Hello and welcome to my  web site providing some background information on the addons I made for the Orbiter spaceflight simulator. Orbiter lets you explore the whole solar system based on realistic flight physics.T his site is about near-future missions, with technology readily available or at least researched in the labs, the time frame being about 10 to 50 years into the future. New projects will come.


  • October 2009: The current version 606 shows a smaller service module and inclined thrusters.
    A beta version can be downloaded here.
  • The development thread is on Orbiter-Forum.com.


Delta IV Heavy Versatile

        In December 2004 Boeings Delta 4 Heavy flew for the first time. The vehicle is an all cryogenic (LH2 / LOX) launcher consisting of 3 Common Core Boosters (CBCs) strapped together, with a 5 m upper stage and payload fairing. The CBCs are powered by RS-68 engines, with a vacuum thrust of  3.313 kN currently the most powerfull hydrogen engines in the world.

This version (Delta 4 Heavy Versatile) shall represent a future development,
being able to launch satellites as well as manned vehicles into orbit.

Standard Configuration:  
    Liftoff thrust: 8,670 kN, total mass: 733,400 kg.
    25,800 kg to 185 km Orbit, 28.5 deg inclination
    10,843 kg to a geosynchronous transfer orbit
Upgraded Configuration:  
    50,000 kg to 185 km Orbit, 28.5 deg inclination

Gspin Rotating Space StationThe Gspin station

This is a space station rotating slowly to produce artificial gravity. It is made from parts of the ISS, which were assumed to be built but never launched after the retirement of the space shuttle.

The station consists of a habitat (9 ton) at the end of a 50 m wire, and a centre service module (6 ton) with a docking port, solar panels and a heat radiator. These two elements are connected by an inflated tunnel. The assembly was launched on a Delta 4 Heavy. The burnt-out upper stage is the counter weight (6 ton) at the end of 75 m long wires.

The rotational speed is 2.5 rpm, resulting in a artificial gravity of 3.4 m/sē, about 1/3 of earth gravity. This rotation is well within the 'convenience limit' of about 3 rpm. The effects of preventing bone degradation of the astronauts on long space travels shall be studied aboard this station.

A spacecraft with a centre-line docking port (like the Delta Glider or the CEV) is required for docking.

JIMO - Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter

        NASA had plans for an ambitious mission to orbit three moons of Jupiter - Callisto, Ganymede and Europa. The mission, called Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter, would orbit each of these moons for extensive investigations of their makeup, their history and their potential for sustaining life. 

        The JIMO mission would have also raised NASA's capability for space exploration to a revolutionary new level by pioneering the use of ion electric propulsion powered by a nuclear fission reactor. This technology had not only made it possible to consider a realistic mission for orbiting three of the moons of Jupiter, one after the other, it would have also opened the rest of the outer Solar System to detailed exploration in later missions.

The project was discontinued in 2005, being considered too ambitious for the current state of technology.

Read the documentation: PDF file.

Moebius Art Gallery in Space

        Inspired by the space project of the Tate Gallery in London (www.tate.org.uk/space) the ultimate place to enjoy space art and Orbiter screenshots seems to be, well, in space!

It is easy to replace the exhibits with your own pics.
If you have a collection of 10 new pics and want to share them with ther Orbiteers, zip them up together with a short readme and post them to a file archive of your liking.

Examples can be found at the Orbithangar web site.

Odyssey CEV

        In 2004 the United States declared to develop a new manned exploration vehicle, called the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV).

This version shows one of the earliest concepts, published on Lockheeds web site.

Nov. 2006 update: Recompiled for Orbiter 2006 p1 edition.

More ...

Biconic CEV

        This is the concept of a biconic CEV to transport a crew of up to 6 astronauts to the ISS. It can also be used for lunar missions, but needs a separate stage for the lunar capture burn. When returning to earth this vessel lands using a parasail.

More ...


        This CEV is based on NASA's Exploration Systems Architecture Study (ESAS) as published in autumn 2005.

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Orion CEV

        Started development of the new Orion CEV (with the round solar panels). A temporary version can be downloaded here ...