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Martin Schweiger, Ph.D., the developer of orbiter

Orbiter is a freeware space flight simulator written by Martin Schweiger, Ph. D., of the Department of Medical Physics and Bioengineering at University College London.

The current version is Orbiter 2006 Patch 1.


Orbiter consists of a mix of configuration files, help files, meshes, textures and modules which get integrated by the main executable Orbiter.exe. This very flexible architecture makes it possible to easily modify orbiter and extend its capabilities.

The default solar system

The default solar system includes all known planets (except the dwarf planets) and the major moons. Most planets are equipped with a ephemeris module, which calculate the position of the celestial bodies at a very high accuracy, making it possible to simulate historic space missions by using nearly the same maneuvers as in reality.

Spread over the inner solar system are some spaceports, which allow players to refuel their spacecrafts:

The included spacecrafts

Mir got placed into an alternative orbit (and was not deorbited) making it a possible start for interplanetary missions.

How to install

Files of the base distribution

File name MD5 sum Description
orbiter060504_base.zip 3275A977612EE935A33164BF19CA8877 Basic installation file, required
orbiter060929patch_base.zip F323033D4F8FCBC72E4EA1AF3C771708 Patch 1 for Orbiter 2006, upgrades to version 060929, required
orbiter060929_sdk.zip ABD256D197E8E51BCA2B9435EAC60502 Orbiter SDK for add-on development, optional
Earth060504_L10.zip 91BB9E1314ED9142AF26704FA1D5DA0D High resolution textures for Earth, optional
Mars060504_L10.zip 4C42C639842733BA8AB68750BFF21FAA High resolution textures for Mars, optional
PlanetHires060504.zip 105A70B2DE3C5B363E125D003153FDB4 High resolution textures for the other planets, optional
Deltaglider060504_htex.zip 4D29BC89F71B25ACE65099F70BA25EA5 High resolution textures for the Delta-Glider, optional
Dragonfly060504_htex.zip D566B97C9B00DC8269549B909E5783F6 High resolution textures for the Dragonfly, optional


  • "No. Orbiter 2007 will be out in 2008 at the earliest. Orbiter 2008 is then targetted for sometime between 2010 and 2020." - Martin Schweiger on the release date of future Orbiter versions.[1]

See also