One of the first general-purpose space flight simulators, Microsoft Space Simulator (MSS) was based on Microsoft's popular Flight Simulator. It was developed by BAO Ltd., a company run by Flight Simulator developer Bruce Artwick. Charles Guy was lead developer on MSS.
MSS incorporated concepts from astrodynamics and celestial mechanics. It uses Newton laws of motion but takes account of relativistic effects by decreasing a spacecraft's acceleration as its speed approaches the speed of light. However, it does not take account of time dilation. In addition, atmospheric flight is not modeled.
MSS provided support for high-resolution graphics running in 256 color mode at up to 800x600. The graphics featured dithered gouraud shaded 3D vessels, with texture mapped planets, moons, and deepsky objects.
- 14 spacecraft models (real and fictional) ranging from a compact manned maneuvering unit (the Space Shuttle's MMU) to an interplanetary passenger transport (Galactic Explorer) and a giant interstellar freighter (Zander Freighter).
- Destinations including space stations (both almost-historical e.g. Space Station Freedom and futuristic e.g. Ring Station 1), bases (e.g. Kennedy Space Center or futuristic Marineris Base on Mars) and celestial bodies (including comets) in both the solar system and outside (e.g. in the Polaris or Vega star system).
- Spacecraft instrument panel providing altitude and velocity information.
- Video recording and screenshots.
- Predefined missions which task users with accomplishing certain objectives (like Apollo 17 moon landing or docking a Shuttle to Space Station Freedom).
- Autopilot and flight computer autopilot can be used to execute 15 maneuvers of different complexities (ranging from attitude/orientation control to automatic landing). Maneuvers can be also compiled into a complete flight plan that can be automatically executed.
- Observatory mode that can be used as a planetarium for viewing stars and other celestial bodies.
Apollo Service Module
Lunar Module (LM)
Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU)
F-79 Galactic Fighter
All Terrain Lander (ATL)
Included Space Stations:
Ring Station 1 (Earth Orbit)
Space Station Freedom (Low Earth Orbit)
Lunar Orbiter (Moon Orbit)
Mars Orbiter (Mars Orbit)
Source: Wikipedia, "Microsoft Space Simulator", available under the CC-BY-SA License.
Back of Box
With Microsoft Space Simulator, you are a citizen of the universe. With incredible graphics and stunning realism, explore and experience what space is really like.
Discover the real wonders of space.
- Zoom through the Milky Way Galaxy, including the Earth's solar system, moons, comets, and asteroids--all realistically rendered based on data from NASA and other sources.
- Marvel at Milky Way stars as they exhibit amazing true-to-life behavior.
- Experience the natural laws of the universe, such as gravity--you won't be able to resist!
Venture into the unknown.
- Take a space walk in the Manned Maneuvering Unit, or choose from a fleet of spacecraft, including the Space Shuttle!
- Challenge your gaming skills, completing scored missions such as Moon or Mars landings.
- Save a scenario for practice or to complete later.
- Use the autopilot and the flight computer to help you travel to a desired location.
Make the universe--and this experience--your own.
- Take total command of your ship in free flight mode.
- Experience our galaxy's evolution or see a specific place, using the Observatory to:
- View locations in space at any time up to 100,000 years in the past or the future.
- Identify an object you encounter or wish to explore.
- Pinpoint where you are and what you're exploring using online information.
Microsoft Space Simulator brings you interactive, intergalactic exploration that's out of this world!