of the Star Trek: Next Gen movies represents thruster gases which look like gently emitting steam.




The RCS jet simulation is mainly to show people which jet or thruster is firing rather than being completely accurate. I often use the thruster plumes to watch my maneuvers from outside the orbiter, observing which thruster is firing. What is fun is to do a stop rotation "attitude hold" thruster firing in the rotation mode while the shuttle is rotating wildly, as almost *every* single thruster on Atlantis fires at one time or another. Clear skies to you.


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David Knisely
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Re: Atlantis Mission to ISS (Orbiter) new [Re: David Knisely]
      #3864425 - 06/14/10 02:50 PM Attachment (98 downloads)

Here is a pre-dawn launch of Atlantis as seen from camera site #6 northwest of Pad 39B:

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BobinKy
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Re: Atlantis Mission to ISS (Orbiter) new [Re: David Knisely]
      #3868864 - 06/16/10 04:50 PM

David...

This thread continues to get better and better. Thank you for your work and thank you for sharing it with us.


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David Knisely
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Re: Atlantis Mission to ISS (Orbiter) new [Re: BobinKy]
      #3875087 - 06/20/10 04:22 AM

No problem, as it is fun to find good views and then go back and capture the shots. There is a brand "new" version of ORBITER:

ORBITER 2010


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David Knisely
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Re: Atlantis Mission to ISS (Orbiter) new [Re: David Knisely]
      #3878848 - 06/22/10 12:37 AM Attachment (91 downloads)

Here, Atlantis is about to touch down on KSC Runway 15 just after sunrise:

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David Knisely
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Re: Atlantis Mission to ISS (Orbiter) new [Re: David Knisely]
      #3902492 - 07/04/10 03:40 PM Attachment (81 downloads)

The new version of Orbiter has somewhat better detail in the area of the Kennedy Space Center, including a lot of the buildings around the Vehicle Assembly Building (see image below of a morning launch). The shuttle also flies somewhat more realistically, which may make it a bit more difficult to land (at least the reentry "flames" work properly). Clear skies to you.

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David Knisely
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Re: Atlantis Mission to ISS (Orbiter) new [Re: David Knisely]
      #3928640 - 07/18/10 01:44 AM Attachment (97 downloads)

Here is Atlantis making its final turn to line up with Runway 15 at the Kennedy Space Center during an early morning landing:

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David Knisely
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Re: Atlantis Mission to ISS (Orbiter) new [Re: David Knisely]
      #3944569 - 07/26/10 02:37 AM Attachment (91 downloads)

On a morning some time before launch, the astronauts hone their flying skills in the T38 trainer over the launch pad:

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David Knisely
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Re: Atlantis Mission to ISS (Orbiter) new [Re: David Knisely]
      #4081936 - 09/29/10 10:51 PM Attachment (82 downloads)

Here, Atlantis is about to re-capture the Long Duration Exposure Facility with the help of a space-walking astronaut and the Manned Maneuvering Unit:

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GlennLeDrew
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Re: Atlantis Mission to ISS (Orbiter) new [Re: David Knisely]
      #4086325 - 10/01/10 05:55 PM

David,
Won't it be nice when such software as this uses some form of 'dynamical' lighting for the planetary surface topography? (Of course, until an actual 3-D mesh is employed, a series of texture maps relevant to certain key times of day would be required.) In your last image, if I tilt my head to the left so that the horizon is horizontal, I see that the orbiter's light source is to the left, while the terrain's shadowing indicates a light source shining from the right. I find such incongruities jarring.


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David Knisely
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Re: Atlantis Mission to ISS (Orbiter) new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #4087090 - 10/02/10 02:47 AM

Quote:

David,
Won't it be nice when such software as this uses some form of 'dynamical' lighting for the planetary surface topography? (Of course, until an actual 3-D mesh is employed, a series of texture maps relevant to certain key times of day would be required.) In your last image, if I tilt my head to the left so that the horizon is horizontal, I see that the orbiter's light source is to the left, while the terrain's shadowing indicates a light source shining from the right. I find such incongruities jarring.




