"Do you want to earn your astronaut’s wings?
Author: Thorsten Renk
Real spaceships aren’t actually piloted into orbit. The risk that a human being, strapped to his acceleration seat and under a crushing acceleration of 4 g for a prolonged period of time is unable to fly with the precision required to reach orbit is far too great, and real spacecraft reach orbit on autopilot.
But what would it be like? Welcome to a scenario in which a Russian Vostok spacecraft has been acquired by the USA and fitted for a manually flown mission.
This is the launch vehicle assembled at Edwards Airforce Base. The actual capsule is hidden under an aerodynamically formed protective cover. Below it is the third stage of the rocket, with its exhaust nozzle visible. All this is mounted on top of the huge first and second stage. Unlike many US rockets, which use sequentially burning stages, the first stage of the Vostok launch vehicle consists of four boosters which burn along with the long, cylindrical second stage.
Oh come on, you KNOW this is awesome!
I knew FlightGear went beyond airplanes, but not like this. Now it's got me wondering when other like things it can do? For example, I wonder if a Project Orion type ship would be created? That would be uber-awesome... lol :)
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FlightGear, the open source flight simulator, releases version 2.4