019 – The Vertical Motion Simulator at NASA Ames

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This episode is a conversation with Bimal Aponso (branch chief for the Aerospace Simulation Research and Development Branch) about the NASA Vertical Motion Simulator at Ames. The VMS is the world’s largest flight simulator, and provides unrivaled realism regarding the accelerations and “feeling of real flight” it can create.
In the episode we first talk about how the VMS works, and how it is different from other flight simulators. We then cover some of the use cases for VMS (research, astronaut training) and discuss a couple of past research projects where VMS has been used. Finally, we take a tour of the actual simulator, and I get to see the cabin for the cockpits of the Space Shuttle and the Altair Lunar Surface Access Module