Project Apollo - NASSP is an ongoing project, many developers are working on lots of new features and enhancements. If you are interested in this development you can now test the current version of Project Apollo.
Since Project Apollo is an open source project and all developers are working for free in their spare time we don't have project plans, schedules, or things like this. We coordinate the development by using our forums. So if you read the latest news you hopefully get all the necessary information you need to use Project Apollo. Of course every developer is happy to get feedback regarding his work to fix bugs and make improvements, so please do not hesitate to post in the forum if you discover something noteworthy.
NASSP 8.0 Beta
Install Orbiter Beta
Follow this link: http://orbit.medphys.ucl.ac.uk/betainstall.html for instructions on how to install the beta version of Orbiter.
Note: As of July 2021, Orbiter has become open source and further development has moved to GitHub. The above link explains how to install the last SVN snapshot before development moved (Orbiter Beta R90), but it is unknown how long this SVN repository will be maintained. An alternate way to download Orbiter Beta R90 would be provided, but redistribution of complete installation archives without permission is a violation of Orbiter's license.
IMPORTANT: At your discretion, you may follow the last step in the previous link to re-use the planet textures from another Orbiter 2016 directory. In this case, you must also copy the NASSP texture files to the other directory which will be outlined further down. Please skip the next step, "Installing High-Resolution Textures (Optional)", if you decide to do this.
Installing High-Resolution Textures (Optional)
Download high-resolution Earth & Moon textures: http://orbit.medphys.ucl.ac.uk/download.html
Note: Do not select "Orbiter core package download" as you have already downloaded the latest Beta version in the previous step.
IMPORTANT: These high-resolution textures are extremely large, and will require around 30 GB of disk space for the Earth textures and around 15 GB of disk space for the Moon textures. Those with slow or metered internet connections may want to skip this step, as significant internet bandwidth is required. You may alternatively decide to only download one set of high-resolution textures, for Earth only or Moon only, to conserve disk space.
Installing the Direct3D9 Graphics Client
Go to https://www.orbiter-forum.com/resources/d3d9-for-orbiter-beta.5495/ to get the latest version of the client. It is important to install the correct version of D3D9 for the Orbiter beta revision that you are using, which at the time of writing is R90. You must use the BETA version of the client, IE: "D3D9ClientBeta30.7-forBETA r90(r1436).zip" would correspond to Orbiter Beta revision 90.
Download and unzip the D3D9 client ZIP file into your Orbiter Beta installation folder.
Start "Orbiter_ng.exe" (NOT "Orbiter.exe") from your Orbiter installation folder. Go to the "Modules" tab on the left side of the window, and activate the "D3D9Client" module. The "Video" tab will appear. Configure the video settings as you like, they are quite similar to the usual Orbiter video settings. It is recommended to use "Full Screen Window" mode.
IMPORTANT: Click "Advanced" and check the box labeled "Enable absolute animation handling" to prevent animation drift happening in certain cases in the 3D virtual cockpit (VC). You can also configure the other options in that page to your liking. We also recommend setting Reflection Mode to "Full Scene" in order to get the best appearance out of the CM's reflective texture.
Installing Surface Micro-Textures (Optional)
This step is optional, but highly recommended. Follow this link, and scroll down to "MicroTexture Pack for D3D9Client" and click the "Download" link: https://www.orbiter-forum.com/resources/d3d9-microtexture-pack.5496/
Unzip the contents into your Orbiter directory.
Installing the Apollo Landing Site packs (Optional)
Download "Apollo Landing Sites for Orbiter 2016" by ggalfi here: http://absimp.org/orbitersim/apollolandingsites.html
The scenery is breathtaking, but be aware there can sometimes be a mismatch between the visible terrain and the physical terrain in the Orbiter engine, so the LM can sometimes be floating above or sunken into the surface after landing. If you try and land exactly at the historical landing site, the mismatch should be minimal.
Install OrbiterSound 5.0
This step is technically optional, but it is extremely recommended as otherwise you will have no sound in Orbiter at all. However, be wary about doing things such as typing on your keyboard in another application while Orbiter is still running in the background; OrbiterSound has a non-configurable hotkey combination that can cause crashes if you're not careful.
OrbiterSound 5.0 can be found at the following link: http://orbiter.dansteph.com/forum/index.php?page=download Run the installer, and when installation is complete, open "Orbiter_ng.exe" and activate the module in Orbiter "Modules" tab, like you did when activating the D3D9 client. You can also run the newly-installed "SoundConfig.exe" application to adjust settings to your liking.
Install NASSP 8.0 Beta
Download the latest beta build of NASSP at this link: https://github.com/orbiternassp/NASSP/releases
Unzip this into your Orbiter directory.
IMPORTANT: If you are re-using a texture directory from another Orbiter installation (as outlined in step 1), copy the "Textures/ProjectApollo" folder over to the actual Texture directory that is being used by your Orbiter Beta/NASSP installation. For example, if your Orbiter Beta installation is borrowing its textures from an installation of Orbiter 2016, then you would copy your "Textures/ProjectApollo" folder into your Orbiter 2016 installation folder. Also note that this step should be repeated every time you update to a new version of NASSP that includes a change in textures.
