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Meadville Space Center (Orbiter Add-ons) / News: Recent posts

Patch 1 for Orbiter 2006

This patch upgrades Orbiter 2006 to 2006-P1 (patch level 1) and brings some significant new features and bug fixes to the 2006 Edition. Some highlights:

Improved dynamic state propagation More accurate integration methods for linear and angular spacecraft states provide better long-term stability. Many of the parameters of the dynamic model can now be modified by the user.

New Atlantis Space Shuttle An improved version by Michael Grosberg and Don Gallagher is now included. Apart from the Shuttle exterior, this also features a detailed virtual cockpit with working MFDs and payload bay operations.... read more

Posted by Rob Conley 2006-09-29

Earth 1962 3.5 Orbiter 2006 released

Thanks to Brian Sikkema Earth 1962 has been updated to the new Orbiter 2006 format. In addition Steve Conklin has graciously allow an adaption of his Vandenberg tile and configuration to be used.

Posted by Rob Conley 2006-05-06

Orbiter 2006 Released!

May 4, 2006: New Release: ORBITER 2006 Edition

Improved planetary surface rendering Planets can now be rendered at twice the resolution of the previous version. In low orbits and close to the surface, this provides a significant improvement in visual appearance. Other new features include "specular ripples" on ocean surfaces, and better coastline transitions.

Flight recorder and playback function Simulations can now be recorded and replayed. Together with the option of annotating recorded flights, this opens a new dimension for demonstrations and tutorials. Several annotated tutorial recordings are included.... read more

Posted by Rob Conley 2006-05-04

SEDR 109 Flight Ops Manual

SEDR 109 Flight Operation Manual has been posted to Mercury MA-6 release of the Research Package.

This manual describes the operation of John Glenn's Mercury Capsule Friendship 7.

Posted by Rob Conley 2006-01-14

Project Gemini 4.5 released

Project Gemini for Orbiter has been updated.
This is a realistic simulation of the Gemini spacecraft for the Orbiter space simulator.

Added a Virtual Cockpit using Donamys excellent capsule meshes.
Added some 2D panel graphics courtesy of BigJimW.
Added controls for switching attitude modes via the control panel
Added ADI ball with working rate needles courtesy of Radu Poenaru.

Posted by Rob Conley 2005-10-24

V2/Bumper 4.0

Improved meshes courtesy of Brian Sikemma. Updated programming tutorial.

Posted by Rob Conley 2005-10-09

Project Mercury 5.0 and the Orbiter Release!

Over a year in development Project Mercury 5.0 is released along with the new version of Orbiter required to run it. In addition a new version of Earth 1962 has been created to work with the new Orbiter.

This release features accurate panels, simulation of the capsule's systems, historically accurate scenarios, checklists, full range of sound, failure modes, and capsule recovery.


Posted by Rob Conley 2005-01-17

More Documentation!

Courtesy of J Smith we have loads of Agena and Gemini documention. Including trajectory reports, conference summaries, and hardware reports.

Posted by Rob Conley 2005-01-02

Documention Website

To my website at
I added a documentation page detailing the various pieces of historical docs I have posted.
These are scanned copies of the NASA originals.
In addition I uploaded the post launch report for MR-4 Grissom's flight. Of interest is a sketch of the stars viewed through the Mercury window. This will help simmers calibrate their models.

Posted by Rob Conley 2004-09-14

MR Post Launch Report

Added the MR3 Post Launch Report to Research

Posted by Rob Conley 2004-03-01

Project Mercury Historical Documents!

I got a bunch of new PDFs of historical documents for the Mercury Program including Flight Plans of all the missions except MR-4 Grissom's flight.These are courtesy of Brian Sikkema.

One note the MA-6 documents are under Project Mercury not Research. I will fix this later as it involves re-uploading everything.

Posted by Rob Conley 2004-02-15

Orbiter Update 03-12-17

Some bug fixes and a nice addition of cloud shadows.

If you all ready have the 11-05-2003 version of orbiter just download the three patch files.

Posted by Rob Conley 2003-12-18

Smoke and Flames!