The ground scene from Earth is based on a set of Landsat images, so it is only illuminated from one side (one reason I like landing the shuttle during the morning period in the U.S.). I probably should have waited until the spacecraft was over an area where the shadows matched the actual orbital lighting, but the detail in that "Level 10" Earth is still quite striking. Indeed, there were some features in Africa that I noted "from orbit" that I later had to check out on more detailed maps and images. I will try and see if I can get a shot where the surface images match the space lighting, but quite frankly, it isn't that important to the simulation. With Orbiter, there are some bodies in the solar system which do have the ability to be displayed with full 3D lighting effects and topography (mostly the moon and Mars). However, the detail isn't quite as high as the regular "flat" high-resolution photomaps used in much of the simulator.

On the RCS simulation, I recently watched an extended movie from the Apollo 11 archive where they were testing the Lunar module after undocking. At least some of the thrusters were seen firing as short jet like pulses somewhat similar to the way Orbiter depicts them, so while it isn't perfectly accurate, it isn't too bad either. Clear skies to you.


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David Knisely
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Re: Atlantis Mission to ISS (Orbiter) new [Re: David Knisely]
      #4212198 - 11/26/10 11:24 PM Attachment (70 downloads)

This is a re-creation of a shot done originally done of Challenger, but in this case, Atlantis is doing a "stand-in" appearance with the ISS in the background.

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David Knisely
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Re: Atlantis Mission to ISS (Orbiter) new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #4212274 - 11/27/10 12:34 AM Attachment (66 downloads)

GlenLeDrew posted:

Quote:

I note that the representation of the RCS exhaust a few pics back is quaintly 'old-fashioned', in that it neglects the lack of atmosphere. The way thrust products in a vaccuum are rendered in all popular media that I've seen is quite unrealistic. They're treated as though the events were occurring at or near sea level, where the confining atmosphere provides a very effective brake on expansion. In a vaccuum, thrust produdcts literally expand explosively in a more nearly spherical 'bubble' at speeds reaching kilometers/second almost instantaneously.




Ah, finally got back to this one. I located a shot of an actual aft RCS firing (lateral thruster) taken from the payload bay window of either Challenger or Columbia. The image shows a somewhat conical plume similar to that depicted in ORBITER's simulation of it (see below), so they at least got the thruster firing somewhat correct:


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GlennLeDrew
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Re: Atlantis Mission to ISS (Orbiter) new [Re: David Knisely]
      #4214172 - 11/27/10 11:21 PM

Thanks, for that comparison, David! I've not seen such a photo before. It would seem that the velocity must be high enough that expansion into the vacuum cannot materially widen the conically-shaped exhaust near to the nozzle. I'm trying to remember the specifics of a video clip I'd seen quite a few years ago in which some form of thrust exhaust apparently 'exploded' into a very much more bubble-like form...

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David Knisely
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Re: Atlantis Mission to ISS (Orbiter) new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #4214399 - 11/28/10 02:14 AM

Quote:

Thanks, for that comparison, David! I've not seen such a photo before. It would seem that the velocity must be high enough that expansion into the vacuum cannot materially widen the conically-shaped exhaust near to the nozzle. I'm trying to remember the specifics of a video clip I'd seen quite a few years ago in which some form of thrust exhaust apparently 'exploded' into a very much more bubble-like form...




I have seen shuttle thruster firings at ET separation which were rather diffuse, but at that time, there is so much venting going on (and the lighting is kind of peculiar) that it is tough to see which plume is due to what event. I first began to suspect that the Orbiter simulation was more correct that it first seemed when I was watching one of the Apollo mission films of the checkout of the Lunar module's thrusters just after undocking in lunar orbit. A couple of firings were visible as conical pulses extending away from the RCS quad engine bells, so it was clear that some sort of confinement was going on. Whether it always is this way is not clear, but at least Orbiter got the overall idea correct. Clear skies to you.


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David Knisely
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Re: Atlantis Mission to ISS (Orbiter) new [Re: David Knisely]
      #4275684 - 12/28/10 04:28 AM Attachment (53 downloads)

Here, Atlantis has completed a night launch to ISS and is early in its first orbit (375 km x 59 km) just prior to doing the OMS burn to circularize its orbit. The payload bay doors will open right after the burn, but for now, Atlantis is over southern Saudi Arabia and upright (usually, it will fly backwards and with the payload bay facing Earth):

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David Knisely
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Re: Atlantis Mission to ISS (Orbiter) new [Re: David Knisely]
      #4281376 - 12/30/10 10:17 PM Attachment (57 downloads)

Atlantis greets the sunrise as it reenters the Earth atmosphere over the Gulf of Mexico:

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