Start "Orbiter_ng.exe", go to the "Parameters" tab and make sure that at least "Complex flight model", "Limited fuel" and "Nonspherical gravity sources" are enabled.
Note: At this time, it is recommended to leave "Gravity-gradient torque" and "Atmospheric wind effects" disabled as in some occasions they can cause crashes with NASSP.
Go to "Visual effects" tab and configure them to your liking. Make sure to check the box for "surface elevation", and use "Linear" interpolation in order to not have the landed LM seem sunken into/floating over the lunar terrain. You can also check "Particle streams" to see the various particle/dust effects in NASSP, and "Local light sources" for the night-time launch pad lighting.
Go to the "Modules" tab and activate the "ProjectApolloMFD" and "ApolloRTCCMFD" modules.
Go to the "Extras" tab, open the "Vessel configuration" section, and double-click "Project Apollo Configuration". If you have a joystick, this is where you can configure your joystick for use in NASSP. Do not use the normal Orbiter "Joystick" controls page to configure your joystick, there it should be <Disabled>. In the "Miscellaneous" section of the Project Apollo Configuration window, make sure "Multi-Threading in time acceleration" is checked, for performance reasons. It is also recommended to set a maximum limit for time acceleration, NASSP runs best at 50x or less depending on the hardware you are using.
Congratulations, you should now have a fully-functional Orbiter Beta install with the latest beta release of NASSP 8.0! We hope you enjoy, and have fun flying!
Updating to the latest beta release
Once installed, updating to the latest beta build is as easy as downloading the latest beta release ZIP file from the GitHub link at the top corner of this page, and unzipping its contents into your Orbiter installation folder.
IMPORTANT: If you are re-using a texture directory from another Orbiter installation (as outlined in step 1), and the new NASSP version includes texture changes, copy the "Textures/ProjectApollo" folder over to the actual Texture directory that is being used by your Orbiter Beta/NASSP installation. (Click yes to overwrite files)
NASSP 7.0 Stable (Deprecated)
This version of NASSP is several years old, having released in 2017. It is no longer actively maintained, but should remain perfectly usable if you desire a "stable" version of NASSP that will not change, at the cost of missing out on more recent improvements to simulation accuracy, etc. If you wish to upgrade from NASSP 7.0 to 8.0, it is highly recommended to perform a complete reinstall from scratch, following the instructions provided in the earlier "NASSP 8.0" section.
This section tries to provide step-by-step instructions to set up the Orbiter environment for Project Apollo. You need to do the following steps only once. If you want to update your installation read the "How do I update?" section below.
If you have installed the latest Orbiter 2010 version already, you can use this installation for Project Apollo, of course. Otherwise you need to install Orbiter. This includes the following steps at the moment:
Orbiter 2010-P1 Edition
- Orbiter100830.zip/msi as explained here: http://www.orbiter-forum.com/download.php
Optional: High resolution surface tiles for the Kennedy Space Center
Install the Microsoft VS C++ 2015 Redistributable (x86) Package if it's not installed already.
Install Project Apollo - NASSP
Follow the Modules Pack link at the top of this page download and unzip the first .zip file to your Orbiter installation folder. Make sure that the directory structure of the archive is retained, usually there's a "Use Folders" option box or similar, which should be ticked/checked.
Optionally, you can download and unzip the Source Code.zip the same way if you wish to have the source code that corresponds to the binary release.
Optional, but recommended: Install the DirectX 9 client
The built-in (aka "inline") Orbiter graphics client is based on DirectX 7. Especially with Windows 7 computers and/or recent graphics adapter this client isn't working very well or in some cases isn't working at all. Fortunately there's an DirectX 9 client by jarmonik meanwhile, which is working great with Project Apollo. So it is strongly suggested to give it a try. You can get it from this thread in the Orbiter main forum or by following these instructions:
- Install a recent Microsoft DirectX Runtime, for example by using the Microsoft DirectX End-User Runtime Web Installer.
- Download and unzip the client file to your Orbiter installation folder the same way as the Project Apollo files above.
- Start Orbiter_ng.exe (NOT Orbiter.exe) from your Orbiter installation folder.
- Go to the "Modules" tab and activate the "D3D9Client" module.
- The "Video" tab appears, configure the video settings as you like, they are quite similar to the usual Orbiter video settings. Do not change any settings you don't know/understand.
- Launch a build-in scenario in order to check if the client is running fine before you continue with the instructions below.
Configure Project Apollo
- Start Orbiter (Orbiter_ng.exe in case you're using the DirectX 9 client), go to the "Parameters" tab and make sure that at least Complex flight model, Limited fuel, Gravity-gradient torque and Nonspherical gravity sources are enabled.
- Go to the "Modules" tab and activate the ProjectApolloMFD module.
- Optionally you can change some options with the Launchpad Configuration Options on the "Extra" tab.
- That's all, now you can try if Project Apollo is working properly. You'll find the proper scenarios in the "Project Apollo - NASSP" scenario folder. Please note that the scenarions in the "Broken Scenarios" subfolder are, well, broken.
How do I update?
To update your Project Apollo installation you can repeat the steps above in Install Project Apollo - NASSP.