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Author Topic: Shuttle Fleet and Orbiter 2010  (Read 6447 times)

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Offline David413

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09 June 2010, 03:37:38
I am posting here the text I have recently posted on the Orbiter-Forum:

Although I don't really think that I owe anyone an explaination as to why there won't be a 2010 Shuttle Fleet version, I'm providing this as a means to avoid countless questions in the future as to why there isn't a 2010 version. I do NOT intend to continue to answer this question beyond what I write here today.

Let me first say that the 2010 version of Orbiter is wonderful, and I have enjoyed watching it develop over the past few years. My association with Orbiter began in 2001 when a friend at the Johnson Space Center in Houston sent me an Email with a link to the program. Back then I had been flying flyarounds of a space station using Microsoft Space Simulator (remember that?) and was happy to be flying that. Then I was introduced to Orbiter. I still have a working copy of that first version of Orbiter. I immediately set about re-doing the included ISS mesh to have a simplistic ISS 7A that I could fly to using the red Delta Glider. Then the next version of Orbiter came out and included the first Space Shuttle model. I already had more capability than MSS had ever provided me, and I was happy.

Shortly there after, I began my long association with Don Gallagher ("Donamy") and through his prodding I began to learn C++. My programming abilities were (and still are) questionable at best, having been a FORTRAN and Visual Basic programmer for almost 30 years. Slowly I began to work on the Shuttle Fleet, the GPCMFD, and later the ISS Fleet and RPOP MFD. Along the way, Mike Norman created the AutoFCS and landings became much easier and realistic. I have always installed features as I needed them to perform simulations of shuttle missions.

Over these past nine years I have shared my passion for Orbiter with actual astronauts and others at JSC. I created the Expansion pack series in order to provide real-world, real-time simulations during missions. But I have always done this in order to please myself first, then shared the results with the community for their amusement.

A few weeks ago, one of the members of this forum asked a question along the lines of, "...does anyone actually PLAY Orbiter?" or words to that effect. It got me thinking. I have developed the Shuttle and ISS fleets to the point where I have been working of late on specific mission simulations (Hubble missions, early ISS missions) along with recent mission-specific expansion pack simulations. Occasionally I have had to tweak a model or mesh (most recently STS-88 simulations have caused me to re-do some ISS fleet vehicles) in order to provide a more realistic simulation for my own amusement. Occasionally I would try updating the fleet to the latest beta version of Orbiter, but I realized that it was going to take an enormous amount of my (limited) time to update the fleet for the new Orbiter and I didn't really need to for my own use. With the available scenaries and atmospheric enhancements already developed over the years for use with the 2006 version, a reasonably stable set of models (that I understand and can adapt easily) I had no reason to update the fleets to the 2010 version. I'm in my mid-fifties now, with a wife, two teenage children, and a full-time job. To have to back-track and re-develop the fleets would only cut into the time I have for Orbiter and I have no desire to do that. Space Shuttle Ultra began as the next generation of the shuttle simulation, and I wish them all the best. I have not really used SSU because I already have the Shuttle fleet and it suits me fine for what I wish to do.

So, does all this mean that I will never update the fleet to 2010 (or beyond)? Not at all. If I ever see a need to do so and it suits my purposes, then I will make the time and update the fleet accordingly. On the other hand, I will continue to provide expansion packs for the current fleet based against the 2006 Orbiter version. (Recently, while watching the development of the 2010 version and knowing of it's pending release, I nonetheless created the RPOP MFD because I needed it for some rendezvous and docking practices I was working while re-creating STS-97. I knew that it would be outdated within a matter of weeks, but I created it for my needs using the compiler and Orbiter SDK that I was most familiar and comfortable with.)

I thank each of you that understand my position regarding the fleet. I have always had at least 3 or more Orbiter installations at any one time, now I have another; the 2010 version. Visually it is fantastic, and I enjoy using it. But I will continue to use the 2006 version with the Fleets for the foreseeable future.

To Voyager, and anyone else with similar ideas I say only this: you cannot annoy me if I don't let you. But, if you wish to try, it will only provide me with an excuse to avoid this forum.

Creating and releasing expansion packs will continue. I am eternally greatful to all of you. The last time I looked at Orbit Hangar, Shuttle Fleet was the most downloaded add-on of all time. That was your doing, not mine. And that is all the thanks I have ever worked for.

Best wishes to all of you,

Offline jacquesmomo

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Reply #1 - 10 June 2010, 02:22:29
I understand your point of view and I quite agree with you.
Thank you for this "sublime" Shuttle-Fleet that you gave to us.
Shure, we'll keep Orbiter 2006 for that, it's not a problem to have two (or more) Orbiter.
Again, thank you for this excellent add-on!!
(and sorry if my english is not good)

Mes add-ons sont là !

Offline Pagir

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Reply #2 - 10 June 2010, 04:08:36
Thanks a lot for your dedication to the Shuttle fleet! Your work is amazing, and I will continue to fly those marvelous flying machines on O2006!

Your work is really great!



Offline Starshipexplorer

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Reply #3 - 10 June 2010, 07:55:45
Hi David. I also appreciate your excellent efforts on the Space Shuttle Fleet. I still have archived your very first releases for Martin's 12/02 Orbiter, and your subsequent upgrades over the last eight years.  Much thanks to you and Don (Donamy) for your passion in the Shuttles.

Post Edited ( 06-10-10 07:56 )

Offline MerciMartin

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Reply #4 - 10 June 2010, 11:49:56
You made great work with Shuttle Fleet, and as you said multiple version of Orbiter can be used; so anyway for update cause the sts you create are just perfect ! No reason to ask (more) to somebody who gave so much. Thanks for your explanation David413

« Last Edit: 10 June 2010, 11:49:56 by MerciMartin »