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The Virtual SpacePlane
March/April 2001 (vol. 21 no. 2)
pp. 42-52
The Virtual SpacePlane (VSP) is a virtual prototype of the US Air Force's Manned SpacePlane (MSP). The VSP project's principle objective was to demonstrate the functionality and capabilities of the MSP throughout it entire flight regime, from takeoff through space operations and subsequent landing. In support of this capability demonstration, the VSP project had to uncover, develop, and validate the MSP's user interface requirements; determine the desired virtual environment characteristics; and develop a software architecture and design to support rapid prototyping development of the VSP. Currently the VSP performs MSP missions in a realistic manner within a distributed virtual environment. In this article the authors describe the VSP project, its software architecture, dynamics models, user interface design, and virtual environment components. They conclude with a brief summary of the project's current status and discuss future VSP development.

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Index Terms:
Virtual Spacecraft, Virtual Environments, Simulation, Distributed Simulation, Simulation-Based Requirements Development, Virtual Environment User Interfaces, Space Operations Simulation, Virtual Environment Software Architecture
Citation:
Martin R. Stytz, Sheila B. Banks, Troy D. Johnson, John M. Lewis, Scott A. Rothermel, "The Virtual SpacePlane," IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 42-52, March-April 2001, doi:10.1109/38.909014
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