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orbit nation

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Excellent: a weekend, a 2-day working week, then ten days off. If anyone is reading this, and is going to any of the Rush concerts in UK from next week, drop me a line. It will take a major disaster to stop me going to all of them, a trip I’ve already paid for in advance, so it had better be good.

I’m completely unmotivated this afternoon, though I did spend a couple of hours this morning playing with Orbiter: today I actually managed to line up orbits and approach the International Space Station fairly accurately. It’s a very realistic spacecraft simulation, though we do enjoy some luxuries not currently provided to real astronauts, such as a HUD with useful data such as actual velocity vectors, a “stop rotation” button and some useful autopilot features, and “time zoom” (so you don’t have to wait 90 minutes per orbit). The latter makes this simulation bearable, since much of the activity associated with setting up and matching orbits involves short bursts of rocket at precise orbital positions, one dimension at a time. The Space Shuttle astronauts do have computer support of this type, with critically precise orbit information and specific modes to solve the mathematical problems involved.

Just for fun, this evening, I’m taking part in a BBC “Test The Nation” quiz test, which was quite tough, with too many questions about UK chart positions, which I had no chance on. In the studio, the teams scored 40 – 50%, while the national scores, from people taking part online or by phone, was 40-42%. I’m a music geek, according to the overall statistics, scoring 73%. Which shows how reliable these statistics are, I suppose.

Written by brian t

September 4, 2004 at 11:18 pm

Posted in england, life, music, space

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