APOLLO-50 (Lifted off now!)

  • I would like to say, this project is looking very nice and I can speak for everyone here on the IPACS team that we support what you guys are doing 100%

    Keep up the great work!

    IPACS Development Team Member

    I'm just a cook, I don't own the restaurant.
    On behalf of Torsten, Marc, and the rest of the IPACS team, we would all like to thank you for your continued support.



  • Jeff, thanks for the nice feedback and support! and thanks Turman, Majick, Chis, and John for the nice comments too!

    Just a few more days to go with last minute additions, clean-up, and testing all happening at the same time.

    Behind the scenes of the Apollo-50 project and that "Ray" character ;) ...

    While "Tom" was populating some of the parking lots with 3D vehicles, "Ray" happened to mention how full all the parking lots were during the peak of the Apollo program because so many contractors had to work on-site to stay on schedule. "Ray" then spilled a bit more about the "politics of parking" ...

    "When my company moved from pad 37 to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), it had been occupied for a couple of years by the booster companies. Of course, they got all the close in parking spaces and had their names stenciled onto the concrete wheel stops. When both the Command Module contractor (North American), my company and Grumman (Lunar Lander) all complained together, they opened up a few new parking lots and spent months and months figuring out the pecking order for who gets reserved spaces and how close in or how far out.

    I didn't even qualify for a reserved parking space at that time but a coworker and I were walking thru the parking lot the day a crew was stenciling the names onto the wheel stops for the new parking lots. My coworker, a huge, really huge guy, walks up and says "Who the hell is in charge here?" Some guy admits he may be so my coworker takes one look at the list of names and says "Why are you using this old outdated list, You are suppose to be using the list dated two days ago. Gimme that damn list - I'll be right back with the correct list" and grabbed it and huffed away. He turned back and told the crew to take a break.

    We went in the VAB and spent lots of time finding a typewriter with the same font and changed two of the names. His and mine were added to the list. He changed the date and took it back and gave them $10 to buy a beer and he apologized for not having the correct list.

    We had reserved parking close in for the next 4 years and no one ever asked how we got it."

    And if you look really hard, you may find Ray's Corvette in one of those parking spaces 8)

  • I like these stories. Remembers me the time I done the Dornier-Whale Project for the FS9 with two other guys. I started the project, because I wanted to create a plane - without a complicated landing gear. So I ended up with this flying boat. I started researching, finding out the story behind the Greenland-Whale. Amundsen tried to fly to the north pole, then von Gronau travels with the same plane from Germany to America. And later a second trip around the whole world. Found the original radio conversations for the world trip, even got in contact with someone from the family of one of the crew member. It makes so much fun doing projects like this, there are so many interesting stories behind. Keep telling us more. :)

    Wish for Aerofly FS 2/4:

    - Flightpath recording on hard drive and replay in sim from different view points

    - Smoke for aerobatic planes

    - Multiplayer or at least watching other people flying sitting on ground or inside tower

  • Sunday July 14th, T-2 days and counting

    For the Apollo program, it all begins in the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) where our own "Ray" worked on the 31st floor.

    "Once we stacked the spacecraft in the VAB there was no work done on any of them until the Saturn V was on the Pad. I also spent several months at the Houston Space Center with the backup crews and I was on the LM Simulator Acceptance team so I got to fly the LM sim more than I wanted at times.

    The damn thing never worked for two hours in a row, so they used people like me to act as Pilot to give feedback on what was working and what was not working. It was fun except when it was just boring work. A very unique job though."

    PREVIEW: Vehicle Assembly Building

    Cheers, Thomas

    Edited 2 times, last by TomSimMuc (July 14, 2019 at 2:31 PM).

  • Behind the scenes of the Apollo-50 project ...

    On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch, it seems appropriate to squeeze in one more "Ray" story while the team is working hard to squeeze in a few last-minute tweaks. This story, however, isn't about Apollo 11 but about Apollo 10 - the first mission with all the hardware in place to land on the moon.

    "Just about the only difference between Apollo 10 and Apollo 11 was the MIT flight software that was behind schedule and NASA didn’t know how to speed them up. Had that landing profile software been ready 2 months earlier, Apollo 10 would have most likely landed on the moon with Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan reversing roles in the history books with Neil and Buzz.

    Apollo 10's mission was the exact same mission as Apollo 11, except 10 would fly down to 47,000 ft or 9 miles above the surface and make a fly-by of the Sea of Tranquility and look for visual cues and hazards of sorts that could be used when landing.

    Same orbits, same engine burns, same everything, but stop short of landing, then execute an abort that triggers a timed sequence that first fires four explosive bolts cutting the two stages apart, then activates a heavy blade that cuts through a 5 inch bundle of electrical cable, and finally fires the ascent engine. They then fly the lightweight ascent stage to meet up with the Command Module in orbit, dock, transfer back to their seats, jettison the LM and come home.

    Apollo 10 was the only mission to send the LM into orbit around the sun. All the other missions allowed the LM to crash into the moon.

    The total unknown for Apollo 10 was the fuel efficiency of the LM. It turned out to be a real fuel hog - it just guzzled the fuel while slowing down for the landing. There were no accurate fuel gauges yet. Apollo 11 got them installed for the first time.

