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 standard ORBITER distribution requires the following minimum hardware features:
- 600 MHz PC or better (Pentium, Athlon, etc.)
- 256 MB RAM or more
- Windows 95/98/Me/2000/XP
- DirectX 7.0 or higher
- DirectX compatible 3D graphics accelerator card with at least 16MB of video RAM (32MB or more recommended) and DXT texture compression support
- Approximately 100MB of free disk space for the minimum installation (additional high resolution textures and addons will require more space).
- DirectX compatible joystick (optional)
Installing high-resolution texture packs or addons may have an impact on performance and could require significantly higher computing specs.
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
- Shuttle Atlantis
- Shuttle PB
- Hubble Space Telescope
- Long Duration Exposition Facility
- Internation Space Station
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.