Category Archives: Software

SpaceMissions – a 3D Solar System & Space Missions Simulator

Adrian Wenz at Binary Space informs me that SpaceMissions™ is now available in the Microsoft Store. SpaceMissions™ is

a 3D Solar System & Space Missions Simulator supporting most Earth-centric spacecraft as well as some selected interplanetary missions (like MSL, Rosetta, OSIRIS-REx and more): Travel through our Solar System, visit planets, comets, asteroids and watch critical maneuvers of interstellar probes at any time from any desired perspective.

Adrian tells me that the program will be further improved in a “step by step by adding more space missions (e.g. Insight), features and by removing any detected bugs”.

Here is a clip showing some of the features of the program (which was referred to as SpaceTraveller during its development):


Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto

Video: TMRO Orbit 10.23 – “KubOS, An Operating System for CubeSats”

Here is the latest show: KubOS, An Operating System for CubeSats – Orbit 10.23 – TMRO

Marshall Culpepper the CEO & Co-founder of KubOS joins us to talk about their operating system for CubeSats and how they are helping to spur the growth of the CubeSat market.

In Space News:

NICER is deployed on the International Space Station
Tianzhou-1 conducts undocking and redocking at Tiangong-2
Updated Kepler catalog yields 219 more planets
14 Year Old Satellite is out of control
ESA selects LISA for gravity wave observatory in space

TMRO is viewer supported:

TMRO:Space is a crowd funded show. If you like this episode consider contributing to help us to continue to improve. Head over to for information, goals and reward levels.

Google app “Land Lines” finds earth images to match a stroke of your finger

Check out this cool Google experimental app called Land Lines. Just draw a short curvy line and it will instantly find a satellite image of a spot on the earth with a linear feature that matches your line: Land Lines is an addicting game from Google that turns scribbles into satellite images | WIRED.

This video illustrates how it works:



Astro software: Automated Astronomical Object Feature Measurer

Astro Maven Rick Boozer points me to his new application program: Automated Astronomical Object Feature Measurer –

Want to know the size (in kilometers or miles) of a sunspot, lunar crater, festoon on Jupiter, etc. that you see in a photographic image?  My latest software creation called Automated Astronomical Object Feature Measurer (or AAOFM for short) can quickly and accurately tell you the answer.  The app is offered free for download.

Designed to run on Windows, Linux and Mac computers.  Note: This is a beta version and I need feedback concerning any bugs that may exist in the app.  I have installed and run the software successfully on Windows and Linux computers; therefore, input from Mac users would be appreciated.

Click the image below to go to my website and choose the menu option to the left labeled  Automated Astronomical Object Feature Measurer to go to the appropriate download area.

The Orbiter 2016 Space Flight Simulator

An updated version of the free spaceflight sim Orbiter is now available: Orbiter 2016 Space Flight Simulator

Explore the solar system on your PC! Fed up with space games that insult your intelligence and violate every law of physics? Orbiter is a simulator that gives you an idea what space flight really feels like – today and in the not so distant future. And best of all: you can download it for free!


Here is a positive review of the update: Orbiter 2016 and other space flight simulators – Bruce Irving/The Space Review

Although it is fun and challenging in many ways, Orbiter 2016 truly is a space flight simulation, or what some might now call a “sandbox game.” In its level of detail and learning curve, it is something like Microsoft Flight Simulator or X-Plane, where the “game” is mainly the challenge of learning to fly, or of mastering advanced skills such as instrument approaches. Orbiter too supports atmospheric flight, but with the major addition of space flight with accurate orbital mechanics.

There is plenty to learn and do, but there are no requirements, characters, weapons, or scores, only the unforgiving rules of Newtonian physics, a wide range of tools and techniques to master, and the full solar system to explore. Learning to launch a spacecraft to orbit, dock with the ISS, land on the Moon, or navigate to Mars: all of this, and more, is possible in Orbiter.

You can choose from a variety of built-in spacecraft and scenarios, download and fly add-on spacecraft and scenarios, or even design and fly your own spacecraft, although doing so requires some external tools.

Irving also has good things to say about these two spaceflight sims: