FSX SpacePort is an add-on for Microsoft's Flight Simulator X (FSX) that enables a high-fidelity simulation of spaceflight using the visual environment, assets and the ecosystem of Microsoft's Flight Simulator X.
FSX SpacePort does not rely on FSX's flight model - instead, it completely replaces it with its own physics engine which implements a sophisticated deterministic physics solver to precisely simulate spaceflight in real time.
This physics engine is applied only to the objects that were designed to be used as spacecraft, meaning - the default aircraft fly as normal, and the spacecraft objects behave under ballistic astrodynamic rules of motion.
Along with the physics engine comes a sophisticated, high-fidelity collision engine, completely user-definable through FSX's SimObject container expanded with spacecraft-specific functionality.
Here is a partial list of features you can find in FSX SpacePort simulator:
High-fidelity astrodynamic simulator
Whether you are a recreational "simmer", or you are configuring ergonomics for the real space hardware, you can utilize FSX's extensive SDK to create fully functional and interactive 3D environments, working instrumentation, animated components and spacecraft systems.
Building on FSX's SimConnect SDK, it is possible to model as many or as few spacecraft sub-systems, and integrate it into simulator's visual environment. For example, it is possible to programatically implement modules that will simulate expenditure of spacecraft's consumables such as power, life support and propulsion propellants.
FSX SpacePort is VR-ready by virtue of forward compatibility with FSX using a third-party add-on called Flyinside-FSX.
Virtual cockpit with fully functional instrumentation
There is a good reason FSX has been chosen as a platform for FSX SpacePort: A legacy of several decades of leading-edge flight simulation software, culminating in the latest release, Microsoft's Flight Simulator X.
FSX is a version released in 2006 and still going strong today, with an incredibly rich ecosystem, well-established industry of add-on software, robust Software Development Kit (SDK), and with with leading edge industry adopters such as Lockheed Martin.
FSX models the entire planet in incredible detail, including:
Most of these features can be greatly augmented using the Microsoft-provided SDK: More detailed terrain, location-specific land cover and architecture, and custom-made and purposely-built vehicles. This makes the FSX an ideal platform for an expansion module that turns it from an atmospheric flight simulator into a space flight simulator.
In real time.
With real topography and land classifications.
Experience the thrill of extra-vehicular activity (EVA)
When it comes to space exploration, nothing fans the imagination more than the notion of floating weightlessly and admiring spectacular vistas from the orbit. So far, this experience has been reserved for the chosen few who have been lucky (and smart) enough to fly to Earth's orbit and beyond on various spaceflight missions.
While the advances in space flight are progressing at a steady pace with new and bold innovators pushing the envelope, the trip to space will still remain an experience out of reach for the vast majority of us in the foreseeable future.
We at TerraBuilder are working hard on a virtual experience that will enable a desktop simmer to step out of the airlock and into the vastness of space. There will be no up or down, and the motion of your body in a space suit will be governed only by laws of mathematics and physics. While there are several limitations posed by the FSX's internal architecture, we are making promising strides towards the ultimate virtual space walking experience!
Stay tuned for more news and the progress on this exciting feature!