Astronomy & Spaceflight Simulator

Visiting Mars

If you're into space, this is the best toy in town. It's a combination of a spaceflight simulator and a multimedia presentation system. This is what Dave uses to give his presentations but you can also have a play and drive it yourself.

NOTE: This unit is a prototype. It works well enough to be fun, but it's not yet fully-featured and it stutters a bit while you use it. Dave is slowly adding better hardware and software, so it's improving all the time, but there's a lot of work to do before it's completely awesome.

The simulator is usually operated by one person but it's designed to be operated by up to three people. In future this should expand to five or more—in fact the idea is to create a flexible system that can be used by any number of people up to a large group acting as a "crew" for the spaceship.

Space Simulator

So what does it do exactly?

Using navigation controls and a joystick, you can travel around the Earth, solar system and wider universe. At the same time you can bring up related images and videos to enhance your journey.

You could start with a simple trip to the Moon, then move on to explore the great volcanos and canyons of Mars, tour the diverse moons of Jupiter, then get really tricky and fly through the rings of Saturn. Once you're ready, venture out into the Milky Way Galaxy and even further into the great void of intergalactic space.

The simulator also has the option to travel through time. Follow historic space missions or travel into the future to see where space flight might be heading.

Who can use it?

With assistance, just about anyone. If you're an accomplished gamer you'll be whizzing around like Luke Skywalker almost immediately. If you have no idea how to use a computer or joystick, you can stick to basic buttons that take you directly to various locations and show you around. The system is designed to be fun whether or not you want to be challenged by its operation.