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Orbiter is a space shuttle simulator based on the actual commands and procedures used by NASA. It simulates the experience of launching, landing, and performing the delicate missions required of the NASA astronauts. Random problems such as mechanical failures will arise as you try to complete your mission and return safely. This will test your knowledge about the shuttle and mechanics of space flight.


Orbiter DOS the orbiter control panel
Orbiter DOS a brief overview of the next mission
Orbiter Macintosh Activation of RMS to grab the Hubble Telescope for launch
Orbiter Macintosh Game over

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Critic Reviews

Tilt DOS Mar, 1987 18 out of 20 90
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Atari ST Apr, 1989 9 out of 12 75
The Games Machine (UK) Atari ST May, 1989 47 out of 100 47
Computer Gaming World (CGW) Macintosh Aug, 1986 Unscored Unscored


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In the games "File" menu, a brief history of Spectrum HoloByte and the development of Orbiter is included. here is an excerpt from the game:


The initial outline for ORBITER was begun in the Autumn of 1984, with full-time design and coding initiated in July 1985. During the nine-month development period between design and marketing, we amassed a program source code of over 600 single-spaced pages.

We've concentrated on realism in this simulation because of the shuttle's high public visibility and because that is what our GATO users said they wanted to see. Above all, we wanted to create an entertaining vehicle for making the world more aware of what really goes on in a shuttle launch. ORBITER is a simulation, not an arcade game, though we feel it is fun as well as instructional.

Holograms: The ORBITER hologram was done by Light Impressions of Ben Lomond, CA. Holograms are laser-generated "photographs" taken of solid objects, using mirrors to provide a 360 degree view. Laser-generated holograms require a direct light source to be viewed properly, meaning either sunlight or an incandescent lamp. Fluorescent lights are too diffuse to provide sharp viewing of an image.

The ORBITER hologram, which was placed on the outside of the first 10,000 boxes, is of a ceramic and metal model which was set in isolation on metal mounts and allowed to sit for one week to let the vibrations reach equilibrium with its surroundings. If the object moves 1 millionth of an inch during the 20 minute exposure, the shot must be re-taken.


We are often asked about the origin of the name "HoloByte." Essentially, it is our word for a computer-generated hologram. We took the name because of our interest in 3-D computer animation and because we wanted to come as close to on-screen holography as possible. For those of you not familiar with us, we were incorporated November 1, 1983 as a computer software publishing company specializing in graphics. While our game, GATO, put us on the map, it has always been our goal to maintain the same high quality in all of our products.

Through the Spectrum HoloByte product line, the company introduced entertainment software products in several new areas: mystery, strategy, relax and enjoy, graphics quest, and arcade-style games. At the same time, Spectrum Holobyte added several games to its traditional line of high quality simulations.
Contributed to by Warlock (295), Martin Smith (71858) and Cyborg (1216)