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Orbiter Basic Training

Tutorial 5 - Microgravity and Relativity

Select the Moon Base scenario you just created Tutorial 4.

    As you are probably realizing by now each lesson is getting you used to dealing with the effects of gravity. Each one progressing to space flight in microgravity.  So next up, the moon...

    Press [ F1 ] to get inside. Make sure you have Level Horizon turned on this time, [ L ].

    Let's watch our take off and flight from the outside. [ F1 ] to get the external view.

    With no main thrust on begin to gently hover, numpad[ 0 ].  A few meters off the pad surface turn on automatic hover [ A ].

    Swing your ship around numpad [ 1 ] to any direction away from base. Maybe along side the monorail. Use the killrot key to lock in a direction numpad [ 5 ]. Key [F2] to change the mode of external view absolute direction.

    Give a short burst of forward thrust numpad [ + ]. You don't want to leave thrust on, with no air friction on the moon you would accelerate faster and faster. So pop back into the cockpit and check your velocity. Press [F8] to see the panel view. Use the AUX PODs as retro thrust. Get it below 50 with retro thrust if needed, once again use short burst of retro thrust.

    Watch yourself travel along the moons surface from the outside for awhile, but don't get to far from base. When you're ready stop ( <5 is good enough ) all forward velocity using burst of retrothrust. It's time to play with the MFDs. Get back inside and with the right MFD select SEL the COM/NAV. Find Spaceport Brighton Beach with the information dialog by pressing [Ctrl][i]. You can see the VOR transmitter is 116.30, so set the COM/NAV MFD to NAV1 116.30. Change NAV2 to 132.30 for pad 2 at Brighton. Now SEL the VOR\VTOL MFD. This will give a graphical display of you direction relative to base.

    Swing your ship around and head back to base. Remember to use the HUD compass ribbon wto find the direction to base. Don't race back at more than 50, you'll end up wasting fuel. You'll have burn the retrothrusters again to decelerated, so think about fuel efficiency. You can look at the VOR MFD to get a feel for it.

    When you get near base you'll find control the ship is not so easy. There will be a different feel to landing this time because of the moon's reduced gravity effect. If you're having trouble keeping your ship under control,  it's because there are too many thruster corrections. Each use of the many thrusters places additional vector forces that need to be counter acted later. Soon your ship will be slipping into some mysterious direction and you won't understand why. If you are slipping away toggle numpad [/] key between rotation and translation  thruster. Now see what you can do. The numpad keys are all the thrusters you need. You can use numpad [9] to slow the ship down slowly. Use these thruster in translation mode to make small adjustments.

    Here's what to do. There is no 'kill it all' cheat, although you can use killrot to stop rotation the ship may still be slipping sideways. If necessary use the Horizontal Level [ L ], then rotate your ship around the compass ribbon until you find the vector target ball. This is the direction the ship is heading towards. Use retothrust to bleed off all velocity. That's it, once again you have control Captain.

    Tip: If you are having touble rotating the ship check and make sure the killrot is turned off.

    In the VOR MFD switch to NAV2 (132.30) and land on pad 2 using the MFD display. Once down kill all thrusters including the HLEVEL.

    Onto the Blue Danube scenario...


Instrument Training

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Related Links

Orbiter - Martin Schweiger's site
Trevor Johns's Tutorial
Dan's Orbiter Page ( Sound Download )
JPL-Basics of Space Flight
Meadville Space Center


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