    So now Tom Stafford (Apollo 10) is as experienced as Neil Armstrong, both with two Gemini flights and both as Commander on their last flight. The objective of the Apollo program is to land on the moon, gather some moondust, and come back to earth before the Russians can do it. We were thinking we had maybe 4 shots at it before the end of 1969 - Apollo 10 ,11, 12, and 13. Apollo 10 flew in mid May, 11 in mid July, 12 in November, and 13 would have been the last shot for the “end of the decade” goal.

    Now all these astronauts truly were the best of the best, and all smart as hell. They were also all used to pushing the envelope, taking chances and coming back alive. So the dilemma upper management had was what would happen if Stafford and Cernan rolled the dice and chose to be the first to walk on the moon. They could always say it was a secret mission to fool the Russians. Heck, one mission was no more or no less dangerous than another.

    But the Apollo 10 LM landing and takeoff, if it were attempted, would have to be fully manual without any flight software to fly the profile. It turns out that every Commander elected to fly manually, every single one of them.

    So one sure fire way to make a snap decision harder for Tom and Gene was too make certain they could not return. The Mission Controllers could not stop them from attempting the landing, but they could stop them from coming home. At the time we thought landing on the moon and taking off was so complicated it needed the autopilot, but our pilots were better than we thought.

    The engineers calculated the absolute minimum fuel load to get down to 9 miles above the moon and fly across the Sea of a Tranquility and then calculated the additional amount needed for the continued descent and final approach and landing. CapCom escorted Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan to the base of the LM so they could personally witness how much, or how little fuel was added to the descent and ascent stage tanks.

    It was said, 2nd hand, “I want you guys to know with absolute certainty that you only have enough fuel to fly the mission, and should you decide you feel lucky and could zip on down and make an unauthorized landing, you will surely run out of fuel. And should you somehow manage to actually land on the moon, we have also shorted the ascent tanks so if you did somehow manage to takeoff you will run out of fuel long before you can get high enough to dock with the Command Module,” or something to that effect.

    I am not certain the story unfolded exactly like that, but I do know that these were the only two crew members to ever visit the base of a Lunar Module loaded with fuel and ready to fly an Apollo mission and discuss the partial fuel loads in the tanks. Apollo 10 was the only mission with external stress gauges attached for calculating the weight of the fuel. All others had full fuel loads."

    Nice one "Ray"! As we all know, software can make a big difference!

    I just checked tomorrow's weather.com forecast for Cape Canaveral and it's showing party cloudy with light winds and 83'F (28'C) - sounds like a great day to go flying 8)

  • Tuesday July 16th, UTC 13h 32m, we have a GO for launch ... and we have LIFTOFF!!!

    The community-created APOLLO-50 Add-on is now available for download at flight-sim.org


    "To celebrate man’s first steps on the moon 50 years ago, we created the APOLLO-50 Add-on for the FS2 community. This add-on is centered around the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, where all the Apollo missions were launched, and covers roughly 1000 sq. miles (2400 sq. km).

    In addition to the 9 airports and numerous points-of-interest, this add-on includes an "Apollo-11 Mission Guide" that outlines key mission events you can explore within this add-on scenery. For the best viewing experience, adjust your FS2 TIME to match the Apollo-11 launch time of UTC 13h 32m (9:32am Florida time).

    "Ray" said on launch day (50 years ago), the message to the team was a simple one ...

    "One last check, take a deep breath, say a little prayer, press the button, stand back and watch the action"

    We hope you enjoy the APOLLO-50 Add-on!

    the APOLLO-50 Add-on Crew,

    TomSimMuc, Rodeo, ZoSoChile, Spit40, kenventions, ussiowa, ryansumei, and Jetjockey10

    One Small Step for Man, One Giant Leap For Mankind

  • TomSimMuc July 16, 2019 at 3:39 PM

    Changed the title of the thread from “APOLLO-50 (coming soon)” to “APOLLO-50 (Lifted off now!)”.
  • Hello Friends, I thought I would chime in and share my experiences with settings for Virtual Reality.

    Apollo 50 might be a bit performance heavy in some areas, so adjust your settings accordingly. Important to note that initial Loading Time might be a bit longer than normal. (Update fixes to come later)

    Here is an example of my settings when flying in VR. (see my specs below)

    Adjust and play with Shadow Quality either Low or Ultra/Insane

    Might I also recommend using 'motion reprojection' if VR performance isn't smooth for you. Please find information elsewhere.

    Don't forget while flying at night time, make sure to adjust to a FULL MOON setting (night textures await you)

    Thank you for exploring Apollo 50 Project :)

  • Really a good effort. Very well done!. Thanks to all in the team.

    Just one minor thing I noticed during my first flight tonight (here in Florida): please check aircraft positioning at RWY11 at Merritt Airport (the aircraft crash continuously).

    Keep up the good work!.

    Cheers, Ed

  • Really a good effort. Very well done!. Thanks to all in the team.

    Just one minor thing I noticed during my first flight tonight (here in Florida): please check aircraft positioning at RWY11 at Merritt Airport (the aircraft crash continuously).

    Keep up the good work!.

    Cheers, Ed

    Will do. Thanks.

  • Now this is a mega community effort! Very well done boys. I am thoroughly enjoying all the hard work you all put in from textures to cultivation, airports, statics, 3D objects, and much more. The little details each team member added is noticeable everywhere and the scope of the landscape is much more than one might expect. Not too long ago, in real life, I spent time in the Canaveral area and at Kennedy Space Center - you sure have brought it to life in sim. The Apollo 50 theme and stories have made it all the more enjoyable. This is payware type stuff you guys put together for us to enjoy and I send my hearty congrats on a job well done.