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Old 11-08-2017, 02:55 PM   #1
Thorsten
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Default Bringing it all together

On the occasion that I now started to present spaceflight simulation to an enthusiastic audience, I can't help but recall my first contact with Orbiter - flying the Delta Glider into orbit.

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I had known the math of orbital mechanics long before of course, the general idea of a launch trajectory,... I had also seen plenty of real-life pictures from orbit. So I thought I kind of knew spaceflight.

But I wasn't really prepared for the experience of all of it coming together - taking off with the Delta Glider felt like a plane, but then I pointed the nose steeply up, fired up the engines, watched the sky slowly growing darker, see the atmosphere recede behind me - all the while I saw the math coming alive on the MFDs till I finally had reached a stable orbit and the engines cut out.

And there I was, feeling in space for the first time in my life.

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While I have by now done a gazillion of simulated launches, the general theme is still the same - you can read up on something for a long time, you can know all the facts of how to operate a spacecraft in theory - but when it comes together in a simulation, there's so many things which click into place anew, makes one appreciate just why things are this way and not any other way.

***

I am (and remain) deeply grateful to Martin for this first experience (and many following hands-on experiences with interplanetary trajectories), out of which other things grew just as well - and which I can now try to pass on to others.
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