Aside

A few satellites, simulated, to play with

One of my friends showed me the National Reconnaissance Office’s kids website.  I know some of you know a lot about space, but some might like taking a gander, anyway.  I think it’s really meant for children, so unfortunately a lot of the explanations and narration seems very simple.  But that can be a good thing.

Take a look at the “Simulations” book on the bookshelf.  The second simulation in there does a neat job of showing how adjusting one of an orbit’s two focii will affect it.  I kind of wish some of this had been around when I was learning about it…

I do know Kerbal’s around, too.  I haven’t played with it, because I’m afraid it might become a time-sink for me (and I have other things to do, like job-hunting).  It looks very cool, but might be unrealistic, at least from a pacing point of view for a program.  Many government-run space programs take a long time–there’re a lot of people and a lot interests involved (and don’t even get me started on the politically-motivated changes).  But Kerbal still looks like it could be entertaining.  If the physics are realistic, someone could really learn from it all.  I added another link category, showing both Kerbal and NROJr.  Maybe more will be added later.

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