So what exactly does Space Shuttle Mission 2007? have to offer?
As we are getting closer to the release date, we thought that it would be only fair to let you into some more details about what we have in store for you.
No, Space Shuttle Mission 2007? (aka SSM2007? ) is NOT a "space simulator", so you cannot fly to the Moon or visit Mars in futuristic space-ships. This is a Space Shuttle Simulator - from pre-launch, through the entire mission and down to, and including the landing phase.
When we have started this project we decided that the scope of this simulator should be to offer a Space Shuttle experience as close as possible to the real thing, while keeping in mind the limitations imposed by the mainstream PC hardware and the target audience (you). In plain English, we wanted this simulator to be able to run well on a wide range of hardware configurations and appeal to all ages and educational backgrounds ? you do not really need a hot-rod PC or to be a "rocket scientist" to enjoy it!
This means that for now, we had to leave out certain realities like the possibility of failure and emergency operations that the real crew trains for, but fortunately it seldom has to apply in real life. Also some of the operations are simplified and automated (like the robotic arm of the ISS). We also left out certain activities such as various scientific experiments and tasks which are performed by specialized crew members.
Since its maiden launch in 1981, The Space Shuttle has seen may improvements to a degree that today some of the systems are dramatically different (and improved) from the original ones. Some of these modifications are also reflected by the technology used in the cockpit. We decided that we will not go all the way and simulate all the Space Shuttle "variants". Basically what you get now is the modern MFD-based flight deck of today's Space Shuttles and not the old-style mechanical gauges. We thought that for the sake of simplicity and user-friendliness, we should make the simulator as enjoyable, accessible and non-intimidating as possible. Forcing any of you to learn several cockpit variants would have certainly put an undesirable stress which could have resulted in having the simulator shelved after the first 15 minutes or so.
So we did leave out several items which purists may disagree with, but if you relax and ponder a bit, you?re not getting a bad deal after all: what we do offer is the opportunity to perform many operations the real Space Shuttle Captain, Pilot and other crew members do during the various missions.
You do get to press buttons, turn knobs, use the RMS, perform EVA (Extravehicular Activities), dock, launch and capture satellites, service the Hubble, build the ISS and land at KSC and EAFB. Of course, in the visual world that we live in, all this would not mean much without those cool views from space. We have licensed the best commercial 1km/pixel, 15m/pixel and 1m/pixel Satellite Imagery you can get today from TerraMetrics Inc. ? the company which provides Satellite Imagery for Google Earth? and for a multitude of other critical applications. The Virtual 3D cockpit adds yet another dimension to the enjoyment and understanding of what happens in a real Space Shuttle flight.
We offer extensive viewing options, including a free-floating camera that allows you to admire the scenery from infinite points of view. Now you can take shots of that difficult docking that you've just completed and win bragging points.
We decided to offer for now a basic set of the most exciting and representative historical missions, including the latest ones, and we plan to periodically release new missions, until we cover all the historical missions to date. Visit our website regularly and you will definitely be rewarded with some very exciting add-ons.
As you see, with all that has been simplified in this SSM2007? release, there is still much to do! We are confident that by playing with SSM2007? you will learn a lot and understand the magnitude of the STS Program achievements.
We have plans to follow through with additional SSM versions with cool features that will offer you the opportunity of learning more about what mankind has achieved in Earth Orbit operations during the last decades.
We do hope to see you ride with us in this new and exciting adventure in Space.
* We reserve the right to alter the specifications mentioned above at any time and without any prior notification.