Gemini 4.2 and Mercury 4.6 have been released with using the new particle system for smoke and exhaust.
Earth 1962 2.6 is a temporay update to allow the 1962 scenarios to work with the 11/06/03 release of orbiter. The next release will incorporate the new canaveral layout.

Posted by Rob Conley 2003-11-07

Orbiter Version 11-03-2003 Released!

The latest version of Orbiter has been by Dr. Martin Schweiger and is now available as a mirror at the Meadville Space Center. It features more accurate aerodynamics, level 9 textures, particle effects for smoke and exhaust, generic attachments for grappling and more.

MSC's will be release enhanced version of Project Mercury, Gemini and it other project over the weekend and the following week. The focus is on adding exhaust and smoke effects to both Mercury and Gemini, and the Periscope to Mercury.... read more

Posted by Rob Conley 2003-11-06

Mercury 4.5 and Earth 1962 2.5 released!

New version with lots of goodies.
*Added Retrograde Timer
*Improved ASCS particularly in holding orbital attitude
*Automatic calculation of Retro Times for Orbit 1, 2, & 3.
*More Accurate representation of sequencing lights
*Drogue and Main chutes are now animated

Earth 2.5
Adds the Redstone launch pads to cape canaveral

Posted by Rob Conley 2003-08-28

Original Mercury Gemini Manual

Thanks to Adam Bootle of the UK I now have scanned PDFs of the original manuals for Mercury and Gemini. These documents are the final pieces in making a complete simulation so for the rest of the summer and fall I am going to be working to implement this stuff.

Posted by Rob Conley 2003-07-16

Programming Stuff

I added several new packages related to programming orbiter.

V2/Bumper 3.1

This has been updated to use my latest Multi-Stage2.h. The inclosed PDF includes detailed programming notes on how you can program a orbiter vessel using Microsoft's C++ compilier.

Common Addon 1.0

This includes the first version of the Common_addon header which currently only has common vessel. Common Vessel extends orbiter's vessel class to allow for rich vessel to vessel and vessel to addon communication.... read more

Posted by Rob Conley 2003-07-06

Rocket Logos

Added a new texture in extras for your Mercury Redstone.
Enjoy the party!
Courtesy of PEVSA
Copy to your textures directory
backup your old
rename to
Fly and Party!

Posted by Rob Conley 2003-05-25

Gemini 4.1 Released

Gemini 4.1 with *Roll thruster has been implemented on Titan 2 2nd stage. *The Agena docking point has been set back as the 4.0 had it too far forward. *The kick force applied by the Gemini EVA astronaut to detach the micrometeoriod package has been increased. Some people reported problem with not being able to detach the package. *The drogue and main parachute are now animated. *Gemini X scenario has been added.

Posted by Rob Conley 2003-05-10

Agena Command Manual

Removed the two agena command jpg and replaced them with a pdf of agena commands. Has an additional page.

Posted by Rob Conley 2003-03-08

Orbiter 03-03-2003 Patch Added

The patch for orbiter is included as well as the Dragonfly sourcecode files.
Rob Conley

Posted by Rob Conley 2003-03-03

Columbia, February 1st 2003

David Brown - Laurel Clark - Michael Anderson - Ilan Ramon - Rick Husband - Kalpana Chalwa - William McCool

Oh I have slipped the surely bonds of earth and danced the skies on laughter silvered wings. Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun split clouds and done a hundred things you have not dreamed of, wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence.

Hovering there I've chased the shouting wind aloft and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air. Up up the long delirious burning blue, I've topped the wind swept heights with easy grace where neither lark nor eagle flew. ... read more

Posted by Rob Conley 2003-02-01

Gemini Titan 4.0 released

Thanks to Scott Oehlerking we now have amazing realistic meshes in this release. Also a lot of new features and scenarios.

Posted by Rob Conley 2003-01-20

Gemini Agena Command Summary in Research

While not complete I have received a couple of JPGs on the commands used by Gemini to control the Agena.

Posted by Rob Conley 2003-01-10

X-20 Titan IIIc 2.0 Released

Goto the File Section to download the latest version of this add-on.

Posted by Rob Conley 2003-01-01