Space Shuttle Mission 2007 (AKA SSM2007) is a Space Shuttle stand-alone mission simulator for the Microsoft Windows XP and Vista operating system. The simulator was released on January 1, 2008 after having been under development for more than six years.
Space Shuttle Mission 2007 has been developed by a team of Space Exploration enthusiasts whose idea was to bring the old and venerable Virgin Shuttle Simulator alive again and match the new PC technology by re-designing a new Space Shuttle simulator from the ground up and adding better graphics and more features. The team planned to develop Space Shuttle Mission 2007 as a freeware game, but as the project became more ambitious and significant resources had to be invested to meet the new design requirements, the team decided to release the simulator as a commercial indie project.
The main purpose of Space Shuttle Mission 2007 is to allow the gamer to experience real historical NASA Space Shuttle missions from liftoff (T-00:01:50:00) to landing. Initially, Space Shuttle Mission 2007 was released with a set of 11 missions but as time passed, the development team has been releasing new missions as free add-ons. The missions include satellite deployment and servicing (including the Hubble Telescope), building and servicing the International Space Station, numerous Extra Vehicular Activities and landing at Kennedy Space Center and Edwards Air Force Base.
A typical mission starts on the launch pad at KSC right after the astronauts have entered the cockpit. After that, the user goes through the Preflight, Liftoff, Ascent, On Orbit, Deorbit, Approach and Landing phases. Most of the time is spent on orbit where the user is expected to perform the mission as described in the briefing screen and as instructed by the on-screen checklists and audio communications from the MCC. Landing is performed manually following Houston instructions and realistic guidance and navigation information presented on the 9 forward panels MFD and the fully collimated HUD. The action during all mission phases can be viewed from several "cameras": external view, first person, floating camera and Mission Control Center information screens. After completing the mission successfully from start to end, the virtual Astronaut receives a mission badge which is displayed in the Astronaut Achievements section.
The Space Shuttle Mission 2007 simulates numerous Space Shuttle systems, including the General Purpose Computer, Remote Manipulator System, APU, Hydraulic, CCTV, Electrical, Propulsion, Navigation, APDS (Docking System), Communications, Payload Bay. These are intended to allow for a realistic interaction between the user and these systems throughout the mission. As the mission evolves, the simulator presents the user with an on-screen context-related checklist, indicating which systems to operate and how. In the easiest difficulty mode, the simulator indicates individual switches with flashing arrows, in addition to the checklists. In more advanced difficulty modes, the user is expected to use printed checklists to complete the mission.
The user spends most of the time in a realistic and complete 3D Virtual Cockpit, manning several "stations": Commander, Pilot, Mission Specialist 1, Mission Specialist 2, and a Mission Specialist Middeck Position. The 3D Virtual Cockpit is especially effective due to the support of TrackIR:PRO Head Tracking Device, Matrox TripleHead2Go(tm) Multiple Monitor support and the Vuzix(tm) Virtual Reality Stereoscopic goggles. The in-cockpit and other environmental sounds are simulated including the engines, RCS, alarms, and cockpit cooling "humming".
The user can zoom into various panels in a 2D view or directly select the various systems from the main menu, in real time and press buttons, turn knobs, flip switches as the mission requires. There is also constant and context-relevant mission-related audio communications between the Mission Control Center and the Space Shuttle guiding the user through the mission.
Extra Vehicular Activities are conducted in First Person View allowing the user to experience the same feeling as Astronauts' do while "space walking". In certain missions, the virtual Astronauts will also drive the Manned Maneuvering Unit to capture satellites for maintenance. Latest mission addon is the STS-47 Spacelab mission. In this mission the Astronaut can visit the Spacelab-J and float inside the lab in Zero-G just like real Astronauts.
This Space Shuttle simulation is a procedural and First-Person / Third Person 3D Virtual Reality simulator based on actual mission flown by the Space Shuttle program.
