Mission Simulation Support Software (MS3)-Shuttle

The Mission Simulation Support Software (MS3) package is an integrated set of networked applications that provide real-time end-to-end space mission simulations with a “crew” in a simulated spacecraft and a “ground team” in a simulated Mission Control Center. Off-the-shelf MS3 provides up to 5 different Space Shuttle missions (MS3-Shuttle), as well as a lunar landing mission aboard the Orion and Antares spacecraft from NASA’s Constellation program (MS3-Lunar). The MS3 architecture can readily support other concepts such as asteroid interception or Mars-themed missions. The number of networked computers in an MS3 installation depends on your individual requirements. A minimum practical installation requires three machines, allowing sim control, Crew data entry, and an out-the-window visual scene. From there, you may add additional visuals, data entry/monitoring screens, Mission Control stations, and simulated spacecraft malfunction control software (which allows your team to solve problems aboard their spacecraft) to create a system as elaborate as you desire. Typical installations have created impressive simulations with 15-20 machines. MS3 can also interface with real hardware such as physical switches and hardware status light panels. For more details on MS3 and its architecture, mission, and functional options, please download our [hyperlink]MS3 Information Package.

MS3-Shuttle is our most popular form of the integrated mission package. Our customers normally use the MS3-Shuttle software to exploit a hardware platform that includes a Space Shuttle flight deck mockup and a set of consoles that act as the Mission Control Center. Simulation control by customer provided instructors is generally colocated with the Mission Control Center. In this environment, "crew members" on the flight deck interact with the multi-discipline control team to perform a scripted Space Shuttle mission such as rendezvousing with and resupplying the International Space Station. The mission details and scripts are defined by the customer. MS3-Shuttle provides the software to control the simulation, allow all players to view data and command simulator functions, and provides for "out-the-window" and camera views.

MS3-Shuttle applications are allocated to three elements: Simulation Monitoring and Control, Flight Deck, and Mission Control Center. Below is a brief description of each element along with some screen shots of sample displays or camera imagery. For more details on MS3 and its architecture, mission, and functional options, please download our MS3 Shuttle Information Package.

Computer Configuration

MS3-Shuttle requires multiple computers, monitors, keypads, and joysticks. Please contact BSL for additional information.

Simulation Monitoring and Control

Simulation Monitoring and Control consists of a workstation providing the user interface that allows the instructor or mission director to control and monitor the integrated simulation. The SM&C user interface offers: 1) Controls for starting and stopping simulation; and selection of mission type, phase, and times, 2) Status information to provide real time insight into those computers that comprise the network configuration and 3) Tools for inserting and monitoring system anomalies.

The images above depict the main simulation control interface and anomaly control screen.

Flight Deck

The MS3-Shuttle flight deck element provides the software to support crew operations in the spacecraft. The "visual" component generates the out-the-window scenery that the crew would see. The "data screen" component presents computer data entry and display screens to allow the crew to monitor spacecraft systems and to make inputs to control the spacecraft.

The images above depict screen shots of MS3 data entry and monitoring screens, as well as samples of out-the-window scenery or interior cockit camera views.

Mission Control Center

The Mission Control Center is comprised of one or more workstations where Mission Controllers can monitor the real time status of the Shuttle and payload trajectory and systems. The MCC presents, in real time, data generated by the MS3 models to the Mission Control Team. Also, the MCC can offer one or more screens of camera views to allow the flight controllers to "watch" what is transpiring during the mission. Note that some of the visual representations may be from cameras not available in the "real world" but they help the controllers appreciate the context of what is going on.

The images above depict some of the data screens available to the mission controllers as well as some of the camera imagery that can be viewed in the MCC.