Space Shuttle Mission 2007 was released with a set of 11 missions. The initial missions set includes:
|STS-1||First flight of the Space Shuttle program, launched on April 12, 1981.|
|STS-8||First night launch and night landing. INSAT-1B (Indian) satellite was launched and the RMS was tested with a Payload Flight Test Article.|
|STS-41C||First direct ascent trajectory for a Shuttle mission. During this mission the LDEF was released and the Solar Max Satellite was captured and repaired.|
|STS-26||The "Return to Flight" mission, being the first mission after the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. Launch of TDRS C using an IUS booster.|
|STS-31||Launched the Hubble Space Telescope astronomical observatory.|
|STS-88||First Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS) giving the first US Module, Unity.|
|STS-96||First shuttle flight to dock with the International Space Station.|
|STS-103||Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission by Space Shuttle Discovery.|
|STS-121||Carried the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module Leonardo to the ISS.|
|STS-116||delivered and attached the International Space Station's third port truss segment, the P5 truss.|
|STS-117||Delivered to the International Space Station (ISS) the second starboard truss segment (the S3/S4 Truss) and its associated energy systems, including a set of solar arrays.|
Since initial release new free missions are periodically added by the developers. So far the additional missions include (in the order which NASA flew them):
|STS-51A||This Mission was the first mission to launch two satellites and retrieve two malfunctioning ones and bring them back to Earth. It was also the last mission to use the MMU. Deployed satellites: TELESAT-H and SYNCOM IV-1. Retrieved satellites: PALAPA-B2 and WESTAR-VI.|
|STS-27||The first Space Shuttle Mission 2007 Spy Satellite mission.|
|STS-32||Deployment of the SYNCOM IV-F5 DoD Communications Satellite and retrieval of the LDEF Experiment Pack (launched with STS-41-C, another SSM2007 Mission)|
|STS-47||This was the 50th Space shuttle mission. also this is the first Spacelab mission simulated in SSM2007.|
|STS-93||Launch of the Chandra X-ray Observatory.|
|STS-99||This is the famous Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM)|
|STS-98||This ISS building mission brought up the station's Destiny Module.|
|STS-100||This was the 104th Space shuttle mission. This mission delivered the Canadarm2 to the ISS.|
|STS-122||deployed and installed the Columbus module on the International Space Station|
|STS-124||deployed and installed the Japanese Kibo module and the new Japanese Remote Manipulator System on the International Space Station|
|STS-125||The last Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission Flown on May 2009 by Space Shuttle Atlantis.|
|STS-128||This flight to the International Space Station carried the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module Leonardo. Mission was flown on August 2009 by Space Shuttle Discovery.|
|STS-130||This mission to the International Space Station carried Node 3, the Tranquility Node, as well as the unique seven window Cupola module which is be used as a robotics workstation area and observation location.|
|STS-401||This Mission is a contingency mission for STS-125 (HST service mission). In the event Atlantis was to be declared unsafe for De-orbit, STS-401 would take Discovery for a rescue mission. STS-125 landed safely on May 24, 2009, with Endeavour on the launch pad in LON duty (LON-400), thus there was no need for the STS-401 rescue mission.|
|Ares I-X||Launched on October 28, 2009, This 6 minute flight was the first test launch of the new constellation program Ares I rocket.|
Included Space Vehicles
The entire Space Shuttle fleet is included, however the developers have decided that only the latest cockpit instrumentation and Space Shuttle external appearance will be depicted, for the sake of simplicity and learning curve. Therefore the models do not include the old-style mechanical gauges and all the various Space Shuttle paint jobs.
In addition, each Mission includes all the related cargo: pallets and objects and of course the accurate model of the International Space Station (ISS) matching the built status according to the mission. The ISS missions cover all the activities needed to complete them: realistic rendezvous, R-BAR, TORVA, V-BAR and docking, Shuttle RMS operations, ISS RMS operations (including the full extraction and deployment of the payload) and Extra Vehicular Activities and of course, undocking, Fly Around (TORF/TORS) and full separation.
- Review at Avsim.com
- Review at Flightsim.com
- Review at Avionic-Online.com
- May 2008 Issue of BBC Sky at Night Magazine
- December 2008 Issue of BBC Sky at Night Magazine
- July 2008 Issue of PC Pilot Magazine
- July 2008 Issue of Computer Pilot Magazine
- Review at IGN.com
- Review at GameSpy.com
- SSM2007 Fans Wiki
- The Space Shuttle Mission Commander's Reference Manual (freely downloadable at the official website)